The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Great-Great-Grandpa Silas

Burgess Owens tells the story of his great-great grandfather, a man who arrived in America chained inside the hole of a slave ship, who was orphaned on a plantation by the age of 8, escaped the slave owner, and via the underground railroad, wound up in West Texas, where he bought land, built a business, started a church and a school and fathered a large family. Owens contends that although he arrived a slave, his great-great grandfather lived the American Dream.

Referring to his great-great grandfather, the slave Silas, Owens writes:
Now, because of him, a bunch of Democratic presidential hopefuls want to give me money. Never mind that like Silas, I am an entrepreneur who has lived the American dream—having received a world-class education, built businesses, raised a remarkable family and, unlike most white Americans, earned a Super Bowl ring. Because of work I’ve never done, stripes I’ve never had, under a whip I’ll never know, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Elizabeth Warren and others want to give me free stuff. Never mind that it will be taken from others, who also dreamed, worked and sacrificed to earn it.

I wonder what great-great-grandpa Silas would think.

At the core of the reparation movement is a divisive and demeaning view of both races. It grants to the white race a wicked superiority, treating them as an oppressive people too powerful for black Americans to overcome. It brands blacks as hapless victims devoid of the ability, which every other culture possesses, to assimilate and progress. Neither label is earned.

The reparations movement conveniently forgets the 150 years of legal, social and economic progress attained by millions of American minorities. It also minimizes the sacrifice that hundreds of thousands of white Americans and a Republican president made laying down their lives to eradicate slavery. I think grandpa Silas would believe that this historical loss of life alone is payment in full. Every proud, contributing and thankful generation of black Americans since would think the same.

The reparation movement also reinforces a spiritual view of racial relationships that is antithetical to America’s Judeo-Christian foundation. It defies the ideals of forgiveness and second chances and scorns individual accountability. Proponents of reparations act as though black Americans are incapable of carrying their own burdens, while white Americans must bear the sins of those who came before.
Racial politics in general and the reparation movement in particular are examples of the soft racism of the Left. When you try to convince an entire race that they are victims, you are a soft racist. When you refuse to acknowledge that every individual, regardless of their race, must take responsibility for the decisions and actions they make throughout their lives, you are a soft racist. When you suggest, for example, that it's just too difficult for people of one race to get a government-authorized ID so they can identify themselves before voting, you are a soft racist. Are people really so incompetent that they can't figure out how and where to get the ID? Think of the blatant condescension involved in that logic.

Over the past decade, the term "white privilege" has emerged as the latest politically correct cudgel against a nation that the Left perceives as racist. The term has been designed to foster guilt, and in so doing, allows Leftist politicians and academics to create still more programs and policies that create dependency and a victim's mindset among particular racial groups. That's soft racism as well.

Owens continues:
... Grandpa Silas never believed anyone owed him success. Why should I believe white Americans owe me anything?
In reality, we're all owed an opportunity to create the best life we can. But that opportunity must be leveraged with education, hard work, personal responsibility and sure, a little luck. Reparations won't deliver any of that, but you'll never convince the soft racists of the Democratic party of that reality.