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

Saturday, June 22, 2019


Slavery is a repugnant idea and a despicable reality, whether it happened thousands of years ago in Egypt, a millenia ago in Europe, 150 years ago in in the Southern United States or today, where it continues to happen in the form of human trafficking. It is wrong ... period. No human should be subjugated and abused, no person should be imprisoned when they have committed no crime.

CBS reports:
Sen. Cory Booker said in a panel that the U.S. needs to address "persistent inequalities" experienced by African Americans by discussing reparations, the idea that the descendants of slaves should be compensated for the injustices and cruelty their ancestors experienced.

Booker said that the nation has "yet to truly acknowledge and grapple with the racism and white supremacy that tainted this country's founding and continues to cause persistent and deep racial disparities and inequality. These disparities don't just harm black communities, they harm all communities."

A House Judiciary subcommittee debated H.R. 40, a bill that would study how the U.S. would implement reparations to black Americans, amid a national conversation about what the federal government owes descendants of slaves. Booker, writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and actor Danny Glover were among the witnesses who testified before the panel.
For just a moment let's disregard the complexities of reparations, the logistics of implemented such a policy, and even the touted benefits to those who are the great, great, great, great grandchildren of slaves. Let focus on the core concept—What exactly are reparations?

Conservative, African American commentator Larry Elder provides us with a definition. Reparations are the:
... extraction of money from those who were never slave owners to be given to those who were never slaves.
That about sums it up. Sure, it's true that slavery did significant damage to black people, and it took our nation a long time to begin to provide remedies for that damage. But it's also true that many African Americans have prevailed in a country that has tried hard to implement those remedies.

The Democrats' continual, almost obsessive, argument is that the country is systemically racist and its institutions are biased against people of color. This argument suggests that African Americas (and other minorities whose ancestors were not slaves) are victims of a repressive, racist country and that the problems that some in the African American community continue to face (e.g., low educational achievement, low economic achievement, disrupted family structures) cannot be solved by the people in those communities because members of those communities are victims and cannot be expected to change their current situation. It's a condescending argument that smacks of the soft racism of low expectations, but it has become the prevalent narrative that has led to the current discussion of reparations.

Since the mid-1960s, the United States has created hundreds, possibly thousands, of major social programs in an effort to correct the sins of slavery. The country and its taxpayers have spent at least $20 trillion dollars on various programs designed to eliminate poverty, improve education, provide better housing, enforce civil rights, augment the incomes of the most vulnerable, and otherwise assist minorities and others in need. It appears that these expenditures have helped many, but left others behind.

The big question is this: For those who continue to struggle, for those who have been left behind by the "Great Society" goals developed more than 70 years ago, for those who the Democrats characterize as victims in all of this, are "reparations"—the expenditure of still more money—any more likely to yield a different and better result?