What do you think of this article about slavery reparation?

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  1. Tom Cornett profile image80
    Tom Cornettposted 14 years ago

    Fred Reed is a Police reporter for Washington news papers.

    Slavery Reparations  ..........by Fred Reed!

    On the Web I find that Henry  Louis Gates Jr., the chairman of Afro-American
    Studies at Harvard, is demanding that whites pay reparations to blacks.  It's
    because of slavery, see. He is  joined in this endeavor by a gaggle of other
    professional blacks. I guess  he'll send me a bill, huh?

    I feel like saying, "Let me get  this straight, Hank.  I'm slow.  Be patient.

    You want free money because of  slavery, right?  I don't blame you." I'd like
    free money too. Tell you what.  I believe in justice.  I'll give you a million
    dollars for every slave I own,  and another million for every year you were a
    slave.  Fair enough?  But tell  me, how many slaves do you suppose I have?
    In round numbers,  I mean...say to the nearest dozen.  And how long were you
    a slave?

    Oh. In other words, I owe you reparations for something that I didn't do and
    didn't happen to you. That  makes sense.  Like lug nuts on a birthday cake.

    Personally, I think you owe me reparations for things you didn't do and
    never happened to me.  I've never been coated in Dutch chocolate and
    thrown from the Eiffel Tower .  I'll  bet you've never done it to anyone.  I want
    reparations.  Kind of silly, isn't  it?

    But if we're going to talk about reparations, that's a street that runs in
    two directions.  You want money from me for what some other whites did
    to some other blacks in another  century?

    How about you guys paying whites reparations for current expenses caused
    by blacks?  Not long ago blacks burned down half of Los Angeles , a city in
    my country.  Cities are expensive, Hank.  Build one sometime and you'll see
    what I mean  Whites had to pay taxes to repair Los Angeles for you.  You can
    send me a check.

    Now, yes, I know you burned LA  because you didn't like the verdict in the
    trial of those police officers.  Well, I didn't like the verdict in the Simpson trial.

    But I didn't burn my house and loot Korean grocers, or burn down a city.

    Over the years blacks have  burned a lot of American cities: Newark , 
    Detroit , Watts , on and on.  Now add in the fantastic cost over the years of 
    welfare in all its forms, the cost of all of those police calls people had to make,
    for cells and jails and security systems in department stores.

    I can't live in the capital city of my own country because of crime
    committed by blacks. Toss in  the cultural cost of lowering standards in
    everything for the benefit of blacks.  See what I mean?

    Now, I'd view things differently if you said to me, "Fred, blacks can't get
    anywhere in a modern country without education.  We know that.  We need
    better schools, smarter teachers, harder courses, books with smaller pictures
    and bigger words.  Can you help  us?"

    I'd say, "Hallelujah! Hoo-ahh!  Not just yes, but hell yes.  Let's sell an
    aircraft carrier and get these folks some real schools and get them into the
    economic main-stream.'  I'd say It partly because it would be the right thing
    to do, and partly because I'd like to add you guys to the tax base.

    The current custodial state is expensive.  I'd just love for blacks to study
    and learn to compete and stop burning places.  But is it going to happen?   
    You may not believe it, but I, and  most whites, don't like seeing blacks as
    miserable and screwed up as they are.

    I spend a fair amount of time in the projects.  Those places are ugly.  It's
    no fun watching perfectly good kids turn into semi-literate dope dealers 
    who barely speak English.  It just plain ain't right.  But, Hank, what am I
    supposed to do about it?  I can't do your children's homework.  At some 
    point, people have to do things for  themselves, or they don't get done.

    Maybe it's time.

    I'll tell you what I see out in the world, Hank.. I think blacks are too
    accustomed to getting anything  they want by just demanding it.  True, it
    has worked for over half a century.  Get a few hundred people in the street,
    implicitly threaten to loot and  burn, holler about slavery, and sadly
    the Great White Cash Spigot turns on.

    Thing is, whites don't much buy it any longer.  Most recognize that what once
    was a civil-rights movement has become a shakedown game.  Few people
    still feel responsible for the failings and inadequacies of blacks.  Political
    correctness keeps the lid on --  but everyone knows the score.  Which scares me, Hank.

    On one hand, blacks hate whites and incline toward looting and burning.
    (The whites you hate are the ones who marched in the civil-rights movement.
    Ever think about  that?)

    On the other hand, whites quietly grow wearier and wearier of it.  Not good,

    On the third hand (allow me three hands, for rhetorical convenience), blacks 
    keep demanding things.  As I  write, you demand reparations for slavery.
    Blacks in Oklahoma (I think it  was) want money for some ancient race riot.

    Other blacks reject the Declaration of Independence.  Blacks in New York
    hint broadly at burning and looting over a trial, yet more demand the
    elimination of the Confederate flag, and the federal equal opportunity
    apparatus, which means blacks want to sue Silicon Valley for not hiring
    nonexistent black engineers.  That's a lot of demanding for one month,

    What happens if whites ever say, "No"?

    Now, how about you?  You've got a cushy job up there at Harvard, and you
    can hoot and holler about what swine and bandits whites are.  I guess it's
    lots of fun, and you get a salary for it to boot.  But don't you think you might
    do blacks more good if you told them to complain less and study more?

    For example, if you want blacks to work in Silicon Gulch, the best approach
    might be to find some really smart black guys, and get them to study digital
    design ~ not Black Studies (as  you teach).  That's how everybody else does 
    it.  It works.  Then blacks wouldn't feel left out, and racial tensions would
    decline.  Sound like a plan?

    Just out of curiosity, how many hours a week do professors of Afro-American
    Studies spend in the projects,  encouraging poor black kids to study real-
    life sho-nuf subjects?

    1. marshall92 profile image66
      marshall92posted 14 years ago

      Though I agree with the point that it is ridiculous to tax someone for something they didn't do, I also believe this author is being racist. If he wants his point to be heard, he shouldn't generalize by saying "You may not believe it, but I, and  most whites, don't like seeing blacks as miserable and screwed up as they are." So he is claiming that blacks are "miserable and screwed up"? I think he's a bit screwed up if that's how he views every black person. On another note, he says "At some point, people have to do things for  themselves, or they don't get done." This is true, yes. But isn't it a lot easier for the average (note the use of average instead of every) white person to "do things for themselves" as they already have a lot more done for them already? It is much more common for a black person to be born into poverty than a white person. That being said, it takes much more work for many black people to "do things for themselves." Anyways, that's just my opinion.

      1. Tom Cornett profile image80
        Tom Cornettposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        "But isn't it a lot easier for the average (note the use of average instead of every) white person to "do things for themselves" as they already have a lot more done for them already? It is much more common for a black person to be born into poverty than a white person."
        I simply don't understand your statement here?  The opportunity to rise out of poverty is there for all races. There are many, many white people who are impoverished.
        The culture of poverty entraps people because that culture is allowed or sometimes even promoted by entities of government and judicial systems for the purpose of workforce security.  It is a sick reality.  How many jobs would be lost without crime?  Poverty promotes crime.
        You made some good points but I just didn't understand that one?

    2. marshall92 profile image66
      marshall92posted 14 years ago

      "I simply don't understand your statement here?  The opportunity to rise out of poverty is there for all races. There are many, many white people who are impoverished." That is true. I wasn't arguing that all white people are well-off in terms of wealth. I was arguing that more black people are born into poverty. Here is my point in a nut shell: Rising out of poverty is very difficult. A larger percent of black people are born into poverty. Therefore, it is harder for the AVERAGE black person to "do things for themselves" than the AVERAGE white person. Sorry for the ambiguity of my first response, did this clear it up at all?

      1. Tom Cornett profile image80
        Tom Cornettposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Explained very well....and I agree....thanks!

        1. marshall92 profile image66
          marshall92posted 14 years agoin reply to this

          No problem.

    3. AEvans profile image74
      AEvansposted 14 years ago

      Tom, why is it that we still pay the Indians reparations but we cannot pay black people reparations? Many black people are still held back due to finances and underlying racism, I believe that black people feel that they are entitled to what happened to there family members so long ago. I agree with you when it comes to paying ,my family was not here in the U.S. when there was slavery nor did they aide in placing them on boats and bringing anyone over my mother was apart of the movement and de-segragation of restraunts and schools in the 60's she was spit at, threatened and shot at for standing up for what she believeD in and that was that all people should be treated equal and have equal rights in the U.S. I guess I am going to have to read more about reparations and payment because right now I can honestly see there point because they have been treated poorly for so long. Not all black people are bad, nor are they all violent or burn down cities just like white people there are bad seeds in every group of people.

      If we sit down and really think about this we are one in the same historically speaking and all of us have originated from one place if we wish to go back thousands of years. smile

    4. Tom Cornett profile image80
      Tom Cornettposted 14 years ago

      I think that the writer of the article was frustrated and lashed out with generalizations.  The writer is close to the truth about many white attitudes tho in venting his frustrations.
      People from all races need to talk and forge a common sword in the battle against greed and poverty.
      Tolerance needs to lead in every culture.
      There will never be real brother and sisterhood until we take the time to talk and work it out.

      1. AEvans profile image74
        AEvansposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I agree !! big_smile
        FYI: I followed the link and OMG talk about negativity in that forum geesshhh it looks scary, I believe there are White Supremists in there or possibly Klan members, thanks for posting and I know Tom that you and your family are far from that. smile

        1. Tom Cornett profile image80
          Tom Cornettposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          Thanks...that is why I posted it...the extreme problem is in the words.  It can't be fixed if all people are not included in the solution.

        2. profile image0
          Madame Xposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          Free Republic is actually a great site to learn about a lot of issues. True, it is mostly conservative and slants decidedly Christian, which may be a turn-off for some, and I can understand that. But Freepers (as they are known) dissect an issue right down to it's roots. Not much escapes them and as a result it can be very educational.

          As for this post topic, I think reparations have already been made. It was white soldiers who fought the civil war and made the ultimate sacrifice to bring about equality of race in America.

          1. ledefensetech profile image69
            ledefensetechposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            I wouldn't bother. Some people are just so indoctrinated with the white people aren't evil, Brown people are not believe, that it's pretty much impossible to talk to these people. I recently watched Boys 'N the Hood for the first time in a while, and I'd forgotten how good a movie actually is. The pardon the beginning where the teacher was talking about the Pilgrims and thanksgiving in front of a class of black students was particularly entertaining, and I can see the director's point in putting that in the movie. In fact, it you can see much of the Afrocentric schools of thought in that movie. One of the things they don't address, is the idea that they promote racial tension.

            They consider, for example, gentrification as an assault against black ownership. They see not that gentrification is inner-city renewal, but they frame it in terms of a race war. But they don't consider, is that many of the people who sell to people or organizations gentrifying inner-city neighborhoods are more than happy to take the money and run. It's no surprise, for example, that as soon as black middle class Americans could afford to move out of the cities, they did so. In that respect what you're really talking about, is not race relations, but class relations.  The problem lies with defining what we are actually talking about. 

            I recently watched Crips and Bloods: Made in America.  http://www.cripsandbloodsmovie.com  While it had the usual amount of "it's America's fault", there was a rather interesting part towards the end. During the course of the movie, they talked about the LA riots of 92 and, more importantly, the aftermath.  The documentary discussed the billion dollar public-private effort to rebuild the inner city after the riots which folded after a year.  As you will find if you visit the movie's website, private initiatives have been set up to take up the slack at the failure of large organizations to do anything.  The message that seems to have sunk into the people of South Central is we got ourselves into this mess, we have to get ourselves out.  There's a mural you see briefly in the movies that eloquently states this sentiment "Only we can end this war".  That is why I have hope for the people of South Central.  After decades of waiting for someone else to do something, they now are stepping up to rebuild.  South Central a decade from now will be a very different place than it is today and light-years from what it was in decades past.

            1. readytoescape profile image60
              readytoescapeposted 14 years agoin reply to this

              Well I’m a "white people" and I ain’t evil. Never did get indoctronated though, inoculated a couple of times, the only "nated" I've ever had. Matter of fact I know lots of white people and I can say I don’t know any that are evil.

              Sorry, I was born as white, no different than those born black we all bleed red. Seen you Pic? Can’t tell are you white or Evil?

              Apparently as you indicate in your fist sentence that you can and you assert that we all are? Stick your liberal clap trap crap up where it comes from.

              White people are evil, are you Stupid? Hopefully you just typed before thinking.

              Check that next time will ya!

              1. ledefensetech profile image69
                ledefensetechposted 14 years agoin reply to this

                Oops, typo.  That should have read "white people are evil".  Um did you not get that from the context of the rest of the post, or did only the first sentence stick in your mind?

                That isn't exactly the view of someone who thinks all white people are racist, is it?

          2. AEvans profile image74
            AEvansposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            Because of you I will sneak a peek it just appeared that there was a lot of hate in there when I poked my nose in. smile

            1. ledefensetech profile image69
              ledefensetechposted 14 years agoin reply to this

              AE, you're going to learn pretty quick that some people are going to take advantage of things to push their own hate-filled views.  There are just as many blacks who hate whites as there are whites who hate blacks.  If you think about it that hatred gives them more in common with each other than members of their respective "race".  Also I think a lot of what you see as hate are people who are just confused by things and wonder why they are being made to sacrifice when other people are obviously not having to do much of anything.  There's nothing racial about that.

            2. profile image0
              Madame Xposted 14 years agoin reply to this

              I applaud your open-mindedness. I should warn you though, Free Republic is a site where the gloves are truly off. Nobody holds back and it can get into the trenches real quick - not nearly as soft as hubpages. But they argue with cold logic and facts, not fluff, and it can be very refreshing - if you have the ovaries for it. Have fun!

      2. ledefensetech profile image69
        ledefensetechposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Tom, I think you're missing the significance of this article.the article isn't one about race, that's a common misconception among most people today. What he's railing against is the depths to which the civil rights movement has sunk over the last few decades in this country. Instead of being led by humanitarians like Dr. King or even Malcolm X, it's led by charlatans like Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton.

        The civil rights movement originally stood for equality of opportunity among all men and women. Today it's become some giant monstrosity of wealth redistribution scam that is taking wealth from productive Americans and giving it to those who don't produce anything. You're ignoring human nature if you believe that giving somebody something will encourage them to do anything. It doesn't.

        The really scary part about all of this is that there are always radicals on any side of an issue. People, I think, are becoming more and more frustrated with this ever increasing underclass of welfare recipients. We've been fighting that particular battle for over 50 years now and we don't have much to show for it. In fact, we must be one of the only nations in the world in which people are running from the cities, not moving into them. Do you understand the significance of that?

        The scary part about the radicals is that they are racist, unlike the vast majority of Americans. And if you think they're going to let a crisis like this go to waste, you're sorely mistaken. They are going to be the ones who take advantage of this situation and attempt to bring about the bare racist utopia. That could be either end of the racial spectrum, there just as many black racists or Hispanic racists or Asian racists as there are white racists.

        Abraham Lincoln had a great quote, in fact he was a better writer than he was a politician. indeed, he had many quotes that we would profit from remembering today.  He was once quoted as saying "You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage earner by tearing down the wage payer. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.  You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

        What we have in this country today, that we didn't have 50 years ago, is a lack of institutional racism. That's quite a bit different from individual racism. Institutional racism says "separate but equal" should be governmental policy. We don't have anything like that today. Individual racism, is something quite different. My dad used to work in Grenada, Mississippi; that town is about 30% black 70% white. There is a barber in that town, a white guy, who keeps a gun at a shop in case any black person comes in looking for a haircut. Now remember, blacks make up 30% of the population. This guy is willing to forgo 30% of his potential customers, so he can indulge in his hatred. Okay, why not let them do it? He's only hurting himself, after all. A wise person wouldn't care what the skin color of their custom was, they'd be ecstatic to have customers.

        If you think the laws, reparations, encouraging class differences are going to increase the brotherhood of man, you need to reread Abraham Lincoln's quotes. All you do when you emphasize the differences between people, is encourage hatred. Here's another saying for you: "familiarity breeds contempt". Most people can't hold onto their misconceptions about race, when they are confronted with the reality that all people are pretty much the same. That's one of the main reasons you don't see a whole lot of racism in the military, for example. There is no room for it when the guy in the foxhole next to you might be saving your life. It doesn't matter what skin color is. In fact, it's significant that after the largest war the United States had ever fought and, we rapidly desegregated our military. That's probably the only good thing Truman ever did.  That happened because of groups like the Tuskegee Airmen.  the most amazing thing about those men, is that they fought despite a system that denied them basic human right's. On the flipside, they fought to prove themselves worthy of those rights.  That is something I think many contemporary Americans could profit from understanding.

        1. tksensei profile image60
          tksenseiposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          No way.

    5. blue dog profile image61
      blue dogposted 14 years ago

      since you asked, here's what i think about the article:  since you posted it, how about a link to the information found "on the web"?

      1. Tom Cornett profile image80
        Tom Cornettposted 14 years agoin reply to this
        1. blue dog profile image61
          blue dogposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          ah, free republic.  independent, grassroots conservatism. 

          i think i'll pass.

          nice try, though, tom cornett.

          1. Tom Cornett profile image80
            Tom Cornettposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            What do you mean by "nice try?"  Oh yes!  I must be a conspirator trying to lure unknowing Americans into a debate about racism!  My secret code name is Ooggybooggie white boy! Free Masons Rock! smile

            1. profile image0
              A Texanposted 14 years agoin reply to this

              Don't worry about Blue Duck or Dog or whatever, He is a frustrated actor playing a Texan, and he isn't doing well! No reparations? I thought Obama would have slid that in with the stimulus. I think we should tax Gates for being a general pain in the @ss!

    6. egiv profile image59
      egivposted 14 years ago

      There are points where I agree with you, then others where I cringe.

      I agree with the point that black people should not be paid because of something that did not happen to them. But your article is pretty rough around the edges, crossing the line into blatant racism. You can't generalize "blacks" the way you do, just the same way you can't generalize "whites."

      It's awfully easy for you to sit behind your computer screen and judge those who are born into poverty, because you can't understand it. Unless you know what it is like to be raised in the south side of Chicago or Compton, you really can't say "I'd just love for blacks to study and learn to compete and stop burning places... I, and  most whites, don't like seeing blacks as miserable and screwed up as they are." Racist statements like that are what fuel the fire.

      I am also tired of people like professor Gates who are overly sensitive and can't have a dinner without accusing somebody of being racist against them, because they just make the problem worse. However, the same is true for the other side, racism against blacks, which is the category this article fits in to, whether you meant it to or not.

      1. Tom Cornett profile image80
        Tom Cornettposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I didn't write the article...I posted it from the net.  A Washington news paper writer wrote it.  I put it on to discuss racism.

        1. egiv profile image59
          egivposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          Ah, my apologies! Well, that was my take on the article anyway.

    7. profile image0
      Madame Xposted 14 years ago

      tech - you hit it dead on.

    8. readytoescape profile image60
      readytoescapeposted 14 years ago

      The tone which some have applied as racist in the article appears more to be satire. For which I shall follow.

      Not to beat the proverbial dead horse, but weren’t blacks pressed into slavery by blacks? And weren’t these very same “slaves” sold into bondage by blacks to the Colonials of all sea going merchant nations. So shouldn’t the reparations come from the Africans that made all the profits?

      And no I do not want to start the chicken or the egg argument over slavery. Just pointing out a simple truth.

      1. profile image0
        Madame Xposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        At least someone knows their history.

    9. readytoescape profile image60
      readytoescapeposted 14 years ago

      Okay I guess you missed the point and the sarcasism in the article. And here I was trying to give you the benefit of the doubt. Thats it for this thread.

    10. Make  Money profile image66
      Make Moneyposted 14 years ago

      I think the question that needs to be asked here is how far back in history should we go for reparation for any injustice?

      Back to the European slave traders?  Or to the black traders in Africa that sold them?

      I believe if a native land treaty has not been upheld then there should be reparation.  But here in Canada for the last couple of years there is a group of natives that have been protesting over a piece of land that someone else legally bought.  There one and only claim is that natives do not sell land.  But that is contested.  Their protests have included closing a provincial highway for months at a time with blockades, closing the main rail line from Windsor to Montreal for a short period of time, bringing down not just a hydro line but a main line and intimidating the non-native locals.  There is not another group in Canada that would be allowed to get away with this.  The thing about it is this group are native to upper New York state.  They came to what is now Canada at the same time my ancestors did from the same region, during the American Revolution.  Yet they do not pay any taxes at all here and are allowed to get away with this.

      When you think about it natives originally came across the Bering Straight or sailed across the Pacific.  Europeans sailed across the Atlantic.  It was inevitable that we'd meet in North America.  Natives did not occupy every square inch of land in North America before that happened.  But that seems to be what they claim, at least here in Canada.  Some of the recent land claim settlements here have been huge with small native bands getting just a pile of money.  Guess who pays for that.

      What blacks don't realize is that the Irish and Highland Scots were the slaves of Europe before the blacks.  After the battle of Culloden in 1746 over 1,000 Highlanders were transported to both Barbados and South Carolina as slaves.  When European countries outlawed slavery girls from Ireland were kidnapped and transported to Maryland to make more baby slaves with the existing blacks slaves that were already there.

      If we are talking about land claims well the entire United Kingdom could be included if we want to go back 1500 years.  The English are Germanic people, the original inhabitants of the entire British Isles are Celtic people.  But we just need to go back a couple hundred years for a land claim for both Scotland and especially Northern Ireland.  Research Dál Riata for proof.

      See what I mean?  This idea of reparation for things back in history could be never ending.  In fact just about everyone that came to North America could possibly dig up a claim for reparation.  And that could possibly include the natives as well from China or Siberia or where ever they originated from.  It's time for special interest race groups to come down from their high horses and start to participate in our communities.

    11. profile image0
      pgrundyposted 14 years ago

      I think the article is hyper-reactive and defensive, and I also think lots of white people feel hyper-reactive and defensive about slavery. Slavery happened. It was bad. Reparations won't help, just like giving the Indians free health care or a casino doesn't undo the theft of their land and the outright murder of thousands of them.

      Black scholars who want reparations--they're writing academic papers. People will write academic papers about anything that can get published because that's what you have to do in order to get and keep tenure at an American University. It's not an insane idea but I don't think it's a good idea, and I doubt Henry Louis Gates thinks it is either, but I don't know, I'd have to read what he actually wrote---which I strongly suspect is probably not what this guy was reacting to. 

      So I guess my answer is, the idea of reparations for slavery is kind of a useless, unworkable idea, but that doesn't mean I like the article posted here either, because it's angry and defensive and more than a tad bit racist in tone.

      It's not a choice between financial reparations for slavery and this man's hypereacive racist screed against reparations. That's a false choice. I pick none of the above. smile

    12. Misha profile image64
      Mishaposted 14 years ago

      RAmen Pam smile

    13. profile image0
      pgrundyposted 14 years ago

      LOL! big_smile

      You know it's a weird topic when Misha and me are agreeing. smile

    14. Misha profile image64
      Mishaposted 14 years ago

      Yep, exactly smile

    15. kephrira profile image60
      kephriraposted 14 years ago

      I'm going to appeal to the Italian government to compensate me for all those Romans invading my counry and enslaving my ancestors.

      1. profile image0
        Madame Xposted 14 years agoin reply to this



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