Scoundrels and Reparations

Even though it’s a clearcut matter of justice, reparations require black people to develop more of a consensus before any national discussion, writes Margaret Kimberly.

By Margaret Kimberly
Black Agenda Report

Reparations should not be a topic for national discussion until there is something akin to a consensus among black people about what to demand and how to do it.

There is no question that black Americans deserve redress for 300 years of chattel slavery, Jim Crow segregation, racist terrorism, mass incarceration and a plethora of discriminatory practices which were and are sanctioned by law. The idea of reparations is not new nor is the concept unique to the history of this country. The United Nations has established a “right to remedies and reparations for victims of gross violations of human rights law.”  Morality and international law are clearly on our side.

Slave trader's business in Atlanta,  1864. (George N. Barnard, Library of Congress via Wikimedia Commons)

Slave trader’s business, Atlanta, 1864, with black U.S. infantryman outside. (George N. Barnard, Library of Congress)

Black Americans do not dispute the rightness of this stance, but there has been insufficient debate about what reparations ought to mean. As a result, people with dubious motives have now seized the agenda. The American Descendants of Slaves (ADOS) movement has taken control of the discussion but from a decidedly right-wing perspective. They wrap themselves in the flag that symbolizes oppression, repeat nativist talking points, and eschew connections with African people in the rest of the world.

Serious Examination

It is not a good thing for reparations to be discussed in such a non-serious way. Black Agenda Report supports a serious examination of reparations which must have as its foundation the transformation of our system and our society. The harm done to black people is not in the distant past, but is ever present. Mass incarceration and displacement by gentrification are just two issues which are causing terrible harm to black people today. We should advocate for nothing less than an end to the system which has created so much damage.

Now presidential candidates are being asked if they do or do not support reparations. Those questions jump the gun and turn the issue into nonsensical blather because black people have not yet done the necessary debating and struggling within the group. Until that happens all talk of reparations will do more harm than good.

A sure sign of a failed discussion is the involvement of people with bad motives, people like Al Sharpton. The Democratic Party has made the two-faced traitor the go-to guy for presidential candidates. This status of faux king maker is proof that the Democratic Party has no respect for black people, the group they depend upon the most to win elections.

Sharpton: Faux king maker. (JC Multimedia via vimeo)

Sharpton: Faux king maker. (JC Multimedia via vimeo)

Sharpton’s recent National Action Network convention welcomed nearly all of the declared Democratic presidential candidates. Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, John Hickenlooper and Andrew Yang all made the journey. They all pledged some degree of support for reparations, mostly in the form of supporting bill H.R. 40, which only commits to the creation of a commission that would study reparations.

At Best Irrelevant

Sharpton is at his best irrelevant and at his worst, a dangerous, double talking, double agent. In the 2004 presidential campaign he was funded and controlled by Roger Stone, the Republican dirty trickster and Trump crony. That wasn’t the last act of Sharpton treachery. He was also on Michael Bloomberg’s payroll when the billionaire served as mayor of New York City. In exchange for a $110,000 donation from a Bloomberg-controlled non-profit, Sharpton refrained from opposing the mayor’s effort to gain an additional four years in office by ending term limits. Sharpton also muted himself regarding Bloomberg’s notorious stop-and-frisk policy which resulted in a million police interactions for black and brown New Yorkers.

David Brooks getting prepped. (PBS Newshour via Wikimedia Commons)

Brooks: Reparations convert.  (PBS Newshour via Wikimedia Commons)

In any case, support for reparations is now meaningless. Even The New York Times right-wing columnist David Brooks claims to support reparations. If Sharpton and Brooks are on the same side of an issue we should all beware.

Al Sharpton knows a good thing when he sees one. He is window dressing and a scam artist. He may take money from Roger Stone, or promote charter schools with the likes of Newt Gingrich, and when the moment is right he’ll go through the motions of promoting reparations too.

Reparations should not be a topic for national discussion until there is something akin to a consensus among black people about what to demand and how to do it. The justness of the cause isn’t complicated but the how and the why certainly are.

We have already seen politicians like former congressman John Conyers propose legislation to study reparations until he was a committee chairman in the majority and had the power to move it. As often happens with Democrats he did nothing when he had the chance to back up what he claimed to want.

Now is the time for serious study among serious people and the wheel does not have to be reinvented. N’COBRA has already delved into the matter and declared that “reparations means full repair.” It is unlikely that those words mean anything to a scoundrel like Al Sharpton. He and his ilk must stay out unless or until they are invited to have a seat at the table.

Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in Black Agenda Report, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well at Freedomrider. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-mail at Margaret.Kimberley@BlackAgendaReport.com.

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54 comments for “Scoundrels and Reparations

  1. Linda Morrison
    May 28, 2019 at 07:14

    So-called “reparations”, no matter who defines what that means, are not going to resolve any problem for anyone. Only a small part of the confederate oligarchy owned slaves, who were, in many cases, already slaves to the oligarchs in their continent of origin before being shipped to the New World. Many, many more “white” Americans were never involved in that reality. Historical inequality of opportunity can be brought to light and resolved, but reparations are not going to do that. Perhaps some form of restorative justice process that brings to light the truths of history, gives real people a chance to hear and understand the real experiences of everyone involved, and clarifies how cultural and ideological thinking has influenced both historical and current attitudes and outcomes (for example, the downturn in stability – after a century of dramatic improvement after the emancipation proclamation – of african-american families, their employment and educational opportunities and expectations after Lyndon Johnson´s “Welfare State” became a reality; also important are the differences in outcomes for North American black people and those Africans who ended up south of the border, in Spanish or Portuguese territory). All this and more should be considered. The kind of identity politics and the victim narrative espoused by the author of this article are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

  2. RudyM
    May 26, 2019 at 21:53

    Do we get to subtract everything that has been lost to whites through affirmative action programs of various sorts, through the informal disproportionate hiring of African-Americans in the government sector (beyond affirmative action demands), through all social programs that have disproportionately benefited African-Americans, through the cost of dealing with disproportionately high African-American crime, and so forth?

    (Ex-liberal, long-time Consortium reader.)

  3. CJ
    May 24, 2019 at 19:42

    One of the major road blocks of the reparations discussion, the issue of defining “black” in America. I’m half African American, half Chinese American. My wife is half West African(mother from Ghana) half white(father from England). Our son is only one quarter African American, and hence one quarter descendants of slaves. Does my son benefit from reparations? Or what about people like activist Shaun King, who is clearly 3/4 white but claims he is “black”? What about wealthy African American families?

    Because of these unsettled issues, I think reparations is a non-starter. It will be used as a political tactic for the democrats and dropped like a hot potato when it’s usefulness has run its course.

    • Linda Morrison
      May 28, 2019 at 07:17

      This, of course, is at the very heart of the matter. Thanks for sharing!

  4. tom
    May 24, 2019 at 17:01

    Bloggeing heads TV had a interesting conversation with Glenn Lowery and John McWhorter

    Reparations | Glenn Loury & John McWhorter [The Glenn Show]

    https://youtu.be/Ng17zdMqEaQ

  5. DAVID C. PALLIN
    May 23, 2019 at 19:21

    let’s see here, over 600,000 Americans paid with their lives between 1861-1865. It was a blood debt paid in full to settle once and for this issue of “reparations.”

  6. May 22, 2019 at 12:38

    I agree with point “Reparations should not be a topic for national discussion until there is something akin to a consensus among black people about what to demand and how to do it. ” I disagree that #ADOS present a right wing perspective and NCOBRA is the authority. NCOBRA kept HR40 in play for 30 years. #ADOS is the next generation to bring a new voice that has caught hold in a way NCOBRA has not. This opinion piece is an opinion. Time tells all things and as of today I am on the #ADOS side because people are mobilizing and demanding policy to benefit Black Folks in a way we have not really seen since the late 1960’s.

  7. Tom
    May 22, 2019 at 03:27

    History is chock full of atrocities and horror but how is it fair for innocent peoples century later to be blamed and fined for crimes they never committed?

    And weren’t most slaves sold to whites from Africans where slavery is still practiced?Why are they immune from reparations?

    Victims of slavery deserve reparations but there are none alive today and this will just create resentment and divisions.

    We are on the cusp of mass extinction and nuclear war and whining about reparations for crimes not even suffered by the ones demanding it seem counterproductive and dangerous.

    • May 22, 2019 at 12:37

      You apparently didn’t read the article and are unaware of the continuing injustices and inequality suffered by African Americans which are a result of slavery. The author is correct that the issue of reparations is a complicated one and must be designed to address the horrific legacy of this barbaric part of our history.

      • Tom
        May 22, 2019 at 15:49

        Injustice is part of humanity as is racism even in Africa ( Tutsi and Hutu?)

        Most of the issues in the black community has to do with class and not racism .Poor people are abused by the system and blacks have more poverty due to lack of opportunity and jobs and higher rates of out of wedlock birth.When over 70 % of Black children are born out of wedlock today ( which is far higher than before birth control) and out of wedlock birth is a leading indicator for crime and poverty that isn’t racism .The leading cause of death for young black men is. Murder and by other black men.Thats not racism.Black Women are murdered at the highest rates than any other race.If they were white it would be a national crisis.But where is the outrage and protests?

        Ferguson has a 70 % black population but they didn’t vote.

        Racism?

        “There is nothing more painful to me … than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery, then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.”

        Jesse Jackson

        Most white peoples have nothing to do with slavery and many suffered their own genocides (See The Irish)

        This strikes me as yet one more way to divide the poor and keep them from coming together against the forces that want to divide us.

        Martin Luther King was working on bringing the poor together white and black and that is why he was murdered.That would have been a real revolution.

  8. Sam F
    May 21, 2019 at 21:38

    There has indeed been “insufficient debate about what reparations ought to mean.” The proper meaning is that we give individuals specific assistance needed to build their strengths, ensure their security, redress specific wrongs and disadvantages suffered, and do so in ways that are practical responses to identifiable problems.

    Reparation should include “an end to the system which has created so much damage” including “mass incarceration and displacement by gentrification.” It cannot include payments to individuals merely descended from victims, or nearly everyone would be owed a great deal and the net payment would be zero.

    Generations after mass injustice, it is far too difficult to assess blame and victimhood. Any payment program more than two generations later would penalize mostly completely innocent people, for the benefit of people who would be damaged in productivity incentives by unearned income. It would be explosive, unfair, and unworkable, unsuited to public policy.

    The zionists have had great success in tricking people into the idea that everyone must give them the farm or be accused of racism, although not a single survivor of their WWII persecution still lives in the US. Native Americans and African-Americans have also been induced by tribal tyrants to believe that they might get cash payments if they support the tyrants of the tribe. If they want just benefits from government funding, they must advocate fair assessment of needs, and fair progressive taxation, regardless of history.

  9. Eddie S
    May 21, 2019 at 21:15

    I for-one support the basic idea of reparations, on the basis that the vast majority of black forefathers were brought here entirely against their will, suffered high death rates on the voyages here, unwillingly worked at back-breaking labor for no-pay while being brutalized, built the Southern culture & economy, and then suffered Jim Crow laws and segregation laws for almost a century. The injustice of it all is staggering. For instance, I could envision a lower tax-rate for African – American descendants in effect for the same amount of time that they were oppressed here in the US.

    However, in the current political climate since the 1980’s, I’ll be satisfied if we don’t start a nuclear war in the next 20 years or have another civil war before global warming starts being a major problem, so I have to admit, the possibility of any reparations coming to pass —at least in the next 20 yrs—- seems exceedingly difficult to envision, and I don’t spend time thinking about it.

  10. May 21, 2019 at 19:24

    Has the issue not become a flag to absolve failure? The Bret Weinstein/Evergreen debacle refers and Thomas Sowell is loud in his reasoning for US social failure. The same process is happening in South Africa … group scapegoating is being applied while the real reason – in general terms- SA is becoming Africa’s next failed state is a mix of corruption among the political elite, a failure to deliver very basic services and opportunities by that same elite and their Affirmative Action appointees, and among the electorate demands of rights before duties. For example, how can imposed minimum wages work in a country where over 50% of the youth are unemployed? As to the US scene, Larry responds at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kew-L_tkDCM

  11. May 21, 2019 at 16:07

    You probably already realize this, but the World News Daily story mentioned above was satirical fake news.

  12. DW Bartoo
    May 21, 2019 at 15:29

    My appreciation to Consortium News for publishing articles that address controversial issues and to those who comment here for their ready willingness to engage constructive, respectful, informed, and most educational debate around those issues.

    At a time when genuine debate and dissent are discouraged and attacked within a society much propagandized and made fearful of “the other”, when human prospects and the future seem dim and officially limited to wars of mindless aggression, when legacy media and academia are in lock-step with Full Spectrum Domination, it is both a relief and an inspiration to find others with whom rational, considered discussion is not merely tolerated but welcomed and encouraged.

  13. mark
    May 21, 2019 at 14:45

    Reparations? What’s wrong with these black folks? Don’t they realise how lucky they were to be brought to the Yew Ess Ayy and given exciting new job opportunities in the agricultural sector? Some people are never grateful, no matter how much you do for them.

    Who do they think they are? Jews? The Chosen People are the only folks who get “reparations.” The next thing you know, the Redskins will want reparations. Or the Vietnamese. Or the Iraqis. Or the Palestinians. No, they should just thank their lucky stars and be grateful they were brought to the great Yew Ess Ayy in the first place. Otherwise they’d just be running around some s**thole country in Africa, swinging from the trees with half a loin cloth each!

  14. Walter
    May 21, 2019 at 13:46

    Due to Moral conviction my ancestors, Scots in pre-revolutionary America, bought Negro slaves and immediately freed them, at great personal and uncompensated expense. So, do I get a rebate? An exemption?

    Later, on pain of lynching, or arrest and trial, the children of those Scots bought a farm on the Ohio so as to enable them to run a Station on the Underground Railroad, which they did for many years…can I get an exemption? A thank you? A check?

    How about the white slaves? How about the Negro slave owners and Arab and Negro slave-catcher/sellers, how about the insurance companies and shipping companies, and their investors? Are we to expect Negros to pay for these actions, Arabs? The yet unborn?

    It is fundamental that Justice requires that not only the goal, but also the method to be just…

    This is, due to racial mixing and so forth, now entirely impossible. The mere idea of reparations simply feeds the cheap and foolish politics of divide-to-rule.

    In point of fact Lincoln’s murder, curated by English conspiracy, served to prevent the plans for repatriation of Negro Slaves to Africa – part of the recolonization project previously stymied by the outcome of war of 1812. Lincoln was engaged in chartering the transports when the bullet brought the bigot Johnson to supervise the brutal occupation of the South – a stab in the back that Lee himself saw as a betrayal of the surrender terms he had signed. Lee said that he’d never have agreed if he had expected the occupation. Who curated the occupation falsely called reconstruction?

    This intelop runs today, as the article tells us…divide to rule is as English and as cruel as any colonial empire, which, of course, is obviously what’s going on…imperial manipulation wearing blackface and claiming to seek justice as it curate emotions in an effort to ruin class solidarity and promote the security of an oligarchy so corrupt it makes Caligula seem like a nice guy.

  15. bobzz
    May 21, 2019 at 12:26

    I can appreciate Ms. Kimberly’s analysis, but let’s be realistic. Reparations will not repair the underlying race and class conditions that keep people of color, especially black men, in the hole. Even if a few trillion $ were set aside for reparations, how long would it take the plutogarchs to get all or most of it back? Status quo ante would soon return.

  16. Jim other
    May 21, 2019 at 11:23

    Ize got the same color skin as Dan but I sho aint white! More like pink!

  17. DW Bartoo
    May 21, 2019 at 10:22

    Clearly, many who have responded to this article fully grasp the fact that “policy”, be it genocide, euphemistically called “war” or conflict to imply that it is never really intentional but simply fickle fate behaving badly that sets tribe against tribe, nation against nation and so on, thus rendering accountability only upon the losers while the victors can claim divine iterventuon of covenant.

    As well, that notion of elites getting away with murder and abuse certainly does suggest that class plays an enormous role in behaviors, outcomes, and freedom from consequences gone badly.

    When I was growing up, many moons distant, during the hysteria and inculcated hatreds of the first Cold War, mention was often made of “Hitler’s Germany”, or “Stalin’s Russia”, but never of Truman’s U$, or Eisenhower’s U$, although mention was made of “Churchill’s Britain”.

    Now, Germany had been, after it was “the Kaiser’s Germany”, subject to crushing “Reparations” demanded primarily by the French. We know how that turned out.

    The Germany that re asserted itself under Hitler’s Reich, was one in which many participated all too willingly.

    Might we imagine that genocide and slavery were equally “popular” in the rise of the U$? Might we assume that some of us, today, are the descendants of those willing participants?

    Does that require of us any sensibility of conscience?

    Or do we say, “That was then and this is now”, implying that there is no connection of history and of unexamined assumptions, even prejudices, connecting the two?

    One cannot fail to note that the elites DO have their way and yet need to cajole, threaten, frighten, or manipulate through the media the emotions of the many in whose names the nefarious deeds are done.

    Please recall that the people of Hitler’s Germany were all held responsible, as were the people of Iraq when it was falsely claimed that Sadam had weapons of mass destruction, as were the people of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos after the equally fallacious claims that the Maddox was attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin.

    Nor should we forget that Hollywood was enlisted by Woodrow Wilson to stir up hatred for the Vicious Hun – those many marching for or living in the Kaiser’s Germany.

    Let us also never lies sight of the fact that Truman punished the civilian populations of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, not to bring Japan to its knees, it was already there, but to send the Soviet Union a message.

    Nor should we fail to remember that all the wars of our lifetimes (mine would begin with the war against Korea) were engaged, enacted, and pursed in OUR names, yours and mine.

    That means, should ever we lose, assuming we do not stop waging war, that we, you and I, can and will be held liable.

    We, you and I, can be punished and can be killed, as can those we love, as easily and “justifiably” as all those who we have killed. Some estimate that the U$ is responsible, directly and through “proxies”, for killing as many as 20 million of our fellow human beings since the end of WW II.

    That is rather big karma.

    That might well engender the conclusion that the U$ is a primary threat to the human species.

    Not to mention that our nuclear “capability” is “sufficient” to end most life on Earth manybtiles over.

    Once would be enough.

    How, you might ask, does this have any connection to the peculiar institution of slavery and its ongoing and continuing repercussions for our society?

    Because the first response of many, is not to be shocked by the truth, but to deny it, to try to excuse or to blame others, to seek to evade what reflects badly upon ourselves, in through that evasion, to perpetuate the harms while absolving ourselves of not just simply “blame”, bit of any responsibility of doing anything about it.

    Yes, Obama’s heritage was black … and white.

    FDR’s was Dutch.

    Kennedy’s was (Catholic) Irish.

    Trump’s is German.

    You get the picture.

    Yet, all presidents act in ALL our names.

    The question is this, have we the courage, the will, the humanity, the conscience, the compassion and the empathy to change it?

    Or, do we simply wash our hands of it and pretend that past is past, that the present is out of our hands, and that the young will have to deal with the problems of their time, even if our behavior, or our cautious reticence, our denial of responsibility, are the direct caused of the problems and failures that beset the generations that come after us.

    I well recall being told that, in the event of a nuclear attack, I would be safe under my desk. Even at the age of seven I did not believe any such thing and I often wondered why the teachers and adults who told we children that lie never seemed to make much of any effort to question the whole idea of such weaponry. So far as I know, few even talked to each other about the horrific future that was dawning.

    I note that my generation, the boomers, now look askance at the fears of the young regarding environmental collapse, and respond angrily when the young accuse us of having done nothing to address the horrific future we have made virtually inevitable for the young who contributed nothing to the harm that they must deal with.

    I guess we can console ourselves with the thought that the smart-ass young will likely do no better than we have done.

    A rather pathetic consolation.

    All in all.

    Are we but the victims, all of us, of history?

    Or might we dare seize the day and proclaim that enough, more than enough harm has been done (in our name)?

    Perhaps, it is just too damned hard?

    Too expensive?

    Or just not fair?

    That question is not of “fair” to whom, but only about fair to “us”, we innocent babes in nuclear arms, rocked in the cradle of our rugged individual-ness for, of course, we are all self-made, we do no stand on the shoulders (or faces) if others.

    We are special, we are different.

    We are better.

    We bear no responsibility, even for ourselves.

    And, most certainly, not for anyone else.

    Is that not the credo of the elite?

    Is that not THEIR excuse?

    We do not owe anyone anything, not even the basic respect of their humanity.

    If they are poor, enslaved, placed in ghettos, or upon reservations, if they are homeless or hungry, unwashed, or merely young, then it is their own fault.

    Right?

    What is hubris?

    Is true humility just an excuse for lack of “ambition”.

    Is a moral crisis merely a social failing?

    Or is it an individual “choice”?

    From moment to moment, throughout each our lives?

    Suppose they had a war and nobody came?

    Suppose they sold our souls and nobody bought?

    Suppose we walked on other people’s soles far enough and long enough to really know what it felt like to be them?

    What do you think?

    • old geezer
      May 22, 2019 at 09:38

      i wonder what the price would need to be such that anyone taking reparations moved away, to maybe s. africa, they need the capital.

      now that’s worth studying, how much is it worth to stay in the US ? how much would it take to decide to leave ?

  18. John Woodford
    May 21, 2019 at 09:49

    Your quite right, Ms. Kimberley. Furthermore, a discussion of reparations should not place us Blacks in the role of supplicants, victims, unfree persons and wards of the national government. We can’t be full-fledged members of the community and polity if we simultaneously come on with our hands out bemoaning our past and condition.
    The only measures that will help Black Americans achieve social justice will also benefit all other Americans who have been deprive during the great shift of wealth and benefits to the top 5%. We need an agenda that unites us in a broad coalition. No minority nationality of 12% or so is going to be the “straw that stirs the drink.” If we want special programs, they will come only if we have unity and power derived from organization. That, as you note, requires crafting a position that is righteous, convincing and to some degree enforceable, whether through boycotts, voting tactics or other means. We need to develop and concentrate our power if we wish our society to enact laws and programs that redress the wrongs in education, housing, health care, hiring practices, access to credit and so on. And we need an organizational structure that will let us craft our strategy and tactics IN PRIVATE and free from dictates of showboaters, con artists and egotists.
    We are primarily a working-class ethnic group, which means institutions that give power to workers are of social importance to us. The limits put on union organizing in our country have especially adversely affected us and other groups of inadequately paid workers. I’m especially glad you noted the role plays by phony leaders and demagogues like Sharpton and how they operate like a Trojan Horse from the establishment placed in our community.

    • DW Bartoo
      May 21, 2019 at 15:34

      Well said and much appreciated, John Woodford.

  19. Seamus Padraig
    May 21, 2019 at 09:22

    Well, if Al Sharpton is pushing reparations, then he must still be Roger Stone’s payroll, because that’s probably the worst thing imaginable for the Democrats at this moment. Hell, it could blow the whole party wide open! And this at a time when they’re struggling to win back all those ‘deplorables’ who voted for Trump in the swing states. There are a million reasons–both philosophical and practical–why reparations are a bad idea; but this one problem in particular is undeniable: it is will be a political loser for the Dems.

  20. Dennis Rice
    May 21, 2019 at 09:12

    @Jon Dhoe; Thank you. If Israel wants to use its own history as a reason to dominate Palestine, that same history records a phony “Divine right” that only a fool would accept as “God’s will.”

    • old geezer
      May 22, 2019 at 09:42

      fascinating analogy, should the descendants of egyptian slaves demand reparations ?

  21. May 21, 2019 at 02:03

    Like everything else these days, this issue is a way to generate media hype by asking people a yes/no question and forcing everyone to have an uneducated binary hot take opinion on the spot.

    This is a drama creation technique called separating the sheep from the goats. Great for ratings in today’s reality TV WWF presidency fun house mirror of bullshit.

    When we look at the actual details of this rather than ripping off the talking points we’ve been told to repeat by the radio, TV, and internet, what we find is this:

    https://worldnewsdailyreport.com/supreme-court-grants-black-man-40-acres-of-land-and-a-mule/

    The Supreme Court ruled Abraham Brown has a right to the 40 Acres and a Mule promised but not delivered (suprised?) to his slave ancestor.

    Why go into this now?

    Because identity politics is the best way to distract the country from the important matters at hand, namely ending the forever wars of the military-industrial complex and doing something tangible about the Anthropocene climate crisis of mass extinction.

    You want to get Trump reelected?

    Best red meat you can give him to feed his white supremacist base of racists is something to resent about the government giving free money to black folks.

    Therefore, although reparations were promised, reneged on, and there is a court precedent to follow through, my guess is you’d have to be an idiot to pick right now as the time to fight this battle.

    Of course, the Democratic party is composed of mostly idiots, so there you go.

    A band of idiots pushing reparations to get the cult of Trumpets fired up about race. What could could go wrong?

    • O Society
      May 21, 2019 at 10:48

      See how easy it is to get folks riled up?

      World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website – even those based on real people – are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.

    • vinnieoh
      May 21, 2019 at 15:00

      That was great. I thought the legs fell off of this right after it surfaced as an “election issue” when the first rush of entrance announcements were being made. A pre-emptive attack against Sanders (another gotcha) to keep black voters away from him; at least that’s what it looked like to me at the time (as evidence: the following weeks saw too numerous articles dissecting whether Sanders could ever get enough black support.) I know the discussion’s been around for a long time (reparations,) but it’s an issue that in it’s very framing will never go anywhere.

      If the dems themselves are responsible for this, all you can say is, well – what you said. Elsewhere today I posted my non-belief in voting and elections generally, but as long as Sanders has a chance, it’ll get my attention. Was there ever a chance, alt/does he have a chance, alt/is there even a chance?

    • May 22, 2019 at 00:18

      Is there a chance? Yes.

      However, the Democratic party would rather see Trump reelected than have Sanders become president.

      Therefore, they will again cheat in any way necessary to make sure an identity politics tool such as Kamala Harris wins the primary instead of Bernie.

      https://opensociet.org/2019/05/21/how-russia-gate-replaced-real-analysis-of-2016-election-rigging/

  22. Jeff Harrison
    May 21, 2019 at 00:17

    Sorry, I don’t buy the reparations line. The concept of reparations comes from wartime when the aggressor nation also happened to be the loser nation. Reparations were payments used to repair the damage caused by the aggressor nation. Of course, if the winning nation was also the aggressor nation, the losing nation was just shit out of luck.

    You could have made a very good case for reparations to the actual slaves themselves and probably also their children. But now? Not a chance. What blacks are suffering from today is the effects of modern day racism. Giving modern blacks money isn’t going to fix that. Fix the society so that blacks don’t have to worry about becoming a Sandra Bland or any of the other black men and women murdered by cops.

  23. Tiu
    May 20, 2019 at 22:31

    Can I apply for reparations as a descendant of Irish ancestors sent to America as slaves in the early 17th C?
    Will the native American Indians be getting reparations too?
    Would stopping “gentrification” be the same as initiating segregation?

  24. DW Bartoo
    May 20, 2019 at 21:45

    Well, Margaret, I suspect that you are not at all surprised by the tone and perspective of some of the answers here.

    Apparently, there are those who believe that slavery and its affects are all in the past, that Jim Crow, that segregation, that ghettos of poverty and zip-code deprivations, not to mention the numbers of incarcerated or gratuitously murdered by “law enforcement”, are all long distant memories, that systemic racism is no longer in force.

    It is said that Abraham Lincoln long considered sending the former slaves and free black human beings to some place in Africa or in Central or South America, because, so it is claimed that he felt that such people could not “support themselves”. When it was pointed out to him that the enslaved had not only supported themselves but had supported the white population which owned them and, as well, were the primary producers, the physical energy, that had created the foundational wealth of the South and, frankly, of the entire nation, of that Union Lincoln was so insistent, even to the point of suspending habeas corpus, that he had a sacred oath to hold together. Presumably, that caused Lincoln to drop the idea of creating a “Homeland” for those subject to the tender mercies of the “peculiar institution” of slavery.

    Further, there is a continuing reluctance to acknowledge the brutal history of this nation’s rise to power and dominance, begin as it was on the genocide (though that word would not exist until hundreds of years later) and slavery.

    A part of the history of slavery, quite often overlooked, was the deliberate inculcation of racial hatred after Bacon’s Rebellion, when white indentured servants and black slaves joined forces to free themselves from oppression. Those who may not know of this history might well acquaint themselves with the aftermath of this rebellion when the whites in power deliberately created the notion of white superiority to ensure that blacks and whites would never again find common cause or a common sensibility of shared oppression and community.

    Perhaps, the resistance to reparations is rooted in the belief that such reparations might be deserved by all those harmed in the many unjust and often illegal wars this nation has waged?

    Reparation on that scale, has two aspects;

    Indeed, those harmed, killed, maimed, made homeless and destitute should well have a moral claim of redress and justice.

    However, as well, the society which tolerates this harm, participates and even benefits from the acquisition of land, of resources, of hegemony through violence and destruction also may benefit, by honestly acknowledging what has been done in the names of all members of that society and even understanding that such behavior must cease, must no longer be excused or glorified, must be attoned for and never repeated.

    A society that cannot do this, that cannot own its own failings and grievous errors and conceits, is a society which dooms itself.

    You are quite correct, Margaret, in suggesting that, before a national dialogue may be enjoined, the black community must discuss and reach some educated and informed consensus around both the idea of reparations and how such an idea, such a moral imperative, may be framed and presented to a larger society still yet unable and unwilling to address several centuries of inhumanity, from slavery, the stealing of people, the destruction of their families, and the brutal abuse of being worked literally to death, to gratuitous lynching as a holiday whim, to systemic violence and exclusion practiced to this very day.

    Those of us whose family histories stretches back to the very beginning of this nation, must understand our collective responsibility, shirked by many of our ancestors even as we acknowledge that those whose skin is black or shaded by the predations of their masters have a history quite as long, in this nation, even before it was a nation, as do any of us who lay claim to a heritage going back a hundred and more years before the founding fathers were even a gleam in their father’s eyes.

    I hope that this article may spark more than a heated debate, might even open eyes and minds past twilight’s last gleaming.

    Which reminds me to ask how many here know all the verses of the Star Spangled Banana?

    Those who know the verses will know why I ask that question.

    Now, such reasonable and rational debate as we may have could include the history of abuses heaped upon all immigrant groups subject to maltreatment by those who assumed that they were better than those whom they refused to welcome as equals, for that is a shared history that might build bridges of understanding rather than walls of perceived, and unaddressed and unredressed injuries either long harbored or intentionally forgotten if not truly forgiven.

    Those who are assimilated may never truly comprehend the despair of those never permitted a safe existence within a larger community of truly shared humanity.

    “Difference” among humans, who are far more alike than different, are not “reasons” to hate or despise, to shun or suspect, rather difference of experience and perspective are treasures, are opportunities of learning and a reason to celebrate.

    Especially when the entire human experience is in dire jeopardy.

    Much of it driven by the society we are a part of, not of necessity but by damnable choice and perverse mythologies of superiority – if very much the same assumptions that mark our collective history as violent, brutish, greedy, and pathological.

    If we cannot, or will not, seek to heal ourselves and stop!

    Then, may those who finally have had enough, and have no choice but to end us, have mercy upon us such as we never were able to have upon any others, ever, as we brazenly pursue our manifest destiny to dominate and control the world even as we arm ourselves, and greed ourselves, to end the capacity of the planet to support our very existence.

    We who pretend mercy and compassion, who never have practiced either, cherished either, or nurtured either, we who have, instead, chosen to learn nothing and to understand and care about even less, may yet live long enough to realize what “too late!” really means.

    • Deniz
      May 21, 2019 at 00:42

      Since Obama is black and guilty of War Crimes in Syria and Libya, by the same logic, shouldn’t the Libyans be demanding repatriations from the Black Community as well? Hillary was the War Criminal of Libya, should we demanding reparations of all women?

      The class issue is entirely ignored by the author. Omitting discussion of the enormous class influences only serves to further criminal elite’s propaganda and makes it impossible to ever hold them accountable. The weak assumptions in her argument ring hollow to so many people’s ancestors who were neither rich nor in any way condoned the crimes of the 17h and 18th oligarchs. Because our judicial system protects our rulers from prosecution from their crimes, are weaker members of the criminals race responsible for the our elite’s war crime. If you claim that they are, arent you in fact guilt of a racism as well, because you are saying that anyone of a particular race is a criminal.

      • Lexy
        May 21, 2019 at 14:13

        What a confused anti-intellectual rant!!!. You have completely missed the point of the discussion. Comments like yours make me anxious about the future of mankind

    • Dan
      May 21, 2019 at 06:57

      Beautiful comment.

      • Dan
        May 21, 2019 at 06:59

        My comment about is directed towards DW Bartoo btw. This linear comment reply layout can be misleading.

        • DW Bartoo
          May 21, 2019 at 15:43

          Your comments, perspectives, and participation, here, are much appreciated, Dan.

          The comment replies here, are indented to the right: You will note that the left side of replies is below and its left edge is to the to right of the left edge of the comment you are replying to.

          All replies to a comment are vertically aligned.

          I confess that I too find it confusing and others have, at times, thought they were being were being unfairly maligned when, in fact, what they took as an answer or reply to their comment was actually directed elsewhere.

  25. May 20, 2019 at 21:23

    Blacks deserve fair education and fair employment. Donald Trump is working toward those goals.

    • Dan
      May 21, 2019 at 07:01

      Agreed Karl. More than any other president in recent memory, anyways.

  26. karlof1
    May 20, 2019 at 21:11

    Sorry to rain on the reparation parade, but if the US Government refused to make reparations to Vietnam and the other Southeast Asian nations it waged wonton war upon which caused remaining POWs to never get repatriated, then nothing will happen when it comes to the much bigger issue related to reparations for Slavery.

    • lexy
      May 21, 2019 at 14:17

      The U.S paid reparations to the Japanese-Americans interred in Camps here in America during WWII.

      • Tom
        May 22, 2019 at 03:13

        Survivors of internment not 5 generations removed.

        Slaves are no longer available for reparations.

  27. Evangelista
    May 20, 2019 at 19:56

    Margaret Kimberly writes: “Reparations should not be a topic for national discussion until there is something akin to a consensus among black people about what to demand and how to do it.”

    Margaret Kimberly says, in writing like that: “I can’t read well enough to understand the words of the United States Constitution. Or else I don’t give a damn about the United States Constitution, or the Republic The People of the United States formed in ratifying the United States Constitution.”

    What this “no corruption of blood ” sh-t, anyhow? Who cares about that — what is it for anyhow, to protect the innocent who wasn’t born yet? Innocents who wasn’t involved? Innocents couldn’t ‘a done nothin’ about it anyhow? Didn’t have choice? We gonna let that kinda principles-preachin’ an’ idealisticism crap get us cross-ways on a good gimme-gimme scam? No Way, José! Not this Ni– I mean, not this Nellie-Belle!

    So, for equal time, comes now Billy Hill, down from some West Virginia Hill, to have his say, too: Not never this here Hill Billy, nor never any of his ancestors right back to before there was any West Virginia (which means before the war against State’s Rights on the one side and The Union on the other) and before there was ever even any United States, has ever owned anybody wasn’t a cow, pig, horse, mule, goat or hound-dog (not countin’ chickens what get et too fast to count, even in the eggs). An’ he, an’ his ancestors, ‘specially afore West Virginia was split off Virginia, they, and now he, by the same descendant extension Margaret Kimberly may claim, they all had a right real hard time of it back then, on account jobs was all alloted out by the big rich folks to them lived in socialist security on they’s big plantation farms. All them of their socialist and socialized plantation societies, they had work, they had food, even in winter when wasn’t work an’ they wasn’t workin’, and when they got sick, on account their socialist masters had investment in them they got a doctor called, and for free to them, while my people had none of those benefits, and had to live thin in winter, or thinner, on account their livin’ was thin summers, too, for the socialist population having all the jobs, and when they got sick they would a’ had to pay for their own doctors, which they couldn’t afford, and so they had to just suffer on and often as not die. So how much reparations do we got coming from the descendents of the socialist-commune populations of those days?

    That is if the Constitution was overthrowed by that war, as them of the South say, by the North winning, so the Constitution’s prohibition of corruption of blood can be throwed out in favor of the United Nations’ law favorin’ reparation…

    Don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE to see the United Nations Law rise up Controlling, so I could get some reparations, which the Margaret Kimberlys can pay then out of what they get for having their Libertarian rights trampled on by their ancestors having had to live under the benefits of Socialism back then. Not because I’m greedy and want to be given money by somebody. No sir, I reckon I’d have to give any I got away to the Chickasaws and Choctows my ancestors displaced to take over these hills.

    My reason is that it would be the first time, to my memory, any law of the United Nations was ever paid any attention to by anybody… Hell, even little Israel don’t but fart in the microphone when anybody tells that they are in still in “violation”…

  28. Walter
    May 20, 2019 at 19:28

    While the general idea of a tort-relationship between “blacks” and “whites” in the USA – one liable to remedy – is attractive, the proposition feeds ever more into the Capitalist d?vide et imper? Policies operational in CONUS and elsewhere since, more or less, 1492. As to slavery itself – what of the descendants of the White Slaves?

    Bluntly, such a Remedy is non-feasible. Worse, it would operate to further weaken the working class while strengthening the Rente Class – thus further impoverishing both Blacks and Whites, if anybody can define who’s what race…which they cannot, by pitting each ‘gainst t’other.

    Because this is obvious, one is inclined to wonder why the Reparations Idea is curated with such new vigor, eh?

    Not every wrong obtains of a Just Remedy… And unjust “Remedies” (excuse the oxymoron) simply add to the wrongs…

    Baldly, and clearly, the idea is destructive and foolish.

    • lexy
      May 21, 2019 at 14:28

      Obscurantism in this regard is worthy of an oily politician

  29. Deniz
    May 20, 2019 at 19:02

    Does it follow then that the average American with an unstable job, a huge college tuition bill and a large mortgage have the responsibility to pay repatriation to Iraq citizens for George Bush & Dick Cheney’s crimes? What about the Vietnamese, Napalm seems every bit as gruesome as the atrocities committed on black Americans. Should the general public pay them for the actions of psychopathic criminals Johnson, Dulles, Curtis LeMay and the Rockefellers?

    We all pay for the crimes of the aristocracy, some have just have had to pay more.

    • Dan
      May 21, 2019 at 07:21

      Have to agree with this. While I applaud the author’s efforts and agree with her scathing assessment of crooks like Sharpton, and even agree with just about everything she (and DW Bartoo) said, I still think the idea of reparations is bunk and counterproductive.

      I realize that being a white man my viewpoint will be immediately dismissed by some, and perhaps rightly so. But I’m still adding to the convo dammit!

      Even if the black community puts together the most logically sound, compelling strategem here and is what it would consider successful in its efforts, the entire national conversation will be tainted by an air of “an eye for an eye” and the nasty cylcle will repeat itself. Resentment will pervade white America.

      I support rigorous discussion and fully and openly admit that my ancestors *in general* are culpable in myriad ways, but as a realist I go back to what I see as the central point here: counterproductivity.

      People who say structural racism isn’t a thing and there’s nothing to see here are viewing the world with blinders on, but at the same time people who say we haven’t made progress and that that progress wouldn’t be worth celebrating are being intellectually dishonest and are letting emotions get the best of them.

      Love and peace to all, sincerely.

      • Dan
        May 21, 2019 at 07:26

        Ugh I hate the way the reply to comments are ordered here (could the moderator please look into this), when I said “I have to agree with this” that was directed towards Herman.

        • Joe Wallace
          May 23, 2019 at 03:41

          Dan:

          If your comment is directed to a particular person, just name the person, put a colon after the name, and write your comment.

      • lexy
        May 21, 2019 at 14:34

        “Resentment will pervade white America” Curious resentment did not pervade white when Japanese Americans were paid reparations for the injustice inflicted upon them during WWII but will pervade white America if blacks are paid reparations for worse injustices inflicted upon them.

        Do I smell a crypto-racist in the wood pile?

        • Tom
          May 22, 2019 at 03:16

          Japanese repatriation was paid to survivors not their great great grandchildren.

  30. May 20, 2019 at 19:02

    What happened to the black Americans because of slavery was a tragedy. What happened to the American Indians was a tragedy. What happened to the hundred of thousands who died in unnecessary wars was a tragedy. Children working in sweat shops destroying their lives, even killing them was a tragedy. But that was yesterday and no American is entitled to reparations because of what happened to their ancestors or anybody else. There might be exceptions, of course, if some legal issues of an individual requires compensation. Ask yourself why anyone should be compensated for someone else’s misery.

    And if you do, get ready for a avalanche of the civil rights version of ambulance chasers. America, after all, has very deep pockets. And like Willy Sutton, lawyers go where the money is.

  31. Jon Dhoe
    May 20, 2019 at 17:06

    Image reparation for all people who were descended from poverty and brutal exploitation and are still there. Why stop at a group.

    The past is no reason to give to some because of the past and leave others behind. That’s Israeli mentality.

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