May 20, 2022

Reparations Don’t Buy Justice, Dignity or Freedom

The issue of reparations to Black Americans as payment for damage done as a result of years of legal slavery and subsequent discrimination is back on the table.

The House Judiciary Committee just held hearings on H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to look into ways in which African Americans could be compensated, including possible payments of trillions of dollars to individuals.

The commission would examine the role of government in supporting the institution of slavery, “discrimination in the public and private sectors against freed African slaves and their descendants” and “lingering negative effects of the institution of slavery … on living African Americans and on society.”

My ancestors were slaves. And my life as a young woman was a mess.

Was my life a mess because my ancestors were slaves? I don’t think so.

My life was a mess because I lived a wanton, irresponsible existence, defined by promiscuity, petty crimes and scamming the nation’s well-meaning but totally confused welfare system to the greatest extent of my ability.

Did I need reparations to turn things around for me? Certainly not. I needed a wake-up call, which, to my great gratitude, I got, from a few church-going black Christians who told me the way I was living was unacceptable.

I went to church, took back responsibility for my life and turned my circumstances around.

The problem with the idea of reparations is it redirects attention away from exactly where attention is needed: on individuals’ personal responsibility for their own unique lives.

And it redirects attention in such a way to encourage individuals to believe that some abstract, collective entity from the past is the cause of all their individual problems in the present.

Compensation for damages is a basic legal principle.

It’s about personal responsibility. Individual A sues individual B for damages caused. Exactly what the damages were and exactly how B injured A must be shown in a court of law.

Today, only a small fraction of our population has ancestors who were around before 1865 when slavery was legal. The idea of collective guilt, with no specific individual identified as causing the damage and no specific individual showing how he or she was damaged, doesn’t fly.

If there is any legitimate claim of collective guilt, it is the guilt of original sin, which we learn in the book of Genesis. Every man and woman is imperfect and responsible for fixing themselves — and, by doing so, helping to fix the world.

There is no word more frequently used in political discussions than “freedom.” But rarely discussed is what gives meaning to the word “freedom,” and that is understanding that individuals have free choice — the power and responsibility to choose how to live.

Only when we understand that there is good and evil, that there is sin, does free choice have meaning. It means individuals have the power and responsibility to choose how to live — that their individual choices matter.

Driving the push for reparations are policies on race that obliterate this key idea that every individual, regardless of circumstance and history, is unique and has free choice. The political idea of freedom becomes irrelevant because free choice becomes irrelevant.

So-called critical race theory says everything is about culture. Because, per their claim, the USA is about what they define as white culture, the cultural script needs to be rewritten to make things fair for those who are not white. Put politicians in charge of making things fair.

No, I am sorry; I always thought the problem with racism is it denies the uniqueness, dignity and personal responsibility of each individual.

If the ideal we seek is a free country with free citizens, then commissions such as that proposed in H.R. 40, which pretend to be about justice but are really about a left-wing agenda to put government in charge of our lives, are not the way to go.

Star Parker is president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and host of the new weekly news talk show “Cure America with Star Parker.” To find out more about Star Parker and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at


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Geri (@guest_1150941)
1 year ago

Amen Ms. Parker. Thank you for speaking out with logic and reason.

John (@guest_1152162)
Reply to  Geri
1 year ago

The article was spot on and much appreciated. It puts a whole new perspective on the issue of reparations. I don’t pretend to know what any individual of any minority group experiences but I’ve had a number of friends over the years from all different groups and they all seem to focus on the beginnings of their lives…..the school system. That’s seems to be where the “culture” begins. It makes me wonder if the place to begin “reparations” is in the school systems. Expand the choices available; steer these young people away from that negative peer pressure that drags them down and convince them that they all have the same opportunity. Teach them; don’t just test them. And above all, “personal responsibility” should be at the top of the list.

Zona Moore (@guest_1150959)
1 year ago

How do they decide who gets reparations? Do all blacks get it, even though all blacks ancestors were not slaves. Some owned slaves. My great-great grandmother was a slave and I am white. Do I qualify? This is crazy. How is this justified? We cannot go back in time and undo wrongs. We can only get past them and move forward.

Kathy (@guest_1151269)
Reply to  Zona Moore
1 year ago

I’m not uncaring but I believe the Indians should be helped more. They were here first, their land had been taken away from them over and over again. Put on the Desert to live. They were killing women and children.

One Race, Human (@guest_1151929)
Reply to  Kathy
1 year ago

Just go away. People with your line of rationale is why we as a race, one race and that is human, will never advance.

Philip Iorio (@guest_1152143)
Reply to  Zona Moore
1 year ago

First off, We The People of America DID NOT make blacks slaves, the blacks in Africa did! So if you worthless blacks feel entitled to money, go back to Africa and stay. We The People don’t want your kind (Lazy and looking for hand outs) here. So far, you blacks haven’t brought anything or anyone good to society. What do you expect from a bunch of animals. They came from the jungle. You people are only good for a couple of things like sports, killing one another, and having no fathers for the children the black whores put out! As I always say, you can take the animal out of the jungle, but you can’t take the jungle out of the animal. So do the real loving American citizens a favor, LEAVE and NEVER return!

Matt (@guest_1150962)
1 year ago

What about reparations for those of us white northerners who lost our ancestors fighting the civil war and building the underground railroad?

Dave Pokorny (@guest_1151615)
Reply to  Matt
1 year ago

I read that there were more White people enslaved than there ever were Black people in our history. Where is my money? I demand money because I am White so do us right. My life was bad growing up but I blamed my Mom and Dad and not a bunch of people that weren’t even involved with slavery.

Philip Iorio (@guest_1152150)
Reply to  Matt
1 year ago

Sorry, only for black people. Don’t you see that the blacks are into everything now, since this country has accepted BLM. They found a movement and they are riding it big time. BLM is a domestic hate group that should be terminated. It’s time to send them all back to Africa. When they realize ALL LIVES MATTER, then maybe they might be able to participate in soceity……..

McRant (@guest_1150964)
1 year ago

Star speaks the things that nearly all black Americans agree with. There is only a tiny percentage of blacks in the BLM, in the Refund the Police groups, in the loonies that riot and loot. It is a HUGE mistake to lump the 90+% of decent, hardworking Americans of all races in with the criminals and crazies we see acting out and trying to take America down.

Jerry (@guest_1150976)
Reply to  McRant
1 year ago

McRant you are McVCorrect.

Thomas Phillips (@guest_1150965)
1 year ago

The Democrats better not pay trillions of dollars to the blacks over slavery. It has been over a hundred years since there were any damn slo. Their people sold them into slavery. I’ve never owned a slave and not one damn black hasn’t been a slave in over a hundred years, so many

Jerry (@guest_1150972)
1 year ago

Individual personal responsibility ! What an amazing idea and what a bold, shockingly frank statement. We live in a time when there is always someone else to blame for our lot in life and our poor judgment. Ms. Parker you are a wonderful, truthful and blessed woman. One of the few in public discourse that truly understand that to benefit from our mistakes we must as individuals take responsibility for our circumstances. A truly repentant person who has support and faith can overcome anything a become a better more responsible individual. You did it MS. Parker, and so did I. God bless you for being courageous enough to tell the hard truth, part of God’s severe mercy.

stuart nolting (@guest_1150973)
1 year ago

Joe’s first budget will probably be about 1 or so ZILLION!

James W Morgan (@guest_1150978)
1 year ago

Easily put, all people who believe they deserve reparations from America, should receive a one way ticket to the country of their origin, $1,000.00 cash and a farewell from the American people.. When they get to their destination, they may start the get the reparations from the other Native Tribes that enslaved them and took them to the Dutch Trader’s to distribute throughout the world.. I am sure that the latter when give very high reparations for what THEY DID..

Jerry (@guest_1150983)
1 year ago

It will mostly go to Blue States to fix things that they need to fix for themselves. Just another part of the same problem. Throw enough money at a problem and it will get fixed. No!!! Not if the same foolish decisions keep being repeated. Joe go back to bed and don’t get up until you are up for reelection.

Thomas p Lawson (@guest_1150990)
1 year ago


mikemm (@guest_1151008)
Reply to  Thomas p Lawson
1 year ago

Blacks are just sore losers. They get everything…. so here is a very novel idea. GET A JOB and earn a living.

Karole Conaway (@guest_1151011)
1 year ago

I am Irish and my ancestors were brought here as slaves. NONE of the people in this country today were ever slaves and they do NOT deserve reparations! Biden/obama(SS) are completely destroying the financial situation of this country.

Sharolyn Mathews (@guest_1151059)
Reply to  Karole Conaway
1 year ago

I am also Irish and I agree with you. White privilege is a joke, we were poor, and I still am trying to live in SS..

jjofaz (@guest_1151014)
1 year ago

Show me one person in the USA that has a grandparent that was a slave. Reparations are for those that have lived through and experienced the atrocities of slavery. Blacks are given more opportunities to succeed than any white kid. Take advantage of all that is out there for you now… scholarships, grants, etc. Yes you have to study and apply yourself but that is what makes you a success! not a one time hand out.

Sue (@guest_1151031)
1 year ago

To Star Parker: Thank you for your very insightful and sincere words of wisdom regarding reparations. I am the 3rd generation granddaughter of a Japanese immigrant who arrived in Hawaii in 1903. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, all Americans of Japanese ancestry who lived in the mainland U.S. were interred in concentration camps due to the American government’s suspicion of their allegiance to the country. The majority of those interred were 2nd generation Americans, born and raised in this country; and yet they were interred and treated as though they were spies for Japan. To date, there were never any “spies” found among Japanese-Americans, before, during or after the war ended in 1945, which was immediately following the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which killed nearly 150,000 civilians….more than 10 times the number of the military service members killed at Pearl Harbor. On the contrary, in 1942, young Japanese-Americans formed the 442nd Infantry regiment and proved their loyalty to America; after the war ended, it was discovered that the 442nd regiment had the highest number of casualties, the most number of Medal of Honor recipients, as well as awards such as Purple Hearts, Silver Cross, etc. (Note: When the Medal of Honor recipients were awarded their medals, their parents were still in the interment camps and therefore could not attend their sons’ medal of honor award ceremonies.) When the war ended and Japanese-Americans were released from the interment camps, they had to start from scratch. Their farms, homes, and other possessions had been confiscated by the government. Two or three decades later, the talk of reparations surfaced, and the Japanese-Americans who were still alive then were offered $25,000 in reparations for the years they spent in the camps. Some took it, but there were many who refused to accept this, seeing it as a “hand-out”; the Japanese are a very proud people and would prefer working as farmers or ditch diggers rather than accept any money from the government. As the post-WWII years began, these Japanese-American parents pledged to ensure that their children were given a good education, and encouraged college attendance among their growing children. The parents saw it as the only way for their children to succeed in America and thus pave the way for the 4th generation. To conclude, reparations are NOT a good way to further self-reliance, the willingness to become educated and work hard, and to be proud of one’s accomplishments. NO, reparations leads only to laziness as “reparations” is another way of saying, “hand outs.” People’s dignity do not flourish with reparations….it only serves to diminish self-respect.

Bradley D Wolfe (@guest_1151075)
1 year ago

Why is everybody crying Racism. There has been no racism in this country for years. Is it because they want to become inferior over the whites? Or is it because they want to become equal to the white people. I personally think it is because they want special treatment over the whites. Your thoughts?

Dave Rye (@guest_1151106)
1 year ago

Over 600,000 lost their lives to free the slaves. Should be enough!!!

Sue (@guest_1151172)
1 year ago

It’s not that I am opposed to this issue, but what happened to the blacks has nothing to do with us. WE DID NOT BRING THESE PEOPLE TO AMERICA. Their own people captured them and sold them to slave traders. When they reached America, the farmers had two choices; buy them or let the Captain (who would consider them damaged goods) take them out to sea and toss them overboard. Instead, our countrymen paid for them, gave them housing, food, and clothing. Not all “slave owners were good”, but many were. In fact, when the slaves were freed, a lot stayed with their owners for a small salary. There is no repartition from us. Go after the ones who started this.

James 75th Regiment (@guest_1151241)
1 year ago

Libya…Biggest slave trade market in History. Regards of swine holes by the name of Clinton & Obama, of course no Liberal Demorat says not one word….Lost one of my best friends in that rathole, won’t tell you what I really think about this parasites….

Marty (@guest_1151288)
1 year ago

My family did not live in the USA until 1915 so we will not pay reparations we did not own slaves if we must pay give us some now to qualify

Marlene (@guest_1154011)
1 year ago

Where are my reparations? My maternal ancestors were Irish and were slaves. They were called indentured servants but it was still slavery. This was after slavery was outlawed. Again where is my reparations.

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1 year ago

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