April 12, 2021

Some Final Thoughts on Reparations

How would reparations be funded?

Conservative writer Michael Medved estimates that only 5% of whites in America “bear any authentic sort of generational guilt for the exploitation of slave labor.”

Why should anyone but Democrats pay?

Scholar Dinesh D’Souza notes that all but a “handful” of slave owners were Democrats. The Ku Klux Klan, at its height of power and popularity, was known by the NAACP as the “terror wing” of the Democratic Party. The KKK was founded by Democrats; I did not say by the Democratic Party, but by Democrats. As a percentage of their party, more House Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than did House Democrats. As a percentage of their party, more Senate Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than did Senate Democrats.

I recently reread Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” in which he takes fellow clergymen to task for asking him to wait. King wrote:

“Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, ‘Wait.’ But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters. … When you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of ‘nobodiness’ — then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait.”

We no longer live in that America.

In 1964, King gave an interview to the BBC where he predicted there could be a Black president in “less than 40 years. I would think that this can come in 25 years or less.” Just about right on the 40-year schedule, America elected Barack Obama.

King did not say that in less than 40 years’ time, there will have been a Black female president of an Ivy League college — which we have had. He did not say in 40 years, they’ll be a Black CEO of a Fortune 500 company; there have been several, including the former CEO of McDonald’s. King didn’t say in 40 years, there will be a Black governor of a state like Virginia, the capital state of the Confederacy — which has happened. He didn’t say when 80% of Blacks will no longer be poor, which is now the case.

No, King suggested that we will have reached the promised land when America elects a Black president. Why? Because in the privacy of the voting booth or the mail-in ballot, one can vote however one wants. If a voter is racist, he or she can vote accordingly. King felt when Americans became fair-minded enough to elect a Black person whom they felt qualified for the presidency, we then have reached a point where we are evaluating each other based on content of our character, rather than color of skin, to the fullest degree realistically possible.

Far more important than the issue of reparations is this: Why has the rate of out-of-wedlock births in the Black community nearly tripled from 1965 until now, when America is clearly less racist now than 56 years ago? Even during slavery, a Black child was more likely to live under a roof with his or her biological mother and biological father than today. This makes linking today’s problems to slavery and Jim Crow all the more difficult.

In 1965, 24% of Black children were born outside of wedlock. In 2018 — the latest year available — that number was 69%. On Father’s Day in 2008, Barack Obama said: “We know the statistics — that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison.”

Finally, Obama, when asked about reparations in 2016, said:

“It is easy to make that theoretical argument. But as a practical matter, it is hard to think of any society in human history in which a majority population has said that as a consequence of historic wrongs, we are now going to take a big chunk of the nation’s resources over a long period of time to make that right.”

He was right.

Larry Elder is a bestselling author and nationally syndicated radio talk show host. His latest book, “The New Trump Standard,” is available in paperback from Amazon.com and for Nook, Kindle, iBooks and GooglePlay. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an “Elderado,” visit www.LarryElder.com. Follow Larry on Twitter @LarryElder. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2021 LAURENCE A. ELDER

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12 Responses

  1. Blacks wouldn’t be in America if they hadn’t come over as slaves look at all the TROUBLE they cause us WHITES should be COMPENSATED !!!!!

  2. so these people are so far removed from this crap that their great grand parents are the only ones that can truly remember it. get over it and move on life is to short to worry about something that happened years ago. stand up and be thankful for what you have now, do not worry about something you can not change, quit your whining

  3. Martin Luther King Jr was wise, very very wise. His way of looking into the future was uncanny. Thank you Larry Elder for a wonderful article!

  4. i agree that it was the Democrat Party who had the slaves so guess only Democrats should pay if reparations are to be paid.

  5. REPERATION IS A BAD IDEA THERE ARE WHITE FOLK OUT THERE WHO WERE SLAVES YA ALL GOIN TO PAY US FOR OUR ANCESTERS BEING ENSLAVED MOST BY SOUTHERNERS AND THERE WERE SOME BLACK MASTERS ALSO SO WHAT SAY YOU????

  6. My ancestors came to American and were put to work in coal mines (before unions). They were basically slaves. Where is my reparation? Get the picture???

  7. Reparations for blacks? C’mon man. Native Americans are still enslaved! Take your land and put you on reservation.

  8. We have to stop all the B-S all the American people that died I’m talking white and black what about all the white and black people that died giving slaves thier freedom how far are africanwant to push things way out of line before they are stoped . Thank the lord for what you have to enjoy now. Stop your begging for wanting somthing somthing for free . Your Chance is out there lke everyones so do that. John

  9. Dont talk to me about slavery. I was poor and worked on the farms too. Priming tobacco, peanuts, corn, soybeans and yes I picked cotton too. We killed our own meat and grew gardens. So who owes who? I had to earn my keep so yall can kiss my you know what. Get off your butts and work and stop wanting freebies. Yall done wore out the food stamo system and producing like rabbits for another check. All I have to say is STFU!

  10. How are they going to do this?

    Are they going to force white people whose families came here after the Emancipation Proclamation, to pay black people whose families came here after the Emancipation Proclamation? Are they going to tax all white people to pay all black people? Are they going to tax everybody including blacks, to pay all blacks?

    Are they going to pay Indians for their land?

    Are they going to sue Italy for reparations to Roman slaves in Europe?

  11. If Colin Powell would have accepted the RNC nomination to run for President, this country would not be in the horrible shape it’s in, and becoming worse. He certainly would have received more Republican votes than McCain did, instead we had a racist fool, thinking he could run the country, and be respected around the world with nothing more than charisma (just like Bill Clinton, Hitler, and Mussolini), and yet thoroughly clueless of the world of reality. Someone who with the spine of a wet noodle, whom enemies of the Western world laughed at when he drew his line in the sand over and over. Someone whom our Allies or any other people of this planet realized if they needed help, they could not rely on us. Whether it were victims of a hurricane in the Caribbean, school girls kidnapped in Africa, or people being slaughtered by ISIS or any other radical Muslim group. I know this wont be posted

  12. Being of Irish descent, my ancestors were enslaved and treated much worse than blacks ever were.
    Where’s my money?
    HA!
    Reasonable folk wouldn’t think of demanding any type of payment or compensation to “right a wrong” over a life that was altered generations ago. Just as they surely don’t feel obligated to pay someone for injuries they themselves never suffered, and who wasn’t even born when the acts were committed. Being raised as a victim, and holding deep grudges which were instilled at a very early age, then pounded in to their head day after day after day, has turned some folks into angry, demanding, lazy crybabies who somehow feel “owed” an easy, rich life. The brainwashing starts early. ~S

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