Are poor black Americans already receiving "slavery reparations" in the form of receiving more from the government than collected in taxes? If so, is it enough? If so, why is not mentioned? Should it be?
Every election cycle, the topic of reparations comes up from Democrats seeking to solidify the black vote (see [cbsnews.com] ). They know that many black Americans feel that slavery and lingering racism have conspired to keep them from reaching economic equality.
It is true that whites, on average, earn more than blacks ($61k/year vs $38.5k/year [en.wikipedia.org] ). This different helps whites amass ten times as much household wealth as blacks. I could not find any statistics that shows the difference in average tax paid by these groups. However, since the US has a progressive income tax with over 70% of all taxes paid by the 10% income earners, the difference in income suggests that blacks pay far less per capita than whites (see [ntu.org] ... yes, with racist bar chart color choices).
Let me be clear, the topic question is setup to be a bit provocative and I realize that the topics of income inequality and racism are much more complicated than revealed in a few financial stats. A poor person would gladly trade positions with a rich person and pay corresponding taxes.
I was born into a drug using, criminal family. My childhood was a confusing series of homes, foster homes and insitutions. One foster home in particular stands out. A woman of volcanic temper and inventive cruelty. I survived her, but the next child didn't.
I spent years hating her. I spent years raging at her cruelty; at the love and affirmation she never gave. I wanted my childhood back. I wanted reparations. It never happened, and it doesn't matter.
As an adult, I realized forgiveness was not my gift to her, but to myself. Every moment I spent hating her was a moment she still dominated me. And, at any rate, the things I really wanted were were impossible for anyone to give, much less her.
Slavery steals lives and legal standing from people. Jim Crowe laws protected people who tried to do the same. Their real injuries, however, are matters of time and heart, not money.
And remember, forgiveness is not something you give to your enemy, it's something you give to yourself.
"These objections are often urged with a show of sincere solicitude for the welfare of the slaves themselves. It is said, what will you do with them? they can't take care of themselves; they would all come to the North; they would not work; they would become a burden upon the State, and a blot upon society;"
"What shall be done with them?
Our answer is, do nothing with them; mind your business, and let them mind theirs. Your doing with them is their greatest misfortune. They have been undone by your doings, and all they now ask, and really have need of at your hands, is just to let them alone. They suffer by every interference, and succeed best by being let alone."
"As colored men, we only ask to be allowed to do with ourselves, subject only to the same great laws for the welfare of human society which apply to other men, Jews, Gentiles, Barbarian, Sythian. Let us stand upon our own legs, work with our own hands, and eat bread in the sweat of our own brows. When you, our white fellow countrymen, have attempted to do anything for us, it has generally been to deprive us of some right, power or privilege which you yourself would die before you would submit to have taken from you."
"The great majority of human duties are of this negative character. If men were born in need of crutches, instead of having legs, the fact would be otherwise. We should then be in need of help, and would require outside aid; but according to the wiser and better arrangement of nature, our duty is done better by not hindering than by helping our fellowmen; or, in other words, the best way to help them is just to let them help themselves."
Asked and answered by the best person to respond, Frederick Douglass, Former Slave, Intrepid Spokesman for Emancipation, Great American Treasure
The idea of reparations for ancestors that were enslaved is absurd, if you personally were not enslaved etc then you would not be entitled to any reparations as you weren't the one who directly suffered. I strongly believe those who are pushing for reparations in regards to slavery in the US are prejudiced themselves.
The plight of the modern American black person in the inner city is far more a by product of the welfare state than slavery.
Color is far less a barrier to success than coming from a single parent home. Lack of a high school education and early pregnancy outside of wedlock.
The welfare state rewards unwed uneducated women with children. Conversely it refuses to help families with a father in the home that are on the margins of poverty.
That is not to say that the stain of slavery has no effect. But that has as much to do with history not being taught in its totality. I might feel inferior to others if I believed that my people were enslaved exclusively. I’d venture that the fact that all people have been enslaved throughout history would put that in better perspective.
Assuming a “formula” could be established for determining who would receive reparations (it can’t, IMO), the formula would be under constant pressure to be adjusted, new groups would be identified as qualified for reparations, and the program would grow in perpetuity. In short, it would never be enough ... there would always be more reasons to pay more and more.
No living American has been a slave or owned one.
That era was generations ago, in a different era. Very few people could read and write. Most Americans were geographically isolated, and never saw anyone Of a difference race or culture. The Large northern cities were totally segregated. They had polish, Irish, Colored, Italian, Swedish, German, Jewish, Catholic, and wasp.
Only rich people could afford it anyway. This has never been a white people problem, it’s a rich people problem and not all of them were white.
That’s just the way it was. Not your fault. Not my fault.
This is purely political.
Democrats have no real issues, and couldn’t solve a problem if it flew up their nose anyway. They create BS issues, divide us every way possible and then blame everyone else.
Face it, America’s enemies paid dying media to put a Islamist in the presidency and he and the anti American, leftist regime, made us hate and fear each other.
Americans won’t vote for them so they have to let illegal aliens vote for them.
Turn them off and Vote RED !
If we are going to pay reparations, what formula will we use to determent who gets how much???
If you are Black, what percentage? Is there white or some other race in your genes? Did any of your Black ancestors come from Africa after 1865? Were those ancestors or their ancestors involved in slave trading in Africa before their came to North America.
My wife was born and raised in Canada and is a naturalized citizen, how much should she pay??
My Great Grand Father and his bother (wounded in the battle) fought at Gettysburg in Blue uniforms, How much does my family owe?
Bottom line, there is no fair way to decide who owes, who how much.
The best way to improve every bodies life is to OUTLAW WELFARE, put every one on equal footing. Use the tax money saved to improve all of our lives.
I understand poor, I grew up poor, but I never asked for nor received any handouts. I have earned every thing I have and I don't what to hear "WHITE PRIVILEGE", that is another discussion!!!!!!!!! (I am not all WHITE either).
The concept of reparations presents all kinds of difficulties:
Who gets reparations? How much? Who should pay them and why? Is there a certain threshold for % of "African blood" you must have to qualify (similar to belonging to a Native American tribe?)? Does this affect how much one should get? Why should collectives pay reparations to other collectives when there is no individual alive at fault for past injustices associated with slavery directly? Does this defeat the purpose of individual rights...and promote the concept of mob rule and mob justice given that individuals are not at fault for slavery in the present time? Is our current welfare/safety net system a form of reparations already for those experiencing hardship...reparations for the the failure of society supposedly to lift them up?
We all know identity politics is the life raft upon which Democrats make their gains and sustain their membership. But in what world are these reparations justice and how could they be so? Strangely enough all welfare appears to have done for the Black community is close the loop on a perfect poverty trap. On the eve of the Civil Rights movement the Black community was rising out of the ashes like every other immigrant group that has come to America and establishing itself before the advent of Great Society programs and the Drug War. Instead of reparations, I think we should be thinking about how our institutions have inflicted either intentional or unintentional incalculable harm upon the Black community. Institutions born of law and bureaucracy. These institutions can be removed...institutions such as public education in the inner cities, the prison industry complex, the Drug War, city planning regulations, welfare that disincentives work...etc. Makes much more sense than making a poor stab at contrived and desperate collective justice born out of in-group identity with nothing more to back it.
The son being punished for the crimes of his father? Why is this ok? What about all of the whites who never owned slaves? What about having Africans whose great great great grand parents, sold the slaves into their bondage paying up? Muslims made lots of money from slavery yet I haven't heard of any claims against them. What about blacks who did well? Do we get to not pay Oprah and Whoopi and all of those pro athletes or black doctors or lawyers? It comes down to what you do to overcome a challenge, not that you have a challenge.
The current welfare system is little more than a financial honey trap. It warps incentive, motivation, morality and self reliance just as it is designed to do. As for reparations that is just a divisive talking point designed to affirm racist suspicions and reinforce the democrat party's claim to being the only hope and advocate for black people. The welfare system is not reparations. It is a bit in the mouth of those that use it to remain in blighted, broken backwaters where their exploitation and suffering is the only reparation they recieve for their blind angry allegiance and vote extraction!
Reparations were paid by the dead United States Army Soldiers and the United States Treasury in full as of 1865. It was the United States government that freed the slaves. The Democrat National Committee who lost the Civil War is the only existing entity responsible for Slavery in North America who has not yet paid adequate restitution.
My brother took one of those DNA tests. It said he was 98 percentile of how much Neanderthal he has. Meaning, he has more Neanderthal DNA then 98% of the population. I think he deserves reparations from black people for wiping out his entire race.
Seriously though, let's look at the numbers. The top 10% owns something like 75% of the wealth. Your average per year numbers don't take this into account. The majority of the top 10% is probably white. So your entire premise is based on 10% of the population skewing the numbers drastically. Now, if the top 10% is actually mostly white (I have no numbers to back this up) is it because of systemic racism, or because there are actually more white people then black people and the law of averages just works out that way?
Or, maybe the black community has actually regressed over time. The percentage of black people in prison has actually increased over the decades. The percentage of black single parents has increased as well in that time. On odd correlation being the amount of welfare being distributed to black people has also increased. Perhaps the "reparations" (welfare) and special treatment (affirmative action) has lead to this great disparity. Perhaps adding even more reparations will only make things worse.
I don't know, just thoughts.
Pointless to even debate because time lapse and migratory patterns make quantifying this into an equation completely impossible ■
Let's look at more recent inequities between grievance groups and see which ones have benefited without any sacrifices or responsibilities and those that shouldered responsibility and made sacrifices above and beyond to the point of their own lives deteriorating, especially after divorce and hoisted upon them by government favoring the damsels claiming need. Let's see Who may we be talking about? What demographic commits suicide at 8:1 over their counterparts post government raping of their income, time, mental health, rights to their children, mockery of their collective reputation as a gender... If you don't know who I'm referring to you are willfully ignorant and likely a worshiper of half the population because that's what you've been trained to do...worship them.
Btw, this is the best comment in this thread. My first point with full stop shuts it down because it's a fool's errand. Next, I expose the one and only true group that has any real and legitimate grievance ■
Every politics based on group identity is harmful and creates only more division and unequality. Black Americans should acknowledge the fact that being born in America makes them Americans not Afro-Americans and being poor have nothing to do with slavery. There are plenty poor white people out there in the world and white people were slaves too. Can we close that chapter once and for all! The problem is not the history of slavery but slave mentality, some sort of a victim hood! No one said life is gonna be easy!
They know that many black Americans feel that slavery and lingering racism have conspired to keep them from reaching economic equality---- Fact is racism does exist but my perception is they are told this message and then it comes true in everything they experience. I like an environment filled with opportunities to succeed rather than a welfare environment where any group of people get accustomed to living on handouts from the government. In welfare the government controls the person. In individual success the person moves toward freedom and control of their own life.