David French Is for Reparations?

 

Reading this dispatch from the Dispatch, it seems like David French is four square in the camp of structural racism.

In his article he attacks those on the right that believe in equal justice under the law thusly:

…that racism exists only when there is individual malign intent, that remedies for racism should be limited to imposing consequences on individual racists, and that there is no intergenerational obligation to remedy historic injustice (“I’m not responsible for my ancestors’ sins”).

Under this mode of thinking, the concept of “equality under the law”—as mandated by the Constitution and the Civil Rights Act—is both necessary and largely sufficient to address the causes and consequences of centuries of slavery followed by generations of Jim Crow.

Well, I have to say, yes. That is what we have to work with. Anything else is making someone today pony up for some sin they did not commit. I have an ancestor who served in the Confederate Army. So what? French cites a biblical passage, which, I will ignore, because we have more than believers in the Old Testament here about, and move on. French decides to find structural racism in housing.

Residential segregation, through redlining and other means—especially when combined with profound employment discrimination and educational disparities—resulted in the creation of large communities of dramatically disadvantaged Americans. Because of centuries of systematic, de jure (by law) oppression, they possessed fewer resources and less education than those who didn’t suffer equivalent discrimination.

While the passing of the Civil Rights Act meant that black Americans had the right to live elsewhere, they often lacked the resources to purchase homes or rent apartments in wealthier neighborhoods with better schools. Indeed, to this day, the median net worth of a black family ($17,150) is roughly one-tenth the median net worth of a white family ($171,000). That means less money for down payments, less money for security deposits, and overall fewer resources that enable social mobility.

One of the solutions to this problem is permitting more multi-family housing in wealthier communities. But that’s exactly when NIMBYism rears its head. Even if every member of a local zoning and planning commission isn’t racist, there are multiple non-racist reasons for them to resist greater population density. There’s traffic congestion. There’s school overcrowding. There’s the potential consequence to property values. There are environmental objections. There are a host of related infrastructure concerns.

Well. I guess all those poor black people who moved north to escape Jim Crow and the poverty of the south did not happen? French ignores that what was called “White Flight” was in fact, “Middle Class Flight.” What is weird here is that he gives all the totally normal, race-neutral reasons that people don’t want where they live changed. Well, that is great. He just goes on to call for people to change their rules anyway. Y’all who know me, know I am pro-community rights, because I believe the people have the right to fashion communities they want to live in. This is done through government. David French, conservative, disagrees:

With regards to zoning, I’m more likely to suggest that property owners should be granted more economic freedom and that limits on multi-family housing are perpetuated by limiting people’s freedom to buy and develop land. The balance between planning and property rights should tilt more towards liberty. NIMBYism exists in part because government authorities sometimes control my backyard more than I do.

David French does not understand how “Not in My Backyard” works. It exists because the people who are there use government to set controls into place. It is clear that Mr. French is unhappy that local people, trying to build the best community they can, with nary a bit of racism in their own hearts, are unwilling to take a hit of some sort, and have the sorts of multifamily housing proven to decrease standard of living. It is clear that he wants them to take one for the team by what he calls a “tilt more towards liberty” but what he really means is a “tilt more towards the sort of construction I think should happen because bad things happened to minorities in the past.” I am pleased he does not want central control of redistribution of wealth, but forcing a community to change its zoning to increase housing density is not an act of liberty for the people already living there, it is a violation of their rights as sure as if you taxed them to transfer money to someone else.

Speaking of transfers, French complains:

Indeed, to this day, the median net worth of a black family ($17,150) is roughly one-tenth the median net worth of a white family ($171,000). That means less money for down payments, less money for security deposits, and overall fewer resources that enable social mobility.

Well, since the start of the Great Society, we have spent billions and billions in tax dollars, taken from people doing well, and given it, mostly no serious strings attached, to the poor. The so-called War on Poverty has not budged the line at all. So, I don’t see how more transfers of wealth, in any format, is going to make a difference.

What is really funny to me, is that before the end of Jim Crow, black families were more intact. It was not slavery that ended black families. It was not decades of oppression that ended black families. No, it was the coming of massive government intervention, and a society that embraced sex outside of marriage to an astonishing degree. Indeed, all families used to be more intact. I wonder if Mr. French put the same energy and faith into advocating for the end of no-fault divorce as he does for this sort of nonsense what that would be like. Not popular with anyone, I imagine. I mean, we are in an age, where David French’s buddy at the Dispatch watched and spoke highly of Game of Thrones which was soft medium-core porn (and Danny, by the way folks, was underage in the book) and cheered it on in the GLOP podcast. Not sure I have read French take his buddy to task for that.

What is really funny here, is that French opens his whole article complaining that another religious organization does not want a pastor to use Critical Race Theory as a foundation. He then attacks being against CRT as being unconservative because it is not seeing the world as it is, namely, that slavery and Jim Crow did some bad things.

Even worse, David French does not prove that in 2021 there is structural racism against blacks. The title of his article is not even backed up. What he talks about are nonracist reasons that some people find themselves boxed out of some situations. The real reason there are “large communities of dramatically disadvantaged Americans” is because dysfunctional people create dysfunctional communities. No one who is functional wants to live in those communities regardless of their race. And any time too many dysfunctional people move into a functional community, it fails. The functional people move out, and the area is colonized by more dysfunctional people. Burning down your local Walmart is not the act of “disadvantaged Americans” because if it were, large parts of the Appalachian mountains would have been burned to the ground. Mr. French does not even address that level of poverty.

David French is not an ally in the fight to save America. He has sided with the forces who want CRT and he is calling for reparations. Not calling them with that name, nor is he calling for centralized control. But he is clearly calling for people to disadvantage themselves because there has been racism in the past, and own up to the idea that being nonracist, but wanting the best for you and yours is actually systematically racist.

Heaven help us from “conservatives” like David French.

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  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    French argues for institutional responsibility.  Well, it is true that corporations and governments are, as a matter of the civil law, held responsible for the torts and other legal wrongs that they commit, through their agents.

    But legal claims are also barred, generally speaking, by a statute of limitations.  These are usually quite short, often just 2-3 years, rarely as long as 10.  There’s another legal doctrine called “laches” that has the same effect, though it’s more of an equitable doctrine founded in excessive delay in bringing a claim.  Jim Crow ended around 60 years ago, and slavery ended over 150 years ago.  That’s way, way too long.

    Yes this is exactly where my non legal thinking falls. French is taking a page from the “never enough” playbook of the left. 

     

    • #121
  2. Tyrion Lannister Inactive
    Tyrion Lannister
    @TyrionLannister

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Tyrion Lannister (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    I mean, we are in an age, where David French’s buddy at the Dispatch watched and spoke highly of Game of Thrones which was soft medium-core porn (and Danny, by the way folks, was underage in the book) and cheered it on in the GLOP podcast.

    Hey! This was uncalled for.

    I am going to assume that is a joke based on your nome de plume?

    Yea, I mean I obviously disagree with you about value of the book/show, but I was just commenting due to my profile name.  Good article otherwise I largely agree with it

    • #122
  3. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    Well, I haven’t researched the question in depth, but I think that he’s probably wrong about this.  Most churches are organized as corporations.  If the corporation is violating its own articles and bylaws — say with one group seizing power contrary to the applicable organizational documents — then a court could adjudicate the controversy.

    I think that’s a reference to Corinthians as being encouraged not to bring internal disputes to the court of the land, for who can know God’s ways but God’s own people?

    Instead, they should seek the discernment of an elder to solve the dispute.

    But when the issue is between the church and someone outside the church, Paul’s use of Roman courts should give us some reason to believe that is acceptable.

    • #123
  4. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):
    Tom Nichols trolled conservatives to the point that they just stopped paying attention to him. Negative-attention-seeking behavior only works for so long. And now Tom Nichols is no longer even talked about.

    lol

     

     

     

    • #124
  5. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):
    Tom Nichols trolled conservatives to the point that they just stopped paying attention to him. Negative-attention-seeking behavior only works for so long. And now Tom Nichols is no longer even talked about.

    lol

     

     

     

    Tom who?

    • #125
  6. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Even his former fanboys have turned on him. It’s wonderful.

    • #126
  7. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Stina (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    Well, I haven’t researched the question in depth, but I think that he’s probably wrong about this. Most churches are organized as corporations. If the corporation is violating its own articles and bylaws — say with one group seizing power contrary to the applicable organizational documents — then a court could adjudicate the controversy.

    I think that’s a reference to Corinthians as being encouraged not to bring internal disputes to the court of the land, for who can know God’s ways but God’s own people?

    Instead, they should seek the discernment of an elder to solve the dispute.

    But when the issue is between the church and someone outside the church, Paul’s use of Roman courts should give us some reason to believe that is acceptable.

    Good point about Corinthians, but that was not French’s point.  His argument was legal, based on “basic principles of religious liberty,” not on anything in the Bible.

    It may sometimes be necessary to involve the courts, as there are sometimes situations in which the elders disagree, I think.  It can be quite a mess in a congregational church.  I worry that this is going to get more common, as Wokeism splits congregations.  

    The Wokeists like to take over institutions.  That way, they get the property, and they get other benefits like inheritances when people leave property to their church in a will or trust.

    • #127
  8. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    The French Davidian cult will shortly end as its ‘leader’ implodes.

     

    • #128
  9. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    Scott Adams figures that the way we should calculate reparations should be to compare the income and wealth of the descendants of slaves to their “would have been” countrymen who are still in Africa. Most likely, that number will be negative.

    Thomas Sowell has made the same point:

    “Does anyone seriously suggest that blacks in America today would be better off if they were in Africa? If not, then what is the compensation for?”  https://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell071700.asp

    “I consider it as ridiculous as it would be phony to pretend that I am worse off than if my ancestors had remained in West Africa and I had been born there. They themselves might well have been better off remaining in Africa, but they are not the ones who would get any reparations.”  https://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell032201.asp

    Incidentally, if economic inequality is proof of injustice, as David French insists, then should Asian Americans pay reparations to whites, or Jews to Christians?

    • #129
  10. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Taras (View Comment):

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    Scott Adams figures that the way we should calculate reparations should be to compare the income and wealth of the descendants of slaves to their “would have been” countrymen who are still in Africa. Most likely, that number will be negative.

    Thomas Sowell has made the same point:

    “Does anyone seriously suggest that blacks in America today would be better off if they were in Africa? If not, then what is the compensation for?” https://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell071700.asp

    “I consider it as ridiculous as it would be phony to pretend that I am worse off than if my ancestors had remained in West Africa and I had been born there. They themselves might well have been better off remaining in Africa, but they are not the ones who would get any reparations.” https://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell032201.asp

    Incidentally, if economic inequality is proof of injustice, as David French insists, then should Asian Americans pay reparations to whites, or Jews to Christians?

    Those are good points, but what if the argument is that blacks in America today would be better off than they ARE, if there hadn’t been slavery etc, if they had come here as free people to start with?

    • #130
  11. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Those are good points, but what if the argument is that blacks in America today would be better off than they ARE, if there hadn’t been slavery etc, if they had come here as free people to start with?

    How would they have got here as free people?

    • #131
  12. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Those are good points, but what if the argument is that blacks in America today would be better off than they ARE, if there hadn’t been slavery etc, if they had come here as free people to start with?

    How would they have got here as free people?

    Exactly.  There was only one way for them to get here.

    In Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa, [Keith] Richburg writes: “[E]xcuse me if I sound cynical…it’s Africa that has made me this way. I feel for her suffering…But most of all I think: Thank God my ancestor got out, because, now, I am not one of them. In short, thank God that I am an American.” https://sites.duke.edu/behavior/2019/06/20/reparations-taking-ta-nehisi-coates-seriously/

    You could make the case that, for African girls, being kidnapped by their neighbors and sold to North American slave traders was a lucky break even for the first generation.

    Because they avoided “FGM”:  sexual mutilation.

    (No matter how bad you think it is, it’s actually worse.)

     

    • #132
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