The Libertarian Podcast: The Reparations Debate


On this week’s installment of the Libertarian podcast, I lead Richard through an in-depth discussion of the reparations debate touched by off Ta-Nehisi Coates’ recent cover story in the Atlantic. Among the questions we discuss: are reparations reconcilable with the principles of classical liberalism? Why is this issue gaining newfound currency now? And what would constitute the single biggest improvement to race relations in modern America? Take a listen below:


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  1. user_30416 Member

    Reparations for slavery is an utterly impractical idea that belies the vengeful desire of some to make people of today suffer for the sins of the past on behalf of people in the present who personally never suffered that past even as they carry its banner going forward. In the end, I’m afraid, it would sow even greater resentments than it would salve.

    I would, however, be willing to recompense in some way the descendants of those—mostly black, but there were some whites—who were lynched. Slavery in the nineteenth century was not a crime of history, but turn-of-the-century lynching most certainly was.

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  2. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto

    If we had a time machine and could fast forward a hundred years, I think we’d discover the Atlantic publishing a cover story about how the case for reparations is better than ever.

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  3. Eugene Kriegsmann Member
    Eugene Kriegsmann

    All in all, an excellent examination. However, two points stand out by their omission. Over the last 35 years I taught I was subjected to numerous annual workshops on race relations. Almost inevitably the question of reparations was brought up, usually by the moderator, a young, well-educated Black man in a $2000 bespoke suit. The argument he and his fellow Blacks made was that those of us whose families had come to the country in post Civil War times (my own father came here in the 1920s, my mother and her family about the same time) profited by the work that had been done by the slaves, and, therefore, owed as much as those who had been here anti-bellum. I respectfully disagreed and was considered racist for doing so.
    The second point has to do with the reason for this recent upsurge. It is ingenuous to ignore the current (last five years) environment and the Balkanization by race that the Obama administration has used. This is far more the result of Obama’s deliberate divisiveness than anything having to do with 1964 which most know nothing about.

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