Quote of the Day: James Freeman on Reparations for Slavery

 

Last week, in his Wall Street Journal “Best of the Web” newsletter, James Freeman discussed Elizabeth Warren’s call for a “thorough national conversation on Reparations.” Here is what he said:

The basic idea is that the federal government will apportion among the citizens living now the historical guilt for heinous acts committed by people long dead against other people long dead. Then money would flow from people who have not been convicted of any crime to people who have not been found by any court to have been victimized by a crime.

That sounded like a very clever description of what the idea of current US taxpayers paying so-called reparations to existing black US citizens.

And do you notice, Democrats call for “conversations” about any number of hot-button issues, yet they try very hard to shut up anyone who might have opinions other than theirs?

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  1. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    The purpose of calling for “conversations” is because they are running out of targets.

    If it weren’t for bad faith, they’d have no faith at all.

    • #1
  2. Paul Erickson Inactive
    Paul Erickson
    @PaulErickson

    They call for conversations because they cannot win arguments.

    • #2
  3. Kay of MT Member
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    How about knowing that at least 3/4  of all Americans at the time didn’t even own any slaves. Do your work and know that on each census year the slaves were counted and who own slaves. Then check the total populations.

    • #3
  4. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    If we are going to talk reparations, don’t forget the indigenous peoples, the Hispanics who settled California, and the Chinese who built the railroads.  

    • #4
  5. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    RushBabe49: And do you notice, Democrats call for “conversations” about any number of hot-button issues, yet they try very hard to shut up anyone who might have opinions other than theirs?

    Well, that’s their idea of a conversation – they do all the talking, and you do all the agreeing!

    • #5
  6. Vectorman Member
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    RushBabe49: And do you notice, Democrats call for “conversations” about any number of hot-button issues, yet they try very hard to shut up anyone who might have opinions other than theirs?

    I’m reminded of the old saying “Those that can, do. Those that can’t, teach.” Please add “Those that can’t do either talk.” At least teachers do something useful.


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    • #6
  7. David Carroll Thatcher
    David Carroll
    @DavidCarroll

    Democrats constantly speak in Orwellian terms.  Having a conversation means to them that those who disagree must be shut down.

    • #7
  8. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    They (The Democrats) never let the African American community out of the victim label. When you have no more victims, but elevate all people together and remove the color, the gender etc. they have no one left. They have to have victims. Giving opportunity to everyone lifts them up – the American Dream.  Eric Holder’s remarks the other day are the perfect example of keeping the victim narrative going.

    • #8
  9. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring
    @WillowSpring

    JoelB (View Comment):
    If we are going to talk reparations, don’t forget the indigenous peoples, the Hispanics who settled California, and the Chinese who built the railroads.

    And the soldiers for the Union (and against slavery) who lost their lives.  I think we can say that everyone owes reparations and everyone is owed reparations, balance it out and call it even.

    • #9
  10. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Paul Erickson (View Comment):

    They call for conversations because they cannot win arguments.

    The translation for “having a conversation” in this case is “sit down, shut up and listen”…..

    • #10
  11. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Vectorman (View Comment):
    “Those that can, do. Those that can’t, teach.”

    “Those that can’t teach teach PE.”

    • #11
  12. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    The idea of “reparations” for slavery was rather widely discussed in the early 1970’s, and generally rejected then as a stupid idea. 

    “Liberals” (as that term is incorrectly used in the United States) keep recycling old ideas every 40 years or so (“racism,” gun control, socialism, etc.) and demanding a new “conversation” about an old, rejected idea. 

    This time though they are being more diligent than they have been in the past about enforcing the one-sidedness of the “conversations.”

    • #12
  13. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    People who call themselves “progressive”, but never seem to have a new idea.  And, funny how their old ideas are not really progressive, but regressive!  Most things they advocate (renewable energy, organic farming, giving up cars for trains and bicycles, confiscating guns, etc.) involve going backwards!

    • #13
  14. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    People who call themselves “progressive”, but never seem to have a new idea. And, funny how their old ideas are not really progressive, but regressive! Most things they advocate (renewable energy, organic farming, giving up cars for trains and bicycles, confiscating guns, etc.) involve going backwards!

    Not just their ideas. The principle of the “progressive” movement itself is regressive – a return to serfs being ruled by an aristocracy. Progressives call the aristocracy a committee of “experts,” and the selection process may be by a manner other than hereditary birth. But the principle is the same.

    • #14
  15. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    What happens if you have ancestors who were slaves and ancestors who were slave owners?  Do you pay a fine to yourself?  What if you are black and had ancestors who were slaves in one of the Caribbean colonies/countries, then your family moved to the U.S. after slavery was outlawed here?  Can you also get reparations from whatever African country allowed slaves to be sold in the first place?  There are so many variations it would be an accounting nightmare to figure this all out.  Or do Democrats simply want a tax on all white people to be given to all black people regardless of what an individual’s ancestors did?  Yeah, a national conversation could be interesting.

    • #15
  16. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    I vacillate on this topic.  Most of the time, I am against reparations based on all the reasons stated above.  But sometimes I think that I would consider them if we financed it through the permanent abolition of every affirmative action and diversity program in the country.  

    • #16
  17. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    I vacillate on this topic. Most of the time, I am against reparations based on all the reasons stated above. But sometimes I think that I would consider them if we financed it through the permanent abolition of every affirmative action and diversity program in the country.

    Like that’s going to happen. That was the rationale given in the 1970’s, but no one believed it then either. 

    • #17
  18. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
    People who call themselves “progressive”, but never seem to have a new idea. And, funny how their old ideas are not really progressive, but regressive!

    That is why I call them Pro(re)gressives.

    They want things to go backwards – fewer people having a poorer standard of living with fewer consumables available while acting as serfs for the landed gentry.

    • #18
  19. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    JoelB (View Comment):

    If we are going to talk reparations, don’t forget the indigenous peoples, the Hispanics who settled California, and the Chinese who built the railroads.

    Following the line of attack that has knocked Columbus out of the approved list of heroes, it can be asserted that Hispanics owe reparations to indigenous peoples, as the first Europeans to intrude into the Southwest and California.

    • #19
  20. Matthew Singer Member
    Matthew Singer
    @MatthewSinger

    Stad (View Comment):

    RushBabe49: And do you notice, Democrats call for “conversations” about any number of hot-button issues, yet they try very hard to shut up anyone who might have opinions other than theirs?

    Well, that’s their idea of a conversation – they do all the talking, and you do all the agreeing!

    Kinda like a marriage :-)

    • #20
  21. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    What happens if you have ancestors who were slaves and ancestors who were slave owners? Do you pay a fine to yourself? What if you are black and had ancestors who were slaves in one of the Caribbean colonies/countries, then your family moved to the U.S. after slavery was outlawed here? Can you also get reparations from whatever African country allowed slaves to be sold in the first place? There are so many variations it would be an accounting nightmare to figure this all out. Or do Democrats simply want a tax on all white people to be given to all black people regardless of what an individual’s ancestors did? Yeah, a national conversation could be interesting.

    The way I look at it, the lives lost during The War Between The States are the reparations for those who were actually slaves.

    As you implied, the real groups who should be paying reparations are the black tribes who enslaved their enemies and sold into slavery in the first place.  Ironically, it turned out to be a “better” deal for the rival men, because they used to be killed outright when their tribe lost.  Personally, I’d rather be dead than someone’s slave, but that’s a debatable point (hence my use of quotes).

    I read somewhere there are more black descendants of people who immigrated to the US after The War Between The States than descendants of slaves, so it might not be a “what if” as you said.

    The bottom line is the Dems have a bumper sticker promise, which they will never uphold.  The question is, will it get them enough votes?

    • #21
  22. David Carroll Thatcher
    David Carroll
    @DavidCarroll

    Reparations would be just another give-away program.  It is a give-away not based upon any sort of need, but upon genetics, ancestry.  Worse, these “reparations would be paid by the innocent.  There is no living taxpaying slave owner in America.  It would be difficult to impossible to find anyone today who is demonstrably wealthy as direct benefit from slavery from the 1600s to the mid-1800s. 

    It seems to me to be more like revenge than anything else.

    • #22
  23. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    David Carroll (View Comment):
    It seems to me to be more like revenge than anything else.

    It is this.

    Here is my take on the Constitutional element. The worst crime one can commit in the US is the only one actually defined in the Constitution, Treason.

    The punishment for Treason is left to Congress, however the constitution specifies a limit even to that punishment.

    The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted. – US Constitution, Article 3, Section 3.

    Basically, you can’t hold a person’s descendants accountable to treason of their progenitors, nor is the government allowed to confiscate property, except during the life of the person attainted with treason.

    If that is the case for Treason, then how can the Government enact a multi generational punishment for Slavery?

    • #23
  24. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Stad (View Comment):

    As you implied, the real groups who should be paying reparations are the black tribes who enslaved their enemies and sold into slavery in the first place.

    I would say that the buyers and sellers were equally morally culpable.  But I don’t think anyone living today should be handed a bill for something that some of their ancestors may have done centuries ago.

    Ironically, it turned out to be a “better” deal for the rival men, because they used to be killed outright when their tribe lost.

    The science fiction author Orson Scott Card mentions this in his book Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus.  I don’t remember though, if he was talking about slavery in Africa or if he was talking about the Inca, Maya, and/or Aztec Indians.  At any rate, the point is that slavery and brutality weren’t invented by America’s founding fathers.  It’s a sin nearly as old as mankind.   

    The bottom line is the Dems have a bumper sticker promise, which they will never uphold. The question is, will it get them enough votes?

    Promising to give people money has been a successful strategy for generations.  It’s not right, but it has been effective.

    • #24
  25. Sweezle Member
    Sweezle
    @Sweezle

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    How about knowing that at least 3/4 of all Americans at the time didn’t even own any slaves. Do your work and know that on each census year the slaves were counted and who own slaves. Then check the total populations.

    I can’t imagine the process that the government would have to undertake to decide who were legitimate descendants of slaves.

    But it would be an educational experience for many.

    Wait until we start talking about the number of slaves owned by non-white people. Or that not all slaves were black some were white. Or that some free blacks owned black slaves. In rare cases spouses owned their spouse and did not free them. The history of slavery between 1830 and 1860 is interesting.

     

    • #25
  26. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):
    But I don’t think anyone living today should be handed a bill for something that some of their ancestors may have done centuries ago.

    This is the ultimate reason why it’s a bad idea.

    • #26
  27. Ralphie Member
    Ralphie
    @Ralphie

    If we could travel back in time, would anything actually change? 

    The calculus would be interesting. Reparations are another way of creating whipping boys. The left is always running with old ideas.

    • #27
  28. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):
    It’s a sin nearly as old as mankind.

    Exactly.  If you look back hard enough, you’ll find almost every color, culture, and people were slaves at one point or another.  The word “slave” itself refers to slaves predominately white and Eastern European . . .

    • #28
  29. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Sweezle (View Comment):
    I can’t imagine the process that the government would have to undertake to decide who were legitimate descendants of slaves.

    They wouldn’t. See Pigford and Pigford II.

    The claim is sufficient.

    If only the VA ran that way.

    • #29
  30. Sweezle Member
    Sweezle
    @Sweezle

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Sweezle (View Comment):
    I can’t imagine the process that the government would have to undertake to decide who were legitimate descendants of slaves.

    They wouldn’t. See Pigford and Pigford II.

    The claim is sufficient.

    If only the VA ran that way.

    I hope you are not correct.

    If you are right every single person in this country should apply for a monetary reimbursement regardless of age, race, citizenship, ancestors, residency or lividity. 

    I’ll probably be labeled a racist by someone but I hate the idea of blackmailing taxpayers to redress racial sins from over 150 years ago. 

     

    • #30

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