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The Democrats are at it again. It’s election campaign time, and Kamala Harris, for one, is demanding reparations, 150 years after the Civil War, for black Americans who probably know as little about that war as most other Americans:
I think there has to be some form of reparations. We can discuss what that is, but look, we’re looking at more than 200 years of slavery. We’re looking at almost a hundred years of Jim Crow. We’re looking at legalized segregation and, in fact, segregation on so many levels that exists today, based on race. And there has not been any kind of intervention done understanding the harm and the damage that occurred to correct course, and so we are seeing the effects of all of those years play out still today.
No, Senator Harris, let’s not discuss it. Instead, let’s talk about why it is an insulting and ridiculous idea. You say interventions have not been done? Well, there is the disaster of the Great Society which helped no one. And I guess living in the land of liberty is no help at all.
I will not be revisiting all the reasons that paying reparations is nearly impossible and unreasonable to do; if you want an explanation of those reasons, you can go here . Instead, I’d like to use Senator Harris’ comment as a preface to the insightful piece written by Burgess Owens for the Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Owens was the great-great-grandchild of a man named Silas Burgess who came to America on a slave ship, escaped a plantation through the Underground Railroad, and eventually became a successful entrepreneur and a pillar of his community. Based on this history of his great-great-grandfather and his own experience, Mr. Owens explains why the reparations movement is a bad idea:
At the core of the reparation movement is a divisive and demeaning view of both races. It grants to the white race a wicked superiority, treating them as an oppressive people too powerful for black Americans to overcome. It brands blacks as hapless victims devoid of the ability, which every other culture possesses, to assimilate and progress. Neither label is earned.
The reparations movement conveniently forgets the 150 years of legal, social and economic progress attained by millions of American minorities. It also minimizes the sacrifice that hundreds of thousands of white Americans and a Republican president made laying down their lives to eradicate slavery.
Mr. Owens also states that the act of perpetuating the myth that one race is superior to another is “evil racism.”
The Great Society programs were started at the very time when black Americans were making great inroads into the middle class. These government programs led to the break up of the black American family, left male children without fathers, mothers on welfare, and resulted in the prevalence of single parenthood in our black communities.
Mr. Owens points to the current iteration of the need for reparations: socialism is surely the cure, according to the Left. Fortunately, Mr. Owens knows through his own experience that socialism will not help anyone, including blacks. It will only create more divisiveness, perpetuate the lie that blacks cannot help themselves, and that only white society can help them. It’s important to note that Mr. Owens was a Super Bowl champion with the Oakland Raiders. He is the author of Liberalism or How to Turn Good Men into Whiners, Weenies and Wimps.
I’d like to end with one comment that Mr. Owens makes toward the end of his piece, that speaks to blacks and whites alike:
Character cannot be bought and will never allow itself to be diminished by bribery.
You can take that one to the bank.Published in