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Thu May 22, 2014, 11:15 AM

Ta-Nehisi Coates: "THE CASE FOR REPARATION" A Must Read-Let it marinate in your mind & read it again

Posted by Soonergrunt at 10:15 am
May 22 2014

Go read it if you haven’t already, and if you have, let it marinate in your mind and read it again. It’s a long read and you’ll find new things.



The crime with which reparations activists charge the country implicates more than just a few towns or corporations. The crime indicts the American people themselves, at every level, and in nearly every configuration. A crime that implicates the entire American people deserves its hearing in the legislative body that represents them.



The Case for Reparations
Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.

Ta-Nehisi Coates
MAY 21, 2014

.........................


(snippet)



Clyde Ross, photographed in November 2013 in his home in the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago, where he has lived for more than 50 years. When he first tried to get a legitimate mortgage, he was denied; mortgages were effectively not available to black people. (Carlos Javier Ortiz)


When Clyde Ross was still a child, Mississippi authorities claimed his father owed $3,000 in back taxes. The elder Ross could not read. He did not have a lawyer. He did not know anyone at the local courthouse. He could not expect the police to be impartial. Effectively, the Ross family had no way to contest the claim and no protection under the law. The authorities seized the land. They seized the buggy. They took the cows, hogs, and mules. And so for the upkeep of separate but equal, the entire Ross family was reduced to sharecropping.

This was hardly unusual. In 2001, the Associated Press published a three-part investigation into the theft of black-owned land stretching back to the antebellum period. The series documented some 406 victims and 24,000 acres of land valued at tens of millions of dollars. The land was taken through means ranging from legal chicanery to terrorism. “Some of the land taken from black families has become a country club in Virginia,” the AP reported, as well as “oil fields in Mississippi” and “a baseball spring training facility in Florida.”

Clyde Ross was a smart child. His teacher thought he should attend a more challenging school. There was very little support for educating black people in Mississippi. But Julius Rosenwald, a part owner of Sears, Roebuck, had begun an ambitious effort to build schools for black children throughout the South. Ross’s teacher believed he should attend the local Rosenwald school. It was too far for Ross to walk and get back in time to work in the fields. Local white children had a school bus. Clyde Ross did not, and thus lost the chance to better his education.

Then, when Ross was 10 years old, a group of white men demanded his only childhood possession—the horse with the red coat. “You can’t have this horse. We want it,” one of the white men said. They gave Ross’s father $17.


“I did everything for that horse,” Ross told me. “Everything. And they took him. Put him on the racetrack. I never did know what happened to him after that, but I know they didn’t bring him back. So that’s just one of my losses.”


.......................


Long, but SO, SO important & well written (I never say MUST READ-but this is an exception, great pics too):
http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/05/the-case-for-reparations/361631/



TA NEHISI COATES HAS THE OPEN THREAD THAT WAS PROMISED:
Oh SH-T. He says it’s Uncurated. That means it’s OPEN open… as in no moderators.
Watch out for trolls.
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/05/how-to-comment-on-reparations/371422/

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Reply Ta-Nehisi Coates: "THE CASE FOR REPARATION" A Must Read-Let it marinate in your mind & read it again (Original post)
kpete May 2014 OP
pampango May 2014 #1
Supersedeas May 2014 #6
JaneyVee May 2014 #2
Supersedeas May 2014 #7
appal_jack May 2014 #3
Spider Jerusalem May 2014 #4
appal_jack May 2014 #10
kwassa May 2014 #26
Are_grits_groceries May 2014 #5
appal_jack May 2014 #11
Laelth May 2014 #102
Adrahil May 2014 #8
napkinz May 2014 #9
WorseBeforeBetter May 2014 #125
aikoaiko May 2014 #12
RainDog May 2014 #13
RainDog May 2014 #14
Number23 May 2014 #15
RainDog May 2014 #16
Spider Jerusalem May 2014 #53
chervilant May 2014 #89
Number23 May 2014 #129
AnalystInParadise May 2014 #17
AnalystInParadise May 2014 #18
philosslayer May 2014 #19
MellowDem May 2014 #22
sheshe2 May 2014 #27
MellowDem May 2014 #31
sheshe2 May 2014 #35
AnalystInParadise May 2014 #44
sheshe2 May 2014 #90
MellowDem May 2014 #55
AnalystInParadise May 2014 #94
AnalystInParadise May 2014 #23
Kurska May 2014 #36
RainDog May 2014 #20
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Kurska May 2014 #40
RainDog May 2014 #47
Kurska May 2014 #48
kwassa May 2014 #127
AnalystInParadise May 2014 #41
RainDog May 2014 #46
Kurska May 2014 #49
AnalystInParadise May 2014 #95
kwassa May 2014 #28
AnalystInParadise May 2014 #30
kwassa May 2014 #34
Kurska May 2014 #38
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kwassa May 2014 #59
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Kurska May 2014 #39
Spider Jerusalem May 2014 #54
Kurska May 2014 #56
Spider Jerusalem May 2014 #57
AnalystInParadise May 2014 #98
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Kurska May 2014 #105
Spider Jerusalem May 2014 #107
Kurska May 2014 #108
Spider Jerusalem May 2014 #109
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Kurska May 2014 #113
Spider Jerusalem May 2014 #114
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Kurska May 2014 #121
Spider Jerusalem May 2014 #122
Kurska May 2014 #123
kwassa May 2014 #128
Kurska May 2014 #132
aikoaiko May 2014 #64
Recursion May 2014 #62
kwassa May 2014 #65
Kurska May 2014 #103
killbotfactory May 2014 #104
Kurska May 2014 #106
killbotfactory May 2014 #120
kwassa May 2014 #126
Spider Jerusalem May 2014 #50
MellowDem May 2014 #21
sheshe2 May 2014 #32
Kurska May 2014 #37
JI7 May 2014 #45
WinkyDink May 2014 #52
Scootaloo May 2014 #58
Kurska May 2014 #110
Recursion May 2014 #61
WinkyDink May 2014 #51
LittleBlue May 2014 #66
Spider Jerusalem May 2014 #67
LittleBlue May 2014 #68
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aikoaiko May 2014 #71
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aikoaiko May 2014 #76
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aikoaiko May 2014 #82
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Spider Jerusalem May 2014 #87
aikoaiko May 2014 #124
gollygee May 2014 #91
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gollygee May 2014 #117
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Leme May 2014 #86

Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu May 22, 2014, 11:56 AM

1. James Fallows recommends this, comparing the US to Germany, China, Russia, Japan and South Africa

in terms of how they have and have not come to terms with great historical atrocities committed by their governments.

Listen to the next discussion you hear of tensions between Japan and two of its neighbors, South Korea and China. You'll hear again and again that an important root problem is Japan's difficulty in coming to terms with its history of World War II-era aggression in China and use of Korean "comfort women" as sex slaves for its troops.

Listen to the discussions you're about to hear on the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown in China. You'll hear about the distortions arising from the Chinese government's refusal to come to terms with its suppression of protest then, let alone the large-scale terrors of the Cultural Revolution and the politically engineered mass starvations of the Great Leap Forward era.

Listen to any discussion of politics and economics in Europe, and see how much turns on recognition of Germany's doing as much as a country can to come to terms with the atrocities of its Nazi era. Or consider what the struggle for "truth and reconciliation" has done to increase post-apartheid South Africa's chances for political and economic progress.

Then read Ta-Nehisi Coates's magnificent new article in the latest issue of the Atlantic. It is about America's failure to come to terms with a central, brutal reality of our long-ago past and our ongoing present. When he talks about "reparations," he is talking about a process that begins with facing the truth, and the past, with the honesty we fault the Japanese or Chinese for failing to display.

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/05/coming-to-terms-with-difficult-history-japan-china-germany-and-the-united-states/371401/

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Response to pampango (Reply #1)

Fri May 23, 2014, 10:41 AM

6. the historical analogies are really compelling

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu May 22, 2014, 12:16 PM

2. One of the best writers of our generation.

 

Pure poetry.

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #2)

Fri May 23, 2014, 11:28 AM

7. Should be required reading for all who claim to be liberals

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri May 23, 2014, 05:38 AM

3. I find the article's reasoning to be weak, and its prescriptions dangerous.

 

I read the article in-full, and am not impressed. Ta-Nehisi Coates plays fast and loose with time scales, conflating German reparations in the decade following WW2 (just one example of this among many) with a call for American reparations more than a century and a half after slavery ended.

Also, Ta-Nehisi Coates writes as if the oppression of African Americans was the only oppression perpetrated by the US government during the 19th, 20th, & 21st Centuries. But of course that was not the case. While slavery was indeed a "peculiar institution" and a particularly horrible one at that, during the post-emancipation years of the 19th, 20th, & 21st Centuries, American oligarchs exploited the poor and vulnerable of all races as much as they could.

But worst of all, Ta-Nehisi Coates seems willfully blind to the destruction of 99% solidarity that a call for reparations will bring about. You want to see white union members, Hmong immigrant communities, Latino activists, and virtually everyone else in the 99% distance themselves from the African American community? A call for reparations will do that. Even Ta-Nehisi Coates tacitly acknowledges this when he mentions how the Medicare expansion has been tarred by haters such as Limbaugh as a special favor to blacks. If a colorblind, mildly-progressive program such as that can be denigrated as such, imagine the fury that an actual reparations program would engender.

There are many other ways that we could lift all boats. Racism is a real issue in America, and deserves to be confronted head-on. But there is a big difference between necessary confrontation and needless kicking of multiple hornets' nests at once.

-app

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Response to appal_jack (Reply #3)

Fri May 23, 2014, 06:12 AM

4. Your reading comprehension is apparently not so awesome then.

"Century and a half since slavery ended"...it goes very far beyond slavery; the effects of American institutional racism go from the colonial era right through to the present.

And I posted this bit in another thread but it's very apropos comments just like yours:


Liberals today mostly view racism not as an active, distinct evil but as a relative of white poverty and inequality.

(snip)

In substituting a broad class struggle for an anti-racist struggle, progressives hope to assemble a coalition by changing the subject.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #4)

Fri May 23, 2014, 12:47 PM

10. You are quite correct on your first point, but off the mark in the second.

 

"American institutional racism go from the colonial era right through to the present.
"

Indeed it does, and as I said above, racism should be opposed and countered by all means necessary.

I do not, in fact perceive racism merely "as a relative of white poverty and inequality." However, I do believe that at this juncture in time, justice could be best pursued by building solidarity between marginalized peoples and classes, and I find that promoting race-specific reparations would work against that goal. I don't want to "change the subject" at all. But I do want to make progress. The system (capitalism/patriarchy/white supremacy/oligarchy/the man- call it what you will) successfully impedes progress by keeping various races, classes, genders, etc. suspicious and competing with each other.

-app

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Response to appal_jack (Reply #10)

Fri May 23, 2014, 11:41 PM

26. "oh, it's not race, its class." This tiresome argument again.

You clearly haven't read the article.

Coates is trying to be thought-provoking, and he does a great job of it.

Reparations will never happen in this country, it is a dead issue. It is a political impossibility.

The case for reparations, however, is highly persuasive, and the possibility of a positive outcome from such reparations is great, as Coates demonstrates. It would be the morally correct action to take, as well.

But it will never happen.

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Response to appal_jack (Reply #3)

Fri May 23, 2014, 06:21 AM

5. Slavery and it's offshoots

were alive and well many decades after the war.
In fact, the deliberate actions to deny people the right to vote is a page out of the right's playbook.
It has taken many forms.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Reply #5)

Fri May 23, 2014, 12:47 PM

11. Yes, absolutely. nt

 

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Response to appal_jack (Reply #3)

Sat May 24, 2014, 04:16 PM

102. I saw only one prescription in the article.

"Let's have a discussion about this." That's it. That's the only prescription I recall.

You call that dangerous?



-Laelth

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri May 23, 2014, 12:26 PM

8. I thought the article was well done, overall, but...

 

I thought the ending was weak sauce. It winds up saying "we need to talk about this." Well, that's absolutely nothing new. I was hoping for a new idea about what "reparations" might actually look like, how it's funded in a modern economic environment, and what the end-game looks like. Simply using tax dollars to write checks ain't gonna happen. We need something better than that. No, I don't know what it is either.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri May 23, 2014, 12:32 PM

9. ...








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Response to napkinz (Reply #9)

Sat May 24, 2014, 08:30 PM

125. Couple of pics to add to your collection.







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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri May 23, 2014, 01:38 PM

12. kick

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri May 23, 2014, 02:37 PM

13. k&r n/t

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Response to RainDog (Reply #13)

Fri May 23, 2014, 07:20 PM

14. and another k&r...n/t

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Response to RainDog (Reply #14)

Fri May 23, 2014, 09:46 PM

15. I have been nothing short of astonished at how little traction this story has gotten here

There have been about 4 threads on this and combined, they've probably gotten 100 recs and far fewer responses.

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Response to Number23 (Reply #15)

Fri May 23, 2014, 10:01 PM

16. It's weird to me, too

It's been posted by me and at least three other people I know on fb - and I have a really small fb friend list. LOL.

I said it's one of THE most important conversations in the journalism world at this moment.

I also love TNC's work, tho, and read him regularly.

I really enjoyed his pieces about learning French and his feeling of freedom when in France - I felt that way too - not because of race, but b/c of culture in general - but I could relate very well in my own way.

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Response to Number23 (Reply #15)

Sat May 24, 2014, 07:25 AM

53. You're surprised? I'm not, sadly.

Surely you've noticed all of the Archie Bunker liberals around here who'd like you to please shut up about "white privilege" because, you know, there are poor white people. There are plenty of people here who become incandescent with sputtering rage if you suggest that they enjoy privilege by virtue of their race/ethnicity and strenuously deny it while at the same time trying to change the subject when any discussion of race comes up by saying "but but...income inequality is more important! We should be talking about class not race!"

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #53)

Sat May 24, 2014, 11:57 AM

89. Plus about a gazillion.

I am gobsmacked by the negative responses from anonymous keyboard jockeys with questionable critical thinking skills. Those who doth protest the loudest most need to reread -- and understand -- this essential article.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #53)

Sat May 24, 2014, 09:20 PM

129. The black posters have noticed these people for years.

Your "Archie Bunker liberals" comment is spot on.

And the fact that they are so embraced here while posters of color are called "obnoxious," get posts hidden for calling racist posts exactly what they are, and are constantly being told to shut up about race problems because (as you perfectly said) class issues are "the only ones that matter" is exactly why the idea that DU represents the Democratic party is and has been a colossal joke for some time.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri May 23, 2014, 10:59 PM

17. So..............

 

How much will the immigrant from Poland who arrived in 1945 owe to the Tanzanian immigrant who arrived here in 2002. Is there a formula to calculate this? Checking for a friend.........

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri May 23, 2014, 11:02 PM

18. And since we are on the topic

 

are we really going to take income from people that never owned slaves, that immigrated after the Civil War or that are in the process of becoming citizens now? the argument for reparations is a noble argument, but unless you have a way to trace who was part of the slave trade in any form or fashion, it just sounds like punishment for one group and reward for another group, even if the first group was nowhere near the problem when it occurred. We have a term for that in the military, mass punishment, and it is frowned upon.

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Response to AnalystInParadise (Reply #18)

Fri May 23, 2014, 11:12 PM

19. Check your priviledge

 

n/t

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Response to philosslayer (Reply #19)

Fri May 23, 2014, 11:24 PM

22. Reparations reinforces privilege, it doesn't address it...

In fact, if there were reparations, not only would the racial gap persist and continue to get worse, but then there would be a ready made excuse not to address it.

Reparations, like affirmative action, is a band aid that does nothing to address what causes racial gaps.

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Response to MellowDem (Reply #22)

Fri May 23, 2014, 11:50 PM

27. The racial gap still persists.

Read the article.

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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #27)

Sat May 24, 2014, 12:05 AM

31. That's my point...

The racial gap persisted through affirmative action too. Neither addresses it. If reparations are just meant as an honest apology, then that's all it will be, and not all that effective or easy to administer either, considering how long it has been (if you're half black or recently immigrated from Africa, for example, just some of the questions of who gets what). But it will do nothing to address inequality.

It will do a lot to distract from addressing the forces that continue inequality.

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Response to MellowDem (Reply #31)

Sat May 24, 2014, 12:31 AM

35. The whole article needs to be read.

This is not just about reparations. So much more is being said here.


Yet America was built on the preferential treatment of white people—395 years of it. Vaguely endorsing a cuddly, feel-good diversity does very little to redress this.

Today, progressives are loath to invoke white supremacy as an explanation for anything. On a practical level, the hesitation comes from the dim view the Supreme Court has taken of the reforms of the 1960s. The Voting Rights Act has been gutted. The Fair Housing Act might well be next. Affirmative action is on its last legs. In substituting a broad class struggle for an anti-racist struggle, progressives hope to assemble a coalition by changing the subject.


Not so long ago, it has continued through all these years and is alive today. These are issues that are not being addressed today or tomorrow. This article does not distract from the issue. It reinforces it. It is past time that white people actually listen to POC.

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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #35)

Sat May 24, 2014, 02:01 AM

44. Why?

 

Why should i listen to any of this nonsense. My family did not come to this country until Post World War 2 on one side and Post Jim Crow on the other side. I am Hispanic/White mixed, I owe no one anything for things that happened hundreds of years ago when my family was in Mexico or Europe. So no......I find reparations arguments nonsense, fortunately so does most of the country. Want to fuel racial animosity more? Take things from people that have no affiliation to slavery and give those stolen funds, possessions etc to other people.

Stealing from people in 2014 who by and large had nothing to do with slavery to correct mistakes from the past is not a winning electoral platform. Fortunately our politicians do not want to commit suicide and push this nonsense.

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Response to AnalystInParadise (Reply #44)

Sat May 24, 2014, 12:56 PM

90. Because had you read it you would know

that it spoke of far more than just slavery and Jim Crow. It brings right up to the present day.

“High levels of segregation create a natural market for subprime lending,” Rugh and Massey write, “and cause riskier mortgages, and thus foreclosures, to accumulate disproportionately in racially segregated cities’ minority neighborhoods.”

Plunder in the past made plunder in the present efficient. The banks of America understood this. In 2005, Wells Fargo promoted a series of Wealth Building Strategies seminars. Dubbing itself “the nation’s leading originator of home loans to ethnic minority customers,” the bank enrolled black public figures in an ostensible effort to educate blacks on building “generational wealth.” But the “wealth building” seminars were a front for wealth theft. In 2010, the Justice Department filed a discrimination suit against Wells Fargo alleging that the bank had shunted blacks into predatory loans regardless of their creditworthiness. This was not magic or coincidence or misfortune. It was racism reifying itself. According to The New York Times, affidavits found loan officers referring to their black customers as “mud people” and to their subprime products as “ghetto loans.”

“We just went right after them,” Beth Jacobson, a former Wells Fargo loan officer, told The Times. “Wells Fargo mortgage had an emerging-markets unit that specifically targeted black churches because it figured church leaders had a lot of influence and could convince congregants to take out subprime loans.”

In 2011, Bank of America agreed to pay $355 million to settle charges of discrimination against its Countrywide unit. The following year, Wells Fargo settled its discrimination suit for more than $175 million. But the damage had been done. In 2009, half the properties in Baltimore whose owners had been granted loans by Wells Fargo between 2005 and 2008 were vacant; 71 percent of these properties were in predominantly black neighborhoods.


Is it okay that AA's are still being stolen from?

Your quote...

Stealing from people in 2014 who by and large had nothing to do with slavery to correct mistakes from the past is not a winning electoral platform. Fortunately our politicians do not want to commit suicide and push this nonsense.






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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #35)

Sat May 24, 2014, 07:45 AM

55. I read it...

And fully agree that racism caused the radical gaps we see today. I still see no explanation of how reparations would address the racial gap. It wouldn't.

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Response to MellowDem (Reply #55)

Sat May 24, 2014, 02:58 PM

94. Yep......

 

Sounds like the person we are responding to is just (GG) God-danged Gullible..........

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Response to philosslayer (Reply #19)

Fri May 23, 2014, 11:25 PM

23. Mixed Race.......

 

Does this mean I only have half privilege??????

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Response to philosslayer (Reply #19)

Sat May 24, 2014, 01:05 AM

36. "We don't want your opinion, because of the race I ASSUME you are"



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Response to AnalystInParadise (Reply #18)

Fri May 23, 2014, 11:17 PM

20. I doubt you're rich enough for this to matter

If the issue were handled correctly, it would be part of a larger redistribution of income from the top 5% of the population to everyone else, either in the form of basic minimum income, student loan forgiveness - all of the ways the financial industry has made itself "too big to fail."

It's not about checking your privilege. It's about a reality check.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #20)

Fri May 23, 2014, 11:29 PM

24. Top 5%

 

of income earners is 166,000 a year. My wife and I are dual retired military both Senior NCO's. I am also a Defense Contractor and she works in Animal Care on the Professional side. We definitely fall within the 5% threshold. Also my family is Galician Spanish (immigrated to the U.S. in the 1960's from Mexico) and Polish immigrated after World War II. My Wife's family is Cuban. Neither of us have a single ancestor involved with slavery, I find it offensive that I could lose income over something that happened while my family was in Spain, Mexico or Poland during the entirety of slavery as well as nearly the entirety of Jim Crow and Segregation. Like I said, is there a formula or is a just a screwing over of anyone who is not African American?

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Response to AnalystInParadise (Reply #24)

Fri May 23, 2014, 11:38 PM

25. funny. I'm not African American

But I don't see the systemic targeting of African Americans in every generation (not just slavery, iow), through trumped up charges and forced labor on chain gangs, lynchings in the 20th century, targeting for arrests for things that white people rarely face (marijuana possession, for instance), housing policies by the Federal Govt, targeting by state-level politicians, the use of African Americans as a "dog whistle" to white males to win votes and public office, etc. etc. as something that's unfair to me.

I'm also not wealthy, did not grow up wealthy, etc. etc.

I don't have "economic privilege" and yet I understand that, in this society, we need something akin to the truth and reconciliation commission in South Africa that calls racists what they are, that looks at racist govt. policies for what they are, and recognizes that some things are beyond your selfish view of this issue.

Even within the 5%, you would not be a major contributor. So, maybe you should get over yourself. The real issue is about those who are not dependent upon their salaries or retirement from their salaries. The real issue about wealth accumulation among the "elite" in this nation. With your salary, you still don't qualify.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #25)

Sat May 24, 2014, 12:00 AM

29. Thank you

 

but no thank you, I will not get over myself. Reparations are a terrible idea that punishes people who had nothing to do with slavery. Fortunately it is a non-starter in our society.

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Response to AnalystInParadise (Reply #29)

Sat May 24, 2014, 12:07 AM

33. I didn't think you would

but thought I'd mention it anyway.

Even tho, as you mention, you have fed from the govt. teet for your entire life. But you obviously deserve it, while others do not.

I don't support so much money going to the military or private defense contractors. See, your complaints look ridiculous to me, considering the amount of money wasted on those things.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #33)

Sat May 24, 2014, 01:21 AM

40. "have fed from the govt. teet for your entire life." Actually he SERVED his country.

Have a little god damn respect won't you?

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Response to Kurska (Reply #40)

Sat May 24, 2014, 03:41 AM

47. So did many African Americans

who were denied benefits on the basis of race.

He had no respect for them, did he?

so, you can back off, please. I don't have any use for the double standard.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #47)

Sat May 24, 2014, 03:47 AM

48. Your smear against veterans isn't anymore acceptable, because you're mad about what he said.

No veteran "feeds off the government teet" for their job.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #48)

Sat May 24, 2014, 09:09 PM

127. Actually, they do. Any government employee does.

Veterans are not exempt from that.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #33)

Sat May 24, 2014, 01:54 AM

41. Wow

 

and on Memorial Day weekend......can you be anymore insensitive?

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Response to AnalystInParadise (Reply #41)

Sat May 24, 2014, 03:39 AM

46. I gave as much respect as you did

For people who have endured incredible suffering for no reason other than racism.

Your tone was harsh, entitled, and, frankly, if you talk about others that way, you should expect you might get the same in return.

In truth, however, since so many no-bid contracts go to military contractors for the drug war that are used to harm poor people in third-world countries, and since the military budget is deemed "untouchable" by so many - I think my statement about wasted spending holds for the military.

I have family members who were veterans too. One said the way African Americans were treated when they came back from WW2 was disgusting. They were denied benefits whites had access too. They put their lives on the line for a nation that treated them like dirt. They were systematically denied the privileges whites were given - by the military.

And, as someone here noted - responding to this article on the basis of slavery indicates you didn't even read it before you started griping about it.

Sorry if that sounded harsh to you. You sounded harsh to me.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #46)

Sat May 24, 2014, 07:06 AM

49. "You were in my mind a jerk, so I was a jerk to an entire class of people that you are a part of"

Ridiculous, just apologize and get it over with. The mental gymnastics are amazing.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #46)

Sat May 24, 2014, 03:00 PM

95. I read the article

 

and slavery is the driving force. I don't care what Mr. Coates claims otherwise, without slavery, this argument would not exist.

As for military contractors, after 20 years in my particular MOS, my job prospects to feed my family are defense contracting, or defense contracting. Being highly specialized is not a good thing.

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Response to AnalystInParadise (Reply #18)

Fri May 23, 2014, 11:58 PM

28. You are incorrect, sir.

My family, on both sides, has been here since the 1630s, and to the best of my knowledge never owned slaves. My great-grandfather fought in the First Maine Cavalry in the Civil War to help rid this country of slavery.

Yet my ancestors benefited from the slave trade. You and I have benefited from the slave trade. Part of the prosperity of the North came from the cotton of the South. Much of the wealth of our nation is derived from the labor of slaves that helped build it, and were an essential part of the economic structure.

It really comes down to the idea of whether you believe there is a collective responsibility as a society for all it's members, particularly those who have been damaged by that society. I think we have that responsibility. The racial poverty we see today is a historical continuation of the damage caused by our slave system, whether we were directly involved or not.

The criterion should not be whether or not we personally had responsibility for the slave trade, or oppression. The criterion should be whether or not, for the good of society, that we take collective responsibility.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #28)

Sat May 24, 2014, 12:02 AM

30. So mass punishment

 

Just say that instead of flowery language. It is mass punishment. My family lived in Mexico a few decades, the other side of my family came from Poland after WW2, my family has nothing to do with slavery, and it is a mass punishment to take anything away from anyone and give it to others if the overriding factor is some kind of guilt. I have no guilt, I have no privilege. I can think of nothing more damaging to American society than forced reparations.

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Response to AnalystInParadise (Reply #30)

Sat May 24, 2014, 12:12 AM

34. You are incorrect again. It is not mass punishment. It is collective responsibility.

Responsibility is not guilt. It is about being an adult, not a selfish, and self-interested child. If there is one word that defines adulthood, it is responsibility.

Living in Mexico does not make one non-white, by the way, as there were many whites who emigrated there. Mitt Romney's very white and still white ancestors lived in Mexico so they could maintain their polygamous families.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #34)


Response to kwassa (Reply #34)

Sat May 24, 2014, 01:55 AM

42. Oh.....so I say I am non white Hispanic

 

Are you telling me I am wrong?

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Response to AnalystInParadise (Reply #42)

Sat May 24, 2014, 09:04 AM

60. You're not just wrong, you're purposefully dense

 

First off, you do not seem to have read anything that Mr. Coates wrote, preferring instead to go slapping your own ass as you ride off on your own fantasy about what he might have written.

Slavery is but one facet of America's long and still very current history of oppression and disenfranchisement of black people. if you think that their hard times ended on April 9, 1865, then you're probably not qualified to continue using oxygen and should halt all O2 consumption until achieving proper licensing..

Next, it's not about you. Nobody gives a shit about you. Nobody gives a shit about your grandpa, either. Despite your frankly manic fantasies of paycheck seizures (will "they" come for your guns and daughters too, I wonder?) it has diddle-squat to do with you, or your extended family, and whatever sordid business they were or were not up to.

It's a question of the state's exploitation of and wealth extraction from a class of people over a period of centuries. Every single state reaped the benefit of slavery - the ones that abolished it within their borders still happily engaged in trade with states that kept it alive and ill. States that preserved and expanded slavery after the war - calling it sharecropping doesn't change much when the landowner has you in perpetual debt and a gun at your back - certainly profited from that free labor. Jim crow policies and pratices wrested wealth and labor from black communities. Enforces disadvantagement via segregation - ghettoization, denial of services, shitty schools, all of it - reaped profit for the states, since they weren't spending the fair amount for these communities. And modern efforts of vote disenfranchisement - how much is a vote worth, you think?

So no, nobody's going to be shaking you down for loose change. But the states owe back wages, adjusted for inflation and interest. They owe damages and restitution for generations of - to use your term correctly - mass punishment.

Also, had you read Mr. Coate's article, rather than struggling to fit your foot into your mouth all the way to the knee, you'd notice he acknowledges the difficulties of how exactly to carry it out. What form does it take? He doesn't know. And frankly he diesn't have to know - important things rarely get solved by a single voice, after all.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #60)

Sat May 24, 2014, 10:33 AM

74. "It's a question of the *state's* exploitation of and wealth extraction from a class of people..."

And suddenly trust the state to ameliorate their own crimes? And seeing as the state has no money of its own but must take its money from taxpayers, it is not the state that pays reparations but people -- which is done without regard to skin color. After all there can be no White People Tax.

But I'll wager that even if the state does extract money from the people it won't go to the people. It'll go to contractors and cronies to presumably deliver services to the people. There ain't a politician alive that can look at a pile of money that size (whatever that size may be) and will just beneficently give it away. You certainly aren't going to find (435 + 100 + 1) * 0.51 politicians to do that. They will first, and foremost, make sure there is a pay-off for them and campaign commercials to remind you of how awesome they are.

And then they will continue to send their goons with badges out to beat, murder and kidnap.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #60)

Sat May 24, 2014, 03:07 PM

99. And where will the state get the money

 

for this ludicrous idea? From the secret unicorn printing press? Give me a break, I read the entire article, it is madness and disgusting to shake down the American people for things that happened in the past that the vast majority of Americans had nothing to do with. And for the umpteenth time, fortunately our party wants no part of this fringe madness. Un-serious people push for reparations, serious people work to build a better country for all without stealing from anyone else. You are pro-theft and anti-choice. I understand, no need to comment again.

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Response to AnalystInParadise (Reply #99)

Sat May 24, 2014, 03:50 PM

101. You win the prize for the most illogical opposition to this article.

Paying a debt isn't theft. It is paying a debt.

Being responsible is, of course, a choice that you reject because you don't like responsibility. Some day you might grow up, but I won't hold my breath. To decide to be responsible is not to be anti-choice, but to make a good choice.

and it is quite clear you haven't read the article. At all.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #34)

Sat May 24, 2014, 01:56 AM

43. Responsibility

 

is an important word......so is choice............I chose to not pay for something my family did not take part in. Why are you anti-choice and pro-theft?

Those are not democratic principles, and that is why thank God reparations will never go anywhere. It is theft.

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Response to AnalystInParadise (Reply #43)

Sat May 24, 2014, 08:58 AM

59. I think you are on the wrong website. The tea party websites are elsewhere.

Your viewpoint clearly fits in that libertarian/ tea party political realm.

Do you pay your tax bills? Apparently not. Do have choice about what government programs you can support through taxes, and which ones you can't? Of course not. But taxes are pro-theft and anti-choice, by your definition. Undemocratic? No, because we voted for the government that created these tax responsibilities.

Like I said, responsibility is an adult response. Selfishness is a childish response.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #59)

Sat May 24, 2014, 03:02 PM

96. No, taxes

 

are pro-government and a good thing. I don't mind paying taxes at all.

I reject the anti-choice mentality of the reparations crowd. Fortunately, this country will never vote for that madness.

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Response to AnalystInParadise (Reply #43)

Sat May 24, 2014, 09:10 AM

63. Do you have a mortgage? If so, you took part in this

This whole piece is about how racist housing policy allowed the formation of the white middle class by preventing black wealth accumulation.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #63)

Sat May 24, 2014, 03:03 PM

97. NOPE

 

twenty years in the military taught me to avoid mortgages.

Even now when my wife and I are in the top 5%, I refuse to get into the mortgage racket.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #28)

Sat May 24, 2014, 01:17 AM

39. Why on earth should my Russian-Jewish family take part in collective responsibility for slavery?

The only reason we are here is that we were fleeing slaughter in Europe, sorry?

How is my recent immigrant Chinese friend?

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Response to Kurska (Reply #39)

Sat May 24, 2014, 07:28 AM

54. Yet more ignorant commentary from someone who clearly didn't read the article

or if they did spectacularly failed to grasp it. (Helpful hint: The focus is not on slavery but on institutionally racist Federal housing policy and mortgage guidelines.)

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #54)

Sat May 24, 2014, 07:58 AM

56. And I was responsible for those how? n/t

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Response to Kurska (Reply #56)

Sat May 24, 2014, 08:22 AM

57. This isn't about *you*, it's about the collective responsibility of the US government.

Which is something else entirely. (As in the case of German reparations to the Jewish people post-WWII; not all Germans were responsible, clearly, but the German government collectively was...or for that matter US reparations to interned Japanese-Americans). This is a pretty simple point that doesn't seem fantastically hard to grasp.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #57)

Sat May 24, 2014, 03:04 PM

98. That will be enforced by taking from me

 

and other who have nothing to with slavery, Jim Crow, Sub-prime mortgages, etc. Like I said it is theft and fortunately the Democratic Party is not about suicide pacts......

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Response to AnalystInParadise (Reply #98)

Sat May 24, 2014, 03:41 PM

100. Did you have anything to do with putting Japanese-Americans in camps?

Do you oppose the reparations that were paid to those victims of injustice at the hands of the US government? If not, why not?

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #100)

Sat May 24, 2014, 06:16 PM

105. Here is the big difference I think.

"Do you oppose the reparations that were paid to those victims of injustice at the hands of the US government?"

Of course not, money was given directly to the people interned in the camps during world war II. There were meticulous records detailing who was interned. It was a recent historical injustice done to people directly wronged. This was ordered by someone who my ancestors probably voted for. It was an easy thing to do, yet it was the right thing to do.

What are we going to do for slavery reparations though? How are we going to determine who gets them? Around 15% of African Americans are first or second generation immigrants not descended from American slaves. Sorting through that would be a massive bureaucratic nightmare. Do you get them if you have a single ancestor who is a slave? This may shock you, but 30% of "white" people in America have an African American ancestor in their genealogy since the founding of the united states. Off the top of my head that makes around 30% of America who has at least one ancestor who was a slave.

Laugh it off if you want, but I'm really curious how you'd design a system that would be fair and equitable that would determine who got reparations for slavery. What are your criteria? How much do you think is a correct sum?

Now if you're going talking about reparations for jim crow laws and racism. I can see your point, that was more recent in history. However, nearly every racial minority in this country has at one point faced discrimination. Obviously it was rarely to the same degree, nor was it for as long, but do any of them qualify for reparations? Chinese people in California were segregated and at times slaughtered, would they get reparations?

It is really easy to say they deserve reparations, it ain't nearly as easy to say how on earth reparations would actually work.


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Response to Kurska (Reply #105)

Sat May 24, 2014, 06:18 PM

107. You keep missing the point here.

Why are you talking about slavery? I'm not talking about slavery. Ta-Nehisi Coates isn't talking about slavery either. Could you address what's actually being talked about instead of bringing up something that isn't?

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #107)

Sat May 24, 2014, 06:19 PM

108. You didn't actually read my entire post did you? n/t

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Response to Kurska (Reply #108)

Sat May 24, 2014, 06:20 PM

109. Sure, I read it, most of it is about slavery, which isn't want's being talked about here.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #109)

Sat May 24, 2014, 06:22 PM

111. You know how I know you didn't?

I actually had an entire paragraph starting off with essentially "and if you aren't talking about reparations for just slavery then...."

Which you would know if you actually read and processed my post.

Given I posted several paragraphs and you responded 2 minutes later, that is also a pretty good sign.

Just admit you skimmed it, maybe then you can reread it and we can have a real dialog.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #111)

Sat May 24, 2014, 06:27 PM

112. I read that.

And the FOUR paragraphs about slavery. Which, yeah, you've missed the point of the article, assuming you read it. I have no idea what form reparations should take, but it's pretty clear that there are historically recent instances of severe discrimination against specific minorities as a result of federal and state government policies, things that affected hundreds of thousands or even millions of people who are still alive. Is this something that should be addressed, somehow? Probably.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #112)

Sat May 24, 2014, 06:30 PM

113. "I have no idea what form reparations should take'



Can I inquire as to why you are forcefully advocating for the existence of something that you admit you have no idea how to implement?

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Response to Kurska (Reply #113)

Sat May 24, 2014, 06:34 PM

114. Saying we should address something isn't the same thing as offering concrete proposals.

You could ask Ta-Nehisi Coates that exact same question, you know. He doesn't advocate for any specific or concrete form of reparations. Addressing and acknowledging America's shameful history of discrimination toward and expropriation of its black citizens would probably be a good start though.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #114)

Sat May 24, 2014, 06:38 PM

116. No one on DU or in this thread is saying African Americans didn't get screwed.

And that is a problem and yes it does need a solution. The solution I'm offering is society wide programs meant to tackle poverty and increase employment for all people (from which African Americans would greatly benefit, because of the poverty they suffer from).

Your solution appears to be reparations. I'm wondering how on earth your solution would actually work, you say you don't know.

So why should I take your solution seriously?

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Response to Kurska (Reply #116)

Sat May 24, 2014, 06:50 PM

119. Your proposal really doesn't deserve to be taken seriously.

You know why? because it fails to address the social imbalances in poverty that are a result of the very things we're talking about.

The state with the highest percentage of whites in poverty, for instance? Still has less of its white population in poverty than the state with the lowest percentage of blacks does its black population. Your proposal seems to be "let's not address this specific issue."

Note also that "reparations" doesn't mean "cash payments"; "reparations" might take the form of Federally-funded low-interest loans for housing and education and small businesses, for instance, rather than just writing cheques to people.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #119)

Sat May 24, 2014, 06:59 PM

121. Okay let me explain something.

If 20% of Group A is in poverty.

And 2% of group B is in poverty.

Programs that lift people out of poverty will naturally reduce that ratio, because a higher portion of people from group A will be lifted out of poverty though that program than in group B.

Meanwhile, your solution seems to be to have the government give some people better loans based on their race? You realize that would be illegal right?

TITLE VI OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964

"No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

You can't have a special loan type that only African American can get, but Latinos, Asians, Arabs and White people couldn't.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #121)

Sat May 24, 2014, 07:20 PM

122. This is something that would require separate legislation; YOU do realise THAT, yes?

and if something is specifically designed to address the issue of injustice against African-Americans, why should people who weren't subject to it benefit from it? That makes it not about addressing that, at all.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #122)

Sat May 24, 2014, 07:33 PM

123. You'd have to repeal or heavily modify title VI of the civil rights act to do it.

The reason the government was allowed to pay out to interned Japanese was not because of their race, but because of the fact they were interned.

How do you even define who is an African American or not? The only information we have on that is self-report census data.

For instance, Benjamin Jealous is African American and the head of the NAACP. Here is his picture.



Would he get reparations?

It may seem crazy to think about, but up till this point the only way our society determines if someone is African American is if they say they are (and most decent human beings don't question other people's racial heritage) or their skin color.

The former obviously wouldn't work, because a lot of people would claim to be toasters if they thought they could get something. The latter? I think you can already come up with problems for that one.

The government doesn't keep lists of victims of Jim crow laws or slavery. The government also doesn't keep lists of all the African Americans in the united states.

How would you address these problems?

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Response to Kurska (Reply #123)

Sat May 24, 2014, 09:15 PM

128. You seem to be implying Benjamin Jealous is not black. Is that what you are saying?

I really hope you are joking.

Oh, and the government does keep lists of the African-Americans in the country. It is called the census.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #128)

Sun May 25, 2014, 02:34 AM

132. Actually, I was using him as an example of how being black can go beyond skin color.

And why it isn't a good measure for officially determine who is black.

So yeah, the absolute opposite of what you thought I was implying.

And the census is self-report, there is literally nothing keeping someone from claiming they or their children are African American on it. If there were considerable government benefits involved, I know people would.

This all relevant, because as I've said you would have to REPEAL PARTS OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT TO DO THIS. If your idea starts out with "first we repeal parts of the civil rights act", maybe it ain't such a good idea?

Just saying.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #54)

Sat May 24, 2014, 09:14 AM

64. Are reparations for slavery off the table? I don think so.

The author keeps going back to slavery and reconstruction in the piece to contextualize the housing practices issues.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #39)

Sat May 24, 2014, 09:09 AM

62. Read the article. You might see why

He makes that case pretty clearly, in fact.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #39)

Sat May 24, 2014, 09:17 AM

65. Because your Russian Jewish family benefits from the wealth built by slave labor.

The economic opportunities for whites in this country when your ancestors arrived here, as well as now, were built on a system of labor exploitation and housing and educational segregation that prevented blacks from competing in the marketplace, therefore providing greater opportunity for whites. The institutions and infrastructure that they built you have benefited from. America was quite segregated when your ancestors arrived, too, which gave them all kinds of white skin privilege.

Part of the opportunity YOU have received in life is due to this segregation and unequal treatment of blacks.

It's called history.

By the way, the son of some German Jewish immigrants did feel some of the responsibility, and when he became wealthy as the head of Sears and Roebuck took his wealth and built 5000 schools for black children in segregated South. Look up Rosenwald Schools. His family never took part in slavery either. What a mensch.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #65)

Sat May 24, 2014, 05:48 PM

103. Yeah, all the racist whites were lining up to provide my Jewish relatives jobs.

How foolish could I have been.

You ever think a racist has said "Lets not hire the black, lets hire the jew instead!"

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Response to Kurska (Reply #103)

Sat May 24, 2014, 05:57 PM

104. So if the government violates someones rights, you would be against...

the government providing financial compensation... because you don't like the idea of a single penny of your tax money going towards compensation for a crime you personally had nothing to do with?

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Response to killbotfactory (Reply #104)

Sat May 24, 2014, 06:17 PM

106. That is totally what I said

And completely relevant to the post I replied to.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #106)

Sat May 24, 2014, 06:58 PM

120. No one is holding you or your family personally responsible for slavery

The fact is that the US gov't has implemented racist policies for several centuries, and that has caused a huge amount of harm to the people and communities targeted for discrimination.

Why is the idea that these people and communities should be officially compensated for the damage these policies have done so outlandish to you?

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Response to Kurska (Reply #103)

Sat May 24, 2014, 09:04 PM

126. yes, a racist would hire a Jew before hiring a black.

If you think that Jews suffered oppression in the US anything like the blacks have, you really need to get an education.

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Response to AnalystInParadise (Reply #18)

Sat May 24, 2014, 07:09 AM

50. Read the article before commenting upon it.

It barely mentions slavery. Most of the economic issues it addresses are fairly historically recent.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri May 23, 2014, 11:21 PM

21. Reparations would do nothing to close the racial gap...

It wouldn't solve any of the persistent problems, much like affirmative action. Neither address underlying issues of privilege and historical racism. In fact, both just reinforce certain types of privilege and do nothing to change the landscape of America.

Poverty eradication and desegregation are what's needed for real, lasting change.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat May 24, 2014, 12:06 AM

32. KnR

It can't be posted enough, since so many are ignoring it.

A truly educational article that is a must read.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat May 24, 2014, 01:11 AM

37. Checks to African Americans for being African Americans isn't going to advance race relations

Do you really think a poor latino family in California or Florida is going to be cool with that? It is going to engender negative feelings and only reinforce the racist idea of many that African Americans are dependent on the government and incapable of making it on their own.

We need society wide programs to tackle poverty in every race.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #37)

Sat May 24, 2014, 02:09 AM

45. why is there an idea that blacks are dependent on govt and incapable of making it on their own

in the first place ?

as for poor latino families , maybe we should cut them off from any govt programs because there are people who think the same about them.

and seriously, it's not the poor latinos who will be most upset about this. even those who disagree aren't going to be the ones who are most resentful .

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Response to JI7 (Reply #45)

Sat May 24, 2014, 07:17 AM

52. Who thinks American Blacks are "incapable..."? This is the crap Republicans spout in their anti-

 

govt and anti-New Deal screeds.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #37)

Sat May 24, 2014, 08:32 AM

58. Well, at least you're consistent

 

I was desperate to know what one white guy thinks blacks should settle for, to mind the feelings of some hypothetical Latino somewhere.

Thank you for coming through. Be sure to send your final opinion to as many blacks and latinos as you can, they'll be happy to know about your deep and informed insights to their minds and desires.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #58)

Sat May 24, 2014, 06:22 PM

110. So how do you think reparations should work?

Not once in this thread have I seen a single person actually lay out how they would like to see this system actually put together. You think my opinion is worthless? Fine, how bout someone actually put forth a real plan.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #37)

Sat May 24, 2014, 09:08 AM

61. The vaunted postwar middle class was perfectly happy with checks to them for being white

That's kind of what the whole piece is about. The government built a white middle class after WWII by preventing black wealth accumulation through a variety of means.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat May 24, 2014, 07:14 AM

51. America prefers myth to history. See: Americans, Native. See: VietNam. See: Reagan.

 

never seen would occur.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat May 24, 2014, 09:23 AM

66. It's an awful idea. My family never owned slaves

 

Reparations will never happen because no living American has ever owned slaves. And the suggestion that whites (many of whom immigrated after slavery ended) all benefited is ludicrous.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #66)

Sat May 24, 2014, 10:09 AM

67. it's NOT ABOUT SLAVERY.

Read the article? Then maybe your comments would actually make sense.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #67)

Sat May 24, 2014, 10:16 AM

68. Stop saying "read the article"

 

The article doesn't change my view. There is such a thing as disagreement.

I do not, and will never agree with reparations even if Jesus himself came down on earth and proclaimed it God's word.

Regardless, reparations has about the same chance of happening as me getting reparations from the British government for what happened in Ireland. Zero.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #68)

Sat May 24, 2014, 10:22 AM

70. If you bothered to read it (which you pretty clearly haven't)...

you could at least have an informed discussion. Whether reading the piece would change your view is neither here nor there. Presuming to comment on something you haven't actually read, however, is rather silly.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #70)

Sat May 24, 2014, 10:31 AM

72. It will change my views

 

as much as a long-winded tribute to George Bush will convince me he was a great president.

But I do find it hilarious that you think no one can discuss reparations without reading the whole article, as if it's the divine word or something.

How about "no"? No to the article, and most certainly no to reparations. Write a million articles and there still won't be reparations. People won't be swayed to a ridiculous outcome no matter how eloquent the argument.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #72)

Sat May 24, 2014, 10:34 AM

75. No, I think no-one can comment on the article without reading it.

Which is pretty reasonable, I think; I wouldn't presume to suppose someone who hadn't seen a film could give a review of it, either.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #75)

Sat May 24, 2014, 10:38 AM

77. I came here to comment on reparations

 

not the article.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #77)

Sat May 24, 2014, 10:40 AM

79. This thread is about the article.

Thanks for displaying your ignorance though.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #79)

Sat May 24, 2014, 10:43 AM

80. It's also about reparations

 

You call me ignorant and yet you can't comprehend the idea of someone commenting on the subject of a thread and not the link.

That's quite appalling regardless of education level.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #80)

Sat May 24, 2014, 10:45 AM

81. I'm calling you ignorant...

because you haven't read the article the thread is about and you're presuming to comment anyway. That's a textbook example of ignorance (which literally means "not knowing".

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #81)

Sat May 24, 2014, 10:57 AM

84. I do know the subject the thread is about

 

Is that not coming across? Too difficult a concept? Do I have to read Picketty's book to comment on income inequality in threads about his conclusions?

Carry on with this tiresome namecalling if you must, you know I'm right.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #84)

Sat May 24, 2014, 11:33 AM

88. it's pretty clear that you don't, actually

especially since the subject isn't "reparations for slavery" but "reparations for pervasive and historically recent systemic and institutionalised economic discrimination". Which makes your comments kind of similar to those of the people who think Piketty's book on income inequality is a call for revolution and guillotines.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #67)

Sat May 24, 2014, 10:24 AM

71. Then why does he keep referring to slavery and reconstruction in the article?


Maybe its you who needs to reread the article to see how he links 20th century discrimination with 19th century discrimination.

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Response to aikoaiko (Reply #71)

Sat May 24, 2014, 10:32 AM

73. Only as something that's constant and pervasive in American history.

He spends much more time talking about 20th century segregation, economic inequality, and social injustice than he does slavery. And yes, the USA's history of slavery is relevant, but if it hadn't been for first slavery and then segregation and Jim Crow and a history of institutional racism we wouldn't be having this discussion in the first place. The present doesn't happen without the past and these things are connected (but it's still not only or even primarily about slavery).

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #73)

Sat May 24, 2014, 10:36 AM

76. And I think that my point is that is connected and difficult to deal with in terms of reparations.


When he uses the term reparations it carries the baggage of going back in time and across many different peoples.

If he doesn't want readers to ask those questions about reparations for slavery he needs to make the case that its off the table.

Otherwise, its still there.

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Response to aikoaiko (Reply #76)

Sat May 24, 2014, 10:39 AM

78. He never makes a case for reparations specifically for slavery.

He makes no case for reparations in any specific form at all. The closest he seems to come is to calling for a South Africa style "truth and reconciliation", a reckoning with and acknowledgement of America's deeply racist past. He endorses John Conyers' bill for a commission to examine the issue, which is a long way from any concrete action.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #78)

Sat May 24, 2014, 10:49 AM

82. Fair enough, but others have when using the term reparations with black Americans.

And I don't think he makes a case for specifically paying anyone anything. He just lays out how private and institutional discrimination hurt black Americans. Historians and activists have already told us this.

So why does he call this article a case for reparations?

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Response to aikoaiko (Reply #82)

Sat May 24, 2014, 10:51 AM

83. You read it, right?

If you read it, and can come away after reading the detailed examination of discriminatory housing policies at the federal level, of redlining and demial of mortgages and expropriation, and ask why it's called "a case for reparations"? I can only throw up my hands and shake my head.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #83)

Sat May 24, 2014, 10:59 AM

85. Maybe I'm getting caught up in the semantics and general use of reparations


But if he had called this article "Economic Justice for Discriminatory Mortgage Practices", I would probably be more on board.


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Response to aikoaiko (Reply #85)

Sat May 24, 2014, 11:24 AM

87. I don't think that's it, no

I think your brain is subconsciously tacking "for slavery" onto "reparations", when the article is pretty clear that, no, it'd be reparations for systemic, institutionalised and legislated social and economic discrimination that's been pervasive in American history up to the relatively recent past.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #87)

Sat May 24, 2014, 08:00 PM

124. I kind of get his point.


He's saying that if people like me really understood the impact of systematic discrimination of black Americans (something that might be facilitated by a congressional study) the concept of reparations would not be so problematic.

Maybe he's right.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #66)

Sat May 24, 2014, 01:04 PM

91. America as a whole owes its wealth to slavery

And due to ongoing institutional discrimination described in the article, that wealth has never made its way to the descendants of the very people who did the work that created America's wealth. It has made its way to those of us who are white but whose ancestors never owned slaves and even those of us who are white whose ancestors moved here after the end of the civil war.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #91)

Sat May 24, 2014, 01:16 PM

92. It doesn't, really

 

The south owes its impoverished antebellum economy to slavery.

But modern production creates much more wealth than agriculture ever did. We became a wealthy nation when we industrialized, until then we were far behind Britain.

Our world dominance is built on industry and finance. Until we mastered those, we were a second-rate nation. All of our modern wealth is owed to the Industrial Revolution, not agriculture.



It's a common misconception of people who don't understand how wealth really works. Gold, cotton and other commodities created the illusion of wealth by making a small group of people very wealthy, but it was not what we consider wealth today. Real wealth was created for the masses only when modern industrial and financial methods were created.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #92)

Sat May 24, 2014, 02:47 PM

93. The money for the industrial revolution came largely from the slave trade

That's where much of the US's wealth originated.

An example:

http://colorlines.com/archives/2013/01/10_things_django_wont_tell_you_about_slavery.html

9) Many firms on Wall Street made fortunes from funding the slave trade.
Investment in slavery was one of the most profitable economic activities throughout most of New York’s 350 year history. Much of the financing for the slave economy flowed through New York banks. Marquee names such as JP Morgan Chase and New York Life all profited greatly from slavery. Lehman Brothers, one of Wall Street’s largest firms until 2008, got its start in the slave economy of Alabama. Slavery was so important to the city that New York was one the most pro-slavery urban municipalities in the North.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #93)

Sat May 24, 2014, 06:34 PM

115. Wall Street wasn't the reason we had an industrial revolution.

1. Mid to late 19th century immigration provided a large population and cheap labor
2. We had plentiful natural resources
3. We only spent about 4 years of the 19th century brutally murdering each other. Meanwhile Europe was drowned in blood for the majority of the century. As hard as it may be to believe, peace is actually not always bad for business. That is huge reason we passed Europe.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #115)

Sat May 24, 2014, 06:42 PM

117. We had money in this country to build factories

because people, north and south, throughout the history of the US and during colonial times, made lots of money from the slave trade and goods that were made very inexpensively due to slave labor.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #117)

Sat May 24, 2014, 06:47 PM

118. Except we nearly bankrupted ourselves during the civil war over slavery.

Only after which we managed to really industrialize.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #118)

Sat May 24, 2014, 09:25 PM

130. You are wrong again. The industrial revolution in the US started with slave-grown cotton.

The first industrial plants in US were textile factories in New England, well before the Civil War

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_Revolution.

The United States originally used horse-powered machinery to power its earliest factories, but eventually switched to water power. As a result, industrialisation was essentially limited to New England and the rest of Northeastern United States, which has fast-moving rivers. The newer water-powered production lines proved more economical than horse-drawn production. However, raw materials (especially cotton) came from the Southern United States. It was not until after the Civil War in the 1860s that steam-powered manufacturing overtook water-powered manufacturing, allowing the industry to fully spread across the nation.

Thomas Somers and the Cabot Brothers founded the Beverly Cotton Manufactory in 1787, the first cotton mill in America, the largest cotton mill of its era,[116] and a significant milestone in the research and development of cotton mills in the future. This mill was designed to use horse power, but the operators quickly learned that the horse-drawn platform was economically unstable, and had economic losses for years. Despite the losses, the Manufactory served as a playground of innovation, both in turning a large amount of cotton, but also developing the water-powered milling structure used in Slater's Mill.[117]


much more on this at the site.

edit to add:


http://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/slavery-and-anti-slavery/resources/was-slavery-engine-american-economic-growth

In the pre-Civil War United States, a stronger case can be made that slavery played a critical role in economic development. One crop, slave-grown cotton provided over half of all U.S. export earnings. By 1840, the South grew 60 percent of the world's cotton and provided some 70 percent of the cotton consumed by the British textile industry. Thus slavery paid for a substantial share of the capital, iron, and manufactured good that laid the basis for American economic growth. In addition, precisely because the South specialized in cotton production, the North developed a variety of businesses that provided services for the slave South, including textile factories, a meat processing industry, insurance companies, shippers, and cotton brokers.

Was the abolitionist crusade against slavery the product of a belief that slavery was an impediment to economic development? Not in any simple sense. Williams was wrong to think that by the mid-nineteenth century slavery was a declining institution. Slavery was an economically efficient system of production, adaptable to tasks ranging from agriculture to mining, construction, and factory work. Furthermore, slavery was capable of producing enormous amounts of wealth. On the eve of the Civil War, the slave South had achieved a level of per capita wealth not matched by Spain or Italy until the eve of World War II or by Mexico or India until 1960. As late as the 1850s, the slave system in the United States was expanding and slave owners were confident about the future.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #130)

Sun May 25, 2014, 02:31 AM

131. Yet those weren't the industries that spurred forth America's real economic revolution.

There were going to be industries in America no matter which the first were. America is teeming with industrial resources. We had everything you need for heavy industry, coal, iron and wood.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat May 24, 2014, 10:21 AM

69. Intersting article.

 

.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat May 24, 2014, 11:02 AM

86. reading a magazine article, hearing a speaker

 

and assuming what they say is truthful just because it fits your understanding (or lack thereof) is dangerous.

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