Thursday, February 8, 2024

QUORA: ‘I’m black and I wonder when white people will pay us reparation. Why not?’

 QUORA: ‘I’m black and I wonder when white people will pay us reparation. Why not?’ [alternate link]

I posted this answer (pending as of 1/29/24):

The collectivist premise of your question indicates what you are up to. 

When someone collectivizes their argument, they’re usually up to no good.

When someone collectivizes their argument, it ‘s because they have no case.

Let me give you a clue: There is no “us” in any fundamental, real sense. You can only rightfully speak for yourself. Reparatory justice is only valid when you have an actual victim[s] and an actual perpetrator[s] provable by direct evidence of wrongdoing.  In what way are you entitled to reparations? Who harmed you? How? That’s a question for a court of law. 

The idea that you are entitled to be paid off because someone of your dark skin color was harmed in some distant past is textbook racism, the lowest form of collectivism. Racism is the idea that a person’s thoughts, values, character, and moral standing are inherited through one’s body chemistry (genes, bloodline, skin pigmentation, and the like). Your question indicates that you believe that attributes like victimhood and guilt are passed down to future generations of non-victims and innocents through skin pigmentation. The gross injustice is obvious to any morally upright person. The idea that someone else of a lighter skin color owes you because someone of light skin color harmed someone of your darker skin color in some distant past is textbook racism, the lowest form of collectivism. That tribal mindset is not the perspective of an enlightened person. 

To be sure, reparations should have been paid to freed slaves. In fact, the process of reparatory justice was begun in earnest in 1865 by order of General William T. Sherman. Sherman, acting with the sanction of the Republican Lincoln administration, ordered land seized from former slave owners be given to former slaves in 40 acre parcels. Tragically, Lincoln’s assaination lead to Andrew Johnson becoming president. In one of the most shameful presidential acts in American history, Johnson, a Democrat (no surprise there), immediately rescinded the reparations, and kicked the former slaves off of their rightfully awarded land

So I am not unsympathetic to the justice of slave reparations. But at some point, time changes things. It’s been generations since slavery ended. Paying “reparations” today is itself an act of injustice.

My advice to the questioner is to stop living in the past, and start looking forward to making your own life the best it could be by your own efforts. I’m sure you are capable without begging for handouts dressed up as reparations. You are not a victim. The people from whom you want to seize money from are not perpetrators. The only person standing in the way of your economic success is you.

Related Reading:

Should Reparations Include White Victims of Anti-Black Racism?

On New Jersey’s Proposed Bill to Study Racial Reparations

SUPPLEMENTAL TO ‘New Jersey’s Proposed Bill to Study Racial Reparations’: The ‘Slavery is Good Economics’ Argument

‘Reparations’; Another Leftist Path to Socialism

The Dem's Jim Crow 2.0

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