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The Case against Reparations - A reply to Ta-Nehisi Coates
National Review ^ | May 24, 2014 | Kevin D. Williamson

Posted on 05/24/2014 3:18:43 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

It may very well be the case that African Americans will never, no matter what policies are enacted, catch up economically with whites. Even assuming that invidious racism were an entirely negligible factor, it is likely that economic development will tend to proceed along broad racial channels if, for example, people of various ethnicities tend to largely marry within their ethnic group, live in neighborhoods largely populated by co-ethnics, and engage in other social-sorting behavior that is racial at its root but not really what we mean by the word “racism.” If that is the case — and it seems that it is — then initial conditions will be very important for a very long period of time.

And that would be true even if there had been no slavery and no discrimination. Imagine, for example, that rather than having been brought to the colonies as slaves, the first Africans to arrive in the New World had come as penniless immigrants in 1900. If their incomes grew in the subsequent century at the same rate as those of white natives, then a century later they’d still be as far behind as they were when they arrived. Income gaps have been closed and closed quickly by some immigrant groups — notably European Jews, Vietnamese immigrants, and Indian immigrants — because their incomes across the first few generations grew much, much more quickly than the native rate. And though the hostility that often met these immigrants is not comparable to the experience of slavery and African Americans’ subsequent repression, it is worth appreciating that Jewish and Asian immigrants have not always been welcomed with universal warmth. The black experience is unique within the context of American history, but it is hardly unique within the context of the experience of other racial minorities in other societies throughout history.

Ta-Nehisi Coates has done a public service with his essay “The Case for Reparations,” and the service he has done is to show that there is not much of a case for reparations. Mr. Coates’s beautifully written monograph is intelligent and sometimes moving, and the moral and political case he makes is not to be discounted lightly, but it is not a persuasive case for converting the liberal Anglo-American tradition of justice into a system of racial apportionment. Mr. Coates and those who share his views would no doubt observe that the Anglo-American practice, despite its liberal rhetoric, was a system of racial apportionment, and a brutal one at that, for centuries, with real-world consequences that continue to be large facts of American life to this day — and they would be correct. But the remedy Mr. Coates proposes would not satisfy the criterion of justice, nor is it likely that it would reduce or even substantially eliminate the very large socioeconomic differences that distinguish the black experience of American life from the white experience of it.

The most valuable aspect of Mr. Coates’s essay is as a corrective to the tendency to treat the systematic political and economic repression of black Americans as though it were a matter of distant history and a question that had been for the most part settled at Gettysburg, with a few necessary legislative reforms in the following century. The process of extirpating effective racism did not end in 1868 or in 1964; even assuming a zero racial handicap on a forward-going basis, we would expect it to take decades before the average economic differences between blacks and whites were to disappear. (If, indeed, we should expect them to disappear at all.) And the economic disadvantages imposed on African Americans did not end with slavery. Mr. Coates recounts, among other abuses, how black workers leaving the South for such communities as Chicago’s North Lawndale were systematically excluded from the formal banking system, in no small part by federal housing policy that denied FHA mortgage insurance to neighborhoods into which blacks had moved or were moving, leaving black would-be homeowners with few options other than the “on contract” purchase, essentially a rent-to-own scheme that was rife with abuse and dishonesty.

Upwardly mobile blacks were fleeced by similar schemes for many years, and blacks remain to a disproportionate extent outside the traditional financial institutions — for instance, a quarter of unmarried black men have no bank account, and fewer than half of black households invest in stocks or similar financial instruments. The relatively hard time blacks have dealing with financial institutions has some truly perverse outcomes: Whites have more college degrees but less student-loan debt; white women are more likely to be homeowners than are black women, but they have smaller mortgages; blacks are less likely to be approved for credit cards, and they have more credit-card debt. While the median black household income is about a third lower than the median white household income, blacks’ median net worth is radically lower: about 5 percent of the median white net worth. The median net worth for a single white woman in her prime earning years is about $43,000; the median net worth for a black woman in her prime earning years is about $5.

There is probably a vicious circle at work here: Even controlling for income, blacks are financially risk-averse compared with whites, which probably has something to do with the history that Mr. Coates cites; but this risk aversion has the long-term effect of leaving them worse off as they forgo higher returns on their savings, which is one reason, though not the only one, that black households are likely to have less wealth than white households with identical incomes. In the matter of savings and investment, it is very likely that skeptical attitudes and relatively poor outcomes feed on each other. A similar dynamic characterizes the investment decisions of white women relative to white men.

Blacks probably should extend that skepticism, or even transfer it, to the welfare state. Mr. Coates does not spare the New Dealers, who enacted a raft of progressive policies that were in many cases designed to exclude or disadvantage African Americans. Contrary to the convenient myth related by our contemporary liberals, there was no substantial conflict between Democratic liberals and Democratic segregationists on most of the progressive agenda — the progressives and the segregationists were, in the main, the same people, and the so-called conservative Democrats in the South were very enthusiastic about federal regulation of businesses, the minimum wage, social insurance, and welfare programs, so long as they could be structured in a way that would not benefit blacks very much. But Mr. Coates does not give much consideration to the possibility that a similar dynamic still is at work among our 21st-century progressives — not in the sense that white progressives see their own interests being in direct competition with those of black Americans, but in the sense that programs run for the theoretical benefit of the poor, who are disproportionately black, are in fact run for the benefit of the largely white upper-middle-class bureaucrats who are employed by them. The teachers’ unions’ steadfast and occasionally hysterical opposition to school-reform programs intended to help the overwhelmingly black population of Washington, D.C., is a dramatic example of that, the full import of which does not seem to have settled upon the mind of Mr. Coates, who is himself a product of the backward Baltimore public-school system.

If the enduring disparities in economic outcomes were the only concern, or even the main concern, at issue here, then our policy menu would be relatively straightforward. Blacks are disproportionately poor, and policies that encourage economic growth and robust employment, which is the only meaningful long-term anti-poverty program, should benefit blacks with roughly the same disproportion. Indeed, that has been the case for some periods in the past: Black households saw stronger income growth than did white households during the Reagan boom, and from 1990 to 2000, Census figures report aggregate growth in the black median household almost twice that of white households, 23 percent in constant dollars for blacks vs. 12 percent for whites. Had those trends continued, the racial difference in median income would have been wiped out in about 40 years. But if there were a policy or a set of policies that could be enacted guaranteeing the economic growth of that unusual decade, then they already would have been made permanent. The path from policy to outcome is a crooked one.

It is true, as Mr. Coates argues, citing Lyndon Johnson, that “Negro poverty is not white poverty,” at least as measured by many critical metrics — concentration, mobility, various life outcomes controlled for income, etc. But though he spends a great deal of time documenting economic issues, those are not, in the end, Mr. Coates’s interest here: “Reducing American poverty and ending white supremacy are not the same,” he declares. That there is some question-begging going on there — whether “white supremacy” really describes a significant motive force in American public life — goes without saying, but it shouldn’t.

Mr. Coates does not make the case so much for reparations as for a South Africa–style truth-and-reconciliation commission. “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 purpose of a debate on a reparations bill of the sort being offered by John Conyers Jr. is not so much to construct a program of economic compensation as it is to have another verse of that Democratic hymn, an honest conversation about race. (As though we ever talked about anything else.) And this gets to the real defect in Mr. Coates’s approach. The purpose of public policy in this area can be one of two things. The first is a program focused on trying to improve in real terms the lives of those who are poorly off and those born into circumstances that are likely to lead to their being poorly off adults, proceeding with the intellectual honesty to acknowledge that such programs will disproportionately benefit black Americans, as they should. The second option is a symbolic political process designed to confer a degree of psychic satisfaction on relatively well-off men and women such as Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Mr. Coates engages in what certainly feels like a little misdirection. Responding to the very fair criticism that public policy designed to help the disadvantaged should distinguish between, say, the Obama daughters and those without their advantages, Mr. Coates is having none of it: “In the contest of upward mobility, Barack and Michelle Obama have won. But they’ve won by being twice as good—and enduring twice as much.” The truth or untruth of that claim can only be ascertained by asking the question that Mr. Coates is committed to ignoring: “Compared with whom?” Did Barack or Michelle Obama inherit disadvantages that forced them to perform twice as well, and bear twice as much, as a white woman born into horrific poverty in Appalachia? A white orphan? A white immigrant escaping the Third Reich? A racial disadvantage is only one of many kinds of disadvantages that can be inherited — why should it be the one around which we organize ourselves? Mr. Coates himself comes from a fairly modest background, but he, a man without an undergraduate degree, is a visiting scholar at MIT, one of the most exclusive academic institutions in the world, a position he enjoys as part of a program that excludes whites. (“The Program is open to individuals of any minority group, with an emphasis on the appointment of African Americans.”) There are, of course, many programs of that sort, and it is possible that poor whites resent them more than they should — the view from Owsley County, Ky, or from Lubbock, Texas, might make it difficult to see the so-called white supremacy that is so unmistakably obvious to Mr. Coates. But dealing with that reality inescapably entails treating people as individuals, and treating people as individuals makes reparations morally and intellectually impossible — even if we accept in toto Mr. Coates’s argument that the brutal imposition of white-supremacist policies is the entire basis for the relative social positions of blacks and whites in the United States in 2014. Which is to say: Even if we accept the facts of aggregate advantage and disadvantage with their roots in historical injustice, the aggregate cannot be converted into the collective inasmuch as neither advantage nor disadvantage is universal on either side nor linked to a straightforward chain of causality. Some blacks are born into college-educated, well-off households, and some whites are born to heroin-addicted single mothers, and even the totality of racial crimes throughout American history does not mean that one of these things matters and one does not.

Once that fact is acknowledged, then the case for reparations is only moral primitivism: My interests are inextricably linked to my own kin group and directly rivalrous with yours, i.e., the very racism that this program is in theory intended to redress. Mr. Coates also, I think, miscalculates what the real-world effects of converting our liberal conception of justice into a system of racial appropriation might mean. There are still, after all, an awful lot of white people, and though many of them might be inclined to make amends under some sort of racial truce following the process Mr. Coates imagines, many of them might simply be inclined to prevail. The fact is that the situation of African Americans in the United States has improved precisely to the extent that whites have begun to forgo tribalism and to genuinely commit themselves to the principles of liberalism, the long march toward a more perfect Union. The alternative — a system of exclusive interests in which black and white operate effectively in opposition — is not only morally repugnant, but likely to undermine the genuine political and economic interests of African Americans.

It may very well be the case that African Americans will never, no matter what policies are enacted, catch up economically with whites. Even assuming that invidious racism were an entirely negligible factor, it is likely that economic development will tend to proceed along broad racial channels if, for example, people of various ethnicities tend to largely marry within their ethnic group, live in neighborhoods largely populated by co-ethnics, and engage in other social-sorting behavior that is racial at its root but not really what we mean by the word “racism.” If that is the case — and it seems that it is — then initial conditions will be very important for a very long period of time.

And that would be true even if there had been no slavery and no discrimination. Imagine, for example, that rather than having been brought to the colonies as slaves, the first Africans to arrive in the New World had come as penniless immigrants in 1900. If their incomes grew in the subsequent century at the same rate as those of white natives, then a century later they’d still be as far behind as they were when they arrived. Income gaps have been closed and closed quickly by some immigrant groups — notably European Jews, Vietnamese immigrants, and Indian immigrants — because their incomes across the first few generations grew much, much more quickly than the native rate. And though the hostility that often met these immigrants is not comparable to the experience of slavery and African Americans’ subsequent repression, it is worth appreciating that Jewish and Asian immigrants have not always been welcomed with universal warmth. The black experience is unique within the context of American history, but it is hardly unique within the context of the experience of other racial minorities in other societies throughout history.

Mr. Coates is largely correct about the past and is to a degree correct about the present. About the future, he is catastrophically wrong. The political interests of African Americans, like those of other Americans, are best served by equality under the law. The economic interests of African Americans, like those of other Americans, are best served by a dynamic and growing economy, preferably one in which the labor force is liberated from the dysfunctional, antique Prussian model of education that contributes so much to black poverty. The people to whom reparations were owed are long dead; our duty is to the living, and to generations yet to come, and their interests are best served by liberty and prosperity, not by moral theater.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: education; racism; segregation; tribalism

1 posted on 05/24/2014 3:18:43 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
the moral and political case he makes is not to be discounted lightly

Everyone who was involved in institutional slavery in the United States is long dead.

(I have just lightly discounted the moral and political case for reparations.)

2 posted on 05/24/2014 3:21:01 AM PDT by Tax-chick (You say I'm insane ... I say you're afraid.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Ta -Nehisi,they have the cutest names.


3 posted on 05/24/2014 3:21:24 AM PDT by Dr. Ursus
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To: Dr. Ursus

“Let’s throw Scrabble tiles in the air to pick the baby’s name!”


4 posted on 05/24/2014 3:24:13 AM PDT by Tax-chick (You say I'm insane ... I say you're afraid.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

And no where is there a mention of those immigrants who came to this country as indentured servants having to work off the cost of their passage as veritable slaves. I find both sides lacking


5 posted on 05/24/2014 3:28:37 AM PDT by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
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To: Jimmy Valentine

I had an ancestor who was held as a slave by the natives in the early 1600s.


6 posted on 05/24/2014 3:47:45 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: Tax-chick

And I join you in lightly discounting any moral or political case for reparations. In fact, I go beyond discounting and proceed directly to accounting funds expended since 1965 in efforts to conduct a “war on poverty” as applied to any possible debt that may have ever existed by those already deceased, both white and black. When that accounting is complete, I believe the American taxpayer is due a refund for the lack of results. All those funds did was prove what was said two millennia ago: “You shall always have the poor with you.”


7 posted on 05/24/2014 3:56:50 AM PDT by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: T-Bird45
I believe the American taxpayer is due a refund for the lack of results.

Good point. Or at least, we could stop spending money in the same counterproductive way.

8 posted on 05/24/2014 4:02:13 AM PDT by Tax-chick (You say I'm insane ... I say you're afraid.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

’ the median net worth for a black woman in her prime earning years is about $5.’
Does this five buck figure make any sense to anyone? I agree with most of the article, especially the part about blacks miring themselves among folks with no drive or desire to succeed in basic education or in building a financial future. I call it ghetto think, it occurs in poor white areas also, I grew up in such an area and heard the talk of being held down by the powers that be and there was no point in trying you were beat from the start. I and my family never believed it as did similar families that made success in life their goal. We were and are successful in one way or another. It has to start in the family, it only takes one mother or father to break the cycle. I am an ignorant hillbilly and even I figured this out. Blacks, with a few shining exceptions, among them Carson, West, Rice, and others seldom see this. I do not think it is racism just a bad attitude and piss poor choices. One other thing, it is very easy to surround yourself with other deadbeats and moan about how unfair life is while waiting on the government handout, it is harder to pick yourself up and be somebody. The blacks owe the Feds a strong kick in the butt but it will never happen.


9 posted on 05/24/2014 4:11:42 AM PDT by Foundahardheadedwoman (God don't have a statute of limitations)
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To: Foundahardheadedwoman
’ the median net worth for a black woman in her prime earning years is about $5.’ Does this five buck figure make any sense to anyone?

I have no information to discount K.D. Williamson's information. This $5 (average) would be what someone has after subtracting debt from assets. By mentally "calculating" the other statistics - size of college loans, their investment resistance and being viewed as high risk loans and vulnerable to scams - in the piece, this is not outside the realm of reality.

Your points are well taken. And cultural differences (much due to associations - staying on the liberal plantation would be one way to say it) are pointed out by Williamson as having great import in a group's success in acquiring wealth, mobility and generational movement up the socioeconomic ladder.

10 posted on 05/24/2014 4:30:00 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Maybe the trillions of dollars spent on welfare benefits should be taken as reparations for the ability sit around for decades having no purpose in life other than voting democrat for the last 5 decades and breeding decedents to do the same.
11 posted on 05/24/2014 4:46:22 AM PDT by broken_arrow1 (I regret that I have but one life to give for my country - Nathan Hale "Patriot")
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To: Jimmy Valentine
And no where is there a mention of those immigrants who came to this country as indentured servants having to work off the cost of their passage as veritable slaves. I find both sides lacking.

Agree! Half my family came from Ireland. I think we all know how the Irish were treated when they came here: "Irish need not apply!"

The other half of my family came from Austria before WW1. Austrian's were known as smart, good hard industrious workers and had opportunity after opportunity.

My wife's family came here after WW2. First they escaped Germany as male family members were conscripted into the Hitler military, then escaped Hitler again as he invaded Hungary. Eventually they made it here, brought over by a "sponsor" who paid their way. Wife's family spent almost 5 years picking cotton as truly indentured servants in the south to pay that money back. They were lucky: the farmer who brought them over saw how hard working they were and after their debt was paid gave them a hand up (a car, extra money, and contacts in Western NY where wife's family eventually settled and started their own business.)

Difference between my wife's family and mine when hers came over was that they were considered wealthy in Germany before WW2 and lost everything they had. (No, her family is not Jewish. They were simply one of many German families that had wealth and tried standing up to Hitler.) When they came here, they had the same entrepreneurial spirit that made them wealthy in Germany, then Hungary that made them successful -- despite the anti-German feelings in this country after WW2.

Blacks aren't the only ones who had it rough when they first came here. Yes, they started out in Slavery -- the difference is they've had opportunities in the greatest economy and economic growth engine on the planet over the last 200+ years. They've not take advantage of those opportunities to lift themselves out of poverty. They demand a hand-out and reject a hand-up. That mentality will continue to get them nowhere in this country. Nor should it.

12 posted on 05/24/2014 5:01:30 AM PDT by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: Dr. Ursus

Almost all can be translated from Ubangi and mean “Affican Prince” or Affican Princess”.


13 posted on 05/24/2014 5:02:46 AM PDT by Feckless (I was trained by the US << This Tagline Censored by FR >> ain't that irOnic?)
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To: cripplecreek

My Celtic ancestors were enslaved by the Romans, who murdered my queen Boadicea. I still grieve for her. I want reparations from the d@mned Italians, with interest.


14 posted on 05/24/2014 5:06:07 AM PDT by Hardastarboard (Please excuse the potholes in this tagline. Social programs have to take priority in our funding.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I think Asians would probably dispute this article, because when most first came to America, they were as poor as one could be in America and they faced discrimination that was as serious as blacks. By this measure, they should have incomes that are approximately the same as blacks instead of the highest, on average, incomes in America.


15 posted on 05/24/2014 5:11:58 AM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Yes, the truth that people don’t want to recognize is that not all cultures are even remotely equivalent in objective value as is easily measurable by objective results.

Black culture, as practiced by so many people of that race, is a disaster. It does not encourage the values which contribute to success. However in our nonsensical multicultural world, it is celebrated as equal in value to other cultures which as a contrast actually produce results (like Asian immigrant culture for a shining example).


16 posted on 05/24/2014 5:15:55 AM PDT by drbuzzard (All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

WTF, no one is owed anything in this country.


17 posted on 05/24/2014 5:25:11 AM PDT by VTenigma (The Democratic party is the party of the mathematically challenged)
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To: Jonty30

The author touches on your point (I moved it up to the top as an excerpt to be sure it wasn’t lost due to the length of the article).


18 posted on 05/24/2014 5:40:08 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: drbuzzard
I don't know if you've seen this before, but it's a good piece on liberal guilt.

The Perils of Designer Tribalism

19 posted on 05/24/2014 5:46:19 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

That’s one thing we really won’t have to worry about. I’d bet even at least 70% of democrats will say something like, “I didn’t have anything to do with slavery and can’t afford to pay anything to anyone to make up for it.” End of discussion.


20 posted on 05/24/2014 6:24:49 AM PDT by brewguru
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

There are many things any body can do that will help them gather and keep resources which, if one considers the generational accumulative impact, will result in eventual wealth accumulation.

For example, when you buy things like furniture, buy as high quality that you can afford, even if you have to go a bit into debt to buy it. If the table, for example, is of a high enough quality, that is something that can be passed on to one’s children. If they were given a table, that is something they won’t have to buy and then can use the money they would have had to spend to either acquire other nice furniture or they could devote those funds to furthering their education or to open up a business.

When doing it right, just about everybody can improve their situation or place themselves where their children will be in a better situation.

Most wealth in America, unless you were extremely lucky in life, is accumulative across the generations. If you came to America today, without a dime and worked like a dog from sunrise to sunset, you’re not the one who will be wealthy, but your children will be middle class and your grandchildren will be the ones to become wealthy.


21 posted on 05/24/2014 6:59:32 AM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults)
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To: VTenigma

Once again, those on the left with their drum beat. There is no slaves alive today and those that call themselves Afro Americans is a false statement. None of them were born in Africa. This is a money grab that will deepen the war on the races.


22 posted on 05/24/2014 7:02:25 AM PDT by Busko (The only thing that is certain is that nothing is certain.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Yup, it’s all racial discrimination. I mean, just look at the shining cities and peaceful advanced civilization in Africa...oh, wait...I mean the rich cultural legacy of the Congo....no, wait a minute.....the advanced centers of learning and innovation in the Sudan...hmmmm.....OK then, RACISM!!!


23 posted on 05/24/2014 7:18:43 AM PDT by bk1000 (A clear conscience is a sure sign of a poor memory)
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To: brewguru
Even better: How many of the Democrat's latest ethnic darlings (Mexicans), would be willing to pay reparations? Or are they to be exempted?

There's a great wedge issue to splinter the Democratic voting base.

24 posted on 05/24/2014 7:18:56 AM PDT by pierrem15 (Claudius: "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.")
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To: Feckless
"Almost all can be translated from Ubangi
and mean “Affican Prince” or Affican Princess”.


Back in my army days I overheard two black males discussing a black female on leave after giving birth.
One asked the other what the child was named, and that's when it started....

The 1st made several attempts to pronounce the name, failed, and they both started laughing...
The 2nd added...'That baby gonna be in the third grade before she can spell her name'.
25 posted on 05/24/2014 7:39:22 AM PDT by 45semi (A police state is always preceded by a nanny state...)
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To: Jonty30

Those who never go to consignment shops or thrift stores are not thinking straight. I have found very nice furniture at both, and going to estate sales or moving sales is also helpful.

I have a kitchen/deck table & chairs set that is over 70 years old & I still use it everyday.


26 posted on 05/24/2014 7:50:08 AM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: Foundahardheadedwoman

I attended a one room school in the 40’s & 50’s. We all had the same desks, pencils, paper,books & only one teacher.

There are NOT different desks manufactured for blacks.

There are NOT different books printed for blacks.

There are NOT different pencils made for blacks.

There are NOT different notebooks printed for blacks.

The buildings are the same—the heat-lights-cleanliness is the same for all the kids.

\Those who have experienced nothing more than a life of handouts will continue to expect that life of handouts.

Telling such people that those who are successful—to whatever degree—are evil and their enemies is just plain a game of baiting them to violence.

I worked hard my whole life, and often held more than 1 job. I own everything I have & have only a credit card debt of less than $10,000 total.

I am tired to the bone of hearing how evil I am for having ANYTHING of my own.


27 posted on 05/24/2014 7:55:11 AM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: Busko

“This is a money grab that will deepen the war on the races.”

Absolutely, and it is a de facto admission that nobody believes the lot of blacks will ever improve in this country as well. A sort of acknowledgment of genetic inferiority, if you will...


28 posted on 05/24/2014 9:35:22 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic warfare against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: Jonty30

Yes!


29 posted on 05/24/2014 11:46:33 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: ridesthemiles

Certainly. Rich people do this too.

Why do you think they are rich? :)

That doesn’t go against my point. Most people in America buy things, but don’t put much thought into how long that item will last. That’s why Wal-Mart does the business it does, but places that sell real quality stuff doesn’t do Wal-Mart business.


30 posted on 05/24/2014 12:51:35 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

A good read
Mark for later.


31 posted on 05/24/2014 1:47:17 PM PDT by VanShuyten ("a shadow...draped nobly in the folds of a gorgeous eloquence.")
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To: Tax-chick

Reparations for historical wrongs (by our standards today) are by their very nature impossible to value. However, the effects of those injustices are plain to see. That’s where the confusion occurs. Those who wish for some form of “reparations” are just grasping for straws, just as those who are denying the effects of those wrongs are often blind to the disadvantages caused by those wrongs.


32 posted on 05/24/2014 2:06:35 PM PDT by VanShuyten ("a shadow...draped nobly in the folds of a gorgeous eloquence.")
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To: Hardastarboard

William the Bastard invaded my ancestral home in 1066. Where do I get my reparations?


33 posted on 05/24/2014 4:59:01 PM PDT by Spok ("What're you going to believe-me or your own eyes?" -Marx (Groucho))
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

What’s it say about a country where the idea that people who were never criminals should pay restitution to people who were never victims is taken seriously?


34 posted on 05/25/2014 4:56:43 AM PDT by RWB Patriot ("My ability is a value that must be earned and I don't recognize anyone's need as a claim on me.")
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bkmk


35 posted on 05/25/2014 7:14:23 AM PDT by AllAmericanGirl44
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To: ridesthemiles

I don’t think you are evil, but that being said I would like to have your stuff except for the credit card debt, got my own.
Went to a mountain grade school from 1st to 5th grade till the feds got involved and consolidated the small schools.
Our small school was set on 40 to 50 acres of creek bottom with the school up the hill about a hundred feet higher then the mountain rose up several hundred feet. The big field was perfect for baseball and we had a basketball court and baseball diamond made of sand, hardpacked. We walked to school about a mile for most some who lived in the woods rode a mule or pony. We had a swinging bridge and it was considered high sport to wait till the girls got halfway across and start to make the bridge swing left to right and back again. For some reason we found it entertaining to make them squeal. We had grades 1-4 in one building, 5-8 in another. The eighth and 7th grade ate first then left for recess then the 5th and 6th ate at the 7 and 8th grade old oak desks with carved names or intials and short notes pledging undying love for some long gone girl or the other. Two classes at a time till all were fed. The desks had inkwells and a open space under them for books and stuff, cast iron scroll work for the sides. The front of each desk had attached a seat for the next person that folded up, the legs were nailed to the floor. Our classes were set up as follows, 1st grade by itself, 2nd and third together 4th and 5th together 6th by itself (don’t have any idea why), 7th and 8th together.
I started school in 1960 at the age of 5 and promptly found I had an enemy the first day since we got into a fight, that first one started my education off right and we continued the tradition till I moved away when I was in high school at age 15. I found out years later the origin of his hatred for me, my dad owned a coal company and had the pleasure of firing his dad. I am proud to say that most all our fights were draws, the last 3 times I kicked his butt decisively. Since good things tend to continue on and on and soon become a habit, I am looking forward to running into him again and kicking his a55 once more some 45 years later.
We had 2 outhouses, state of the art for our region, the boy’s was rough looking and was a one hole setup with cracks in the wall big enuff to throw a cat thru. The girls had a two holer and boards you couldn’t see thru, I understand, seems girls are just friendlier by nature and hate to miss any opportunity to gossip about whatever girls gossip about.
We played basketball on the flat creek bottom and dodge ball at lunch and of course, the king of sports, marbles. This is where I had my first experience at gambling. Turns out playing marbles with me was hardly a gamble, and kids with great hand-eye coordination were widely admired and in addition to having a large collection of marbles taken from the dummies, of which I was a card carrying member, they also possessed the coveted cat’s eyes and dough roller marbles making them not only skilled but dam near unbeatable. We played for keeps.
Up on the mountain was also a ton of different types of sports. Paths crisscrossed the trees and brush allowing the larger kids to blindside you and laugh while seeing how far down the hill you would roll. But the most forbidden area was the cave, a 10 or 12 foot long crevice reachable by walking down a one person path while holding onto whatever tree roots or small bushes you could grab, the cave once reached was perfect for sitting, both girls and boys, and engaging in the strictly forbidden vice of SMOKING. I never saw anyone caught but learned that they disappeared and were never heard from again. The other reason the cave was so exciting was the high probability that you would fall after your very first cig, usually in the third grade, resulting in a sliding and rolling hundred foot fall till, if you were lucky, you grabbed a bush or tree. Next stop was another 100 feet and ended in the creek. Ending up in the creek was considered undignified and would lower your place in the pecking order by several spots.
By the way, our class rooms were heated by potbellied stoves and our water was drawn from a well. Getting in the coal and water were status enhancing acts that were assigned by who the teacher’s pet was that day,usually the result of doing well on a test the day before but could also be influenced by taking the teacher a basket of your first strawberries of the year I discovered, my fourth and fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Hensley was a pushover for strawberries. We also had our meals cooked on woodstoves by older ladies who resided in our wide spot in the road. Best food I ever ate except for the hominy, I hated the stuff then and nothing since has changed my opinion.
Each year we would have what was called spring tides, meaning heavy rains would result in the creek backing up because of the high level of the river and it would sometimes wash away the swinging bridge. We would then find the biggest rocks we could and throw them into the water till the top rocks rose above the water level. For the girls we would find the occasional board washed up on shore from the swinging bridge and lay them from rock pile to rock pile forming a makeshift bridge. Different story for us boys we thought it weak to walk the planks and would attempt to jump from rock pile to rock pile, unsuccessful attempts did have one benefit, you got to sit close to the stove till your clothes dried.
When we got caught in the infraction of some rule or other, punishment was immediate and effective. I remember Mrs. Alma’s favorite technique and tool very well from the 2nd and 3rd grade. Mrs. Alma, never knew her last name till years later and would never have dreamed of calling her anything but Mrs. Alma (don’t ask me why, I still don’t know), her technique involved your hand, palm up, with Mrs. Alma holding the ends of your fingers and by pushing down on the ends of your fingers with her thumb and pushing up with her index finger would cause your palm to bow upward. She would then apply the limber leather sole of a shoe, that was all that was left of the shoe, to the palm of your hand with gusto. After the mandatory 3 licks, you repented of your transgression all the way to your desk and lowed you head to the desk and encircled it with your arms. It was considered bad form to show any tears.
I enjoyed grade school a great deal and would be happy to relive those years again, I am sure I could win back my marbles now.
We had no black or brown classmates or any other color for that matter, so I can not speak on what they did or did not have, I do hope they had the same wonderful opportunity we did to learn from the finest teachers to ever grace a grade school anywhere, and an atmosphere of teachers allowing the kids to sort out their disagreements, even if it resulted in a few fists thrown in anger. They taught and you learned. One other thing, I never saw a girl struck by any boy or another girl, it was unthinkable and so never done. If a boy had struck a girl, they would have promptly had the crap kicked out of them, if two girls had gotten in a fight we would have turned away in embarrassment at the sight.
As the old commie Cronkite used to say, ‘That’s the way it was’, or something to like that.


36 posted on 05/26/2014 1:06:30 AM PDT by Foundahardheadedwoman (God don't have a statute of limitations)
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To: Jonty30

They still have Leftists in Kalipornia and other places trying to pass discriminatory measures against Asians for college and stuff


37 posted on 05/26/2014 1:19:35 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I had a great-great grandfather who died fighting against slavery in the Union Army in the Civil War. Certainly I am entitled to reparations for that????


38 posted on 05/28/2014 3:13:14 PM PDT by kaehurowing (FIGHT BULLYING, UNINSTALL FIREFOX)
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To: GeronL

Actually, that’s a good example of real racial discrimination.


39 posted on 05/28/2014 3:15:43 PM PDT by kaehurowing (FIGHT BULLYING, UNINSTALL FIREFOX)
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