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What reparations really are about

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Don Surber


What reparations really are about

MAY 22, 2023

$100,000. Do I hear $250,000?

$250,000. Do I hear $500,000?

$500,000. Do I hear $1,000,000?


Fox reported, “San Francisco reparations task force member touts tax on billionaires to get $5 million per black city resident.

“Reparations advocates argue that San Francisco’s government had ‘played a role in undermining black wealth and actively displacing the city’s black population.’”

The story said, “Reparations task force member Reverend Amos Brown told the New York Times, ‘Of all these billionaires in San Francisco, you could establish a reparations fund’ to pay millions to black residents.”

Does that list of tax-for-reparations billionaires list include Robert F. Smith, who founded private equity firm Vista Equity Partners in 2000? Jay-Z? Rihanna? Tyler Perry?

The Fox story continued, “California is one of multiple states negotiating over economic reparations for black Americans whose ancestors were victimized by the Atlantic slave trade and its legacy, despite the fact California was designated as a free state when it joined the Union in 1850.

“The New York Times observed that the premise of San Francisco’s call for reparations in particular focuses on ‘redevelopment in the 1960s and 1970s when the authorities declared entire blocks to be blighted and used eminent domain to purchase businesses and homes.’ A building designated as blighted usually means it unsafe, unsanitary or somehow endangers the welfare of the surrounding community.”

Left out of the story is that liberals pushed to destroy black neighborhoods in the name of urban renewal. That was the original reparations. The federal government would fix up black areas by demolishing all those old buildings and turning the land over to local governments to develop. Along the way, the government destroyed many a black-owned small business. Many a Democrat developer profited.

Scott Beyer wrote on July 6, 2020, “Many of America’s black urban neighborhoods are trouble spots, marked by crime, poverty and blight. Can this be blamed on failure within these communities to properly maintain their own spaces? Perhaps somewhat. But most of the blame lies elsewhere: many of these neighborhoods once thrived before city and state governments, using federal money, destroyed them.”

It took 55 years for liberals to admit that urban renewal helped destroy a budding black middle class. This summer, Biden will condemn the Tulsa riots which destroyed black businesses, but a race riot does not hold a candle to the federal government’s power of destruction.

Beyer said, “Unsurprisingly, the condemned neighborhoods were overwhelmingly African American, and to a lesser degree Hispanic and Asian. In city after city, highways that were built to appease white suburban commuters, and enabled through eminent domain and funds from the 1949 Housing Act and 1956 Interstate Highway Act, were shoved through these areas, causing surrounding blight and pollution. Among the black neighborhoods divided by highways were Treme in New Orleans, the Brooklyn area of Charlotte, and Overtown in Miami.”

Decades later, the federal government is destroying those highways in a lame attempt to restore the long abandoned neighborhoods.

(The government’s purpose in destroying those roads, however, is to control free movement. This is why Biden is mandating electric vehicles that you cannot re-charge during the rolling blackouts. Shutting down of power plants while forcing demand to increase results in turning Teslas into lawn ornaments, which is just as well because DOT is destroying highways leaving people no place to go.)

Democrat Congresswoman Cori Bush wants to extort $14 trillion for reparations. She was a nurse and pastor before she entered politics. In her third term in Congress, she now has a net worth of $5 million. I should have been a nurse.

That the congresswoman, Amos Brown and the New York Times use past liberalism to rationalize their new liberal idea is classic chutzpah. Their solution created a problem that they want to solve again.

Of course, liberals do not wish to solve any problem. Their goal is to destroy things and increase their power.

In the 1970s, liberals promoted affirmative action as a reparations. Colleges and employers would waive the 14th Amendment rights of equal opportunity to whites (and later to Asian-Americans) as a means of repairing the damage from past discrimination against black people. Never mind that college students in the 1970s were not even born in the 1930s, the white ones would pay the penalty.

40 years later, liberals have declared affirmative action a failure.

Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor Jr. wrote in The Atlantic on October 2, 2012, “The single biggest problem in this system — a problem documented by a vast and growing array of research — is the tendency of large preferences to boomerang and harm their intended beneficiaries. Large preferences often place students in environments where they can neither learn nor compete effectively — even though these same students would thrive had they gone to less competitive but still quite good schools.”

But the point of affirmative action and other reparations is to make black people feel they are owed for past discrimination and hardships people who looked like them had at the hands of people who look like white people today. The reparations movement wants people who never owned slaves to compensate people who never were slaves for work they never did.

No one ever mentions reparations for the descendants of white slaves in America. Oops.

Reparationists are part of a black supremacist movement. The idea pitched is that black people built this nation. The myth of black power is that the slaves did all the work while the white people sat around the plantation sipping mint juleps. Maybe we should play Gone With The Wind instead of Roots in school.

Fiction as fact is the coin of the liberal realm.

The Conversation published on February 5, 2021, “Slave-built infrastructure still creates wealth in U.S., suggesting reparations should cover past harms and current value of slavery.”

Yes, slaves built things particularly in the South. But from the Erie Canal to the transcontinental railroad to the mile-long bridges to the airports to the bridges and to the St. Lawrence Seaway, free men built this nation’s infrastructure. The Hoover Dam rose in the 1930s — 70 years after Republicans banned slavery forever.

Not one skyscraper was ever built using slave labor in America because the first skyscraper, the Home Life Insurance Building, was erected in Chicago 20 years after passage of the 13th Amendment.

I could go on and on about the hardships my ancestors suffered, but why? If slaves were so important to the nation’s infrastructure, why would we ever have ended it? Why would we have torn apart our nation in a great Civil War to end it? No, only when we rid ourselves of slavery did the nation lay transcontinental railroad lines, build factories and become the most dominant economy in the world.

Reparations is a pipedream with a purpose, and that purpose is to put a chip on the shoulder of young black people who are taught to believe the world owes them a living. The irony in that is such an attitude leads to a very unproductive life, poverty and most of all, dependency on government — which is why statists like Congresswoman Bush, Reverend Brown and NYT are pushing it.