Slavery Reparations  

To his credit as this article points out, Obama was opposed to the catastrophic idea of slavery reparations long before his Presidential campaign.  Great.  However, he’s flip flopped on so many issues since he clinched the pennant and he’s surrounded with so many aids and supporters who think this is a good idea, can we really trust him?  The same goes for McCain of course and his “i’m not raising taxes” … “Oh yes I am” stances, but I digress.  All of these politicians are the same.

 Slavery reparations is one of the worst ideas ever to confront this country.  And as usual, this is not the first time in history that crooks and villains have suggested leveraging the guilt of past generations to pillage the current generation in an effort to aggrandize their own personal wealth and prestige.  Guilt is a powerful tool and we are overloaded with it in this country.  For example:

One reparations advocate, Vernellia Randall, a law professor at the University of Dayton, bluntly responded: “I think he’s dead wrong.”

She said aid to the poor in general won’t close the gaps — poor blacks would still trail poor whites, and middle-class blacks would still lag behind middle-class whites. Instead, assistance must be aimed directly at the people facing the after-effects of slavery and Jim Crow laws, she said.

“People say he can’t run and get elected if he says those kinds of things,” Randall said. “I’m like, well does that mean we’re really not ready for a black president?”

When I read that, I was like “Dude, is this chick like seriously a law professor?  No way!”  Never mind.

In essence, Vernellia Randall says that maybe we’re not ready for a black President because we’re not ready to shake down the taxpayers for an influx of cash that will somehow be distributed to make the collective wealth of blacks equal to the collective wealth of whites.  It’s OK because we’re redressing past discriminations (IE: retribution). 

Notice most importantly though that she says “aid to the poor in general won’t close the gaps”.  She does not mention the source of the aid.  If you’re going to specifically target the beneficiaries, shouldn’t you also single out the contributers?  So, my question then is this:  where will this money come from?  Taxes on the public in general include taxing black people the last time I checked.  All blacks must be facing these after-effects of Jim Crow laws and slavery.  Will black taxpayers be absolved from contributing to this fund?  If not, aren’t they being doubly exploited? 

Very similar nonsense confronted Edmund Burke’s generation in Revolutionary France.  The Catholic Church was chopped up and parcelled out to the highest government bidder to settle the corrupt debts of a bankrupt and villainous majority.  According to Burke, the leadership roused the mob over crimes committed by the clergy in the past to fuel anger in the present.  Individuals who had nothing to do with crimes committed in a different generation were held responsible and destroyed because the people in power at the time saw the opportunity to exploit the guilt of the existing generation to their own personal advantage.  The results in France were devastating and appalling. 

Burke here shows the absurdity of exploiting the past for the purpose of allowing certain individuals or groups in the present to revel in confiscated wealth.  He goes on to show how ill motives morph with the times.  In other words, 60 years ago the black community was exploited, abused and virtually enslaved in this country.  Now, the very banner of that community is taken up in an effort to exploit a new generation of taxpayers and citizens:  “It is thus with all those, who, attending only to the shell and husk of history, think they are waging war with intolerance, pride and curelty, are authorizing and feeding the same odious vices in different factions, and perhaps in worse.” 

Here’s the excerpt in full:

“If there had been any just cause for this new religious persecution, the atheistic libellers, who act as trumpeters to animate the populace to plunder, do not love any body so much as not to dwell with complacence on the vices of the existing clergy. This they have not done. They find themselves obliged to rake into the histories of former ages (which they have ransacked with a malignant and profligate industry) for every instance of oppression and persecution which has been made by that body or in its favour, in order to justify, upon very iniquitous, because very illogical, principles of retaliation, their own persecutions, and their own cruelties. After destroying all other genealogies and family distinctions, they invent a sort of pedigree of other crimes. It is not very just to chastise men for the offences of their natural ancestors: but to take the fiction of ancestry in a corporate succession, as a ground for punishing men who have no relation to guilty acts, except in names and general descriptions, is a sort of refinement in injustice belonging to the philosophy of this enlightened age. The Assembly punishes men, many, if not most, of whom abhor the violent conduct of eccliesiastics in as loud and as as strong in the expression of that sense, if they were not well aware of the purposes for which all this declamation is employed.

Corporate bodies are imomortal for the good of the members, but not fo their punishment. Nations themselves are such corporations. As well might we in England think of waging inexpiable war upon all Frenchmen for the evils which they have brought upon us in the several periods of our mutual hostilities. You might, on your part, think yourselvs justified in falling upon all Englishmen on account of the unparalleled calamaties brought on the people of France by the unjust invasions of our Henries and our Edwards. indeed we should be mutually justified in this exterminatory war upon each other, full as much as you are in the unprovoked persecution of your present countrymen, on account of the conduct of men of the same name in other times.

We do not draw the moral lessons we might from history. On the contrary, without care it may be used to vitiate our minds and to destroy our happiness. In history a great volume is unrolled for our instruction, drawing the materials of future wisdom from the past errors and infirmities of mankind. It may, in the perversion, serve for a magazine, furnishing offensive and defensive weapons for parties in church and state, and supplying the means of keeping alive, or reviving, dissesions and animosities, and adding fuel to civil fury.  History consists, for the greater part, of the miseries brought upon the world by pride, ambition, avarice, revenge, lust, sedition, hypocrisy, ungoverned zeal, and all the rain of disorderly appetites, which shake the public with the same

-troublous storms that toss

The private state, and render life unsweet.

These vices are the causes of those storms.  Religion, morals, laws, prerogatives, pirvileges, liberties, rights of men, are the pretexts.  The pretexts are always found in some specious appearance of a real good.  You would not secure men from tyranny and sedition, by rooting out of the mind the principles to which these fraudulent pretexts apply?  If you did, you would root out everything that is valuable in the human breast.  As these are the pretexts, so the ordinary actors and instruments in great public evils are kings, priests, magistrates, senates, parliaments, national assemblies, judges, and captains.  You would not cure the evil by resolving, that there should be no more monarchs, nor ministers of state, nor of the gospel; no interpreters of law; no general officers; no public councils.  You might change the names.  The things in some shape must remain.  A certain quantum of power must always exist in the community, in some hands, and under some appelation.  Wise men will apply their remedies to vices, not to names; to the causes of evil which are permanent, not to the occasionial organs by which they act, and the transitory modes in which they appear.  Otherwise you will be wise historically, a fool in practice.  Seldom have two ages the same fashion in their pretexts and the same modes of mischief.  Wickedness is a little more inventive.  Whilst you are discussing fashion, the fashion is gone by.  The very same vice assumes a new body.  The spirit transmigrates; and far from losing its principle of life by the change of its appearance, it is renovated in its new organs with a fresh vigrour of juvenile activity.  It walks abroad, it continues its ravages, whilst you are gibbeting the carcase, or demolishing the tomb.  You are terrifying yourselves with ghosts and apparitions, whilst your house is the haunt of robbers.  It is thus with all those, who, attending only to the shell and husk of hisotry, think they are waging war with intolerance, pride and curelty, are authorizing and feeding the same odious vices in different factions, and perhaps in worse.”

“If there was in France, as in other countries there visibly is, a great abatement, rather than any increase of these vices, instead of loading the present clergy wiht the crimes of other men, and the odious character of other times, in common equity they ought to be praised, encouraged, and supported, in their departure from a spirit which disgraced their predecessors, and for having assumed a temper of mind and manners more suitable to their sacred function.”