Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Hey, Ta-Nehisi Coates: this is why your argument for reaprations is nonsense.

OK, first off, we are talking about the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, which goes a lot further than just the 50 US states and Territories. Slavery was international. After all, where did the slaves come from?

Why, Africa, of course. Which is your first hurdle. What was the level of those nations' complicity in the trade? Are you seriously going to ask countries such as Benin to pay its fair share of reparations? 
For over 200 years, powerful kings in what is now the country of Benin captured and sold slaves to Portuguese, French and British merchants. The slaves were usually men, women and children from rival tribes — gagged and jammed into boats bound for Brazil, Haiti and the United States.
Digging into the depths of African complicity in the trade basically rips any pan-Africanist veneer off your argument. You want to make Third World nations pay for your lifestyle? Have you been to any of these countries?

Or just France and Switzerland?

Seriously, dude, you need a reality check if that is the case.

And we don't need to leave Africa to see how this topic will devolve into a case of silly buggers given that Africans were complicit in the slave trade. The African World Reparations and Repatriation Truth Commission called for the West to pay $777 trillion to Africa within five years back in 1999. Which was made even weirder by the United Nations sponsored World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance held in Durban South Africa in September 2001. This conference resulted in  a resolution stating that the West owed reparations to Africa due to the "racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance" that the Atlantic slave trade caused.

Go figure!

Next, Slavery helped pay for the industrial revolution, which means most western societies should be footing the bill: not just the US.

As I pointed out in my previous post: the next question is who would qualify. Since Prince Harry's and Meghan Markle's son is descended from slaves: would that mean that someone from one of the richest families in Britain would get reparations? How would that play out if descendants of Caribbean slaves didn't get reparations?

So, who gets and who pays "reparations" is a seriously thorny topic: especially if we toss in the amount of time which has passed since the end of slavery.

Then there is the mechanism for reparations and what form would they take. But the problem is that poverty isn't just limited to inner city blacks, as Fred Hampton was well aware. Urban decay doesn't just effect black people.

The thing which hits me is that this subject is far more complex than the US media is capable of addressing. Toss in that the Democrats are embracing this over more pressing issues, such as the environment (which also relates to race: look into the environmental justice movement). Poor people are more likely to live near environmental degradation.

The real upshot is that many of the manifestations of "reparations" would also have to include people other than those who are descendants of slavery (or indentured servitude, or  transportation). It also needs to be more than just monetary and embrace issues such as education, urban renewal, better housing, the environment, jobs, etcetera.

On the other hand, stirring up division just might help get Trump re-elected along with a republican legislature. Nothing like people wanting a nebulous concept for something which ended 156 years ago.

Two lessons: it is with the best intentions that the worst work is done.

And be careful what you wish for: you might get it.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Would Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor qualify for slavery reparations?

Serious question. Would a member of the British Royal Family who has an African-American heritage qualify for reparations if it was proven he was descended from slaves?

Likewise, would the WHITE descendants of indentured servants qualify since indentured servitude was similar to slavery. Let's toss in the people who were transported to the North American Colonies prior to the War for Independence.

The major problem with reparations for slavery is the time between emancipation and modern time. Sure, there were "extenuating circumstances" in post-slavery discrimination, but how far does that go toward mandating "reparations"?

We can also get into the reparations which were given directly after slavery.

But the most obvious argument to show how ridiculous this proposition happens to be is that a member of the British Royal Family would qualify for reparations.

Yeah, I will concede that there has been discrimination, but maybe we need to have an open discussion about race, economics, and opportunity in the US.

Because the last thing I want to hear is a college drop out telling me he didn't have economic advantages because of race. especially when I look at Coates' accomplishments.

I might respect his argument more if he went to University of Maryland Law school and couldn't find a job worthy of his credentials.

See also:

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Donald Trump IS...

The All-American Id from New York City.
Lie it or not. A hat tip to Arlo Gutherie's "Alice's Restaurant" for this idea.