The Case for Reparations

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by booferama, May 22, 2014.

  1. booferama

    booferama He who posts articles

    I know many of you will reject the idea without reading the essay, but I wholeheartedly recommend that everyone read Ta-Nehisi Coates' essay "The Case for Reparations," published in the June issue of The Atlantic and posted online last night. It's 15,000 words, and even if you oppose reparations (to be honest, I did until relatively recently), its history of the cruel treatment of African Americans from the beginnings of slavery through today is astounding and necessary.

    And if you wonder why I'm posting this to a hypermiling forum, it's not (just) to be a s***-stirrer. I'm sending it to everyone I know.
  2. bestmapman

    bestmapman Fighting untruth and misinformation

    Be careful everyone. I went to the website and my anti-virus software lit up.
  3. booferama

    booferama He who posts articles

    Strange. I've encountered no problems, and I ran the link through a couple of websites that scan a page for malware and viruses, and nothing popped up.
  4. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    400,000 dead Union soldiers-probably that number maimed.
    Will the Brits restore my kingdom?? Pretty sure my ancestors were kings in Ireland.
    Maybe everyone but the Indians should leave-return to wherever their ancestors came from.
    While were at it-run the Navaho back to Canada-Pueblo "injuns"sure as hell never invited them

    Reparations-sure If you want to give YOUR MONEY to someone-have at it
    Folks who suggest reparations-always want to use someone else's $$
    For example-I would have no problem stomping on the affluent descendants of those plantation owners-but they certainly would.
    And the bankers who facilitated the slave trade-

    Old wrongs-can't be repaired "sins of the father" etc- those sins-many of the wrong people end up paying that debt-way of the world.
  5. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I'm pretty sure the millions of buffalo were pissed at the first Asians that came here plenty thousand years ago. They probably rolled their eyes and thought "There goes the neighbourhood".
  6. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    Yeh tell me about it. My buddy wanted to be a Pennsylvania State Trooper.

    Was told since he was white he needed to score over 100% on the civil service exam to be even considered. He joined the Marines for four years and became a Military Policeman.

    Got out and got accepted to the police academy after scoring 97 on his civil service exam and adding in his ten government service point giving him a total score of 107.

    You see if he was a white woman he would have only had to score an 85% and a black man he needed a 70% and if he had been a black woman he would have only had to score a 50%.

    So tell me WHO is the one being discriminated when applying for this job?

    Tell the people of color who have worked very hard to get where they are in life and then having to deal with the stigma that they must have gotten successful through affirmative action not hard work.
  7. basjoos

    basjoos Well-Known Member

    The "beginnings of slavery" predates "the cruel treatment of African-Americans" by many thousands of years. African-Americans are just a more recent (but not the most recent) chapter in the history of slavery. The word "slave" itself derives from the Slavic peoples (eastern Europeans), who were the favored type of slave in the Byzantine Empire. Ireland was a favorite source for slaves over the centuries (by the Vikings for export to Byzantium in the 800's, by England for export to the New World in the 1600's, by the Barbary Pirates for export to North Africa in the 1700's) Slavery was legal in Saudi Arabia until 1962, in Oman until 1970, and still occurs unofficially in a number of Islamic north African countries like Sudan and Chad, since Islam is much more friendly to the institution of slavery than Christianity. More African slaves were shipped through Zanzibar on the African east coast for export to the Middle East than were shipped from west African ports to the New World. You can thank the British Empire and Christian Parliamentarians like William Wilberforce for the abolition of slavery throughout most of the world in the 1800's since, as the world's dominant power at the time , they had the willpower and the muscle to make abolition a reality. If you look back far enough, almost everybody has some slaves in their ancestry.
    Last edited: May 23, 2014
  8. booferama

    booferama He who posts articles

    The vibe I'm getting so far is that none of you has read the essay yet. And to compare affirmative action to redlining via anecdote is laughable.

    [Edit] From the context, I think it's clear that by "the beginnings of slavery" I meant "the beginnings of slavery in the United States." But, in case it wasn't, there you go.
    Last edited: May 23, 2014
  9. bestmapman

    bestmapman Fighting untruth and misinformation

    My ancestors came over from Europe in the early 1900's, well past slavery in the US. So would I be exempt from any reparations since it is not in my family tree. I am not going to take the chance of going to read the article once I got the virus alert.
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  10. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    I'm with booferama. Millions of people who've been royally screwed over by institutionalized American racism are still alive today. It's a collective responsibility, so no one is exempt.

    Wouldn't know about virus alerts. I'm on a mac.
  11. bestmapman

    bestmapman Fighting untruth and misinformation

    WOW that describes me. I was denied a job and told not to apply for others because the companies had quotas on race.

    So I will be applying for reparations also.
  12. ILAveo

    ILAveo Well-Known Member

    From a practical perspective I'm not seeing how large-scale reparations would work. How much reparation does Oprah Winfrey get as one of the economic beneficiaries of the institutions of the recent past or does she contribute to the pot of reparation money? The level of impact of racism varies a lot regionally (Hawaii differs from Chicago differs from Mississippi), should location of historical residence matter? Shouldn't other disadvantaged minorities/ethnicities also receive reparations?

    I'm not saying nothing could be done, and maybe things could be made fairer (whatever that means) but just as likely things would only be made unfair in a different way. Unfortunately there are many examples of attempts to redress past ethnic wrongs becoming the source of new ethnic grievances that help perpetuate ethnic hatred. (See Serbia, Rwanda, and Sri Lanka for examples.)
  13. booferama

    booferama He who posts articles

    These are all good, difficult questions without easy answers. Jamelle Bouie offers a few options; I think he's right that most people imagine reparations as a one-time cash payment, but I don't think that's a workable solution. I'd be more in favor of massive infrastructure investment in poor communities as a starting point. The main problems that have led to school resegregation, endemic poverty among African Americans, stem from tactics like redlining, and Bouie mentions a couple of ways of directing funds toward dealing with those issues.

    I think a starting point of figuring out how reparations might work would be the acknowledgement that no system of reparations would be perfect. My sense is that reparations funds would be best used in rebuilding communities--focusing on infrastructure investment in highly segregated areas, enabling African Americans to build wealth through housing, and reforming public-school education. (These reforms would be substantially different than those proposed by the Obama and Bush administrations.)

    Of course, I also think that the government needs to take drastic measures in 1) reworking how we fund public schools and 2) fighting the resegregation that has taken place over the past two decades. So I don't think reparations means only money.
  14. booferama

    booferama He who posts articles

    Since you can't access the essay, I'll just give a quick summary: slavery is only a small part of the need for reparations. Coates also spends time summarizing and detailing the brutality--physical, psychological, and financial--of the Jim Crow era, and he also explains the history of redlining in the United States, a history you can find easily online. So the word "reparations" in the essay's title doesn't mean "reparations for slavery."
  15. bestmapman

    bestmapman Fighting untruth and misinformation

    This is the type of discussion that only leads to strife and conflict. At this point in time the county is very divided and to introduce this will only further the division. If 1/2 of the populace with a certain political view pushes too much of their agenda on the other 1/2 then it reaches a breaking point. I hope that does not come, but talk like this could lead to far worse conditions then we see today. The country needs to heal, we need to come together. This will not do that.
  16. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Are the Brits going to restore my Kingship and ancestral lands??

    There is NOTHING stopping anyone from giving reparations out of their own pocket.
    Why don't you get together with like minded folks and do that??
  17. worthywads

    worthywads Don't Feel Like Satan, I am to AAA

    How about starting with acknowledging that the drug war has created much of the environment that makes it lucrative if not unavoidable for teenagers in ghetto neighbors to get pulled into drug dealing. Mostly dealing to provide drugs to white people. Add to that current popular stop and frisk policies that put minority teens in jail for misdemeanor offenses that white kids doing exactly the same thing simply aren't targeted for.

    Current policies have sanctioned racism that is considered politically acceptable as being tough on crime but dooms minorities to a life in and out of jail, or dead, while doing little to reduce drug use. Chicago's gang killing is drug war fueled killing.

    There is a lot that needs to change before "reparation" that wouldn't be as divisive.
  18. basjoos

    basjoos Well-Known Member

    I have a number of Irishmen in my background. Since the Irish were subjected to severe institutionalized American racism when they arrived in the mid 1800's with signs such as "Help wanted – no Irish need apply", and "No dogs or Irish allowed" commonly seen, will I be eligible for reparations.

    Spanish-Americans have been subject to institutionalized American racism in the past and present. Will they be eligible for reparations?

    Native Americans have been subjected to institutionalized American racism past and present. Will they be eligible?
  19. worthywads

    worthywads Don't Feel Like Satan, I am to AAA

    I have Irish and Native American ancestry, count me in.
  20. bestmapman

    bestmapman Fighting untruth and misinformation

    I don't mind talking politics, but should it be in a private forum for people who also talk about fuel economy and not just people who talk only about politics. After all this is a car/fuel economy forum not a politics forum.

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