Democrats are trying to buy votes this presidential election with a variety of payment programs, points out a commentary at the conservative-leaning Patriot Post.
They include Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s demand to cancel student debts, Medicare for All, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ living wage for everyone, free college and Sen. Kamala Harris’ idea to “just give away cash.”
And the newest idea? Reparations for slavery, amounting to cash payments to African Americans.
Warren wants to pay reparations to the descendants of slaves, and that’s what a House subcommittee was considering Wednesday, despite the immense problems it would present.
Commentator Pat Buchanan recently listed some of the problems that would need to be resolved.
“The questions that instantly arise are: who would qualify as a beneficiary of reparations? And who would pay the immense transfer sums involved?” he wrote. “In 1860, there were four million slaves in 15 states and D.C. There are 45 to 50 million African Americans in the USA today. Would all black Americans, even the middle class and affluent, be entitled to reparations? How would the government go about proving that folks living here today had ancestors in slavery before 1865?
“Do we, as Warren did to prove her Native American ancestry, conduct a DNA test? Do we consult Ancestry.com for every applicant for reparations? The last 50 years have seen many marriages between blacks and whites. Would the children of such marriages qualify for reparations?”
That’s just the start.
“What is the justice in excluding poor whites, or poor Asians and Hispanics, whose ancestors were not here when slavery existed before 1865? From 1845 to 1849, the Irish fled a potato famine that persisted under the indifferent rule of the same British who introduced slavery into what became the United States. As for the great migration of Eastern and Southern Europeans—Poles, Italians, Jews, Slavs, Slovaks—slavery was gone before they arrived. They had nothing to do with instituting Jim Crow. Why should they pay reparations? Asians and Hispanics were a tiny fraction of the U.S. population as late as 1960, when segregation was being outlawed everywhere, but amount to more than 75 million Americans today. Should they be made to pay for sins their ancestors did not commit?”
The hearing before the House Judiciary Committee focused on creating a commission to study the possibility of reparations.
Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, pointed out that the Democratic Party’s platform historically has supported slavery and segregation. Democratic presidents owned slaves, and Democrats played a large role in Jim Crow laws.
For his effort to put the issue into context, one audience member at the hearing jeered, “You lie.”
The Washington Examiner reported a reparations bill, H.R. 40, first was introduced by former Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., in 1989, but never has been taken seriously.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has commented that reparations are impractical because no one “currently alive was responsible for that.”
“I don’t think reparations for something that happened 150 years [ago] – for whom none of us currently living are responsible – is a good idea,” he said this week.
“We’ve tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation, by electing an African American president,” he said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi backs the idea of a commission and calls reparations a “challenging issue.”
Conservative lawmakers have pointed out that reparations are unnecessary and workable.
And a “cynical ploy for black votes,” said one report.
Activist Ta-Nehisi Coates helped fuel the current furor over the issue by claiming that the impact of slavery is being felt today through discrimination against blacks.
Coates’ critics argued that’s just discrimination and there already are laws to deal with it.
The House plan, called Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act, would authorize $12 million for a 13-member commission.
Members would hold hearings and suggest “appropriate remedies.”
Many Democratic presidential candidates, such as Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, have embraced what has been called “reparatory justice.”
Mary Grabar wrote at FrontPage Magazine that such “restorative justice” simply is “payouts to African Americans.”
“It makes even less sense than it did thirty years ago when former Democratic Congressman John Conyers introduced the measure. Since then, historians have added to our knowledge about the complicated issue of slavery, including African Americans’ own participation in the practice. Additionally, their own voting records have instituted the discriminatory practices for which they now seek redress. Such facts add to the host of others being discussed, such as the impossibility of determining damages because some blacks have no slave heritage (including former President Barack Obama.whose Kenyan father enjoyed the privilege of studying in American universities), the number of whites who died in the Civil War that ended slavery, and white immigrants who had come to these shores long after slavery had been abolished,” she wrote.
She noted one estimate of “more than 3,500 slaveholders of African descent in the American South.”
So would they get reparations or pay reparations?
CBS News reported Booker insists that there are “persistent inequalities” against African Americans.
The senator told the panel it is “urgent” that work be done.
Actor Robert Glover told the panel, “White America must recognize that justice for black people cannot be achieved without radical change to the structure of our society.”
The BBC reported the argument has been around since the Civil War.