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Former President Barack Hussein Obama admitted in a recent podcast that he supports reparations for black Americans but had abstained from pursuing them under his administration because of so-called “white resistance and resentment.”
He made the admission during the second episode of his new podcast with co-host Bruce Springsteen, who by the way is currently facing accusations of “white privilege” because DUI charges against him were mysteriously dropped this week.
Of course, Obama made certain not to confront Springsteen about his alleged privilege.
The podcast, “Renegades: Born in the USA,” launched this week, with both the first and second episodes being published Monday. The first was an introduction, while the second one, “American Skin: Race in the United States,” predictably focused on race.
“So if you ask me theoretically, ‘are reparations justified?’ the answer is yes. There’s not much question. Right? That the wealth of this country, the power of this country, was built in significant part, not exclusively maybe not the even majority of it, but a large portion of it was built on the backs of slaves,” Obama said during the episode.
The public certainly seems to disagree about reparations being justified. A Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted last summer found that only 20 percent of Americans believe the government should use “taxpayer money to pay damages to descendants of enslaved people in the United States.”
While the idea of reparations is gaining traction among economists, academics and some politicians, as @kjspeakstruth explains, just 1 in 5 polled agree that the US should use “taxpayer money to pay damages to descendants of enslaved people in the United States.”
— Heather Timmons (@HeathaT) June 25, 2020
“They built the house that I stayed in for a while. What is also true is that even after the end of formal slavery, and the continuation of Jim Crow, the systematic oppression and discrimination of black Americans resulted in black families not being able to build up wealth, not being able to compete, and that has generational effects,” Obama continued.
“So if you’re thinking of what’s just, you would look back and you would say, ‘the descendants of those who suffered those kinds of terrible, cruel, often arbitrary injustices deserve some sort of redress, some sort of compensation — a recognition,'” he added.
He then turned his attention to the question of whether reparations are actually possible. It was in explaining that they’re not that he spoke of “white resistance and resentment.”
“This then brings us to ‘Could you actually get that kind of justice? Could you get a country to agree and own that history?’ And my judgment was that as a practical matter, that was unattainable. We can’t even get this country to provide decent schooling for inner-city kids,” he said.
“And what I saw during my presidency was that the politics of white resistance and resentment, the talk of welfare queens and the talk of the undeserving poor, and the backlash against affirmative action, all that made the prospect of actually proposing any kind of coherent meaningful reparations program struck me as politically, not only a non-starter, but potentially counterproductive,” Obama asserted.
Apparently, he also supports affirmative action, an arguably racist policy that purposefully benefits blacks at the expense of whites and Asians.
Listen to the whole podcast episode below:
In fairness to the former president, he did express some empathy for the working-class Americans who oppose reparations.
“It’s perfectly understandable why working-class white folks, middle-class white folks, folks who are having trouble paying the bills or dealing with student loans — or you know, don’t have healthcare — where they feel like government has let them down, wouldn’t be thrilled with the idea of a massive program that is designed to deal with the past but isn’t speaking to their future,” he said.
Where he was mistaken was in believing that only whites oppose reparations. It’s this same “whites are behind everything” mentality that recently led left-wing activists into blaming a spate of violent crimes against Asians on white nationalism, despite the perpetrators being black.
The deadly assault of an elderly Asian American man in San Francisco is being blamed on white nationalism by left-wing activists. Antoine Watson, the suspect arrested over the homicide, is black. pic.twitter.com/HcqG79kQYL
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) February 22, 2021
Not only do plenty of Asians and Hispanics oppose reparations, but so do plenty of blacks like, say, freshman Rep. Burgess Owens, a Utah Republican.
“I’m not racist and think it’s an insult for someone to pay me or anyone else strictly based on the color of their skin,” he told Reuters last summer.
“Those who say they care about slavery should be leading the charge to save the 30 million men, women and children enslaved today around the world.”
Legendary NFL player Herschel Walker also opposes reparations:
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) February 19, 2021
Four years since Obama left office, reparations are now back on the table thanks to former President Donald Trump’s successor, President Joe Biden.
“President Joe Biden’s White House is giving its support to studying reparations for Black Americans, boosting Democratic lawmakers who are renewing efforts to create a commission on the issue amid the stark racial disparities highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Associated Press reported last week.
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