Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
This quote is attributed to a variety of sources: “A democracy can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.”
This is precisely what we are witnessing right now with the California reparations task force—a group comprised mainly of blacks who have generously voted monetary payments for themselves. What a bloody farce! How can I get on such a committee so I can vote millions for myself?
It may be far out, but the people who make the rules in California are going for it. How did we arrive at such a nutty place? Here are five reasons why reparations are insupportable.
First, asking all non-blacks to fund reparations is patently unfair. As few as five percent of today’s whites have a generational connection to slavery. What gives anyone the right to demand reparations from them? And what about non-black Americans who are people of color but have no connection to the slave system? Which brings up the question, what about reparations for Hispanics, Native Americans, Asians and others who have experienced discrimination?
Slavery in America falls under the heading of ancient history. “The reparations argument is based on the unfounded claim that all African-American descendants of slaves suffer from the economic consequences of slavery and discrimination,” says author David Horowitz. “No evidence-based attempt has been made to prove that living individuals have been adversely affected by a slave system that was ended over 150 years ago.”
“Maybe I live in a box, but I’ve never met a single black American who was a slave or a single white American who was a slaveowner,” said black activist Candice Owens. “I’ve only come across lazy people who believe that those of us who work ought to support them.”
Second, paying reparations is impractical. From a fiscal standpoint, it is totally irresponsible. The price tag for reparations is likely to be in the trillions. The US would be bankrupt for five centuries. From an enforcement standpoint, how would it be determined who should receive benefits and who should pay? Black talk show host Larry Elder pointed to mixed-race Democrats including Kamala Harris and Barack Obama, asking, “Do [they] pay a check or receive a check?”
Third, reparations would cause racial discord. The backlash from a program of reparations would inflame racial tensions even more. “Rather than promote the reconciliation we so badly need,” Stuart E. Eizenstat wrote in Politico Magazine, “reparations could [stoke] the resentment of nonblack citizens who would feel their needs for government assistance were being ignored in a rapidly changing, dislocating economy.”
Fourth, we can expect a taxpayer revolt. A Reuters/Ipsos poll taken in 2020 found that only 20 percent of Americans agreed with the concept of using “taxpayer money to pay damages to descendants of enslaved people in the United States.” If reparations are passed, we can expect massive social upheaval.
Fifth, reparations would do more harm than good—by aggravating two chronic problems plaguing the black community, a victim mentality and the unwillingness to accept personal responsibility. Reparations would be self-defeating because entitlements perpetuate a sense of victimization. “The reparations claim is one more attempt to turn African- Americans into victims,” said David Horowitz. “To focus the social passions of African-Americans on what some Americans may have done to their ancestors fifty or a hundred and fifty years ago is to burden them with a crippling sense of victimhood.”
If we submit to paying reparations, there is no limit to what blacks will demand. Some activists in California say that $5 million per person is not enough. They want $200 million! A black woman at Target refused to pay for her purchases, amounting to a thousand dollars or more, on the grounds that she was entitled to them as reparations for what she suffered because of her skin color. The Target store would not accede to her demand, so she assaulted the store manager and had to be restrained by a security guard.
If reparations represent the new face of racial politics, we ought to consider reparations for whites paid for by blacks as compensation for decades of massive violence against the white population. A continuing tradition of black violence in urban settings has brought the civil society to its knees. The economic cost to whites and white businesses from black racial tantrums has amounted to billions. The cost of welfare and other government programs designed to help blacks has amounted to trillions, with very little to show for it.
Of all serious crimes in the US, an inordinate percentage is committed by blacks. “Black crime and violence against whites, gays, women, seniors, young people and lots of others is astronomically out of proportion,” said Colin Flaherty in Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry. In one three-year period, 540,360 felonious assaults were perpetrated by blacks against whites. Whites are suffering from black criminality in the here and now, not 50-100 years ago.
I am not in favor of any kind of reparations, but if we are going to move in that direction, let’s be fair and equitable and give every aggrieved racial and ethnic group a piece of the pie.
Ed Brodow is a conservative political commentator and author of nine books including his #1 Amazon Best Seller, AMERICA ON ITS KNEES: The Cost of Replacing Trump with Biden. His website is www.edbrodowpolitics.com.
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