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Old 06-20-2019, 10:35 AM
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Does My Opposition to H.R.40 Make Me Semi-Racist?


Yes I am a white man.

Yes I acknowledge that our country has some terrible racist history.

Yes I acknowledge that - to a far lesser extent - that racism still exists.

Yes I believe our country has done a lot to improve and provide for minorities since the Civil Rights movement.

No I do not - in any form - support H.R. 40

I am a registered Democrat that is struggling with this party lately but would be over the moon if Tulsi Gabbard or Andrew Yang were to become POTUS (I know very very unlikely).

However, I listen to Corey Booker and others during the H.R. 40 congressional testimony and I not only think this bill is hyperbole and a ludicrous tactical error to placate the far left, but I also believe this will drive away moderate/centrist voters while not doing much other than to solidfy voters the dems were mostly getting anyway.

The only silver lining I see is that our current joke of a POTUS is doing everything in his power to ensure the history books rank his term at the White House and Marlago somewhere between Pierce and Buchannan.

So unload if you must, am I just "not progressive enough" or semi to full blown racist?

Last edited by chargerrich; 06-20-2019 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:38 AM
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Since OP didn't elaborate, H.R. 40 is the ongoing African-American reparations bill.
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:39 AM
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According to some polls, nearly 40% of black Americans also oppose slavery reparations.
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:41 AM
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Since OP didn't elaborate, H.R. 40 is the ongoing African-American reparations bill.
Thank you Velocity, apologies for my vaugeness
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:47 AM
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HR 40, if passed, would accomplish nothing more than study and research. If you think pushing for reparations in any way is a political error at this time and would hurt the chances of the Democrats, that's one thing. If you don't think any of this should be studied or researched at all, then that's a different thing. Which is it?
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:50 AM
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I'm for reparations; I just wish we wouldn't actually call it reparations.
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:52 AM
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There are racist and non-racist reasons for opposing the bill. So it depends on what your reasons are.

In general, I think the vast majority of opponents are just ignorant. They might be deliberately ignorant or not. But most, for example, think the bill is about reparations for slavery exclusively, and not a century of state-sponsored discrimination thereafter. Not to mention being uninformed about, say, federal housing policy in the period from 1945 to 1975.

Last edited by Richard Parker; 06-20-2019 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:57 AM
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I am a registered Democrat that is struggling with this party lately but would be over the moon if Tulsi Gabbard or Andrew Yang were to become POTUS (I know very very unlikely).

However, I listen to Corey Booker and others during the H.R. 40 congressional testimony and I not only think this bill is hyperbole and a ludicrous tactical error to placate the far left, but I also believe this will drive away moderate/centrist voters while not doing much other than to solidfy voters the dems were mostly getting anyway.
Gabbard is a co-sponsor of HR 40.
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:59 AM
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I don't think anyone has to support 100% of any candidate's agenda. This bill is pretty harmless and even if you don't support it, it's not going to hurt you or anyone else.
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:10 AM
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HR 40, if passed, would accomplish nothing more than study and research. If you think pushing for reparations in any way is a political error at this time and would hurt the chances of the Democrats, that's one thing. If you don't think any of this should be studied or researched at all, then that's a different thing. Which is it?
Exactly. Section 1 of H.R. 40 (Short Title) is as follows:
Quote:
This Act may be cited as the “Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act”.
Here are the powers of this commission (Section 5)
Quote:
SEC. 5. POWERS OF THE COMMISSION.

(a) Hearings And Sessions.—The Commission may, for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act, hold such hearings and sit and act at such times and at such places in the United States, and request the attendance and testimony of such witnesses and the production of such books, records, correspondence, memoranda, papers, and documents, as the Commission considers appropriate. The Commission may invoke the aid of an appropriate United States district court to require, by subpoena or otherwise, such attendance, testimony, or production.

(b) Powers Of Subcommittees And Members.—Any subcommittee or member of the Commission may, if authorized by the Commission, take any action which the Commission is authorized to take by this section.

(c) Obtaining Official Data.—The Commission may acquire directly from the head of any department, agency, or instrumentality of the executive branch of the Government, available information which the Commission considers useful in the discharge of its duties. All departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the executive branch of the Government shall cooperate with the Commission with respect to such information and shall furnish all information requested by the Commission to the extent permitted by law.
That's it.

And this commission has to report it's findings and recommendations to Congress. And then Congress can do whatever it wants with it.
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:22 AM
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No I do not - in any form - support H.R. 40

"In any form"? Weird choice of words. The bill has one form. Here it is. Which part do you find objectionable?

Last edited by Lance Turbo; 06-20-2019 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:32 AM
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Exactly. Section 1 of H.R. 40 (Short Title) is as follows:


Here are the powers of this commission (Section 5)


That's it.

And this commission has to report it's findings and recommendations to Congress. And then Congress can do whatever it wants with it.
Seems like a harmless bill to me, and could lead to some good somewhere down the road.
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Old 06-20-2019, 12:10 PM
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Yes I am aware, that was the reason I mentioned her. She is - generally speaking - my "type" of democratic candidate. Military service, younger, moderately progressive. H.R. 40 is not a show stopper for my candidate choice(s).
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Old 06-20-2019, 12:32 PM
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Would it be fair to say that a large number of people are being snookered by the overheated rhetoric regarding reparations, and are forming their opposition to H.R.40 without understanding what the bill actually does?
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Old 06-20-2019, 12:42 PM
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Would it be fair to say that a large number of people are being snookered by the overheated rhetoric regarding reparations, and are forming their opposition to H.R.40 without understanding what the bill actually does?
I would be interested to know what the split is of registered democrats that believe this is more of a tactic than a serious attempt at actual reparations.
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:13 PM
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I would be interested to know what the split is of registered democrats that believe this is more of a tactic than a serious attempt at actual reparations.
As tactics go, I think it's far more likely to be damaging than helpful. Then again, that certainly does sound like the Democrats...
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:14 PM
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I would be interested to know what the split is of registered democrats that believe this is more of a tactic than a serious attempt at actual reparations.
And I would be interested to know what specifically in this bill you object to.
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:31 PM
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It is disingenuous of those who support possible reparations to assert that there is nothing to worry about with this bill because it would just authorize a study of reparations. Without such a study, reparations won't happen. For anyone opposed to the idea of reparations, there's no point in launching a study.

I would oppose any attempt at reparations for the fact of having enslaved Africans to work in the United States. My opposition is simple: you cannot "repair" what has been done because the people who were enslaved are long dead, as are their children. So all you are doing is either attempting to assuage your conscience over the fact that this happened in the past, or attempting to mollify modern-day descendants who (understandably) may harbor lingering resentment that the whole slavery thing happened at all. Alternatively, you could be offering reparations not so much for slavery, as for everything that has happened since the Civil War. But, if we do that, we open a real can of worms, because the country has suppressed the civil rights of so many groups of people that it would be hard to see how that wouldn't mean an almost endless series of such requests.

Since I oppose the idea of reparations (and no, I don't think that makes me racist), I oppose the idea of "studying" reparations.
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:43 PM
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It is disingenuous of those who support possible reparations to assert that there is nothing to worry about with this bill because it would just authorize a study of reparations. Without such a study, reparations won't happen. For anyone opposed to the idea of reparations, there's no point in launching a study.

I would oppose any attempt at reparations for the fact of having enslaved Africans to work in the United States. My opposition is simple: you cannot "repair" what has been done because the people who were enslaved are long dead, as are their children. So all you are doing is either attempting to assuage your conscience over the fact that this happened in the past, or attempting to mollify modern-day descendants who (understandably) may harbor lingering resentment that the whole slavery thing happened at all. Alternatively, you could be offering reparations not so much for slavery, as for everything that has happened since the Civil War. But, if we do that, we open a real can of worms, because the country has suppressed the civil rights of so many groups of people that it would be hard to see how that wouldn't mean an almost endless series of such requests.

Since I oppose the idea of reparations (and no, I don't think that makes me racist), I oppose the idea of "studying" reparations.
I take it you opposed reparations for the survivors of Japanese-American internment, then? TNC (the most prominent journalist/writer advocate for HR 40) has advocated that reparations should start with the living Americans who were harmed by discriminatory policies like Redlining, segregation, and more.
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:44 PM
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And I would be interested to know what specifically in this bill you object to.
I find myself unable to even imagine any set of reparations that would satisfy the nation. I don't believe anything would ever be enough to make the majority of the black population feel like justice was done. I don't think there's any amount the majority of the white population would feel was appropriate. I don't think any measure with "Reparations" in the title has a chance in hell in passing through Congress, let alone getting put into law.

I oppose the bill because quite frankly, I think the effort is nothing more than a huge waste of time, effort, and money that will never achieve practical results, but will simply add more fuel to the dumpster fire that race relations are in the US.
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:58 PM
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I am wondering what the chances are that the study would come back with the conclusion that reparations are unnecessary, counter-productive, or that the amount would be too small to bother with.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 06-20-2019, 08:33 PM
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A lot of opponents of reparations express their opposition by asking a lot of questions about it. Well, here you go: We're trying to answer your questions. If you didn't want answers, why did you ask in the first place?
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:15 PM
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Whenever someone brings up the sheer impossibility of reparations for slavery, the response I hear over and over is that reparations are not *just* for slavery but for more recent government ills such as redlining, etc. So does this mean that slavery *is* included in this discussion of reparations or not? I can't seem to figure that out.
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:15 PM
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I take it you opposed reparations for the survivors of Japanese-American internment, then?
Why would I? That bill compensated the living victims of the concentration camps from 1942 to 1946. That's exactly what reparations are for.

Quote:
TNC (the most prominent journalist/writer advocate for HR 40) has advocated that reparations should start with the living Americans who were harmed by discriminatory policies like Redlining, segregation, and more.
Then, it stops being reparations for slavery, and becomes reparations for violating their civil rights. Great. Who's next? Mexican-Americans? Hawai'ians? Amerinds? Women? Gays?
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:16 PM
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A lot of opponents of reparations express their opposition by asking a lot of questions about it. Well, here you go: We're trying to answer your questions. If you didn't want answers, why did you ask in the first place?
Who are these people of whom you speak? Certainly, most of the ones in this thread express their opposition by making concrete statements about why they don't support reparations, not by asking a lot of questions about them...
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:24 PM
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Why would I? That bill compensated the living victims of the concentration camps from 1942 to 1946. That's exactly what reparations are for.
What happens when those who were impacted by racism die without compensation? What happens when this is compounded by generations of people who die without compensation? Okay, so they get bused to better white schools across town - at which point white families start fighting to keep them out and then, when losing in court, begin leaving and making them black schools again.

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Great. Who's next? Mexican-Americans? Hawai'ians? Amerinds? Women? Gays?
Why do you ask the question "Who's next?" Oh I get it - you're white and 'woke' and you realize you've fucked over a lot of people in the name of "freedom" and "free enterprise"
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:33 PM
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Why would I? That bill compensated the living victims of the concentration camps from 1942 to 1946. That's exactly what reparations are for.
So, you’re okay with reparations for survivors of specific government actions carried out against minority groups? Cool. So, why, when TNC mentions that reparations to black people could start with living victims of segregation, redlining, and so forth, do we get this?

Quote:
Then, it stops being reparations for slavery, and becomes reparations for violating their civil rights. Great. Who's next? Mexican-Americans? Hawai'ians? Amerinds? Women? Gays?
Why was internment worthy of reparations, but not segregation? If those other groups can identify specific government policies that targeted them, and for which their are still survivors, why should they not also get reparations?
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:46 PM
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Seems like a harmless bill to me, and could lead to some good somewhere down the road.
No. It will lead to bad feelings from those who expect big checks and dont get them,
from those whose ancestors fought to free the slaves and will get taxed, and will lead to scams like has already happened, like "claim your 40 acres and a mule tax credit".

Nothing good can come of this.
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:51 PM
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I take it you opposed reparations for the survivors of Japanese-American internment, then? TNC (the most prominent journalist/writer advocate for HR 40) has advocated that reparations should start with the living Americans who were harmed by discriminatory policies like Redlining, segregation, and more.

Oh come on. You have tried this false equivalency before. It wont fly. The Japanese American reparations were paid to those who were interned. Period.

Not those who happen to share the same skin color as those who were enslaved 150 years ago.

And again, since anyone can legally say "I self identify as black" we can all get those imaginary checks. "Pie in the Sky" *


Work and pray, live on hay,
You'll get pie in the sky when you die.

-Joe Hill, The Preacher and the Slave”
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:53 PM
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Whenever someone brings up the sheer impossibility of reparations for slavery, the response I hear over and over is that reparations are not *just* for slavery but for more recent government ills such as redlining, etc. So does this mean that slavery *is* included in this discussion of reparations or not? I can't seem to figure that out.
Redlining was settled by many lawsuits where those who were victims collected settlements. And then it was made illegal.

Are we going to make those who collected give the money back? or do they get to collect twice?
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:56 PM
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So, you’re okay with reparations for survivors of specific government actions carried out against minority groups? Cool. So, why, when TNC mentions that reparations to black people could start with living victims of segregation, redlining, and so forth, do we get this?
Those who were victims of redlining could and many did sue, and collected.


Do those people have to give that money back?

or do we only pay to those who were victims who didnt bother to sue?
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Old 06-21-2019, 01:12 AM
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I think reparations are a bad idea because:
a) There are major practical problems in implementation including identifying the beneficiaries.
b)It would cost an enormous amount of money for which there are better uses
c)It would seriously split the Democratic coalition alienating not just working-class whites but also Hispanics and Asians.

The idea that HR 40 is just about "studying" the issue is disingenuous. There are some issues, say Iraq WMD intelligence, which can only be properly studied by the government. By contrast there is absolutely no reason why reparations can't be studied and policies proposed by universities, foundations, think tanks etc.

I think reparations supporters understand at some level how politically toxic the issue is so they are generally reluctant to come out with a detailed policy. The fallacy is believing that hiding behind "just study and research" is going to eliminate the political risk. If Democrats are constantly arguing about reparations and there is increasing pressure on candidates to support it, they will pay a political cost probably a serious one.

Last edited by Lantern; 06-21-2019 at 01:13 AM.
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Old 06-21-2019, 04:06 AM
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I think reparations are a bad idea because:
a) There are major practical problems in implementation including identifying the beneficiaries.
b)It would cost an enormous amount of money for which there are better uses
c)It would seriously split the Democratic coalition alienating not just working-class whites but also Hispanics and Asians.

The idea that HR 40 is just about "studying" the issue is disingenuous. There are some issues, say Iraq WMD intelligence, which can only be properly studied by the government. By contrast there is absolutely no reason why reparations can't be studied and policies proposed by universities, foundations, think tanks etc.

I think reparations supporters understand at some level how politically toxic the issue is so they are generally reluctant to come out with a detailed policy. The fallacy is believing that hiding behind "just study and research" is going to eliminate the political risk. If Democrats are constantly arguing about reparations and there is increasing pressure on candidates to support it, they will pay a political cost probably a serious one.
Study and research are necessary on a practical level to have a proposal that's not just a wild guess. But just as importantly, it will be necessary to have a plan based on a solid foundation of historical facts to even have a chance to motivating the political will necessary. If there's a plan that, in detail, quantifies the harm done, with strong factual basis, advances a plan on how this harm could be rectified, and comes up with a way to pay for it that doesn't harm the country economically, then I think it's possible that support for the plan would be more likely.
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Old 06-21-2019, 04:07 AM
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Those who were victims of redlining could and many did sue, and collected.


Do those people have to give that money back?

or do we only pay to those who were victims who didnt bother to sue?
So you're in favor of reparations for segregation?
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Old 06-21-2019, 04:42 AM
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I have a hard time deciding whether I'm for or against reparations without knowing what "reparations" are. A lot of people seems to be assuming that it will be "using the government to take white people's money and give it to black people in the form of large checks" but that's not remotely a given. There are a wide range of possible options here, many of which we haven't even thought about yet.

Gee, if only someone would conduct a study that would result in some potential reparations proposals...
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Old 06-21-2019, 06:03 AM
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No. It will lead to bad feelings from those who expect big checks and dont get them,
from those whose ancestors fought to free the slaves and will get taxed, and will lead to scams like has already happened, like "claim your 40 acres and a mule tax credit".

Nothing good can come of this.
As I said up-thread, we don't have to call it reparations. I'd prefer set of policies that target historically disadvantaged people. In fact, in some ways we already have a form of reparations: it's called affirmative action, which I support.
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Old 06-21-2019, 08:51 AM
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Native Americans got a really bad deal too. Some of the poorest areas now are their reservations. I would expect them to ask for money as well.

And yes not all of them have money from casinos.
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Old 06-21-2019, 09:01 AM
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Native Americans got a really bad deal too. Some of the poorest areas now are their reservations. I would expect them to ask for money as well.
The possibility of reparations for harm done to Native Americans absolutely should be extensively researched and considered.
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Old 06-21-2019, 09:11 AM
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So, you’re okay with reparations for survivors of specific government actions carried out against minority groups? Cool. So, why, when TNC mentions that reparations to black people could start with living victims of segregation, redlining, and so forth, do we get this?



Why was internment worthy of reparations, but not segregation? If those other groups can identify specific government policies that targeted them, and for which their are still survivors, why should they not also get reparations?
Because, amazingly enough, there's a substantial difference between institutionalized violations of civil rights and being forcibly removed from your property and incarcerated for years. Reparations aren't something that exist to try and right all past wrongs; to do that would, frankly, be impossible (as asahi notes above, the civil rights of lots of groups have been violated in the 200+ years this country has existed). The only other group that has a claim anything similar to the claim of reparations for slavery and for forcible internment would be those Amerinds forced to relocate to remote reservations (Cherokee, some other western tribes, such as the Paiutes in Eastern California removed to Tejon Ranch, etc.). And in the case of the Amerinds, again, in almost all cases, reparations would be unwarranted because the people against whom the sin was committed are all long dead.
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Old 06-21-2019, 09:56 AM
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Vast family fortunes and real estate holdings were accumulated on the backs of slaves. Extant corporations profited from the foul institution. I'd like to see where the study leads. Let's follow the money and bring everything out into the open.

I think most people would be opposed to doling out taxpayer money. That seems to lack fairness for many reasons. But there are more creative ways. For instance, I would be in favor of granting casino licenses solely to Indian tribes and the descendants of slaves.
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:13 AM
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I've never understood the objection that reparations are too expensive.

If you think they are otherwise justified, then the appropriate solution to that objection is to do what we can afford.

If you think they aren't otherwise justified, then spending $1 is too much.

Reparations aren't a fighter jet, such that you never want to just buy part of the thing. A little reparation is better than none.
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:30 AM
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I've never understood the objection that reparations are too expensive.

If you think they are otherwise justified, then the appropriate solution to that objection is to do what we can afford.

If you think they aren't otherwise justified, then spending $1 is too much.

Reparations aren't a fighter jet, such that you never want to just buy part of the thing. A little reparation is better than none.
I agree with that on practical grounds, but politically it is more problematic. As (I think) DrDeth has pointed out, "you deserve a million dollars but we can't afford it - here's twenty bucks instead" is not likely to be a solution that satisfies anyone.

Regards,
Shodan

Last edited by Shodan; 06-21-2019 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:43 AM
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I agree with that on practical grounds, but politically it is more problematic. As (I think) DrDeth has pointed out, "you deserve a million dollars but we can't afford it - here's twenty bucks instead" is not likely to be a solution that satisfies anyone.
I don't see how "doing nothing -- not even fully identifying and acknowledging the harm done" is necessarily better.
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:58 AM
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The possibility of reparations for harm done to Native Americans absolutely should be extensively researched and considered.
Are you saying the subject of reparations for Native Americans and the victims of slavery and Jim Crow segregation and discrimination have not been extensively researched? I believe they have, and there should be a case to be presented for each. Otherwise you are talking about congressional fishing expeditions. Let's not pretend it's research, if the facts exist for the consideration phase, then it's time to act on that. Unfortunately the result will not be favorable for this cause and is likely to make the subject politically unpalatable for quite some time into the future.
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Old 06-21-2019, 11:00 AM
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Are you saying the subject of reparations for Native Americans and the victims of slavery and Jim Crow segregation and discrimination have not been extensively researched? I believe they have, and there should be a case to be presented for each. Otherwise you are talking about congressional fishing expeditions. Let's not pretend it's research, if the facts exist for the consideration phase, then it's time to act on that. Unfortunately the result will not be favorable for this cause and is likely to make the subject politically unpalatable for quite some time into the future.
In terms of trying to describe in detail, including quantifying when possible, harm done (directly and indirectly) to living Americans? This would be a huge project, and while there has been private and academic work on this, I don't believe we've come close to answering this very large (and very important) question in anything close to its entirety.
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Old 06-21-2019, 11:35 AM
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In terms of trying to describe in detail, including quantifying when possible, harm done (directly and indirectly) to living Americans? This would be a huge project, and while there has been private and academic work on this, I don't believe we've come close to answering this very large (and very important) question in anything close to its entirety.
Do you think a congressional committee is a way to resolve that? There will be multiple and competing arguments presented for both the pro and con sides of the general issue. I don't think this is the kind of thing congress is good at dealing with, especially in the current political climate. The proposal calls for a report in just 90 days to provide recommendations for presumed remedial action after describing the numerous and widespread reasoning for such actions, this is insufficient time to fully consider an issue of such depth. If this were simply a call for fact finding it might help advance this cause in the future, but I see nothing but the creation of a divisive political canard.
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Old 06-21-2019, 11:42 AM
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Do you think a congressional committee is a way to resolve that?
I think it's a way -- in my understanding, that's how reparations for Japanese American internees was accomplished (with a Congressional-appointed panel of experts and researchers). Private research would be great, but this would be such a large project, and it's so vital to the purpose that there be an official acknowledgement of the harm and responsibility by the US, that I think government action must be involved.

Quote:
There will be multiple and competing arguments presented for both the pro and con sides of the general issue. I don't think this is the kind of thing congress is good at dealing with, especially in the current political climate. The proposal calls for a report in just 90 days to provide recommendations for presumed remedial action after describing the numerous and widespread reasoning for such actions, this is insufficient time to fully consider an issue of such depth. If this were simply a call for fact finding it might help advance this cause in the future, but I see nothing but the creation of a divisive political canard.
90 days doesn't sound like nearly enough time, IMO, so if HR 40 restricts the research to 90 days I think that should be expanded. I agree that much more time would be needed.
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Old 06-21-2019, 11:45 AM
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There is no such 90-day limit in the law. The 90-day limit is how long the Commission will be around after they complete their work.

Last edited by Richard Parker; 06-21-2019 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 06-21-2019, 11:55 AM
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There is no such 90-day limit in the law. The 90-day limit is how long the Commission will be around after they complete their work.
Thanks!
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Old 06-21-2019, 12:06 PM
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This issue is no more complex than a dozen other public policy issues and Congress doesn't have any special expertise in understanding it. There is absolutely no reason why universities, foundations and think-tanks can't issue detailed policy papers on reparations with a rough consensus emerging among reparations activists on the way forward. The problem of course is that the issue is politically toxic and the more concrete the proposal the more toxic it becomes. So instead of specific policies you get vague posturing about having a "conversation" and the need for "study". The problem is that this is also politically damaging for the Democrats especially as the rhetoric on this issue becomes more and more strident.
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