How would reparations work?

And you are only confirming to me that I’m right by not explaining why black reparations would necessarily be different from any other kind of reparations program. The world continued to turn when the Japanese Americans received compensation. When Germany paid reparations to the survivors of the Holocaust, the country didn’t explode. What would be a non-racist reason for having a different expectation for black Americans?

I’m finding it real interesting that you’re arguing with me, but not saying a damn thing about Darren Garrison’s argument that reparations would lead to a race war. Do you agree with him that white people would launch a war on black people if the US government was found liable for civil damages due to slavery and Jim Crow? Garrison seems to think white people will fight for the death even if we’re talking black people being owed a few bucks…since no one has even thrown out the dollar amount that would be involved.

Are you completely blind to the racism that is implied by this sentiment?

Because I’m not. Not only do I think you’d have to be kinda racist to assume white people would react in such a way, I think racism would be the only reason why white people would act in such a way. White people haven’t rioted when other groups have been compensated. Why would they only riot when it comes to black people?

But I guess I’m the bad guy for noticing this.

Somehow i see no good coming from any of this for a lot of reasons.

Should have just let troops march into south carolina in 1787 and end the mess right then and there, which still leaves the mess that fixing involves a bunch of boats heading to europe and africa.

Monstro, read my post North. I propose instead of reparations only to black people, instead levelizing education and employment. Since right now, white people generally have better access to education and employment, this would have the effect of funneling reparations to black people…and other minority groups who got screwed who are too small to be noticed nationally…as well. Poor white people would benefit as well, but since they are a small percentage of all white people, they would effectively benefit less.

Furthermore, the idea of leveling education/employment both makes the nation as a whole stronger (it would de facto mean we train millions of robotics and AI engineers and very few graduates in liberal arts majors, and with more total graduates) and it doesn’t leave poor white people out in the cold. You know that it’s those poor white people - who are actually one of the largest voting blocks in the United States, if not the largest - who are the reason the Republicans have such an iron grip on power, right? (maybe I should say poor, ignorant white people given they vote against their own interests)

Their main arguments are :

a. As a poor white person, they don’t personally see much benefit from so called ‘white privilege’ and don’t think they should be discriminated against to make up for an advantage they don’t have.

b. They are poor and definitely don’t want to see more taxes. But somehow, weirdly, they are against taxing the rich because they have been deluded into thinking they will themselves be rich any time now…

AIUI, it’s more likely that the USA will perpetually keep an outstanding balance of $1.3 trillion to China and never pay off the full sum, but I am getting off track.

In an ideal world, perhaps, but this is a world with real, practical, financial limitations and finite resources. It’s one thing to say, “The victims of America deserve $5 trillion (or however many, since we are not just talking black Americans but also Hispanics, women, gays, native Americans, etc.)” It’s another thing to actually **be able to pull that off **without wrecking the country when the national debt is already nearing $20 trillion, the economy is probably poised to dip into recession again in 2018-2019, economic confidence is at a low, etc.
I have to ask a question again - ***who ***is paying for these reparations? The term “reparations” implies that Party A owes something to Party B because Party A wronged Party B. With the Japanese-American case, it was easy to determine who the guilty Party A was - the U.S. government wronged the Japanese-Americans by interning them in WWII camps, so the U.S. government had to pay. But with slavery, that’s a lot harder - sure, there was governmental involvement, but for the most part it was white slave owner families - and, in the decades that followed, white people and some non-white people of various backgrounds - that were oppressing the black people. So do we track down these families - “Hey, Mr. Townshend, your family was a white slave-owning family five generations ago and oppressed Mr. Smith’s family, and here is a descendant of Mr. Smith five generations later, that’ll be $142,760 that you owe him?”

Do we levy a tax on white people alone, to pay black people? That probably wouldn’t even be Constitutional. Do we levy a tax on everyone (white, Arab, Asian, Hispanic, black, etc.), to pay black people? Not only would that, ironically, involve taxing black people to pay black people, but it also wouldn’t be fair - why should some Pakistani-American, who has never oppressed black Americans, have to pay reparations to black Americans?

Should Uncle Sam compensate black Americans for the wrong done by white Americans? If anything, you could argue that it was “Uncle Sam” (the Union side) that helped free the black slaves in the Civil War.

Finally, even though you say, “If all these groups are owed a debt and they can prove it, then they should be compensated” - there still has to be a delineating line somewhere. Where is that line drawn? At what point is a grievance, in fact, not deserving of compensation? These days there are even white people who claim that they are now the discriminated group in America (see this CNN article, “Are Whites Racially Oppressed?”)

You’ve already been very clear that any argument to the contrary is defacto racist. Classic poisoning of the well.

Might I suggest that you concentrate on any argument I do make rather the ones that I don’t.

A “war”? no. I think that is hyperbole. Would it move race relations forward? no.

I don’t think that just white people would be pissed off, black people who don’t qualify would be pissed off, hispanics, native americans and pretty much any other disenfranchised group that doesn’t qualify will be pissed off too because hey, who hasn’t been screwed over by the rich and powerful at one point or another?

Paying compensation to directly affected people is a good thing. Making it up to the people you directly affected is the right thing to do but that stops at the point when they are all dead, a statute of limitations has to come into it or that way madness lies. past that point the right thing to do is in line with the recommendations of **SamuelA ** and invest money in levelling the playing field, ensuring equality of opportunity and strict enforcement of equal rights legislation.

That sounds like a terrific plan for mitigating the effects of income inequality. But that’s not a reparation program–something limited to those individuals who were harmed by something in a concrete sense. People often talk about slavery being a stain on America, an atrocity that left a psychic scar on all of us. But in actuality, only a subset of the population was truly harmed–not just in a vague figurative sense, but tangibly. What your plan would do is help to raise all boats–which is a laudable goal. But even with your plan, some boats–like the boats belonging to the descendants of American slaves–would still not be where they could have been if slavery and what followed in the decades after hadn’t happened. Reparations proponents believe that until that harm is addressed specifically, the playing field will never be even.

Reparations isn’t about “privilege” and who has it and doesn’t have it. A person can be entitled to compensation even if they are a billionaire US president. If someone can demonstrate that they were denied basic services that their citizenship and tax dollars entitled them to and they can figure out how much damage this denial caused them, I don’t care what color that person is or how much privilege they have. They should be able to file charges and get whatever they can prove they are owed. I think people should be able to do this even when there are other government programs out there that might be able to assist them. Like, if the government accidentally drops a bomb on my house and completely destroys it, I want the government to pay me the monetary value of that house, plus all expenses not picked up by my insurance. What I don’t want is a Section 8 voucher, a low-interest FHA loan, or a FEMA trailer. Because my problem isn’t simply lack of housing. My problem is that the government destroyed my most valuable asset and robbed me of the opportunity to enjoy that asset however I saw fit.

As I said, the US government negotiates settlements all the time.

And if US can owe China trillions of dollars and not lose any sleep over paying them back, why wouldn’t the US be equally cavalier when it comes to paying reparations? Do black Americans (or Hispanics or women) have more clout than China? If we’re not worried about going bankrupt due to the debt we owe the Chinese, why should be worried about the debt owed to black people?

I recommend you click on the links I’ve posted in this thread. The US government didn’t just passively allow slavery and Jim Crow. It enabled and perpetuated it. Right after Emancipation, the US government actually believed some reparation was order. But alas, politics being what they were at the time, the racist butthurt whites got the final say.

I paid reparations to the interned Japanase Americans even though I wasn’t born in the 1940s.

Both you and I are paying for institutional grants to Holocaust survivors, even though neither of us were alive during the Holocaust, even though neither of us directly benefited from the Holocaust.

Children who aren’t even born yet will be paying down the national debt. They will be paying China for a loan they didn’t have anything to do with.

When you are a citizen of this country, you take on its debts, just as you benefit from its successes you didn’t have any part to play in. Much of the wealth that created this country was created by unpaid labor. The White House itself is a testament to this. A Pakistani American who does not want to pay reparations to black people is no different from an environmentalist who does not want to pay oil subsidies, or a pacificist who does not want to pay for wars. His feelings of butthurt are no more special than the feelings of butthurt that everyone feels when they are asked to pay for things they believe they aren’t responsible for.

So what you’re saying is that the descendants of slaves should be suing the government of the Confederacy. A government which does not exist anymore, because it was conquered by the federal government. What happened to all Confederacy’s wealth, I wonder? Do you think it just disappeared, or do you think the federal government acquired some of it?

At any rate, the US government didn’t go to war to stop slavery, but rather to preserve the union. Lincoln did not free all the slaves, but specifically the ones in the Confederacy. I think you know this.

The courts should decide what the line is, not public opinion. If we left the decision to public opinion, there would be no time in the history of the US when black people–or any other stigmitized minority group–would be seen as deserving reparations.

I don’t know what the line is, but it is clear to me that if there are any groups who can make a case they’ve been screwed over by the federal government, it’s Native Americans and black Americans. If they can’t manage to convince anyone that they are due compensation, then I don’t think gays, women, or whoever else would be able to do any better. The precedence of reparations means that a line has already been established. And since we haven’t been bombarded by court cases seeking reparations, I think the slippery slope fears are overwrought.

There are plenty of reasonable arguments why reparations would be challenging. I haven’t heard any reasonable arguments why it’s not reasonable to explore reparations, such as John Conyers perennial H.R. 40 proposal. I haven’t heard any reasonable arguments as to why it’s not reasonable to investigate reparations for the very clear damages that living Americans have suffered due to discriminatory policies and practices.

This. Has everyone already forgotten how ordinary decent hard-working people rejected the creeping liberal lunacy of the left in November 2016?

Yeah, there were rifle-fights in the streets, and federal office buildings burned like torches, while the rioting claimed tens of thousands of…

Oh, wait. None of that happened.

If the goal was to integrate minorities into American society it would be as counter productive as any other entitlement program. A completely useless waste of time and money that would largely just backfire. Whites are being portrayed here as inherently evil. Blacks were not prepared for society at that time and whites had no idea how to deal with it.

Would a DNA test prove anything? I mean, one of my great-great grandfathers was black and a DNA test could probably show that, but he never lived in the US so I’m definitely not descended from an enslaved person…


Oh Jesus. So it was the fault of black people, not fucking lynching, KKK terrorism, Jim Crow, segregation, redlining, and much, much more, that black people have faced difficulties in American history? Do you really actually believe this?

Setting aside the morality issue for a moment, and only examining the practicality involved - can a reparation supporter please propose a specific dollar sum (rounded up or down to the nearest hundred-billion?)

If for instance, 25 million Americans are owed an average of $40,000 apiece, that would total $1 trillion. Let’s use that as the benchmark and adjust up or down as needed.

Do you think the number of Americans (not just black, but also gay/Hispanic/Native American/atheist/Asian/Arab/etc.) who need reparations is greater than, or lesser than, 25 million?

Do you think the sum owed to each, on average, would be greater than, or lesser than, $40,000? (As someone mentioned above, the $20,000 paid to the Japanese-Americans wouldn’t cover the loss of their property in California which would have been worth millions today.) We also have to take inflation into account.

If it were 50 million Americans, and each owed $80,000 on average, that would be $4 trillion.

How high should taxes be? If we doubled taxes on the wealthy, including capital gains tax, for several decades, would that cover it? Should the middle class’s tax rate go up, too? Would the economy be able to withstand it? Do we cut anything else in the federal budget to make this work, and if so, how?

Finally, would SCOTUS recognize this reparation proposal as Constitutional? It may not fall into the exact same legal criteria as the Japanese-American case.

It wouldn’t start a war, but it would boost Trumpism like nothing before. If people thought the alt-right was bad in 2016, wait and see if this reparation-proposal goes through; it would radicalize the right far further and perhaps even lure a lot of centrists and moderates to the alt-right.

I know a lot of evil things were happening and I know it was not the fault of the blacks. But I also know that fair or not fair the burden will always be on blacks or any other group that is stereo typed to break that stereo type instead of reinforcing it. You can pass all the laws you want but at some point the behavior has to change. A more than significant number of blacks are reinforcing a negative stereo type that the entire race is paying for simply because that is human nature.

The traditional meaning of racism is the belief that specific racial groups have specific innate intellectual and personality traits. The modern meaning of racism is “prejudice plus power.” Neither of these are needed to make the bloody fucking obvious observation that a very large number of people would not sit well with the idea of having the government take their money to pay off the distant descendants of people who were done harm by your distant ancestors. The MORE reasonable ones would be the ones who decided to eliminate the politicians–others would decide to go a step further and do their part in eliminating the people who would potentially get paid off. This would generate domestic terrorism that would make Islamic radicals seem like a few kids toilet papering your house.

Just because you think you have the right to someone else’s money doesn’t mean that they will hand it over without a fight.

We shouldn’t pay people who have suffered or are suffering from discriminatory policies and practices. We should end the discriminatory policies and practices.

If we start substituting monetary compensation for genuine reform, some people might decide it’s easier to just let discrimination continue. We’ll avoid the social upheaval of fixing our race problems. Instead we’ll just mail black people a check every year to compensate them for all the racism they have to put up with.

Paid by the documented descendants of slave owners to the documented descendants of slaves. Exceptions for poverty on the part of the former and wealth on the part of the latter. (Sorry, Jay Z.) The formula would have to be tweaked out of recognition that a lot of folks are gonna fall into both categories.

Nonsense. Stereotypes don’t originate in the behavior of black people. They originate in the minds of racists. It doesn’t matter what black people actually do; racists will just believe they’re doing something regardless of what the facts are.