The question many people may have for U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) today is: Should people who committed no crime pay reparations to people who were not victimized — based on the melanin pigmentation of their skin?
If this isn't enough to piss anyone off! Reparations for something WE never took part in, and pssst it happened 200+ yrs ago. Rep. Jamaal Bowman Proposes $14 Trillion Reparations Planhttps://t.co/RByLH7Tb0i
— ItsmeTrae🇺🇸 (@Littletrae64) January 22, 2024
The debate about reparations for slavery is not brand new, but initially, it was the topic of debate only among fringe factions; it was a bridge too far even among most activists. Today it is being debated openly in the United States House of Representatives as well as in states such as California.
The New York Congressman is sponsoring H.R. 414, which proposes reparations “for the enslavement of Africans and its lasting harm on the lives of millions of Black people in the United States.” He claims he’ll settle for righting the old wrongs at a bargain basement price of 14 trillion dollars. But not to worry, it’s all going to happen “without raising taxes on anyone” he said in an interview with the Journal News.
What’s more, it’s rumored if you hold his beer, the esteemed Congressman will do it while drinking a glass of water.
This all works out to about $330,000 for all 42 million Black Americans. And Rep. Bowman is even willing to amortize the payouts. “It might be possible for it to be paid out over 5 or 10 or 20 years. You could take that $333,000 and break it up into monthly checks over X amount of time,” he said in the interview.
Well, that’s a relief. All those trillions falling from the sky in one shot might create a national disaster.
There is no word on whether Oprah Winfrey or LeBron James will get their much-needed checks along with the rest of the unwashed masses.
But speaking of that — who does get the payouts? Would one be required to prove that they are a descendant of slaves — or would a dark-skinned recent immigrant from Kenya or Ethiopia qualify? And would there be a cutoff date to be included in the 42 million beneficiaries?
Let’s assume Rep. Bowman is being a tad unrealistic in his prediction of raising $14 trillion with no new taxes. Who gets assessed to fund the $14T? Would only descendants of slave owners get sent a bill?
And to challenge the narrative a bit more, would living descendants of the 3,700+ Black slave owners get a check?
Looking deeper at history — where do the African nations that enabled the slave trade with Europeans fit into this discussion? Is anyone going to send them a bill? Perhaps that murders the narrative a bit too much.
And how do the following items fit in the reparations balance sheet:
The Civil War that ended slavery resulted in more human lives lost than all other wars combined. At the very least, would descendants of Union soldiers be exempt from any reparations tax?
After the Civil War, three new Constitutional Amendments were passed: the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. These Reconstruction Amendments guaranteed freedom, citizenship, and the ballot box for Blacks.
The United States Supreme Court handed down its Brown vs Board of Education decision which righted inequality of opportunity.
The Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s provided even more legal protection for Blacks. Sorry, Bruce Hornsby, that’s just the way it is.
For decades, a legal doctrine known as Affirmative Action has ushered “people of color” to the head of the line in hiring practices. For civil service jobs across the United States, qualified White candidates have failed to be hired due to mandated quotas of non-Whites. The Department of Justice has ordered lower standards for police exams to allow more Blacks to qualify.
All manner of government programs at the state and local level provide benefits based on race.
If one is to look at the impact of all these “reparations”, has anything substantially improved for Blacks since 1865 — or even since 1965?
By 2024, Blacks have held the offices of President and Vice President. When Barack Hussein Obama was elected in 2008, he carried states such as Indiana, which was a leading hotbed for the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s.
Blacks have also been Senators and Representatives — hello, Rep. Bowman. They have been mayors of the largest cities and governors of the largest states. Blacks count among the wealthiest athletes and entertainers in the land. Blacks in some communities have a higher average income than Whites.
Slavery was an injustice, but America has led the world in outlawing the practice. There has been a lot of water under the bridge since 1865. No one is alive today who was a slave in America, and no one is alive today who owned slaves in America. Given that, what Rep. Bowman proposes is payments to some people based on their skin color while excluding others based on their skin color.
That sounds eerily like the definition of racism.