|(18) Ebony and the Fraud of Reparations
07/19/00 by William L. Anderson
|Ebony and the Fraud of Reparations - 07/19/00 by William L. Anderson
In this commentary, author William L. Anderson comments upon a pro-reparations piece in the August 2000 issue of Ebony magazine. The publisher of Ebony is John H. Johnson, a hugely successful black businessman.
Williams writes: "Apparently, Johnson ... seems to believe that I owe him and the other millionaires featured in his magazine reparations for slavery.
"Thats right. In the
August 2000 issue, lodged among the numerous articles featuring black professionals who
have garnered wealth and fortune are three pieces by prominent blacks demanding that
whites pay them reparations because of slavery. Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan, has
introduced a bill (H.R. 40) that calls for whites to pay reparations to blacks that live
in the United States. While the bill is long on rhetoric and short and specifics, Conyers
calls for the government "to examine not only slavery, but all of the forms of
discrimination which, in effect, re-enslaved the former slaves and their descendants in
the post-Reconstruction era and have effects that dribble down right to the very
"Conyers isnt the only one demanding reparations in this latest issue of Ebony. Dorothy Tillman, a member of the Chicago City Council and author of that bodys "Resolution on Reparations," writes that blacks, slave and free, "built this country." Payments, she assures us, will allow Americans to "begin the long overdue healing process."
"Not to be outdone, Randall Robinson, president of TransAfrica, an organization that fronts for some of the worlds most despotic and murderous regimes, says that slavery left blacks permanently behind whites in social and economic development. "Lines begun parallel and left alone can never touch," he writes.
"At least Robinson has an idea of the size of the bill he wants to send whites. Quoting a study that came from economists at the University of California-Berkeley, Robinson writes that "the value of income lost as a consequence of racial discrimination between 1929 and 1969 alone comes to about $1.6 trillion." And, remember that Robinson is demanding payments that cover not 40 years, but nearly 400 years. In other words, he is looking for payments that will exceed anything the U.S. Government has run up in its own indebtedness.
"Robinsons "parallel lines" argument is bogus, of course. Thomas Sowell in his book Markets and Minorities points out that the income levels of blacks in the post-war South (that is the War of Northern Aggression) rose at much faster levels than did the income of whites. This was despite the passage of black codes, Jim Crow laws, racial discrimination, and periodic lynchings, all of which made life difficult for blacks in the South (and the North) at that time.
"I am not so sure [reparations for slavery] wont happen. Had someone told American taxpayers in 1965 that over the next 35 years they would have shelled out more than $6 trillion to fund the welfare state, they would have believed that poverty would have been solved for good. A trip to many American cities, including parts of New York, Detroit, Philadelphia, and our nations capital, will dispel the notion that this grand welfare experiment has been a grand failure. In fact, had someone told Americans in 1965 that Lyndon Johnsons "Great Society" programs would have cost $6 trillion and counting, they would have demanded a recount from the 1964 election and put Barry Goldwater in the White House.
"Although black Americans are hardly the total recipients of welfare, they are definitely disproportionate in what they receive compared to their percentage of the U.S. population. It is safe to say that blacks throughout the years, if one includes all of the subsidies, employment breaks, affirmative action, and the life, have received perhaps $2 trillion or more that they would not have had otherwise. In other words, if reparations were to be paid, blacks have already received them."
(Excerpted from William L. Anderson "Ebony
and the Fraud of Reprations", July 19, 2000)
Close Frames and Return to Adversity.Net Home Page