Letter from a resident of Quebec
The reparations fraud is collectivist and Marxist
I have read your commentary in the matter of payments to be made to American Blacks in order to right the harms sustained by their ancestors during the interval when slavery was legal in the United States of America.
I would not use the term “insane” with reference to this phenomenon. But, the term “stupid,” and preposterously stupid, is appropriate re this instance. There is much I may say with reference to this matter.
Ab Initio, the entire matter is so preposterous that all attempts to discuss it rationally inevitably decline to the sorts of statements uttered by the Mad Hatter. In Lewis Carrol’s work, “Alice in Wonderland.”
In the first instance, how will the “reparations” project be managed? If it is managed by the federal regime, inevitably this race-based exercise in wealth re-distribution will enrich some and disappoint others, who will then complain that they have not received “their fair share.” (sic)
In the second instance, how will “reparations” be imposed? Will it be restricted to those European Americans currently resident in a former “slave state”? Will Americans resident in the US Northeast, which were never slave states, be exempt from what is, essentially, a racial poll tax?
What about European Americans, resident and domiciled in states that were never part of the moral/political equation of slavery, such as Oregon, Utah, California, Idaho, and Wyoming? Will they be exempt? These were territories during the Civil War. Why should their citizens be held liable for an historical phenomena of which they had no part?
In the third instance, what about European Americans, whose ancestors arrived in the United States just before or just after the Civil War? Why should these persons, whose ancestors had no stake in this trial of conclusions, be held liable for circumstances in which they had no part?
In the fourth instance, you discussed your ancestor, a Mr Felix, who joined the Union Army, ostensibly to fight slavery. Should European Americans, millions of whom are probably descendants of Union soldiers, qualify for exemption from the reparations poll tax? Because their great grand uncles fought for the Union?
A contrario, should European Americans, whose ancestors fought for the South, be held liable because of a choice, a decision, made by an ancestor whom they never met and about whom they probably know practically nothing?
I believe there are millions of Americans whose ancestors, for various reasons, or an accident of history, or an accident of jurisdiction, fought for both sides in the Civil War. How are they to be judged? Are they to be saved harmless because they had ancestors who fought for the Union? Or are they to condemned because they had a grand uncle, or a great great grand father, who fought for the South?
What about European Americans whose ancestors arrived and settled in areas of the United States before they were incorporated into the United States such as the Oregon Territory or California? These places did not participate in the Civil War. They were not slave states. Why should those who live in these places now be held liable for what was, at that time, in international law, a foreign conflict?
In the fifth instance, there is the American Black population itself. Apparently, 44% of American Blacks have white ancestry; so – called “light skinned” blacks such as Andrew Young (deceased?)? Should this operate as a “qualifying” factor , thereby reducing the amount of reparations they can claim?
In the sixth instance, what about Blacks who arrived in the United States after the end of the Civil War and after the abolition of slavery? Would they qualify for reparations? And upon what basis?
In the seventh instance, not all slaves were black, an element of history which is overlooked (at least), if not deliberately subordinated. After the last Highland Rising of 1745 when “Bonnie” Prince Charlie attempted to reclaim his throne from the House of Orange, several thousand Highlanders, men, women and children, were transported to the Thirteen Colonies. As slaves.
Should their descendants be allowed to apply for reparations as well? Several hundred to several thousand Irish were also transported to the Thirteen Colonies between 1680 and 1715. Should their descendants, who I must assume are Black as well as European, be allowed to “bid” for a piece of the reparations “pie”?
And, if one observes that government and it’s creature, bureaucracy, never stops growing, is it possible that once European Americans have been despoiled of their wealth, the federal regime will look further afield to find other persons who do not and never did live in the United States at all between 1620 and 1865, but whose ancestors did and compel them to surrender their goods to atone for the sins of their ancestors?
I am not an American. I live in Québec. But my earliest North American ancestor was one Ann Kyne. Who emigrated to the Plymouth Colony of Massachusetts in 1694/96. She was sent to marry a man by the name of John Graves Deacon. Or John Deacon Graves.
Would this accident of history render me liable to participate in the “reparations” charade as well?
As well, two of my ancestors fought for the South. Would this historical fact render me liable for “reparations” as well with reference to a conflict in which I had no part? Occurring in a jurisdiction in which I have no rights or standing as a citizen?
But, another of my ancestors fought for the North as a member of a regiment or battalion raised in Illinois. Would this absolve me of historical responsibility for a social/cultural/economic phenomenon that existed and was extinguished almost an century before I was born?
Finally, the matter of reparations subordinates, in law and in fact, the matter of individual responsibility. And replaces it with an new phenomenon, collective responsibility, which is entirely alien to American concepts such as the rights and responsibilities of the individual. And individual self reliance.
This has already been “achieved” in “kanada,” with reference to which the new “constitution” of 1982 refers directly and explicitly to “group rights.” Specifically, in this instance, Indians, and their aggregate “right” to demand and receive special treatment in employment, in education, and in the law.
The reparations fraud is collectivist and Marxist. It will not achieve it’s (ostensible) objective and will, in fact, increase inequality, racial polarization, the perpetuation of historical and racial resentments, and will perpetuate the infantilization of Black Americans, their ‘entitlement’ mentality, their intractable pathologies. And will, in fact, “codify” in legislation, their incapacity and ineptitude.