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Affirmative action and reparations for slavery: a proposal (Page 2)
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OAW
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Jul 9, 2003, 01:15 PM
 
Originally posted by maxelson:
I have carefully read this entire thread. And still. My question remains. Still.

I have yet to find ANY argument- any logical and legal argument, hell, any SPIRIT of a good argument as to why reparations are either warranted or a good and positive thing for any of the parties involved.

I see a lot of people discussing the badness of slavery. I see a lot of folks posing damned good arguments as to why reparations are either absurd or completely undeserved/ unwarranted. I see a lot of folks discussing history. And politics. And the political capital to be gained/ lost by such reparations.
All good things; it is true.

What I still do not see is a good argument for reparations.
All of this depends on how you look at things. If you are of the mindset that focuses on individuals WRT this issue then you will likely oppose reparations. After all, the "individual" slave owners and slaves are long dead. However, if you are of the mindset that focuses on groups WRT this issue then you might be in favor of reparations. The groups, black, white, US government, still exist.

If you are of the mindset that once the chains of slavery came off that was the end of it, well then you will likely oppose reparations. However, if you are of the mindset that the negative after-effects ... its "legacy" so to speak ... still exists today in the black community well then you just might think differently.

If you are of the mindset that every man is an "island" and his fortunes in this world are made on his own, then you will likely oppose reparations. But if you are of the mindset that a man's fortunes are greatly affected by the fortunes of those who came before them, that one generation's progress is dependent upon the progress of the previous generations, then you might be in favor of reparations.

A lot of white people say that they shouldn't have to pay reparations (via their tax dollars) because they didn't own slaves or their family came to America after slavery. Well that may be true, but it's a lot of people in America who could say that they didn't have anything to do with putting US citizens of Japanese descent in concentration camps either ... but their tax dollars still got used for that purpose anyway.

There's a simple question. How much wealth is today in White America's hands .... collectively .... as a result of slavery? And how much wealth is not in Black America's hands .... collectively ... as a result of slavery? Keep in mind that we are talking about centuries of free labor that enriched the slave owners directly, but other non-slave owning white people indirectly. The profits from slavery were used to purchase goods and services. The profits from slavery were deposited in banks and those funds played a significant role in the financing of the industrial revolution in the US. And the industrial revolution is what made America the "top dog" in the world. Just like colonialism financed the rise of the Western European powers. The fact of the matter is that those European powers along with US are where they are today economically, politically, and militarily as the direct result of systematically exploiting the natural resources of black people ... or black people themselves .... for centuries. I don't think any sane person would argue that the US and the other Western European powers would be as wealthy and powerful as they are today had they not colonized and enslaved Africa.

Having said all that, I am personally rather ambivalent on the issue of reparations. I think on a moral basis there is a case for reparations not only to the those who endured slavery but also to those who endured colonialism. However, on a legal basis I don't think it's practical because our legal system is focused on individuals, not groups. And on a political basis it just plain ain't gonna happen because white people collectively ain't trying to hear it! As I said before, when you consider the way many whites have a hissy fit over the mere suggestion of an official US apology for slavery ... something that wouldn't cost them a dime ... it's quite apparent that reparations is completely out of the question!

So as I said I'm pretty ambivalent on the issue. I wouldn't someone who would go out and rally in favor of the issue, but I wouldn't have a problem with it if it did come about by some miracle of God. I suppose I don't really have a "good argument" for reparations per se, because quite frankly, I really don't think about it that much. It simply is not going to happen so it would be a colossal waste of time for me to focus on the subject. If you are really interested I would suggest you check out the book I linked to in an earlier post.

Having said that, if someone were to ask me how I would, in general, implement a reparations program ... I would simply say that all native born black US citizens who are not descendants of immigrants who came to this country after 1865 are eligible. Once the eligible group is determined, I would say that this group (and perhaps one generation of descendants yet to be born) should be free from US federal taxation for the rest of their lives. All affirmative action programs would be abolished, but racial discrimination in education, employment, etc. would be made a criminal offense. That way, nothing is coming directly out of the pockets of white people and we don't have to hear anymore whining about some half-assed affirmative action programs that the vast majority of white people will never be affected by anyway. Additionally, the black community will have resources, individually and collectively, to improve their lives economically, educationally, politically, etc. Once the eligible pool dies out, that's it. Federal taxation goes back to normal.

You never know, the conservatives might even go for it because it might force the government to spend less because of the lost revenue. Then again, since it benefits black people ... probably not.

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OAW
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Jul 9, 2003, 01:48 PM
 
Originally posted by maxelson:
Use of terms such as "overwhelming majority" are QUITE dangerous, and I question it wherever I find it, whether I like the finding or not. I have seen polls split only into racial category. Several problems there: One, they are polls which are inhertently flawed to begin with. We've tackled that ad nauseam. Second, those polls are ONLY focusing on race. No mention is ever made nor correlations ever drawn based upon class.
As for afirmative action, I think you'll find as well that a so called "black vote" is split along party lines.
And just what is the "party line" breakdown in the black community? 90+% of the black community votes Democrat. Now if that isn't "overwhelming majority" then I don't know what is. Even it was only 80% ... or 75% ... that is still a clear, unquestionable, undeniable majority.

Originally posted by maxelson:

In short, you cartegorization of "overwhelming majority" as "fact", may not be. And study after study will support what I say here as well.
One thing is most likely true: blacks tend to vote toward the left. How far left? Well, that needs to be broken down as well. And it ain't. How many other demographics will effect the outcome of how the stats are interpreted?
So now you want to study and analyze the issue to death. Slice and dice the numbers using a bunch of different variables other than race ... which is the issue at hand. Ok. Knock yourself out. My question is this, what difference does it make? What difference does income level or geographic location make? When it's all said and done, and you take a sample of the black population at large ... the results are clear and consistent. Clarence Thomas and Walter Williams and those like them have virtually no support in the black community. And I'd be willing to bet that the typical black person hasn't even heard of Walter Williams. Why? Because black people, by and large, are not the man's audience!

How many black faces did you see at the Republican National Convention during the last presidential election? Powell, Rice, that guy from Colorado, and a handful of others? That's about it. Black people nationwide voted 90% for Gore. In Texas, Bush's home state, black people voted 95% for Gore. Not necessarily because they were big fans of Gore. But because black people, in general, by and large, damn near across the board ... do not trust, support, or otherwise vote for conservatives. Why? Because conservatives have a long history of opposing civil rights, opposing anti-lynching laws, opposing affirmative action, opposing desegregation, and generally taking positions that are hostile to the interests of black people. So if you think that I'm somehow "exaggerating" things when I say that the "overwhelming majority" of black people do not support these individuals who have chosen to align themselves with those who have demonstrated their political hostility to black people for decades ... well I can say is that you are free to believe whatever you want to believe.

Originally posted by maxelson:

What I am saying is simply this: you are trying to paint too broad a picture using some very fuzzy and sweeping strokes and holes can easily be poked into this argument.
Well it's easy to say. It's another thing to do. Feel free to cite any evidence that shows that Clarence Thomas, Walter Williams, Ward Connerly, or Alan Keyes has 20%+ support in the black community. I daresay that you would be hard pressed to find double digit support for any of them.

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Millennium
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Jul 9, 2003, 02:31 PM
 
Originally posted by maxelson:
Use of terms such as "overwhelming majority" are QUITE dangerous, and I question it wherever I find it, whether I like the finding or not.
You're right to do so. Polls are by their nature inherently flawed, which is a real problem since we don't have much that works better.

There is, however, a widespread notion of what some have called "the Black Community", which does exhibit, by and large, the ideals that people have attributed to it. This is something that has been acknowledged by many people, African-American and otherwise, across many political ideologies. Most people see the Black Community -at least as we currently know it- as harmful, though the supposed reasons for this vary wildly across ideologies. Many people, however, seem to agree that it seems to have a largely destructive effect on its own members.

Regardless, the phenomenon of African-Americans who are rejected from the Black Community because of their ideals is hardly fictional, nor is it new. There's even a word for it: Oreo, which references someone who is "black on the outside, white on the inside".
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Oswald DL
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Jul 9, 2003, 02:49 PM
 
1. How are they paid, from whom and to whom? By that I mean, does EVERY taxpayer have to pay for them? Or just ones who's ancestors owned slaves? Does every black person get them, or just those whose ancestors were slaves?

2. If it is the people whose ancestors owned slaves who pay, how do you prove it? In what form do they pay? Extra taxes? What if they are poor?
The issue is between descendants of slaves and the government, not black and white.



to many would be hurt by paying families in cash... and odds are the money would end up in the wrong hands (those African American families who are well off and can afford lawyers, even if their ancesters weren't slaves, finding holes in the system). The ones who really could use the cash will never get it.
That's why I said that the reparations would be in the form of funds for training and education. Perhaps a set amount for each person.

The case of Holocaust survivers is different
Uh-huh. 'Qualitatively different'

What makes an African American qualify for reparations? what if theyir family came the united states AFTER the abolishment of slavery?
The reparations would of course go to the descendants of slaves, not all African-Americans.

No. Once again, there can be no justice anymore for those who suffered under the oppression of the past regime...
Very easy for you to say.

But neither is punishing innocents in The Bad Guy's place.
my family came to America long long after slavery ended. Am i to pay reparations for the sins of a past generation that I do not even decend from?
Who said anything about punishing innocents? Read my BBC links

The only circumstance where reparations for slavery would make any sense is if there is a clear paper trail of the private wealth that resulted from slave labor.
Lack of bureaucracy doesn't excuse injustice.

Find me a living person who was once a slave and a living person who was once a slave owner, and then we'll talk.
Don't forget that the legal legacy of slavery continued until quite recently in the form of the Jim Crow laws.

Reparations, while warranted on a moral level, is simply a political non-starter. When one considers the vehement opposition that many white Americans display over the mere suggestion of an official US apology for allowing slavery .... it's quite evident that white America simply doesn't have the political will to even seriously discuss the issue of reparations, let alone implement it. The funny thing is that white opposition to reparations seems to cross party and ideological lines. Even the majority of "liberal" white people seem to oppose it with a passion.
Very true. But shouldn't politics have some morality?

Not every African American is a decendant of a american slave. Many imigrated here from elsewhere. Many imigrate here constantly.
Again - the reparations would go to the descendants of slaves, not all African-Americans.

Larry Elder calls it a bankrupt movement, saying it is "operating on an assumption of the powerlessness of blacks to improve their own lives."
As I said in my opening post, resentment doesn't encourage success, but that resentment cannot end by someone just waving a wand and saying "get over it". Did the Jews get over the greatest crime "in the history of humankind" with just a shrug?

Open your eyes. Last I checked, corruption of blood was not considered a valid form of punishment, even for the gravest of crimes, and yet this is what you advocate, by punishing the son for the sins of the father, whether it be by money or by humiliation.
Can you tell me what you're rambling about?

A lot of white people say that they shouldn't have to pay reparations (via their tax dollars) because they didn't own slaves or their family came to America after slavery. Well that may be true, but it's a lot of people in America who could say that they didn't have anything to do with putting US citizens of Japanese descent in concentration camps either ... but their tax dollars still got used for that purpose anyway.
Precisely. I can't remember people ranting about "White people should not pay Orientals for thing which happened in the past - and they're just after some money"



Even Bush said yesterday that slavery was America's "birth defect". If there's a cure, why not take it?
     
OAW
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Jul 9, 2003, 03:59 PM
 
Originally posted by Millennium:
Most people see the Black Community -at least as we currently know it- as harmful, though the supposed reasons for this vary wildly across ideologies. Many people, however, seem to agree that it seems to have a largely destructive effect on its own members.
Please elaborate on this. I'm not sure what you are getting at here.

Originally posted by Millennium:

Regardless, the phenomenon of African-Americans who are rejected from the Black Community because of their ideals is hardly fictional, nor is it new. There's even a word for it: Oreo, which references someone who is "black on the outside, white on the inside".
In addition to "oreo", there's "Uncle Tom", "sellout", "house negro", "lapdog", "water carrier", "handkerchief head", etc. Such terms can get quite colorful! Personally I don't go there, even when it is warranted, because it tends to detract from the issue.

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Jul 9, 2003, 04:07 PM
 
Originally posted by OAW:
All of this depends on how you look at things. If you are of the mindset that focuses on individuals WRT this issue then you will likely oppose reparations. After all, the "individual" slave owners and slaves are long dead. However, if you are of the mindset that focuses on groups WRT this issue then you might be in favor of reparations. The groups, black, white, US government, still exist.
If you are likely to benefit, you will tend to be in favour of reparations, and if you are likely to suffer from the awarding of reparations then you are likely to be against it.

Right, that is the philosophy out of the way.

I had a rant earlier on about who was due, and who should pay, and what the objective of the payment is - these three things have not been addressed, and must be before reparations could be considered.

Just because an injustice has been done (which it unarguably has, in the case of slavery) doesn't mean that there is someone that should pay. The government doesn't have any money, any money paid by the government derives from taxpayers. Therefore, if the government pays, the taxpayer pays (and not just the white ones). How is this fair? (and who to?)
Chris. T.

"... in 6 months if WMD are found, I hope all clear-thinking people who opposed the war will say "You're right, we were wrong -- good job". Similarly, if after 6 months no WMD are found, people who supported the war should say the same thing -- and move to impeach Mr. Bush." - moki, 04/16/03
     
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Jul 9, 2003, 04:16 PM
 
Originally posted by Oswald DL:
The issue is between descendants of slaves and the government...
Why?

Who benefits - all descendants of slaves, even rich, white ones that live outside the US? Poor black ones that live in Burkina Faso? The black slave descendants that benefitted from the 'industrial revolution' sponsored by slavery? Or only poor black descendants of slaves that live in the US, and are oppressed by the white majority? How are these poor blacks different from their neighbours and friends that can't track their ancestry to a slave - why should they be excluded?

And why the taxpayer (who generates the money that you so glibly offer from 'the government')?

If the subject were 'compensation for discrimination' the answer may be different, but that is not the topic at hand. Reparations for slavery is impossible, immoral and downright unlikely.
Chris. T.

"... in 6 months if WMD are found, I hope all clear-thinking people who opposed the war will say "You're right, we were wrong -- good job". Similarly, if after 6 months no WMD are found, people who supported the war should say the same thing -- and move to impeach Mr. Bush." - moki, 04/16/03
     
christ
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Jul 9, 2003, 04:19 PM
 
Originally posted by OAW:
...In addition to "...", there's "...", etc. Such terms can get quite colorful! Personally I don't go there, even when it is warranted, because it tends to detract from the issue.

OAW
Very good - "Look at me, here are a bunch of terms that I would never be caught using".
Chris. T.

"... in 6 months if WMD are found, I hope all clear-thinking people who opposed the war will say "You're right, we were wrong -- good job". Similarly, if after 6 months no WMD are found, people who supported the war should say the same thing -- and move to impeach Mr. Bush." - moki, 04/16/03
     
Oswald DL
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Jul 9, 2003, 04:23 PM
 
If you are likely to benefit, you will tend to be in favour of reparations, and if you are likely to suffer from the awarding of reparations then you are likely to be against it.

Right, that is the philosophy out of the way.
Is that it? Is that the breadth of your morality? As for 'suffering from the awarding of reparations' what do you mean? Didn't you read my BBC links? And is it 'suffering' to live in a less equal society? Does someone have to be worse off than you for you not to suffer?
     
christ
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Jul 9, 2003, 04:31 PM
 
Originally posted by Oswald DL:
Is that it? Is that the breadth of your morality? As for 'suffering from the awarding of reparations' what do you mean? Didn't you read my BBC links? And is it 'suffering' to live in a less equal society? Does someone have to be worse off than you for you not to suffer?
Regardless of morality, and in particular regardless of my morality, what I said is true. People tend to agree with what benefits them, and disagree with things that hurt them.

Read the rest of my post(s) for things to respond to that are more debatable.
Chris. T.

"... in 6 months if WMD are found, I hope all clear-thinking people who opposed the war will say "You're right, we were wrong -- good job". Similarly, if after 6 months no WMD are found, people who supported the war should say the same thing -- and move to impeach Mr. Bush." - moki, 04/16/03
     
Oswald DL
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Jul 9, 2003, 04:34 PM
 
People tend to agree with what benefits them,
And how does living in such an unequal society benefit you? Does it make you feel better? Please explain
     
nvaughan3
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Jul 9, 2003, 04:35 PM
 
Originally posted by OAW:
[B] But such individuals are viewed in the black community as people who place their personal interest above the collective interest. ...
Interestingly, nearly every black person I've talked to in the wake of jesse jackson coming here to Benton Harbor 3x in 3 weeks has said they view Jackson as exactly that kind of person. Someone who doesn't give a damm about them but will pretend to for a few minutes of airtime that will allow him to shake down yet another corporation.

As far as their credibility and how it relates to their policital views, that's poor judgement. There are some left-wing politicians in this government who have views I consider whacko but they still are still fairly ethical and honest people just trying to advance their voter's views. I would not neccesariliy say they've lost credibility.

Now, when somone like the 14th dst. congressman says "terrance shurn died at the hands of the police" when he clearly died as a result of his stupendously stupid act of running from the police at 100 mph...THAT'S loss of credibility.
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christ
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Jul 9, 2003, 04:44 PM
 
Originally posted by Oswald DL:
And how does living in such an unequal society benefit you? Does it make you feel better? Please explain
Stop sidetracking your own thread, dude.

(But while I'm here, I live in a democracy, and in a democracy the majority vote, most of the time, for what they want, not what they think will hurt them and help someone else - the altruistic minority then have to live with the result - and no, it doesn't always make me feel better)
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"... in 6 months if WMD are found, I hope all clear-thinking people who opposed the war will say "You're right, we were wrong -- good job". Similarly, if after 6 months no WMD are found, people who supported the war should say the same thing -- and move to impeach Mr. Bush." - moki, 04/16/03
     
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Jul 9, 2003, 04:59 PM
 
Originally posted by nvaughan3:
Interestingly, nearly every black person I've talked to in the wake of jesse jackson coming here to Benton Harbor 3x in 3 weeks has said they view Jackson as exactly that kind of person. Someone who doesn't give a damm about them but will pretend to for a few minutes of airtime that will allow him to shake down yet another corporation.
While it is true that Jackson (and I'm assuming you are referring to the elder one) has lost some credibility in recent years, he is simply not viewed in the same light as a Clarence Thomas or Ward Connerly. With Jackson, he has definitely stacked a few chips along the way for himself, but he's at least articulating the issues in a manner that is generally viewed favorably by the black community. With those other guys, not only are they lining their pockets ... the aren't even saying anything that most in the black community are trying to hear.

So while there are those in the black community who question Jackson's commitment and sincerity about a particular situation (everybody knows that the man as a love affair with the camera!), you don't find too many of those people who would disagree with what he said. It's sort of like, "Yeah. I hear you talking the talk. But are you going to walk the walk? Are you going to be involved to see this issue through to a successful conclusion, or are you going to jet out of here as soon as the cameras are turned off?"

So the issue is not that these "black conservatives" are getting paid ... it is that they are hanging out with people that are considered political enemies.

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Jul 9, 2003, 05:16 PM
 
Actually their feelings seem to be more along the lines of questioning his motives and his sincerity in genuinely trying to make a change, not whether or not his talk becomes action.
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Jul 10, 2003, 08:33 AM
 
Originally posted by Oswald DL:
And how does living in such an unequal society benefit you? Does it make you feel better? Please explain
Living in an unequal society is, in and of itself, neither to my benefit nor my detriment.
Does someone have to be worse off than you for you not to suffer?
In and of itself, no.

But there's this interesting thing about the US: what happens to you in your life is determined mostly by what you do, not by who you are. Where you start out can make things easier or harder, this is true. But consider that over the past eight years, we have had both extremes of social status -one man who was born into a shockingly wealthy family, and one who was born to a poor single mother during a time when that was even more problematic than it is now- rise to the office of President. Consider that a man born and raised n a poor black district is now not only the Secretary of State, but the very first of his race to hold that office. I personally know not just one, but several people who quite literally started from nothing -some don't even have college degrees- and now are amazingly successful, and I'm not talking about people in technological fields. One, for example, worked at a gas station, saving what little money he could for twenty years until he finally bought the station, then turned it around into the most successful one in the area. Conversely, I know people who have started with every possible advantage, and screwed their own lives over massively.

Myself, I'm somewhere in the middle. I've been fortunate to be raised in a family which wasn't rich by any standard, but secure enough that we always had what we needed. I went to both good schools and bad ones over the course of my education, and learned that even in the worst of schools, a good education is there for those who seek it out. I chose my path and I stuck with it, and that path caused me quite a bit of hardship during my school years. It would have been so much easier to conform, but that's one of the things I've noticed about the US: conformity often hurts you more than it helps. If I have gotten any truly unshakable advantages because of my birth, it was only due to my birthplace, not my ancestry.

That's the thing about the US: in the end, you really are the final master of your own destiny. For some it is easier than others, this is true, and sometimes a freak circumstance comes along which can permanently put someone at a disadvantage. Sometimes, people will try, for one reason or another, to put obstacles in your path, but none of these are insurmountable. No one ever said the American Dream was always easy, but it is possible. Equal opportunity is here, but no one can force you to take it.

Now, what does this mean? It means that some people will suffer, occasionally through pure happenstance but mostly through self-inflicted damage. That's not to say people directly choose to be in bad situations, but many people do choose paths which will take them there, knowingly or not. To take from those who have chosen one path, to remove the consequences another has suffered for choosing a different path, is not only unjust, it is also futile; everyone suffers, because you have punished the successful without actually helping the unsuccessful all that much; a handout is usually not enough to change people's lives, while taking a large chunk of cash out of someone's pocket can certainly change lives if the timing is bad.

I do not like to see people suffering. But I refuse to suffer in the name of others, when it will accomplish nothing. I have better things to do with my time and money, things which might actually help those who suffer solve their problems, rather than just alleviate one symptom.
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Jul 10, 2003, 10:11 AM
 
Originally posted by Oswald DL:
And how does living in such an unequal society benefit you? Does it make you feel better? Please explain
How do reparations make things equal? WIll it make YOU feel better? Please explain.

OAW gives a very nice case for it, but still it boils down to this:
Morality. That's it. Slavery is morally wrong. Of course we know that. So. Someone should pay for it.
Once again, we are back to this: who's paying? I keep trying to see this side, but I always turn the corner to see this: payment made by those who were not responsible for the acts of people who are long dead to folks who are not the victims of slavery. Based upon what... a projected idea that someone somewhere caught a hefty profit. There are no victims. There are no perpetrators. Hell, legally speaking, there wasn't even a crime and we keep rehashing the same old thing.
How do you feel about the Helms/ Burton act?

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Jul 10, 2003, 10:33 AM
 
Why not level the playing field by bringing the low end up, rather than bringingn the high end down?
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maxelson
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Jul 10, 2003, 11:03 AM
 
Nah. Makes too much sense.

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Jul 10, 2003, 11:46 AM
 
Originally posted by christ:
Stop sidetracking your own thread, dude.

(But while I'm here, I live in a democracy, and in a democracy the majority vote, most of the time, for what they want, not what they think will hurt them and help someone else - the altruistic minority then have to live with the result - and no, it doesn't always make me feel better)
No, no you don't. You live in a Representative Republic. This isn't, and has never been, a Democracy. Thank gawd.

Why is it when something doesn't go the way someone wants, they automatically put their hand out? It's as if money will fix the issues that are involved at the root of this problem. And the problem isn't social inequality, it isn't lack of oppertunity; the problem IS attitude.

<opens can of worms>

If we gave the Black community reparations for slavery, with the their general/present state of mind, they'd blow it and the money would simply gravitate back to the source from which it came; namely other groups that generally tend to more easily hold on to monetary assets, ie. whites, asians, and peoples of middle eastern descent.

Bottom line, reparations wouldn't matter. The attitude and mentality has to change before any fix would have lasting affect. The first attitude that has to change is, "you owe me something". Life and "the world" don't owe you or anyone else jack-****. Pick yourself up, work hard, and make something of yourself. Handouts are for pussys.

And before you comment about how "Whitey's got a burr up his ass and wants me to be poor", I'm Hispanic/American Indian. My family is from Cuba and a Reservation in Oklahoma... and yes, the indians bitch too, they're just too lazy to get off their asses and make things different for themselves.
( Last edited by Shaddim; Jul 10, 2003 at 11:56 AM. )
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theolein
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Jul 10, 2003, 12:49 PM
 
One thing I find very ironic about the reperations idea is that quite a few people have talked about how unfair it would be to use taxpayers money to pay ofr the reperations, yet the same taxpayers money is spent on a war and a succeding occupation or rather let's say reconstruction in Iraq. Why should Iraq be reconstructed? How can that be fair to American tax payers?*

Am I crazy or apart from the "They're not americans issue" am I missing something here?






*Maxelson, that was not meant literally, spare me your shocked comments this time please.
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Shaddim
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Jul 10, 2003, 01:10 PM
 
I say the govt should pay the reparations, I could use the money... doesn't matter.
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maxelson
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Jul 10, 2003, 02:06 PM
 
Originally posted by theolein:
One thing I find very ironic about the reperations idea is that quite a few people have talked about how unfair it would be to use taxpayers money to pay ofr the reperations, yet the same taxpayers money is spent on a war and a succeding occupation or rather let's say reconstruction in Iraq. Why should Iraq be reconstructed? How can that be fair to American tax payers?*

Am I crazy or apart from the "They're not americans issue" am I missing something here?






*Maxelson, that was not meant literally, spare me your shocked comments this time please.
tholein, spare me your chastisement-before-the-fact. What is the basis for making such a comment?
Exactly what is it there that was supposed to get me shocked? And how would you know? And why would you care? More importantly- please... explain the thought process behind that comment. I don't understand what or why I was supposed to think what you think I would think. What was it I was supposed to think, you think?
And what makes you think we have any control over where our tax money goes? And when did I mention tax payers?

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christ
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Jul 10, 2003, 04:03 PM
 
Originally posted by MacNStein:
No, no you don't. You live in a Representative Republic. This isn't, and has never been, a Democracy. Thank gawd....
No, I don't.

I live in a Democracy. You live in America. I wasn't talking about you, I was answering an OT aside from ODL, and talking about where I live.

As another aside, I am surprised that you are pleased that your system is not a democracy, but that is your call. How do you elect your representatives in your 'Representative Republic'? Democratically?
Chris. T.

"... in 6 months if WMD are found, I hope all clear-thinking people who opposed the war will say "You're right, we were wrong -- good job". Similarly, if after 6 months no WMD are found, people who supported the war should say the same thing -- and move to impeach Mr. Bush." - moki, 04/16/03
     
Shaddim
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Jul 10, 2003, 05:08 PM
 
Originally posted by christ:
No, I don't.

I live in a Democracy. You live in America. I wasn't talking about you, I was answering an OT aside from ODL, and talking about where I live.

As another aside, I am surprised that you are pleased that your system is not a democracy, but that is your call. How do you elect your representatives in your 'Representative Republic'? Democratically?
Ack! My bad dude! I thought you lived in Gosport, MAINE... it didn't occur to me that you live in S.A.. Yes, you do live in a Democracy, my apologies.

Here's a good explanation of the differences.

http://www.wallbuilders.com/resource...p?ResourceID=4
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christ
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Jul 10, 2003, 06:18 PM
 
Originally posted by MacNStein:
Ack! My bad dude! I thought you lived in Gosport, MAINE... it didn't occur to me that you live in S.A.. Yes, you do live in a Democracy, my apologies.

Here's a good explanation of the differences.

http://www.wallbuilders.com/resource...p?ResourceID=4
From dictionary.com (my emphasis):

de·moc·ra·cy n. pl. de·moc·ra·cies
1) Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.
2) A political or social unit that has such a government.

It seems that a republic is a democracy, even if your founding fathers were aganst them
Chris. T.

"... in 6 months if WMD are found, I hope all clear-thinking people who opposed the war will say "You're right, we were wrong -- good job". Similarly, if after 6 months no WMD are found, people who supported the war should say the same thing -- and move to impeach Mr. Bush." - moki, 04/16/03
     
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Jul 10, 2003, 07:34 PM
 
The official academic term is "Democratic Republic" or more often put "Federal Republic", since it makes us feel superior to other countries.


But what the hell... let's call it a monarchy.
( Last edited by macvillage.net; Jul 10, 2003 at 07:43 PM. )
     
theolein
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Jul 10, 2003, 10:47 PM
 
Originally posted by maxelson:
tholein, spare me your chastisement-before-the-fact. What is the basis for making such a comment?
Exactly what is it there that was supposed to get me shocked? And how would you know? And why would you care? More importantly- please... explain the thought process behind that comment. I don't understand what or why I was supposed to think what you think I would think. What was it I was supposed to think, you think?
And what makes you think we have any control over where our tax money goes? And when did I mention tax payers?
Well, you just did it again. I'll explain it, if only for some peace around here and not because I feel beholden to explain the inner workings of my rather ill mind.

It seemed to me, as it does now, that you had recently started to take exception to my posts, and had started to disect them as if you had some preconceived idea that I am, a. a racist, and, b. an anti-semite, neither of which is true to my knowledge. (It would also be somewhat ironic because I had a Jewish father, grew up with Holocaust literature (Anne Frank, Yellow Star etc) and stories that he had to tell and have some black ancestor who had some fun with the madam in our family's past)

So perhaps it's a bit clearer now. If not I'll just have to blame it on your Swedish genes.
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maxelson
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Jul 11, 2003, 07:43 AM
 
I just did "it" again? What is "it", please?
If you feel as if I have passed judgment upon you- If you have decided that, through your interpretation of what I wrote, I am calling you a racist, well, my friend, you will have to take responsibility for that.
If I am going to call you a racist, I am going to SAY it. I'm not going to dance about with it.

This, I DO find insulting. I have neither disrespected you nor treated you with any malice.

I am stating my opinion. I am asking questions. Through my questions, I am looking for you to show me some logical reason- some kind of support for the argument at hand.

I do not take exception to you- or I hadn't until just now- I take issue with the issue. I see a ton of folks who are all fired up for this issue who cannot support it with legal, logical or ethical stances. I find the notion of reparations to be absurd in this case as I feel it serves no one. I am not saying YOU are absurd. I am not telling you you are stupid or racist. If, after interacting with me through this board, you can claim that, I got two things for you:
1) You had best be able to support it
and
2) The feeling is entirely your own responsibility.

Do not judge me and then rail at me for this perceived judging of you. If you feel that I am persecuting and judging you because I ask you to support your argument- if you think I am calling you a racist because I take up a contrary position on this issue, well, as I say- that is your responsibility. I am pretty confident I have given not real cause for you to think in this manner. Normally, as per social convention, one would probably add in "I'm sorry if what I have said made you feel that way". Today, I am not saying that. I find nothing in my tone or words to imply that I believe you to be racist.
I will say that I am sorry you feel this way. Because I am.
( Last edited by maxelson; Jul 11, 2003 at 08:59 AM. )

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Jul 11, 2003, 08:51 AM
 
Off topic slightly...but is anyone suggesting Egypt pay huge reparations to Israel?
     
christ
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Jul 11, 2003, 09:49 AM
 
Originally posted by macvillage.net:
...But what the hell... let's call it a monarchy.
What about an 'Empire'?
Chris. T.

"... in 6 months if WMD are found, I hope all clear-thinking people who opposed the war will say "You're right, we were wrong -- good job". Similarly, if after 6 months no WMD are found, people who supported the war should say the same thing -- and move to impeach Mr. Bush." - moki, 04/16/03
     
christ
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Jul 11, 2003, 09:52 AM
 
Originally posted by chabig:
Off topic slightly...but is anyone suggesting Egypt pay huge reparations to Israel?
In this case you would have to define 'Israel'. The current country was never enslaved to Egypt, it was some bunch of Jews (were they called Jews then?) but my Biblical history isn't up to defining which particular bunch were actually enslaved in Egypt - was it all 13 tribes, or had they been split up by then?

Whatever - this could make a whole new topic on its own.
Chris. T.

"... in 6 months if WMD are found, I hope all clear-thinking people who opposed the war will say "You're right, we were wrong -- good job". Similarly, if after 6 months no WMD are found, people who supported the war should say the same thing -- and move to impeach Mr. Bush." - moki, 04/16/03
     
theolein
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Jul 11, 2003, 09:57 AM
 
Originally posted by maxelson:
I just did "it" again? What is "it", please?
If you feel as if I have passed judgment upon you- If you have decided that, through your interpretation of what I wrote, I am calling you a racist, well, my friend, you will have to take responsibility for that.
If I am going to call you a racist, I am going to SAY it. I'm not going to dance about with it.

This, I DO find insulting. I have neither disrespected you nor treated you with any malice.

I am stating my opinion. I am asking questions. Through my questions, I am looking for you to show me some logical reason- some kind of support for the argument at hand.

I do not take exception to you- or I hadn't until just now- I take issue with the issue. I see a ton of folks who are all fired up for this issue who cannot support it with legal, logical or ethical stances. I find the notion of reparations to be absurd in this case as I feel it serves no one. I am not saying YOU are absurd. I am not telling you you are stupid or racist. If, after interacting with me through this board, you can claim that, I got two things for you:
1) You had best be able to support it
and
2) The feeling is entirely your own responsibility.

Do not judge me and then rail at me for this perceived judging of you. If you feel that I am persecuting and judging you because I ask you to support your argument- if you think I am calling you a racist because I take up a contrary position on this issue, well, as I say- that is your responsibility. I am pretty confident I have given not real cause for you to think in this manner. Normally, as per social convention, one would probably add in "I'm sorry if what I have said made you feel that way". Today, I am not saying that. I find nothing in my tone or words to imply that I believe you to be racist.
I will say that I am sorry you feel this way. Because I am.
Look, let's get off this personal thing. I have nothing against you, and you say you have nothing against me. Let's leave it at that.

As to the subject of this thread:

I personaly (whoops, personal again) feel that blacks in the USA (and elsewhere) have not really had a good deal. I don't agree that reperations would be a good idea, because that does too conveniently drop the issue of self responsibility, that should be taken into account. The only way IMO that one can get out of a rut of poverty, desperation and violence is if one is helped to become self supporting i.e. if one learns to take care of oneself. Simple blind payments of money will probably not help here. Also, there are many other nations and groups that are also in dire straits and seem unable to solve their problems on their own, parts of Africa is an example, Kosovo, Indonesia are others. Brazil is an example of a country that seems to be trying to take care of it's own problems, and even Argentina seems to be trying as well. IMO dependency on financial aid is a very poisonous and dangerous drug.

This is why I suggested that Africa be helped with peacekeepers to stop the violence, medical and food aid to stop the worst of AIDS and other diseases and most importantly aid and guidance in setting up small businesses, because that will aid the creation of a middle class, which usually is a good part of the stability of a country.

As to the topic of the Holocaust. I simply found it strange that I have read and seen so little of the Armenian, Rwandan, Cambodian (I do remember "The killing fields" but it only tangentially touched on the genocide) and other recent genocidal episodes. The Armenian one I read about years ago, and know a couple of Armenians, and remember some guy here who was rabidly pro Armenian and was a member of an Armenian youth group that advocated violence against Turkey to get acknowledgement and reperation. I know there is a very large Armenian diaspora, mainly in France and the USA, and these people support Armenia financially, which helped Armenia tip the balance in it's war against Azerbaijan after the breakup of the Soviet Union. That war reminded me a bit of Israel's war of independence where a small oppressed nation fights almost on it's own for it's survival and liberation. I do, however, also know that Azerbaijan is important to the USA for it's Caspian sea oil and the Turkey is an important NATO ally, and I do ask myself how much these factors are taken into account in portrayals of the Armenian genocide. I simply wonder. I do not know.
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davesimondotcom
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Jul 11, 2003, 10:52 AM
 
Originally posted by MacNStein:
I say the govt should pay the reparations, I could use the money... doesn't matter.
Keep in mind when you say "the government" should pay, you are really saying that "the taxpayers" should pay.

The government does print money, but it can't just print enough to pay the bills. It has to aquire the money somewhere.

(Same thing goes for "big corporations" - because they'd just pass on the cost to consumers.)
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OAW
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Jul 11, 2003, 11:50 AM
 
Originally posted by christ:
In this case you would have to define 'Israel'. The current country was never enslaved to Egypt, it was some bunch of Jews (were they called Jews then?) but my Biblical history isn't up to defining which particular bunch were actually enslaved in Egypt - was it all 13 tribes, or had they been split up by then?

Whatever - this could make a whole new topic on its own.
Indeed it could. This would be an even bigger mess than reparations in the US for slavery. First of all one would have to establish that enslavement of Hebrews (no they weren't called "Jews" then) even took place. Bear in mind that there is no documentation of this anywhere outside of the Bible. Even in Egypt, a country that recorded more of their history than any other civilization of their time. So even if this event occurred, the fact of the matter is that the Jews who live in Israel today are not descendants of the original Hebrews. Furthermore, the people who control the government of Egypt today are not descendants of the original Egyptians. A reparations claim on this issue would be completely out of the question.

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macvillage.net
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Jul 11, 2003, 07:20 PM
 
Originally posted by christ:
In this case you would have to define 'Israel'. The current country was never enslaved to Egypt, it was some bunch of Jews (were they called Jews then?) but my Biblical history isn't up to defining which particular bunch were actually enslaved in Egypt - was it all 13 tribes, or had they been split up by then?

Whatever - this could make a whole new topic on its own.
I believe Israel's reparations were the fact that they got to beat the crap out of Egypt, then f*** themselves over with diplomacy, leaving them in a bad situation.


It balances out. They did finally attack Egypt as revenge. So I think that's fair.

I think a war=enslavement.

And it was a good war too, total ass kicking, and now there are some claiming evidence pointing to testing of a low calaber chemical weapon by Israel. Considering it was known that they had one developed soon after... wouldn't be unlikely.

So war=enslavement.

Making them even.


Israel may have one up, since they did technically commit attempted genocide when the Red Sea un-split. ... then again... does God get the blame for that? Does the weapons manufacturer get the blame for usage?



The more and more you look at these rediculus "reparations" schemes... the more rediculus they get.


I'm sure the Greeks toppled my ancestors at one point in time. I demand reparations from the Greek government!




Silly silly silly.

Reparations go to the victim.

Abner Louima (immigrant sodomized by NYPD), deserves cash for his ordeal.

Holocaust *SURVIVORS* (those who were in concentration camps by force, not just visitors at the museum).. deserve reparations from old Nazi funds. Nobody else.

The VICTIMS should get money. Not decendants. If we allow the decendants rule, anyone owes anyone money. The world has a pretty damn complex history of people raping each other.

You go back far enough, you'll find every group (policial, racial, ethnic, etc.) has commited an attrocity.


This doesn't justify the crime. But it's history.


If a victim is alive, and deserves the money... that's one thing.

But if someone is looking for a get rich quick scheme and mooch of their ancestors suffering ---> Go to hell with your ancestors opressor.

It's sad people take advantage of every situation they can. Even taking advantage off of the suffering of their ancestors.


Heck if this works, can Christians demand reparations from the Jews for persecution?



Enough is enough. This stuff is so rediculus.
     
pooka
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Jul 11, 2003, 07:44 PM
 
Originally posted by macvillage.net:
Israel may have one up, since they did technically commit attempted genocide when the Red Sea un-split. ... then again... does God get the blame for that? Does the weapons manufacturer get the blame for usage?
You happy? Do you get off on making grown men go poopie in their panties?

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Glennfield
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Jul 12, 2003, 12:51 AM
 
Originally posted by OAW:
I would simply say that all native born black US citizens who are not descendants of immigrants who came to this country after 1865 are eligible.
OK, so:

1)What constitutes "black"? Is there a certain melanin threshold that must be achieved? Is one ineligible if one has a "white" parent? Is one eligible if one appears "white" but has a "black" grandparent?

2)"Not descendants of immigrants who came to this country after 1865"? If three of one's grandparents were of pre-1865 descent, and one immigrated in the 1930s, is one eligible? How about the reverse situation?

3) What if one has both slave and slaveowner ancestors (not altogether unlikely)? Should this person be eligible for reparations? Or does it still depend on whether one is subjectively "black"?
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Sven G
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Jul 12, 2003, 05:29 AM
 
Originally posted by davesimondotcom:
Why not level the playing field by bringing the low end up, rather than bringing the high end down?
Yeah: this, in general, would be a good thing indeed!

I often think about how great the world could be if everyone could be an aristocrat (in its most positive meaning, of course): BTW, many great men/women of the past were of aristocratic origin (meaning, probably, also that they were more free to "think freely" by themselves). OTOH, the so-called "proletarian revolutions" (see downwards levelling) have often produced harsh reactions afterwards; which is to mean that there weren't enough complex and profound ideals to proceed onwards to more significant achievements.

Of course, un upwards levelling of the playing field (individuals and society) means a synthesis between the best aspects of both "popular" and "aristocratic" culture - which is really rather difficult to achieve in our mercantilistic society, dominated by the worst parts of the aforementioned mindsets (roughly speaking, of course)...

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OAW
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Jul 13, 2003, 04:05 PM
 
Originally posted by Glennfield:
OK, so:

1)What constitutes "black"? Is there a certain melanin threshold that must be achieved? Is one ineligible if one has a "white" parent? Is one eligible if one appears "white" but has a "black" grandparent?

2)"Not descendants of immigrants who came to this country after 1865"? If three of one's grandparents were of pre-1865 descent, and one immigrated in the 1930s, is one eligible? How about the reverse situation?

3) What if one has both slave and slaveowner ancestors (not altogether unlikely)? Should this person be eligible for reparations? Or does it still depend on whether one is subjectively "black"?
LOL. I find it so funny how the definition of black suddenly gets so complicated when there's something of value at stake. Whether that "value" is a reparation payment or credit for the development of advanced societies in antiquity. But any other time the old "one drop" rule applies.

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christ
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Jul 13, 2003, 05:15 PM
 
Originally posted by OAW:
LOL. I find it so funny how the definition of black suddenly gets so complicated when there's something of value at stake. Whether that "value" is a reparation payment or credit for the development of advanced societies in antiquity. But any other time the old "one drop" rule applies.

OAW
Sorry? Does this mean that you think that reparations should be paid to anyone with 'one drop' of slave blood? I would take a wild guess that this could be a large group of people.

(Where does the 'one drop' rule apply?)
Chris. T.

"... in 6 months if WMD are found, I hope all clear-thinking people who opposed the war will say "You're right, we were wrong -- good job". Similarly, if after 6 months no WMD are found, people who supported the war should say the same thing -- and move to impeach Mr. Bush." - moki, 04/16/03
     
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Jul 13, 2003, 08:22 PM
 
I'm adopted and have idea who my ancestors were. I'm white. But maybe I have a drop of African blood in me, who knows either way. Therefore, just to be on the safe side, I think I'll claim a share of the reparations. OK?
     
OAW
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Jul 14, 2003, 11:34 AM
 
Originally posted by christ:
Sorry? Does this mean that you think that reparations should be paid to anyone with 'one drop' of slave blood? I would take a wild guess that this could be a large group of people.

(Where does the 'one drop' rule apply?)
Let me put it to you this way ....

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck .... then it's a duck.

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christ
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Jul 14, 2003, 01:17 PM
 
Originally posted by OAW:
Let me put it to you this way ....

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck .... then it's a duck.

OAW
You want to pay reparations to ducks?

Or just people that look like slaves, walk like slaves, and quack like slaves?

Either way, I don't understand your answer.
Chris. T.

"... in 6 months if WMD are found, I hope all clear-thinking people who opposed the war will say "You're right, we were wrong -- good job". Similarly, if after 6 months no WMD are found, people who supported the war should say the same thing -- and move to impeach Mr. Bush." - moki, 04/16/03
     
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Jul 14, 2003, 01:52 PM
 
What about the blacks folks who look white? Surely it would not be fair to penalize them for their (lack) of pigmentation.
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OAW
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Jul 14, 2003, 03:30 PM
 
Originally posted by nvaughan3:
What about the blacks folks who look white? Surely it would not be fair to penalize them for their (lack) of pigmentation.
Relatively speaking, there are very few "black" people who lack so much melanin that they look "white". Even children of interracial marriages generally don't look like a straight up white person. (i.e. Vanessa Williams, Halle Berry, Jason Kidd?).

Besides, if a "black" person's appearance is such that the typical person would view them as "white", then they are probably "passing" anyway ..... so f*ck em!

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vmpaul
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Jul 14, 2003, 09:23 PM
 
I thought that debt was paid, it was called The Civil War. What of the hundreds of thousands of lives, limbs and blood lost to to end that institution? Certainly, there has to be an accounting for that as well?

On another note, I heard someone make this point before. They were saying that 'on the whole' the South didn't really benefit that much from slavery. The living conditions in the south were in all respect closer to a 3rd world nation rather than a thriving industrial one. I guess the case can be made for certain individuals benefiting from slavery but on the whole the south had a bankrupt economic system. It's certainly true when you compare it to the North and other areas where there was no slavery. So the idea that the south benefited could be challenged.

I don't know if I buy it completely but I thought it was an interesting point I hadn't heard before. It certainly doesn't address the morality of slavery but still...what does?
     
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Jul 15, 2003, 08:54 AM
 
Originally posted by OAW:
Let me put it to you this way ....

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck .... then it's a duck.

OAW
So you're saying that only those who speak "Ebonics" will qualify?

Let me ask you this, since you so flippantly dismissed my previous questions: A person has a "white" parent and a "black" parent. Through the miracle of genetics, he looks essentially "black." His brother, on the other hand, looks essentially "white." Do you believe that it would be completely fair to give reparations to the "black" sibling but not the "white" one?
"A scientist can discover a new star but he cannot make one. He would have to ask an engineer to do it for him."
     
OAW
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Jul 15, 2003, 11:57 AM
 
Originally posted by Glennfield:
So you're saying that only those who speak "Ebonics" will qualify?
Ebonics!? First of all ....

You know what, on second thought ... never mind.

Originally posted by Glennfield:

Let me ask you this, since you so flippantly dismissed my previous questions: A person has a "white" parent and a "black" parent. Through the miracle of genetics, he looks essentially "black." His brother, on the other hand, looks essentially "white." Do you believe that it would be completely fair to give reparations to the "black" sibling but not the "white" one?
I've already answered your hypothetical scenario. The chances of a child of a black and white parent coming out looking like a straight up white person is so remote it's not even worth talking about. I would dare say that you couldn't name ten people with both a black and white parent who look like so "white" that even other white people wouldn't question their heritage. But you want to discuss the situation in relation to a handful of black people who look white by the "miracle of genetics" rather than the millions of black people who are obviously black! For some reason, this actually makes sense to you.

But since you insist, if a black person who looked "white" could prove their parentage, then of course they would be eligible.

Having said that, this is what seems to inevitably happen whenever this subject comes up. Those who oppose the very idea of reparations ... almost on a visceral level ... think of all kinds of contrived, hypothetical, and downright fanciful scenarios to provide "justification" for their opposition. All of a sudden, black people need to prove that they are "black" when a reparation payment is at stake ... but they don't need to prove it when they get pulled over by a cop on a DWB (driving while black). What about all those black people that look "white"? What about all those black people in this country that are not descendants of slaves? As if either of these constitute a significant portion of the black community in this country. The essential argument seems to be that since any reparation program is bound to have some sort of issues or problems, then it might as well not be done. In other words, those of that mindset oppose the good for not being the perfect. It's really quite comical when you think about it.

As I said, I don't really have a dog in this race since I'm intelligent enough to know that a people that practically have a stroke at the mere suggestion of an official apology for slavery are simply not going to allow any form of financial reparations for slavery ... regardless of whether or not the idea has merit. The very discussion is quite pointless IMO because white people as a group simply do not have the political will ... nor will they likely ever have it in the foreseeable future ... to do such a thing.

OAW
     
OAW
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Jul 15, 2003, 12:00 PM
 
Originally posted by christ:
You want to pay reparations to ducks?

Or just people that look like slaves, walk like slaves, and quack like slaves?

Either way, I don't understand your answer.
Well if that went over your head then there's not really much point in trying to explain it even further. Some things just can't be fixed.

OAW
     
 
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