CharonY

The case for reparations

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2 minutes ago, iNow said:

And what, ask them to fund reparations? I'm confused how this matters to the topic

Absolutely, Iran and Saudi Arabia, the source of islam . And if you are going to compensatae slaves, why are you discriminating against none US slaves?  Were the ones in the US just lucky ?

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1 hour ago, internetcynic said:

In their world , they did nothing wrong , as judged by thier peers.

Their peers were abolitionists. England abolished slavery prior to the US and pushed the US to do so. You need a new history book.

 

37 minutes ago, internetcynic said:

And lets establish another point. Moslems were slaving in africa FOUR HUNDRED YEARS before the white man got there.

And Christians were slaving before Muslims. WTF has that got to do with whether or not it is wrong?

1 hour ago, internetcynic said:

You coud ltake this to ridiculous lengths

Why would you want to do that?!?! No one here but you is suggesting anything like that.

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3 minutes ago, zapatos said:

And Christians were slaving before Muslims. WTF has that got to do with whether or not it is wrong?

Exactly, it's a pointless distraction. Internetcynic:  read the thread and keep your posts in context of the OP.

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thought i might get an interesting debate  here, the science forum was dull, this one is slow, think ill move  on... nothing going on here, letting topics wander is how you get intersting POV's developing.

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1 minute ago, internetcynic said:

thought i might get an interesting debate  here, the science forum was dull, this one is slow, think ill move  on... nothing going on here, letting topics wander is how you get intersting POV's developing.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

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1 hour ago, internetcynic said:

You coud ltake this to ridiculous lengths. As an englishman, i demand reparations and an apology from Sweden for the VIking invasion of Britain in the Dark ages, for all the rape, pillage and burning.

As an Englishman there is a good chance you have some Viking DNA. Perhaps you can solve the issue by paying yourself reparations.

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He did an amazing job explaining what this is all about. It's too bad so many people won't hear the words he actually said, or will only hear the spun versions of his words that get fed to them.

The craziest part? We're not even talking about reparations delivery right now. We're just talking about studying the possibility, and yet even that gets every one spun up and tribal and taking defensive postures in their respective corners.

We're just talking about studying it as a possible idea. Why is this so threatening? Surely, the study alone is not enough to demolish your self-image, worldview, or ideology... is it?

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14 hours ago, iNow said:

He did an amazing job explaining what this is all about. It's too bad so many people won't hear the words he actually said, or will only hear the spun versions of his words that get fed to them.

The craziest part? We're not even talking about reparations delivery right now. We're just talking about studying the possibility, and yet even that gets every one spun up and tribal and taking defensive postures in their respective corners.

We're just talking about studying it as a possible idea. Why is this so threatening? Surely, the study alone is not enough to demolish your self-image, worldview, or ideology... is it?

I am pretty sure that there are many reasons. I found that for many folks holding on to certain narratives is crucial to establish their worldview and any potential threat to it gets emotionally attacked. Even the idea that something may come up that could be a threat falls under this category. There has been a history of resistance against looking into things like discrimination or outright genocide as one cannot even entertain the thought that these have and/or are happening. Or to put it differently, if we do not look into these issues, we can assume or pretend that they do not exist. I think you will find that these views are are widely held in the public and any potential challenge has to overcome significant obstacles.

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Seem that other groups have been treated as bad if not worse than American blacks.
Jews come to mind.
They were slaves in Egypt, vilified throughout the middle ages, and caged and exterminated ( more than 6 million ! ) like vermin in Europe 75 yrs ago.
But they haven't embraced the 'victimhood', and are some of the most successful people ( for which they are again vilified ).

What exactly are reparations going to accomplish ?
Is it a way to absolve our collective guilt over the barbaric behavior of our ancestors ?
Is it a way to disallow any further claims against us in the future, now that they've been 'paid off' ?
Is any reasonable reparation going to make any difference whatsoever to the large majority of American blacks ?
Are any reparations going to stop the sometimes militant victimhood of some leaders of the African American community ?

Part of a 'study' is determining what you wish to accomplish, and none of that is being discussed.

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41 minutes ago, MigL said:

Seem that other groups have been treated as bad if not worse than American blacks.
Jews come to mind.
They were slaves in Egypt, vilified throughout the middle ages, and caged and exterminated ( more than 6 million ! ) like vermin in Europe 75 yrs ago.
But they haven't embraced the 'victimhood', and are some of the most successful people ( for which they are again vilified ).

What exactly are reparations going to accomplish ?
Is it a way to absolve our collective guilt over the barbaric behavior of our ancestors ?
Is it a way to disallow any further claims against us in the future, now that they've been 'paid off' ?
Is any reasonable reparation going to make any difference whatsoever to the large majority of American blacks ?
Are any reparations going to stop the sometimes militant victimhood of some leaders of the African American community ?

Part of a 'study' is determining what you wish to accomplish, and none of that is being discussed.

The first part, and really the only part it is about, is investigating the context of the matter and figure out the answers to at least some of the questions you are posing. The mere thought about investigating it has, so far, met instant rejection, with arguments ranging from "it was so long ago" to "it won't do any good anyway". Take a read of Coates' article, he did address those criticisms in quite an elaborate way. Some of your questions do not make sense. If you do  not allow probing into reparations, what does it matter whether it disallow claims (similar arguments were levied against Jewish reparations in Germany btw., something that Coates also addressed. Almost as if he had thought long and hard about that matter).

Regarding Jews, what you consider to be a "victimhood" complex, it is quite pervasive in their society and I had a number of interactions (positive and negative) in that regard (it was in the US and they did not realize that I grew up in Germany). I do understand where they come from and it is laughable to single out African-Americans in that regard. It is almost like pushing the onus of the situation toward the group that had experienced suppression. I mean why don't the they simply shrug off the generational transfer of wealth, it is almost a full generation since it happened (not counting persistent features that still disadvantages folks, of course). 

To out it bluntly, a common means of deflection is to draw parallels to things in the past in order to imply that all these mechanisms of disadvantaging specific folks are long over. Coates in his article clearly makes the case that a) many of these measures were established not too long ago, b) the effects are still persistent and c) that there are still structures that, deliberate or not,  still disadvantages them.

The question you are not asking, is why do we come up with so many excuses not to look at the matter in a deliberate fashion. Why, indeed, not read the article that addresses pretty all the points you are making?

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Sorry CharonY, I had participated in this thread when it was first started, and only jumped back in today ( as it has been in the news lately ) without reading intervening posts.
I will certainly read that article.

One other question I didn't bother to post earlier...
this will undoubtedly set a precedent for other groups to have oppressive past societal behavior redressed at a future time.
north american native Indians come to mind. As do Japanese Americans during WW2, and possibly even Mexicans will seek restitution for the D Trump years.

Or is this also addressed in the Coates article ?

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4 minutes ago, MigL said:

Sorry CharonY, I had participated in this thread when it was first started, and only jumped back in today ( as it has been in the news lately ) without reading intervening posts.
I will certainly read that article.

One other question I didn't bother to post earlier...
this will undoubtedly set a precedent for other groups to have oppressive past societal behavior redressed at a future time.
north american native Indians come to mind. As do Japanese Americans during WW2, and possibly even Mexicans will seek restitution for the D Trump years.

Or is this also addressed in the Coates article ?

In my memory (it has been a little when I originally read it) he has picked specifically the African-American perspective. With respect to reparations he used the German reparations to Jews as a precedent. However, there has been an exchange with another Atlantic writer on this issue and if memory serves Coates argued then that a) Japanese-Americans were actually compensated (under Reagan), though that was a struggle. And despite that, no other groups received reparations, meaning that it has in fact not set a precedence. Moreover, he argued that even after the settlement with Japanese-Americans, discriminatory actions against African-American continued. He has also argued elsewhere that hes is focussed on mechanisms and individual history, to pre-empt a similar argument against mixed ancestry. I.e. the persons suffering from racist housing policies should be compensated, but this end, an inquiry is required. He said something to the extent of we cannot evaluate claims if do not even bother to understand the particular history, if memory serves. 

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17 hours ago, MigL said:

Seem that other groups have been treated as bad if not worse than American blacks.
Jews come to mind.

And to this day, Germany still pays a $1,500 monthly pension to survivors of the Holocaust.

https://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/18/world/europe/for-60th-year-germany-honors-duty-to-pay-holocaust-victims.html

 

17 hours ago, MigL said:

But they haven't embraced the 'victimhood',

CharonY is exactly correct that suggesting African-Americans should be singled out like this is laughable, and is too common of a tactic (even if only unconscious) intended to deflect from the actual issue. "Nothing to see here, folks... move along..." 

This is currently JUST a discussion to examine the idea... and yet the pushback is rampant.

 

15 hours ago, MigL said:

Or is this also addressed in the Coates article ?

Why not just read it for yourself instead of asking us to spoon-feed it to you?

 

16 hours ago, CharonY said:

The question you are not asking, is why do we come up with so many excuses not to look at the matter in a deliberate fashion.

QFT

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2 hours ago, iNow said:

CharonY is exactly correct that suggesting African-Americans should be singled out like this is laughable, and is too common of a tactic (even if only unconscious) intended to deflect from the actual issue. "Nothing to see here, folks... move along..." 

There is also an insidious undertone to the whole thing that many folks are not aware of (which makes it so insidious). The rhetoric goes that Jews are, despite all the adversity they face, as a whole seemingly more successful than black folks. As such, the fault must lie with them. This then deliberately ignores the specific measures black folks were subject to, such as redlining, targeted predatory lending tactics, exclusion from GI bill etc etc. While Jews continued to face discrimination the nature was quite different was and is quite different to what black folks face resulting in very different trajectories (which, as mentioned, includes recognition for their suffering, reparations and so on).

Ignoring the ongoing  wealth transfer away from black folks, assisted in disproportionately criminalizing them often via unfair mandatory sentencing laws (the difference between crack and cocaine comes to mind). It is then easy to turn around and talk about "personal responsibility" and point toward these horrendous statistics whilst ignoring why they actually exist. And create a vicious circle of blame unfair laws and failure of policies to address them. The intention of HR40 is to look into these specifics and try to explore why African-Americans fare so badly and to go away from the context-free personal responsibility shtick in which the external forces are traditionally ignored.

 

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This is the difference you display ( sometimes ) from CharonY's responses, INow.

Germany pays money to survivors of the Holocaust.
Will they be paying their great-grandchildren, 100 yrs from now, reparations for hereditary economic disadvantages ?

You claim to want 'a discussion', yet when people post viewpoints contrary to yours, you label it 'push-back', laughable, and a common tactic.

My questioning of the further contents of the article was in the same response where I apologised and gave my reason for not having read the article. YET !
Sometimes you stretch quite far to criticize those presenting opposing views.

It would be great ( for you ) if everyone had the same views as you.
But then, you wouldn't have much of a discussion, would you ?

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3 minutes ago, MigL said:

This is the difference you display ( sometimes ) from CharonY's responses, INow.

Germany pays money to survivors of the Holocaust.
Will they be paying their great-grandchildren, 100 yrs from now, reparations for hereditary economic disadvantages ?

 

This is a non-issue. The bill and what Coates are proposing are to look into the damages that folks right now right here have suffered. It seems that you are implying that these damages to black folks were done a long time ago and no one suffering from them are alive today. But rather obviously the hardships for black folks did not evaporate, it continues through the Jim Crow era with forced segregation, it continued via soft segregation and through the 80s, it continued with decriminalization in the 90s. And again, the case is not how much and to whom money should be paid, we are still stuck in figuring out the damages. And it is indeed mindblowing that folks would rather be ignorant on that matter and block measures that would provide data on that matter. 

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16 minutes ago, MigL said:

This is the difference you display ( sometimes ) from CharonY's responses, INow. <snip> You claim to want 'a discussion', yet when people post viewpoints contrary to yours, you label it 'push-back', laughable, and a common tactic. <snip> Sometimes you stretch quite far to criticize those presenting opposing views. It would be great ( for you ) if everyone had the same views as you.

What would be great is if we could please focus on the topic and not on each other. 

11 minutes ago, CharonY said:

It seems that you are implying that these damages to black folks were done a long time ago and no one suffering from them are alive today. But rather obviously the hardships for black folks did not evaporate, it continues through the Jim Crow era with forced segregation, it continued via soft segregation and through the 80s, it continued with decriminalization in the 90s.

Coates touched on this in his testimony this week:

 

 

12 minutes ago, CharonY said:

the case is not how much and to whom money should be paid, we are still stuck in figuring out the damages. And it is indeed mindblowing that folks would rather be ignorant on that matter and block measures that would provide data on that matter. 

Once more for the folks in back who couldn’t hear. 

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I can hear just fine from over here...

My view has always been, and continues to be (even after reading the article and watching your link ), that a society should strive to be as equitable as possible, but it has no business trying to correct ignorant or malicious mistakes made in the past.
By all means, correct the inequalities which, as you and others rightfully say ) still exist, and move forward.
Don't cause further polarization and resentment by, in effect, assigning blame to current generations which may be doing their best to be equitable.

I see the proposition of reparations as further widening the divide, intolerance and resentment between African Americans and "white' Americans.
And I'm willing to bet money that even the 'discussion' of reparations will result in 'civil unrest', because American society ( and even Canadian ) isn't equitable by a long shot.

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24 minutes ago, CharonY said:

This is a non-issue. The bill and what Coates are proposing are to look into the damages that folks right now right here have suffered. It seems that you are implying that these damages to black folks were done a long time ago and no one suffering from them are alive today. But rather obviously the hardships for black folks did not evaporate, it continues through the Jim Crow era with forced segregation, it continued via soft segregation and through the 80s, it continued with decriminalization in the 90s. And again, the case is not how much and to whom money should be paid, we are still stuck in figuring out the damages. And it is indeed mindblowing that folks would rather be ignorant on that matter and block measures that would provide data on that matter. 

I think that many would simply prefer to look forward, rather than look back and do all the accounting, or fully trust those attempting to do it.

Like reparations after war, it is something that can never be done equitably. No one can ever fairly compensate for the evils of the past on this scale.

Picking at scabs isn't going to get the healing done any faster IMO, and I think there is as much of a chance to increase racism as reduce it.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, MigL said:

I can hear just fine from over here...

My view has always been, and continues to be (even after reading the article and watching your link ), that a society should strive to be as equitable as possible, but it has no business trying to correct ignorant or malicious mistakes made in the past.
By all means, correct the inequalities which, as you and others rightfully say ) still exist, and move forward.
Don't cause further polarization and resentment by, in effect, assigning blame to current generations which may be doing their best to be equitable.

I see the proposition of reparations as further widening the divide, intolerance and resentment between African Americans and "white' Americans.
And I'm willing to bet money that even the 'discussion' of reparations will result in 'civil unrest', because American society ( and even Canadian ) isn't equitable by a long shot.

And you’re probably right. I understand your position and agree it’s relevant, but avoiding discussions because some people might use it as an opportunity to wedge us away from our common humanity is a massive mistake. 

Discussions of ending slavery caused further polarization and resentment, civil unrest, and widened divides. 

Discussions of ending Jim Crow caused further polarization and resentment, civil unrest, and widened divides. 

Discussions of ending segregated schools and separated water fountains caused further polarization and resentment, civil unrest, and widened divides. 

Discussions of equal civil rights for all, regardless of the melanin content in one’s skin, caused further polarization and resentment, civil unrest, and widened divides. 

These were still the right things to discuss. These were still the right things to do. Those truths remain even while acknowledging the likely growth of resentment and unrest you reference.

Suggesting we shouldn’t even talk about reparations for risk that some uptight asshats panties might get twisted advocates only entitlement and the selective application of our shared values. That approach does not, however, champion the very equity you just advocated in your own post and which I happen to stand steadfastly and firmly by your side in supporting. 

“We’d better not talk about this. It might make masta angry. Just carry on now w your chores and just keep your head down.” 

No. Enough. That’s all done now. 

24 minutes ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

think that many would simply prefer to look forward, rather than look back and do all the accounting

It’s unfortunate, but it’s probably bc so many are uncomfortable with where they’ll land on the ledger... though sunshine is often the best disinfectant. 

Edited by iNow

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31 minutes ago, MigL said:

...a society should strive to be as equitable as possible, but it has no business trying to correct ignorant or malicious mistakes made in the past.

Reparations is a corner stone of our civil legal system. If you steal from someone, you make amends. If you slander a restaurant and they lose business because of it, you are required to pay them damages. Wrongful death? Reparations. Fell off a faulty ladder and can't work? Ladder manufacturer pays. And it doesn't matter if the faulty ladder was an ignorant mistake or done maliciously.

Is it you position that none of these reparations should be made either? If not, then why aren't blacks also entitled to reparations for harm they've suffered?

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6 minutes ago, MigL said:

Don't cause further polarization and resentment by, in effect, assigning blame to current generations which may be doing their best to be equitable.

And here is the thing. Reparations are one means to create an equitable situation. Essentially, if you rob someone until they are in deep debt and then leave them in their debts without robbing them further, you are not striving to create an equitable situation. 

And why is it that reparations in Germany (even though it had its controversies) did not cause civil unrest? Ultimately I see:

Quote

 I see the proposition of reparations as further widening the divide, intolerance and resentment between African Americans and "white' Americans.

as a trivial red herring. It is incredible to think that just the thought of reparations creates resentments, whereas lower life expectancy, persistent wealth transfer, the need to consistently outperform comparable white peers and still obtain less wealth is just fine? While I do not like the term as it almost always creates pushback from certain folks, it is, in my mind, a case of white privilege. The only reason to think that it could increase a divide is by overlooking the existing, massive divide. And that is only possible if you are not touched by that particular issue and therefore believe that it can be ignored. Ultimately I do believe that this is the key answer to iNow's earlier question as to why folks resent these inquiries. If we do not know about the issue, it simply does not exist (for us) and it feels that everything is in order. However, if look into it and acknowledge it for real, only then does resentment exist (again, if it actually does not affect you). Or to put it simply, white folks are not affected by the unjust policies, they are only affected if we acknowledge them to exist (and even then mostly just in moral level, but that alone is too much for some to bear).

It obviously ignores the lived experience of folks that suffer from unjust policies and the (justified) resentment derived from that. To add insult to injury, the white majority not only denies the (ongoing) existence of systematic issues, but instead blame personal responsibility for failures. These then create resentment from certain white folks that see black folks as undeserving criminals which fuels further unjust policies (just contrast the ongoing opioid crisis with the crackdown on black drug abuse).

 As a matter of fact an inquiry into reparations is a means to address these issues, reduce the existing, factual divide that exist in society, and break the vicious circle of self-perpetuating resentments.

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2 hours ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

Picking at scabs isn't going to get the healing done any faster IMO...

Certainly an examination of the wound, how it occurred, and what might be done to treat it isn't likely to help the person who inflicted the wound. But the patient/victim is usually better off. And of course the victim's well being should be paramount.

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1 hour ago, zapatos said:

Certainly an examination of the wound, how it occurred, and what might be done to treat it isn't likely to help the person who inflicted the wound. But the patient/victim is usually better off. And of course the victim's well being should be paramount.

For the quick maybe...but never for the dead.

These are old wounds...efforts should be focused on avoiding similar ones happening in the future IMO.

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