Debate Magazine

I'll Admit I Am a Confused White Guy When It Comes to Reparations.

Posted on the 29 September 2019 by Doggone
Another big issue with this topic is that there is also no consensus on the Black (?) or African American (?) side. Case in point, Kay Coles James is President of The Heritage Foundation. She is also a black woman, and a Republican, which can cause some people's head to explode if they wish to believe that gender or race influences their opinion.
Where this comes in is in terms of conservative black people, which sounds like a contradiction in terms (sort of like Very religious Jews siding with conservative Christians in the US).
It is also the exception which proves the rule ("prove" meaning "tests") in that she is a black woman with a highly impressive CV going by the write up here: https://www.heritage.org/staff/kay-coles-james.
I'll mention Candace Owen, but that's it.
OK, Black Conservatives are definitely NOT on the same page as Ta-Nehisi Coates, or even me. But they do raise the question is it racism or is the issue something else which reparations aren't really going to address.
Part of the reason I mention Kay Coles James is that she is a black woman from a southern, former slave state who has done well in society.  Perhaps that is due to when she grew up.
On the other hand, this white guy, who was born in Detroit has had his own share of eating 50 cent burritos and being leveraged to the hilt with debt during periods of unemployment.
Is that my white privilege at work?
Anyway, the black conservative opinion on this topic runs like this:
Perhaps we should remember the legacy of a former slave who rose up from slavery to advise presidents – Booker T. Washington – who never asked for reparations. Washington preached dignity through work – to become so skilled that you earned respect. “Nothing ever comes to me, that is worth having, except as the result of hard work,” he said. That’s what pulled Washington up from slavery. It doesn’t have to work for just one man.
My point isn't that I don't think that slavery was bad or that there is no discrimination, but there is more than one opinion. Likewise, the past 160 odd years have changed the playing field to make this a very complex issue to address.
The bottom line is that any reparations may not be monetary: they may be more symbolic.  Something to make people feel good about historic events which we must acknowledge, but cannot change.

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