April 11, 2010

Obama and Reparations

One of the more interesting anecdotes in David Remnick's interminable new biography of Barack Obama's "story of race and inheritance," The Bridge, comes from Obama’s class at the University of Chicago Law School on “Race, Racism, and the Law:”
“’But there was a moment when he let his guard down,’ one former student recalled. ‘He told us what he thought about reparations. He agreed entirely with the theory of reparations. But in practice he didn’t think it was really workable. … as the complexities emerged—who is black, how far back do you go, what about recent immigrants still feeling racism, do they have a claim—finally, he said, ‘That is why it’s unworkable.’’”

Of course, the exact same questions also apply to affirmative action—which Obama finds wonderfully “workable.”

Obama’s student recalled:
“You could tell that he thought he had let the cat out of the bag and felt uncomfortable. To agree with reparations in theory means we go past apology and say we can actually change the dynamics of the country …”

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

20 comments:

kritisk_borger said...

It is my belief that people who suggest/demand reparation for their people/race for previous generations sins are taking on the persona of a looser. By making such claims they’re indirectly admitting that they as a race/people can’t get ahead without the assistance of the ‘oppressors’, in this case white America and the former colonial super powers. They’re indirectly admitting that they’re not talented enough to get ahead by using their own wisdom and ingenuity.

People with this attitude have given up even before they’ve started. They’re not even interested in giving it a shot. Statements to the effects that giving it a go isn’t worth it because the dominant race is unwilling to give them a fair chance has looser written all over it. People with such defeatists’ attitudes will never account to anything.

The best thing would be for the US Government to add an amendment to its constitution stating categorically that it will never pay any reparations for previous generations’ sins, scarp any affirmative action policies, make any comment about the evil white man oppressing other races hate speech and insist that any person in America with the proper dose of determination is capable of making it big.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing wrong with affirmative action as original conceived -- to insure equal opportunities by removing race as a hidden barrier. Then the HBD deniers started arguing that disparities in results are prima facie proof that race is still a barrier.

Only scientific findings about race and IQ refute that assumption we will never escape from the perception that until blacks achieve socio-economic equality it's proof that society has done enough to equalize opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Since neither Obama or his ancestors were slaves does this mean he would also pay reparations? Would only the original slave-owning states have to pay? Would a state like Idaho (which had about as much to do with slavery as the Canadian province of Alberta did) also have to pay? What about Alaska and Hawaii which only joined America in the twentieth century?

fdadfdfadf said...

Hey, how about reparations for all the crime and welfare blacks have cost us?

afafasdfadsfsd said...

Why stop at reparations? Let's give each black guy $100,000 and a one-way ticket back to Africa. If we to right past wrongs, the main wrong as forcibly bringing them to the US. Shouldn't we do the right thing and send them back?

fasfasdfasdf said...

What blacks got from contact with whites: written language, books, modern medicine, ideas of democracy, Christianity, clean water, cars, radios, tv, idea of human progress and rights, movies, trip to outer space, million dollar sports contracts, welfare, guns, basketballs, toothpaste, soap, modern plumbing, blings, steroes, cds, etc, etc, etc.

And they want reparations. Where would American blacks be if they'd been left alone in Africa?

fadfafasdff said...

American slavery was unjust by advanced Western standards, but it existed in all other parts of the world, so by world standards, it wasn't so bad. It's not like blacks went from freedom to slavery but from African slavery to American slavery. (Whites only bought African slaves from African slave masters.) Compare the fate of African slaves with American slaves from the time period 1600 to 1900. American blacks, though less fortunate than whites, made far far far greater progress than African slaves did under African slave masters. (If blacks really want reparations, they should start with the African slave masters who enslaved them first and sold them to whites).

Speaking of reparations, the word 'slave' comes from Slav, since Christian West at one time enslaved pagan Slavs and sold them to the Middle East. Does Western Europe owe reparations to Eastern Europeans?

Blacks make it seem like there was nothing worse in the whole world than black slavery in America, but it was also a great blessing because the MOST BACKWARD people in the world were suddenly brought into the MOST ADVANCED part of the world. Suppose whites had bought slaves from China or India than from Africa. Suppose 400,000 Chinese or Hindus had been brought here. US would now have 40 million Chinese or HIndus than 40 million blacks, and Chinese- or Hindu-Americans would be doing a lot better than most Chinese in China or Hindus in India(just as American blacks are doing much better than Africans in AFrica).

Blacks gained under white rule. Africa was better under white rule. Look at it now under black rule. Blacks should be grateful that they've lived under white rule in America.
Under black rule in Africa, black slaves remained as they'd been for 10,000s of yrs.
Under white rule in America, black slaves gained freedom by 1865 and in another 100 yrs, gained total freedom and got live in the freest and richest country in the world.
In a few centuries, blacks got to enjoy the fruits of the richest and most powerful country in the world. Your average American black--even those on welfare--eats and lives better than most people--even most people in Europe.

They dost protest too much.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

And they want reparations. Where would American blacks be if they'd been left alone in Africa?

On an overcrowded raft, in the Mediterranean, aiming for Lampedusa.

Your modern civil rights protestor: "Stop oppressing me! And sign this application so that my 3 wives and 17 children can come here to be oppressed, to."

Blacks in Africa got many of those technologies you mentioned. The African population explosion has been entirely made possible by technology invented (and often handed out gratis) by whites.

not a hacker said...

Practical difficulties aside, I've always wondered whether conservatives and others who generally oppose preferences for blacks, would actually agree to cash "reparations" if, as a quid pro quo, we could start speaking the truth about what black people have become, that they're the sworn enemies of anything that could be called civilization. It could well be that it's this prospect that ensures reparations remains an issue only in the academy. Black people on the ground might realize that along with the payment comes a re-legitimation of the open derision they so richly deserve.

Paul Mendez said...

I want reparations from descendants of all those Southrons who were too lazy to pick their own damn cotton!

Whiskey said...

Reparations are not going to go away. The issue will pressed until the inevitable backlash is upon us.

It is the only card, really, left to play when Obama is hard pressed, so expect it to be played. It has great support among the now hereditary White elite, and great support among non-Whites (it would naturally be expanded to Hispanics, Asians, etc.)

It is enraging to pretty much every working and middle class White. Most White women do not see themselves as racists. While they may disdain to hate the average White beta guy, and have sympathy and alliance to non-Whites [I worked in Education, and until recently was a volunteer for an educational charity, believe me this is common among upper class White women who dominate both areas] they do not see themselves as part of the Klan, as modern day Bull Connors needing punishment. They're as pressed as anyone else.

*The nice White lady syndrome is alive and well. One particular woman who has a non-profit that advises school districts on STEM curriculum reforms, to enhance test scores, told me that she regularly tells Mexican boys that "you will be an engineer." There are a few very bright kids even in the Barrio for which this is possible. I've personally seen about six kids for whom this actually happened. But not many. Nevertheless Nice White Ladies (she was ~60) believe in their own transformative power more than anything. The flipside is calling them racist enrages them if done often enough.

airtommy said...

I thought I had accidentally clicked on The Onion, but this appears to be a real news story:

Individuals with Rare Disorder Have No Racial Biases

The Bear said...

All you need to know to understand Obama's "story of race and inheritance" is that he's a descendant of Jayhawkers. Below is an excerpt from Dreams of my Father, which may or may not have actually occurred. Personally, I believe it reflects the author's own unconscious contempt for American slaves who failed to fight for their freedom.

And Marcus? I wasn’t sure what had happened to Marcus. He should have had one more year left, but something had gotten to him midway through his junior year, something that I had recognized, even if I couldn’t quite name it. I thought back to one evening, sitting with him in the library, before he’d decided to drop out of school. An Iranian student, an older balding man with a glass eye, was sitting across the table from us, and he had noticed Marcus reading a book on the economics of slavery. Although the drift of his eye gave the Iranian a menacing look, he was a friendly and curious man, and eventually he leaned over the table and asked Marcus a question about the book.

“Tell me please,” the man said. “How do you think such a thing as slavery was permitted to last for so many years?”

“White people don’t see us as human beings,” Marcus said. “Simple as that. Most of ‘em still don’t.”

“Yes, I see. But what I mean to ask is, why didn’t blacks fight?”

“They did fight. Nat Turner, Denmark Vescey--”

“Slave rebellions,” the Iranian interrupted. “Yes, I have read something about them. There were very brave men. But they were so few, you see. Had I been a slave, watching those people do what they did to my wife, my children. . . well, I would have preferred death. This is what I don’t understand--why so many men did not fight at all. Until death, you see?”

Mr. Anon said...

Of course the institution most culpable for slavery, and the one that should be made to pay the lions' share of reparations is................

.....the Democratic party - the party of Jefferson Davis, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Theodore Bilbo, Sheriff Clark, and George Wallace. The party of the Slave Power, the Confederacy, the Klan, and Jim Crow.

Make them pay.

JJJ said...

What's funny is that blacks are about 12-13% of this nation. They are only a small minority. Yet the entire national experience must revolve around their bs. The media behaves as if blacks are 60% of the nation.

Blacks and white liberals are totally wedded to the concept that America is nothing nyet nada w/o the 'black experience'

All of the stuff that whitey did these past few hundred years is essentially irrelevant. The Primary Directive is improving the condition of blacks in north america [and ignoring what happened to the huge # of middle passage blacks shipped to south america]..that is all that matters

ATBOTL said...

"It is my belief that people who suggest/demand reparation for their people/race for previous generations sins are taking on the persona of a looser."

Other races have a strong drive for dominance and don't care whether grabbing more stuff for their own group makes people like you think they are "losers" or not. It's like how the argument that affirmative action hurts blacks because whites will assume successful blacks owe there success to it ignores the fact that blacks don't care what white people think.

We need to get past this idea that the other races can be convinced to play by our race neutral rules. It will never happen.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

Reparations are not going to go away. The issue will pressed until the inevitable backlash is upon us.

Even with slavery the South was poor relative to the North. The North had all the industry. They had something like 4x the white population of the South. And that's why they won the war. My Southern ancestors, including the ones who had owned slaves, were far poorer the my Yankee ones. My grandmother was descended from slaveowners, the only one of my grandparents who was. I inherited nothing from her besides the random accumulated trinkets and knicknacks of a loong-lived life. Why do blacks seem to feel they should be compensated for the supposed income their distant ancestors would have received, when all of it would have been spent anyway? They get paid for the labor they perform now, yet they don't tend to pass much down from one generation to the next.

Truth said...

"We need to get past this idea that the other races can be convinced to play by our race neutral rules. It will never happen."

I suspect that you have read this website before, where have you seen "race neutral rules?"

Anonymous said...

Capn Jack - Why do blacks seem to feel they should be compensated for the supposed income their distant ancestors would have received, when all of it would have been spent anyway?

Im sure you are wrong. You have to be, because a wise black woman told me only the other day (on Face Book) that even now white countries are only rich because of exploiting slaves. She never did get around to telling me all about her economics qualifications...

Survey Magnet said...

We have a strong debate about this very topic going at

http://www.surveymagnet.com/2010/01/should-the-government-pay-reparations-to-black-people/