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In his important piece in The Atantic, "The Case for Reparations", Ta-Nehisi Coates provides conclusive evidence that the effects of systemic racism, rooted in the institution of slavery, has continued to significantly effect the lives of African Americans. The really fascinating part of the essay to me is certain conclusions Coates arrives at regarding how we talk about race. Quoting from an earlier essay he wrote, Coates states:
I'm thinking about it with the Supreme Court set to dismantle Affirmative Action. Isn't the "diversity" argument actually kind of weak? Isn't the recompensation argument actually much more compelling? Except this was outlawed with Bakke. What I am thinking is right now, at this moment, American institutions (especially its schools) are being asked to answer for the fact that country lacked the courage to do the right thing. In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision coming down, in the wake of (what looks like) a second Obama term, we could make a really strong case that now is the time to renew a serious discussion about reparations.
This really gets to the issue of “how we talk about race” (and gender, and ethnicity and sexual orientation). Because the African American experience is so stark, so clear and compelling, Coates is right that in an honest world, we SHOULD be able to talk about race and racism with regard to African Americans. I mean—SLAVERY! JIM CROW! Do we really need to spell it out? And yet, we do. Consider the case where diversity became the legal lynchpin to the Supreme Court’s support (for now) of affirmative action programs, University of California v. Bakke. In Bakke, the plurality opinion of Justice Powell featured a desire for diversity as the constitutionally acceptable purpose of affirmative action programs. But it was Justice Blackmun in concurrence that got to the real issue:
I yield to no one in my earnest hope that the time will come when an "affirmative action" program is unnecessary and is, in truth, only a relic of the past. I would hope that we could reach this stage within a decade, at the most. But the story of Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), decided almost a quarter of a century ago, suggests that that hope is a slim one. At some time, however, beyond any period of what some would claim is only transitional inequality, the United States must and will reach a stage of maturity where action along this line is no longer necessary. Then persons will be regarded as persons, and discrimination of the type we address today will be an ugly feature of history that is instructive, but that is behind us.

[…]It is gratifying to know that the Court at least finds it constitutional for an academic institution to take race and ethnic background into consideration as one factor, among many, in the administration of its admissions program. I presume that that factor always has been there, though perhaps not conceded or even admitted. It is a fact of life, however, and a part of the real world of which we are all a part. The sooner we get down the road toward accepting and being a part of the real world, and not shutting it out and away from us, the sooner will these difficulties vanish from the scene.

I suspect that it would be impossible to arrange an affirmative action program in a racially neutral way and have it successful. To ask that this be so is to demand the impossible. In order to get beyond racism, we must first take account of race. There is no other way. And in order to treat some persons equally, we must treat them differently. We cannot -- we dare not -- let the Equal Protection Clause perpetuate racial supremacy. [Emphasis supplied].

I have more to say on the flip.

"In order to treat some persons equally, we must treat them differently. " This is the essence of the concept of reparation. To repair, to restitute for the denial of equality, those who were and ARE advantaged can not be treated the same as those were and are wronged. This is especially true on a societal level.

To repair and provide some measure of reparation requires discussion, understanding and action to address the uncomfortable truth, non-minorities are advantaged because of our past and present.

In order to get beyond racism, to start discussing and implementing real remedies for racism, we must first take account of race. This is, I submit, the essence of Coates’ argument for reparations. And, to “repair” our race problem, we must first speak honestly about racism in America. Coates’ compelling piece is a great start.

As Coates puts it in his companion blog post "The Case for Reparations: An Intellectual Autopsy:

The relentless focus on explanations which are hard to quantify, while ignoring those which are not, the subsequent need to believe that America triumphs in the end, led me to believe that we were hiding something, that there was something about ourselves which were loath to say out in public. Perhaps the answer was somewhere else, out there on the ostensibly radical fringes, something dismissed by people who should know better. People like me. -Emphasis supplied]
I was so struck by that passage. It brought to mind The Bell Curve nonsense championed by Coates' friend Andrew Sullivan - an attempt, in my opinion for nefarious reasons, to explain inequality as a result of nature (a scientific result) in order to avoid this explanation for inequality - racism and other bigotries. It helped me understand my rage at those attempts back in the day. (See my rants on The Bell Curve or Lawrence Summers and his 'women have less aptitudes in the sciences' crap.)  

In any event, Coates’ article has certainly brought the issue of how we talk about race and racism to the forefront. And that is, in my estimation, a necessary first step toward actually formulating policies to address and eliminate racism from our country.

Some of you may be thinking, that’s interesting about how we talk about race, but what about the issue of reparations? I admit to a bit of a cheat here. But I think the spirit of what I am arguing is quite relevant to the issue of reparations. For I view the issue in a collective sense—that is policies intended to address and remedy that which our history has created with regard to race and racism. Yes, affirmative action is an example, so too would be a policy that recognizes that our past and present demand policies that recognize the harm racism of our past and present create today. It is a call for race conscious remedies that fully understand how the racism of our past and present require action today. Race conscious action.

In an earlier essay, I quoted Justice Sotomayor explaining why race matters:

Race matters. Race matters in part because of the long history of racial minorities’ being denied access to the political process. [...] Race also matters because of persistent racial inequality in society—inequality that cannot be ignored and that has produced stark socioeconomic disparities. [...]

And race matters for reasons that really are only skin deep, that cannot be discussed any other way, and that cannot be wished away. Race matters to a young man’s view of society when he spends his teenage years watching others tense up as he passes, no matter the neighborhood where he grew up. Race matters to a young woman’s sense of self when she states her hometown, and then is pressed, “No, where are you really from?”, regardless of how many generations her family has been in the country. Race matters to a young person addressed by a stranger in a foreign language, which he does not understand because only English was spoken at home. Race matters because of the slights, the snickers, the silent judgments that reinforce that most crippling of thoughts: “I do not belong here.”

In my colleagues’ view, examining the racial impact of legislation only perpetuates racial discrimination. This refusal to accept the stark reality that race matters is regrettable. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race, and to apply the Constitution with eyes open to the unfortunate effects of centuries of racial discrimination. As members of the judiciary tasked with intervening to carry out the guarantee of equal protection, we ought not sit back and wish away, rather than confront, the racial inequality that exists in our society. It is this view that works harm, by perpetuating the facile notion that what makes race matter is acknowledging the simple truth that race does matter.

How we are permitted to talk about race and racism matter in a very real non-wanking sense is critical because how we are permitted politically to discuss race and racism creates strong openings and limitations on what we can do about racism. Not just in the sense that the Roberts 5 will blather about “the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” But in the sense of what our politicians will consider, propose and adopt in terms of policies that really attempt to address and remedy racism.

Coates’ article, on the heels of his dialogue with Jon Chait and Justice Sotomayor’s response to Chief Justice Roberts’ fatuous nonsense is a critical contribution to changing the conversation and, maybe, just maybe, changing the way we attempt to remedy racism.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 01:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges and Black Kos community.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Having "tangented" (55+ / 0-)

    from a straight discussion of the issue of reparations, it s worht noting, as a commenter did today, that reparations often don't include discussions of Native Americans.

    Rather than use a Larry Wilmore joke as a crutch (I think it is a very funny joke, you know the one), let me admit to overlooking the issue, in large part due to my ignorance.

    Hopefully, I'll gain some enlightenment on the issue from comments.

    •  casino reparations (0+ / 0-)

      For Natives Americans. What will the AA version look like?

      •  not reparations. (37+ / 0-)
        The United States is home to 2.4 million Native Americans. In comparison to the rest of the population, this number is a very small amount (only .9%).[11] American Indians have historically lived in extreme poverty. With the rise of Indian gaming enterprises, the problem of poverty may have been variously addressed in select areas. Yet, while Native Americans have begun to take more control of their tribal economies and have begun to improve situations, poverty on Indian Reservations is still a major issue. The U.S. Census in both 1990 and 2000 indicates that poverty has prevailed on reservations; to this day, Native Americans have the highest poverty and unemployment rates in the United States of America. The poverty rate of Native Americans is 25%.[12]
        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition." Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon

        by Denise Oliver Velez on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 02:21:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  PROPER Reparations would be... (13+ / 0-)

        ...government working for the benefit of all citizens. What Coates and many others have pointed out rather skillfully is that government policy at all levels has consistently, relentlessly been used as an economic and social weapon against...pick a target. African-Americans. Women. First Nations peoples. Waves of immigrant groups (some temporarily, some permanently).

        And "the tune" is ALWAYS called by some collection of Financial Elites who more often than not inherited their socio-economic positions.  

        Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Egalitare on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 02:55:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  With all due respect to you and Coates (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          saucer1234

          That's Captain Obvious material. Affirmative Action and Casino
          will be the only race based remedies we will ever see and should see.
          I'm 59 and I can tell you my kids and my generation had NOTHING TO DO WITH JIM CROW. So to make us pay will be a non - starter.

          •  you didn't read coates piece or you'd know (14+ / 0-)

            he talked more about "making people pay." way more.

            Way. More.

            I do hope you join us for Tuesday's discussion but please, make the effort to read the article in question first. Not Armando's article. Coates's article. Thanks.

            Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

            by terrypinder on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 04:13:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I'm 66 and your generation (18+ / 0-)

            and every other generation before it (and after) supported and supports systemic racism.

            Period.

            Why do you think black people (other than Ndn's) are at the bottom of the barrel - in unemployment, in housing, in filling the prison populations, in mortality, health status..

            Does that mean every white person wants it to be that way -no.

            But the power in this country is still in the hands of those who like it just fine.

            Change it.

            "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition." Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon

            by Denise Oliver Velez on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 04:16:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree with you in some ways, Denise (4+ / 0-)

              Whites have been in the majority in America for....what...forever?  Racism is and has always been "systemic" in this country even before it ever became a country.  It started with those that happened upon a "new world" and immediately took advantage of those that were indignant here.  It became rampant when those in Africa sold their own people into slavery to white slave traders that used them to gain huge amounts of wealth and power and eventually political influence and to build a new and prosperous nation.

              Do we make this better for our country's race relations by paying out money to those that have slaves as ancestors?  Will it somehow help our country "heal"?  Will it lessen the racism that still exists today?  Will it make up for the horrible injustice of racial groups in the past in America?

              I am pretty sure most people would answer most (if not all) of those question with a "no".  

              •  It's not just slavery (10+ / 0-)

                Coates barely talks about it in his piece. Much of it is what was stolen a century and more after slavery, going all the way up to today.

                Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

                by moviemeister76 on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 05:30:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  African Americans as a group suffer higher (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ahianne, KnowItAll, suka, Odysseus

                unemployment rates, disadvantages in education, lower incomes, and vastly lower levels of household wealth compared to the other ethnic groups in the US.
                   And I can make the case that this traces back to policies enacted after World War II, so we're not talking about slavery days.
                   If we cut the crap and start systematically fixing the economic disparities felt by much of the black population, the country will be a lot better off.

              •  The people who gained that wealth back in the day (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Fresno, suka, lao hong han

                passed it on to their descendants, who, by the way, took their inheritances without questioning that it was tainted by its derivation from theft and slavery. Had those slave traders and plantation owners not gotten their hands on that wealth, it would have accrued to the people who actually did the work, who would in turn have passed it along to their descendants. I have no problem with taking the ill-gotten gains of the (literally) filthy rich and passing it out to the descendants of those who should have gotten it in the first place.

                As to whether it will make this better for our country's race relations; help our country "heal"; lessen the racism that still exists today or make up for the horrible injustice of racial groups in the past in America, I'd say "it depends on how it's handled" for the first two, "probably not" for the third, and definitely for the last.

                I'm pretty sure most people would only answer 'no' if they thought it was their money that we are talking about. But we aren't, not really. We are talking about the great fortunes that were made on the backs of slaves, or through the institutional racism that persisted and was taken advantage of by those in a position to do so.

                That wasn't me, nor my forebears, and it probably wasn't you, either. It certainly isn't the majority of the American population.

                "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

                by Orinoco on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 07:08:26 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  well (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                suka, Odysseus, lao hong han

                Doing what basically amounts to nothing hasn't helped either.

                Why should there not be reparations? There was a massive injustice.  Denying the need for some form of reparations feels very much like a denial of wrong doing, a denial of harm, a call for the victims to "just get over it."

                That kind of position leads to what we have now, a huge festering, never healing wound in our culture.

                •  If the harm had ended by now, it might be (0+ / 0-)

                  possible for the victims to "just get over it."  But it hasn't ended.  If black people see their children in so many of our cities still stuck in impoverished, inadequate schools, with little chance to reach college and ongoing job discrimination even if they get there and graduate with honors -- see the crippling levels of unemployment that are "normal" in the black community -- still see their children under psychological attack by racist stereotypes and unthinking, even unconscious denegration by the culture -- still see their young males railroaded into jail much more cavalierly than white kids, or periodically shot dead because they reached for their wallet, or their keys -- if all this and more is still going on and there's nothing to say to their anger and grief except "Sorry, maybe it'll be better in another generation or two or three. Or not." -- then the harm has not ended and nobody is going to just get over it.

                  --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

                  by Fiona West on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 02:46:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Why not reparations...... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Oh Mary Oh

                  This is a post that most folks will probably not see because of being so late on this diary.  

                  I have been thinking about this a lot.  I have come to the conclusion that reparations in dollar amounts to blacks that have been hurt because of past discrimination and current discrimination would accomplish absolutely nothing except for giving out money to those that would then just spend it and give it right back to those that put our minority population in the position they're in today.  It would be a nice acknowledgement of past and current misdeeds, but nothing more.

                  What I'd like to see is putting in place a tax on our most wealthy in our country and earmarking that money to put in place programs and opportunities for our black and other impoverished minorities so they can have a fast track to become just as educated, just as capable and just as progressive financially as everyone within the white community in America.  Now, that would still require effort and the willingness to work and achieve.  

                  Rather than just giving away millions and millions of dollars that would ultimately just be spent on things that wouldn't help increase the likelihood of bringing our races into equality, this, to me, would seem a FAR better use of these kinds of dollars.

            •  It's not support of racism, but profit from racism (14+ / 0-)

              Whites still, no matter how unwittingly, profit from institutional racism. We get priority in mortgages vs. blacks and some other racial groups. Better treatment by banks and many businesses all around. No racial profiling while driving. It's just easier to move around while white (no problems hailing a cab in a major city, for example).

              I learned, whiled researching a newspaper article, that blacks selling homes tend to get lower offers than whites, and that many blacks take out family photos when  real estate agent is trying to sell their home in a mixed-race area, so that they will get higher offers.

              Blacks are looked over for jobs because people hiring often assume, even unwittingly, that they are less qualified than whites--even if those whites have less on their resume.

              As the Coates article demonstrates, blacks have been subject to systematic theft of their property (and labor) by whites, especially in the South.

              The practicality of a program of reparations is a serious hurdle, but should not silence a discussion of the real economic impact of institutional racism (still in existence) on blacks and Latinos.

              Native Americans had all their land stolen, their heritage denigrated and nearly wiped out. So they deserve reparations as well.

              Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

              by coral on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 05:19:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Nonsense (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              greenbell

              My generation and my children's especially have been light years
              ahead of prior generations in race relations. The actions of economic
              elites from decades ago isn't going to be hung on me or my kids.

              •  *facepalm* (9+ / 0-)

                Still can't answer my question I see. Still want to say that we are discussing reparations for things that happened long ago.

                White folks in America are not to blame for white privilege. We are not to blame for the way the institutions were built and upheld. But any white person who deliberately denies the realities of the situation today is definitely to blame. And the very fact that you keep trying to say that this discussion of reparations is about stuff that happened before you were born makes you part of the problem. Please read the article.

                Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

                by moviemeister76 on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 05:56:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  ok (5+ / 0-)

            You don't want to pay for slavery and Jim Crow.  Fine.

            I'm a black woman of the gen x age group.  I was never a slave or alive during Jim Crow, and I'm quite tired of paying for it.  

            So what exactly do you suggest?

            •  interesting answer (0+ / 0-)

              Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
              DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
              Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

              by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:03:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Wow (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gramofsam1

              That might be the best answer I've ever seen.

              Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

              by moviemeister76 on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:59:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Right to the heart of the matter. (0+ / 0-)

              You did not choose to be in the situation you were born into.  I did not choose to be born into a racist culture "gifting" me with white privilege even while slapping me down hard for being female.  But we are both responsible for dealing as well as we can with the situation we were born into.  Which means, when you struggle to reduce the injustice to you, your community, your children -- I'm morally obligated to support you.  Not because of white guilt. I accept no guilt for being white.  But I was born into a particular situation and if I decline to deal ethically with that -- then I've got some genuine guilt.

              Reparations is a complex and troubling topic because, to my mind, there's no clear way to do it right. It's not right to give reparations to African Americans and ignore the Indians.  Or other minorities. OR women.  Or poor whites.  Class oppression counts too, because it also damages lives generation after generation.  Yet, inarguably, slavery and Jim Crow are a unique heritage and burden and call for a unique response.  

              --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

              by Fiona West on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 03:06:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Your kids and your generation also had nothing to (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TrueBlueMajority

            do with generating wealth from 1492 to 1950. Time to direct some of your resources back to the origins of the wealth and political capital your kids and your generation have inherited: stolen Native American land, forced African American labor, and the decimation of human and natural communities.

          •  Casinos aren't reparations. (0+ / 0-)

            They weren't "given" to Native American people. They are the results of tribal self-determination, of the contemporary remnants of historical, full Indigenous sovereignty.

            Regarding affirmative action as the "only" form of reparations we will ever see, we have already seen other forms (we only need more). See, for instance, the discussions of Brown University's reparations here and of the Cecil Rhodes Trust here.  

    •  Actually, there have been numerous payouts to (4+ / 0-)

      various native American groups. The most recent was a $3.4 billion settlement of a class action lawsuit re the federal management of the royalties from Indian lands. Other payments to Indian tribes here: https://www.mtholyoke.edu/...

      The US also paid $1.6 billion to the Japanese-Americans interned during World War II.

      AFAIK, there has been no public resistance to reparations for native Americans or to Japanese Americans.
         But for some reason, the suggestion that there should be some compensation for the manifestly obvious economic disadvantages sustained by African Americans arouses public indignation.

  •  I won't be able to participate (24+ / 0-)

    in the discussion today but remember Black Kos is holding a forum on the subject on Tuesday afternoon.

    Let's talk then.  

  •  Thanks (10+ / 0-)

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 01:40:11 PM PDT

  •  And how about the wandering Jew? (0+ / 0-)
  •  It Sounds As If Coates Is Saying: "Diversity" (5+ / 0-)

    is a distraction from the institutional and structural changes needed to correct legal-racial-discrimination?

  •  Speaking of Race (0+ / 0-)

    Has anyone noticed our bi polar news media finally woke up and discovered what a hell hole Mother Africa has become?  What happened to those poor girls is just the tiny tip of a very enormous iceberg.  There are places so awful even The Red Cross and the other usual aid groups won't go there.

    Trolls don't listen they just RANT

    by notatroll12309 on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 01:50:56 PM PDT

  •  To discuss reparations, we must first forthrigh... (17+ / 0-)

    To discuss reparations, we must first forthrightly concede that something was done that was so wrong on a fundamental human level, that its immorality is beyond discussion. Frankly, based on what I see from many politicians, primarily, though not exclusively, in the south, we're not ready to concede even that much.

  •  Diversity is a funny word (politically) (22+ / 0-)

    The GOP is currently running a diversity programs that has goals for the number of minorities it wants recruited to run for elections across the country. This is the very type of Affirmative Action they want banned in the workforce and academia, but they call this diversity not AA.

    As to reparations themselves, I will talk about them on Tuesday, during the Black Kos forum.  

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

    by dopper0189 on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 01:54:43 PM PDT

  •  I read Coates' piece with great interest, and (38+ / 0-)

    I also saw the piece on the MHP show on HBCUs yesterday. the challenges facing the HBCUs are a result of over 350 years of systematic inequality. It was not just slavery and Jim Crow, but red-lining and predatory mortgages that continued into the 21st century. The financial problems that the HBCUs face are a result of having smaller endowments and poorer students. This is a result of long-term inequalities in wealth. I think that Conyers' bill is a start. We need to understand the amount of wealth that was taken from African Americans as a result of slavery, Jim Crow, etc. It may a debt so large that it can never be repaid in full, but the scope of the problems needs to be addressed.

    •  amen n/t (17+ / 0-)

      "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition." Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon

      by Denise Oliver Velez on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 02:00:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  not just wealth taken from AAs (16+ / 0-)

      but also wealth they were deprived of obtaining generation after generation due to repression, examples of which you noted.

      KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

      by fcvaguy on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 02:27:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great idea. (11+ / 0-)

      Just sit down with a calculator and figure out how much in wages was stolen. And the interest, of course. That would be a big eye opener for most people I know.

      Punitive damages should be added for the very fact of enslaving people.

      And for the people who say their ancestors did not own slaves, so I should not have to pay I would argue that our United States government was complicit and an actual partner in slavery so we all are responsible for the debt.

      And the generations after slavery, as Coates so eloquently explains, were handicapped by lack of education and opportunities, discrimination and poverty. Surely they are owed.

      A conservative estimate would be astounding.

      •  No question about the crime(s) (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenbell, kansaster

        However too much time has passed to expect all non AA in the US
        will ever buy-in to monetary reparations. This is pie in the sky debates. Not happening.

        •  Too much time has passed? (8+ / 0-)

          How much time do you think has passed?

          Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

          by moviemeister76 on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 03:36:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  lorikristynmattjulie clearly didn't read Coates (11+ / 0-)

            since he spends less time on slavery in  the article than he does on current injustices

            "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition." Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon

            by Denise Oliver Velez on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 03:39:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  He/She (13+ / 0-)

            Clearly hasn't read the Coates piece or she'd know that the foundational premise of his call to study reparations is financial exploitation and theft particularly as it relates to Black people and property; behavior that is STILL occurring (which Coates chronicles briefly in his piece.)

            Ahh well, what can you do, right? Can't make someone actually study before opening their mouth.

            At this point, I just want America to admit that it still doesn't want its Black citizens to live in any state other than terror, subservience and inferiority, under pain of death. I can handle American racism, but I can't handle American denial.

            by shanikka on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 03:44:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Legally - Easy (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greenbell

            Statute of Limatations. On a practical basis probably 90% of all non AA had nothing to do with Jim Crow or 1970's redlining. Trying to devise any societal based reparation package will do nothing but create a wedge opportunity for Republicans. Its not going to happen.
            I would give you 100-1 odds on a 10 bet you or I will see it happen.

            Before people talk about the Japanese - American payments, those were to the actual camp inhabitants and were much smaller kn number. IMO Aft. Action is the only thing we will have seen.

            •  You did not answer my question (6+ / 0-)

              How much time do you think has passed?

              Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

              by moviemeister76 on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 03:52:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Say I stole twenty dollars twenty years ago. (6+ / 0-)

              My conscience has been bothering me.

              I look up the law on it and find that the Statute of Limitations is up.

              That does not absolve me. My mind is still not right with itself and will not be until I acknowledge and pay the debt.

            •  Although Coates does not deal with this, (11+ / 0-)

              it's also important to recognize that the wealth of Europe (not just of the United States) was built on the slave trade and the theft of indigenous lands, and on the colonialism and neocolonialism and various Jim Crow regimes that followed.  

              I bemoan the historical ignorance of the many European descended people who argue that their ancestors had nothing to do with slavery, so why should they pay reparations. The profits of the slave trade were the foundation upon which European nations and families built their (relative) privilege over Black and Native people, and unless your ancestors lived outside those formations, you benefited from the slave trade as well.

              I was reminded of this recently by the new film Belle, which is built on a real case (The case of the Zong) where a British slaver threw 143 slaves overboard, chained together, in order to collect the insurance on his slaves/commodities who he had "spoiled" by his incompetence as a businessman.  This case exposed the raw bottom line of European slavery, which was about profit and material wealth, although it also wrapped itself in the equally wicked ideological bullshit about the inferiority of Black and Native people.

              •  Yes (5+ / 0-)

                I was just stunned when a Dutch woman tried to explain to me recently that she couldn't understand why people of color would have issues with her country since the Dutch people didn't actually colonize any African or Middle Eastern countries. Apparently she's never heard of the Dutch Slave Trade.

                However, I think Coates did not deal with Europe in his essay because he was trying to deal with issues that were strictly American. Especially since nationalism is pretty much seen as de facto, so it's not like the other European countries could be involved in any type of policy discussions in America.

                Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

                by moviemeister76 on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 04:42:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  You Know the Nice Thing About (16+ / 0-)

              Statutes of limitation? When folks really want to allow someone to sue because they have a profound injury it's amazing how quickly statutes can change, if there's a will.  Even when there isn't, concepts such as equitable tolling can work miracles when there is, again, a will to actually see justice done.

              Nobody cares about your racehorse odds right now, because nobody is asking for any money right now.  All Armando's diary is about is the way we talk about race, and why it is important to have a meaningful discussion about reparations.  All others have been talking about is simply studying the issue.

              Yet you can't even sign onto that.  You know it.  So just admit it.

              (BTW, there has not been a seriousaffirmative action program ever undertaken in this country that wasn't set aside within 10 years after its implementation because whites successfully attacked them in the courts on "reverse discrimination" grounds.  Not in government contracting, not in employment, not in education.  Despite that bastion of equal rights Richard Nixon envisioning it as necessary (and you know how fucked up he was when it came to racism).  Given this, I have two questions:   (a) why do you and folks like you keep bringing up affirmative action as if any meaningful affirmative action ever legally existed? Don't you know anything more about the facts than what anti-Black racists tell you?; (b) Surely you would agree that even if such a thing ever existed, really, the 1/10 loaf that Black folks might have gotten from it doesn't make up for 350+ years of literal exploitation of Black people by America (since as you've already been schooled, it continues to this very day).

              At this point, I just want America to admit that it still doesn't want its Black citizens to live in any state other than terror, subservience and inferiority, under pain of death. I can handle American racism, but I can't handle American denial.

              by shanikka on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 04:21:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  My mother's side of the family (10+ / 0-)

              ..came over in the 1860's; both of my Irish great-grandfathers fought for the Union. My father's side of the family came over in 1910, and settled in rural northern Ohio initially, later moving to Barberton where there were many other Hungarian immigrants. So why should I owe anyone reparations?

              BECAUSE. Because I am a citizen and a taxpayer of this nation, and this nation's wealth, North and South, was built initially on the backs of slaves. Because I am white, and have benefitted from white privilege, even though it was as invisible to me as water is to a fish. Because as a citizen with a conscience, I want this country to act responsibly and ethically in the future, even as it has not in the past.

              We're not going to break the country to fix it. The debt is overdue, but it'll have to be paid back gradually. But the country as a whole owes a debt to its black and American Indian citizens, regardless of what we ourselves and our personal ancestors did. We need to start figuring out how to repay, not keep on denying the debt.

              Cogito, ergo Democrata.

              by Ahianne on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 07:26:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  wrong again... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Fiona West

              The $20-50 grand that was paid to Japanese-Americans, as well as the theoretical restitution for the plummeting of their homes, businesses, schools and other real estate properties by GOVERNMENT forces was paid to many of the children or grandchildren of the internment camp residents because, of course, many of the original victims had passed away four decades later. As an African-American, I don't expect the country to give a public apology or form of reparations any time soon for how 'some' of us treated and perpetuated discrimination and or hate crimes against those of Muslim, Middle Eastern or perceived Middle Eastern ethnic descent in the wake of the political extremism/absolutism of 9/11; but if they ever get around to doing so, won't be any sweat off my brow or slap in the face. The individuals who are this vehemently denied to any sort of corrections to purposefully perpetuated historical atrocities don't even realize how dangerously close their spite is to the actual people who are responsible for them happening. Its NOT all about you; READ the article and more history in general please.

              P.S.-CHRIS MCDANIEL, the tea party fave running for a Mississippi seat in the Federal Senate, was caught on right-wing radio (where the hate echo chambers blare loudest, of course) saying he would stop paying taxes if the government ever approved reparations, as of this had a serious chance of passing unscathed through this useless Congress. We of course know who he was squawking off about, even though this was some months before the Coate's article. But considering McDaniel has been present and speaking sweet speeches to neo-confederate 'heritage' groups with veiled white nationalist activism, we need to have a serious repudiation and countet-narrativeof these asshats, at least in the public sphere. Not to bring up the so far 4 idiots that videotaped his opponent's relative with dementia again, but these arenthe f***-ing mole people, I swear!

              "Life is indeed a mystery; everyone must stand alone....Dearly beloved, we are gathered today to get through this thing called life!"

              by Politikator09 on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 10:36:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Voting Rights Act and end to legal segregation (7+ / 0-)

            happened within the lifetime of many blacks and the parents of many. The end of redlining and housing and mortgage discrimination? Still going on today.

            Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

            by coral on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 05:28:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'll admit (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ahianne

              You made me laugh.

              Since it was either that or slam my head on the desk at how true your comment is.

              Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

              by moviemeister76 on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 06:13:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I live in the house (8+ / 0-)

        I don't actually use the foundation. I just walk on the floor.

        That seems to be the argument, basically.

      •  Generations after slavery still were stolen (4+ / 0-)

        from. Many had land and other wealth robbed, especially in the South with the institution of Jim Crow. Many were imprisoned unjustly and put to work on chain gangs. Sharecropping itself was a form of theft.

        Not to mention job discrimination keeping even university graduates in menial, low paid labor.

        Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

        by coral on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 05:26:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Most white people have no conception how often (0+ / 0-)

          prosperous black people in the Jim Crow era South were knocked back down into poverty by theft that the legal system ignored or encouraged.  A neighboring white suddenly "discovered" a claim to part of their land, or they got up one morning to find their mules (crucial work animals) had been shot, or their barn set on fire. A black family that rose too high was likely to be vindictively targeted.  Or simply murdered.  

          --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

          by Fiona West on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 06:06:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, the housing system after WWII is the (6+ / 0-)

      proximal cause of the current disparities. Home ownership was subsidized for whites, but blacks were legally prevented from buying into the new suburbs. Blacks were the clients for "the projects," high density urban apartment complexes that were rental housing.
         Almost all the wealth held by the white middle and working class derives from home ownership.

      •  Well, the relatively high wages of the 50's and (0+ / 0-)

        60's, in factories and other working class jobs,  contributed a lot too.  But job discrimination kept most black people out of the high-paying jobs

        --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

        by Fiona West on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 06:10:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We are not talking about restitution (7+ / 0-)

      which would mean taking away everything built by slave labor, and everything earned by investing that, and distributing it among descendants of slaves. We are talking about repair, which requires us first to admit to and assess the damage, and the amount of work required to bring the disadvantaged up to par, with equal access to education, health care, housing, and economic opportunity, among other things.

      That means a comprehensive, integrated solution. Attempting to fix college education without fixing schools is nonsensical. Attempting to fix schools without fixing housing and jobs is equally nonsensical. Attempting to fix jobs without fixing the economy is nonsensical. Attempting to fix the economy without fixing politics is nonsensical.

      Fixing politics turns out to be possible if we focus on taking the House either this year, which I think is possible if Republicans continue to make enough unforced errors, or in 2016, which is actually quite likely, almost inevitable. Then we need to pass a new Voting Rights Act that would bar gerrymanders and voter suppression, and create a new, SCOTUS-proof preclearance list.

      Then we have to clear out the backlog of blocked Progressive legislation that we know about, and have a discussion about ending all poverty, not just race-based poverty, based on the evidence about each kind of poverty.

      A reasonable starting place would be the one good idea that Milton Friedman ever had, of a Guaranteed National Income to replace the hodgepodge of anti-poverty safety net programs. Richard Nixon also thought it would be a good idea, but it was obvious to all other Republicans that it was Socialism. Since it came from Friedman and Nixon, they ignored it rather than attacking it.

      The idea is to set an income level above the poverty line, and provide refundable tax credits so that everybody in the country would be at or above that level. Then they should all be able to afford decent housing in areas with jobs, and pay property taxes to fund decent schools.

      If in fact everybody who can work gets a job at a living wage, then the Guaranteed National Income comes to cost next to nothing.

      Obviously, there is a great deal more to it, but if we can make it work, that would do the trick.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 06:40:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This. (4+ / 0-)

        Thank you Mokurai for discussing possible solutions.

        I think you are thinking right.

        I think that this is what it should be about.

        Thank you.

      •  Good lord, that sounds utopian. And socialist at (0+ / 0-)

        least in part, of course. (Yay.)  Yet some of it sounds actually doable.  Take back the House, pass a new Voting RIghts law, OUTLAW GERRYMANDER AND VOTER SUPPRESSION, and "create a new, SCOTUS-proof preclearance list."  What a huge victory that would be. Yet -- if we win back the House -- why not?

        It's all nonsensical without fixing the economy, and that means reversing income inequality at least partially; taking back some of the control from the 1 percent and reclaiming part of what they've stolen from us all since 1970 -- and if we can do that, we will have some serious resources to attack poverty, and rescue education from the privatizers/destroyers.

        Would African Americans support " a discussion about ending all poverty, not just race-based poverty, based on the evidence about each kind of poverty"?  Or would that seem to be yet another diversion, a refusal to deal with the specific wrongs against black Americans in favor of discussing how to fix everything for "all of us."  Which traditionally has not turned out to really mean all of us.

        At any rate, this is a thought-provoking comment, and raises many good issues of how "repair" might proceed.  Perhaps more will be said about some of these issues tomorrow.

        --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

        by Fiona West on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 06:45:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  after 2 years of law school and reading cases (5+ / 0-)

    Blackmun is my favorite.

    In reality, laws are always useful to those with possessions and harmful to those who have nothing. - Rousseau, The Social Contract, note 5

    by James Allen on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 02:12:03 PM PDT

    •  Good for you (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, howabout, coral, etherealfire

      After 50 years of reading cases and writing legal briefs, he is mine as well, although I am hoping my old law professor and thesis advisor, Justice Breyer, surpasses him someday.

      Dedicated to recapturing the American Dream by changing the framework of the debate to focus on: Growth, Efficiency, Community, Sustainability and Economic Fairness. Improve constantly and drive out fear - Dr. W. Edwards Deming

      by Paradigm Change on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 02:29:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In an article about enduring racism (0+ / 0-)

    it's good to be conscious of certain spelling distinctions, such as "lynch" vs. "linch" (as in "linchpin" -- not "lynchpin").

    "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

    by Geenius at Wrok on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 02:15:15 PM PDT

  •  Outstanding, Armando. Thanks so (11+ / 0-)

    much for this.

    An angry white man with a gun is a patriot. An angry Muslim man with a gun is a terrorist. An angry black man with a gun is a corpse. -- raptavio

    by Yasuragi on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 02:17:27 PM PDT

  •  Very nice Armando (14+ / 0-)

    You hit upon something that struck me during the interview Coates did with Bill Moyers. The need to be able to honestly discuss race and racism in this country. We can't fix the wrongs until we can actually discuss what all was wrong in the first place, without distractions, derailings, and other types of manipulations.

    Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

    by moviemeister76 on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 02:24:12 PM PDT

  •  "Race conscious action" (10+ / 0-)

    exactly.  Not trying to wallpaper over history and current realities.

    "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition." Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 02:24:25 PM PDT

  •  Thank you so much, Armando (13+ / 0-)

    I'll be rereading your post, but this paragraph in particular resonates deeply. What is considered "legitimate" speech is a real problem.

    How we are permitted to talk about race and racism matter in a very real non-wanking sense is critical because how we are permitted politically to discuss race and racism creates strong openings and limitations on what we can do about racism. Not just in the sense that the Roberts 5 will blather about “the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” But in the sense of what our politicians will consider, propose and adopt in terms of policies that really attempt to address and remedy racism.

    There is something in us that refuses to be regarded as less than human. We are created for freedom - Archbishop Desmond Tutu

    by Onomastic on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 02:27:52 PM PDT

  •  The case for reparations is going nowhere (5+ / 0-)

    And not merely because of likely uniform Republican opposition.  It's because, Coates, Conyers and other proponents can't even get beyond defining the problem.

    Coates shied away from even a general outline of a mechanism by which monetary compensation for the victims and descendants of bigotry could be distributed.  Your dad was passed over for promotion, so you get an extra $100 a month?  Your grandparents were excluded from leasing a dwelling in a nice Chicago neighborhood in the 1960s, so now you... get priority tenant status or something?  Is someone thinking about parsing family trees Wansee-Protocall-style in order to pro-rate an African-Americanness coefficient for damage adjustment?  Will we control for historical regional disparities? It's all absurd.

    It could be argued that reparations already exist in the form of affirmative action, insufficient as it may be to redress past discriminatory housing and employment practices.  Even the relative social acceptability of who gets to use ethnic slurs like the N word are an acknowledgment of the historical damage they have caused.

    I believe egalitarian funding for school districts is a much more attainable and important objective in the fight for racial equality.  Equality of opportunity is something that's much easier to quantify and fix than the cumulative historical damage of failing to do so.

    First they came for the slippery-slope fallacists, and I said nothing. The End.

    by Cream Puff on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 02:43:42 PM PDT

    •  I don't think they are shying away from it (11+ / 0-)

      Coates pretty much argues that he doesn't know the answer because Americans have largely been too afraid to look for one. Coates is explicitly arguing for honest discussion and research in the hopes that we can come up with an answer.

      Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

      by moviemeister76 on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 02:53:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The first thing would be to recognize that African (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus

        Americans have suffered unique oppression in the US.
           The US doesn't have a problem of "diversity." Only African Americans have suffered economic and political oppression and actual apartheid. The focus should be on fixing their problems.

        •  I disagree with this (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Morgan Sandlin, Odysseus

          I think Indians would argue that they have definitely suffered oppression, economic and otherwise. What they have suffered is unique from what black people have suffered, of course.

          Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

          by moviemeister76 on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 06:47:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The oppression of Jews, Chinese, irish, (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            moviemeister76, FogCityJohn, Odysseus

            Japanese, Latinos of various kinds, and many other ethnicities in the US does not come up to the level of the depredations against slaves and Native Americans, but each has their own story, including serious death in some cases (like not letting in Jews fleeing the Nazis) and major economic harm in all cases. (Then there was the Irish Potato Famine, and Japanese depredations in China, which are not the doing of the US.) Women, as the oppressed majority, are their own special case. I could go on. Male Jews, Irish, and Asians have largely gotten out of the problem in the US, although not entirely. Other groups also have made progress. (I'm part Polish Jewish, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and various other sorts that I could tell you about, all with various grievances against somebody.)

            The question is not who has the nastiest history. The real question is what is wrong now, and what we can do about it. Fixing poverty would go a long way toward solving the other problems, or at least allowing the formerly poor to have money and time to devote to those other problems.

            I would be a lot better off myself if the last two recessions hadn't done in my life savings. But I'm not so bad off, in comparison to many others that I would be happy to help.

            Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

            by Mokurai on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 09:26:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  At some point, it has to move beyond theory (0+ / 0-)

      and into the hard choices of: who pays; how much; who qualifies. Otherwise, let it go.

      New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

      by AlexDrew on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 02:59:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We haven't even gotten to the theory stage yet (8+ / 0-)

        To actually be able to have a reasonable theory, you need to base it on research. And we have failed to actually even do that.

        Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

        by moviemeister76 on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 03:03:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Who is we? (0+ / 0-)

          John Conyer's and his staff have been on this for years. The reason no one touches this is the same reason BHO didn't go after Bush admin officials for war crimes: it will tear the country apart.

          That should not stop us from addressing it, but it will.

          New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

          by AlexDrew on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 03:07:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No (8+ / 0-)

            Conyers has been pushing for a bill to pass that would start and fund the research. It's never even come up for a vote.

            And why will research tear this country apart?

            Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

            by moviemeister76 on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 03:11:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I would like to come up with a number. (5+ / 0-)

              Make everyone aware of how much was stolen.

              Maybe someone has already done that.

              Knowing what was stolen in a monetary value (I know it is much more than that) that everyone can understand is a logical first step.

              •  There has been research in terms of just slavery (4+ / 0-)

                Monetary values have been discussed in terms of labor stolen. But in terms of what was stolen since, I think we need to go a lot further and deeper to find the answer than we have so far.

                Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

                by moviemeister76 on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 03:43:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Absolutely. (3+ / 0-)

                  I am just talking about a starting point that everyone can understand.

                  •  Absolutely (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    howabout, etherealfire

                    One of the books I read in college that had a massive effect on me was a really, really dry history book that did little more than detail a bunch of facts. But it was facts I'd never reckoned with before concerning the antebellum South. It changed how I viewed a lot of things. We need to fund research on this so it will even be possible to write a dry book of facts on it.

                    Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

                    by moviemeister76 on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 04:23:38 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  There Have Been Estimates Done (8+ / 0-)

                Depending upon how you calculate it, of between 5-10 trillion for the stolen labor and lost opportunity cost of slavery alone, not counting post-Reconstruction and the ongoing theft of Black property and land wealth.  I have seen other estimates as low as $3 trillion and as high as $20T.

                But that's precisely why folks like John Conyers and Ta-Nehisi Coates are asking for study at a Congressional level.  Because until you really study the issue with more than just limited data, and that's all the academicians who have looked at this have because the cost of study is otherwise prohibitive for a single researcher, or even small body of researchers, nobody can come up with an estimate that people of good will would have no excuse if they did not accept.

                And that is why IMO the minute you even bring the subject up, folks start hootin and hollerin about how "it will never work" and "those people are dead" and "MY ancestors never owned any slaves" and yadda yadda yadda.  Because as long as it remains ephemeral, they don't have to confront that the debt is real, and what it says about them and people like them that they oppose non-Black Americans paying it under ANY circumstances

                Same old same old, that.

                At this point, I just want America to admit that it still doesn't want its Black citizens to live in any state other than terror, subservience and inferiority, under pain of death. I can handle American racism, but I can't handle American denial.

                by shanikka on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 04:32:20 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thanks Shannika. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  moviemeister76

                  As soon as I posted my comment I realized that, of course, people have figured the wages stolen from slaves.

                  I have always thought that paying people for their labor, however belatedly, is only right.

                  I used to say I did not do it! Not that those fortunes amassed on the labor of the enslaved should not be given to their descendants, but that I could not see my personal culpability.

                  I am becoming more aware of how I have benefited from white privilege and how I am responsible for what my government does.

                  My country incurred this debt. We should all strive to make it right or as close as we can get.

                •  I believe that a study would be invaluable... (0+ / 0-)

                  though I'm personally against reparations in the sense that many individuals with whom I've discussed the matter with seem to present to me.

                  Wonders are many, but none so wonderful as man.

                  by Morgan Sandlin on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 08:46:18 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Every penny of wealth in the US (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                moviemeister76, Odysseus

                and in all of the colonial powers involved in slavery can be traced in one way or another to slavery. That includes the British, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch empires, Belgium in the Congo, and also the Ottoman Empire, and the various Arab empires and slave states before it. The Russian Empire was less involved in the African slave trade, but had serfdom instead. I'm not sure about the Persian Empire or the Mongols, but they definitely had their own issues.

                Then you get the Teutonic Knights, slavers in Poland and neighboring territories; the Crusader kingdoms, slavers in the Mediterranean; and the Japanese empire in the 20th century. Also every place in Africa that sold slaves.

                This line of attack on the problem is hopeless. The best we can do is to ask who needs help, and of what kinds, in order to get out from the results of such oppressions?

                Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                by Mokurai on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 09:43:26 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Not the research. Everyone would just ignore that (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              greenbell, admill

              until solutions are offered. Otherwise, it's just us liberals talking.

              Do you really think that a real proposal would bring the country together? I am in San Francisco, and I would wager that in this liberal/libertarian town at least 50% would be against it.

              Who pays? Who receives? What amount?

              The research would be relatively non-controversial.

              New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

              by AlexDrew on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 03:27:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If the research isn't controversial (7+ / 0-)

                Then why won't it even come up for a vote? Why would anyone here at this reality-site be against the research going forward? We conduct research on shit all the freaking time. On everything.

                The government funds research on really, really controversial things which sometimes end in no policy decisions being made because it's that controversial.

                But the research is still done. In this case, we can't even get the research off the ground.

                And if you start off with the idea that something is so unpopular that most people are against it so you should just give up, you will never make progress. Much of our progress in history has been made because people ignored how unpopular their ideas were and worked towards them anyway.

                Hell, the idea of ending legal segregation was unpopular as all get out in the 1960s. Yet the federal government did it anyway. The idea of gays and lesbians being allowed to marry was unpopular as all get out just a couple years ago. Yet we are moving that way because the LGBT community and their allies worked for it. Because it was the right thing to do.

                Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

                by moviemeister76 on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 03:34:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Research and proposals are two different things. (0+ / 0-)

                  Let a real proposal from someone credible come forward and we will see.

                  I have about 100 other issues that have a realistic chance of being addressed before I would waste my time and energy on this. Starting with housing and schools.

                  New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

                  by AlexDrew on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 03:49:04 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That literally make no sense (5+ / 0-)

                    I can't think of any politician who has any credibility when it comes to proposing research. They do it based on people who actually do have credibility informing these politicians that the research needs to be done.

                    And, uh, funny you bring up schools and housing. Since those two things are major parts of the Coates piece...

                    Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

                    by moviemeister76 on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 03:57:48 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yeah. That's why I liked the piece. It boils (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      kansaster

                      down to fixing the schools and making housing affordable, not cutting someone a check for past wrongs. As for the research, it really doesn't matter because there will be no reparations. Just us lefties wasting time.

                      I can't think of any politician who has any credibility when it comes to proposing research. They do it based on people who actually do have credibility informing these politicians that the research needs to be done.
                      You are right. I see that now. Thanks!!!!

                      New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

                      by AlexDrew on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 04:04:32 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Considering the fact (4+ / 0-)

                        That we can't even define reparations due to lack of research and a lack of honest discussion, I think it's pretty premature to say it will never happen. And considering the fact that I have a history degree, my perspective on the statement "it will never happen" is that one should never count their chickens before they've hatched.

                        Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

                        by moviemeister76 on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 04:08:14 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  the wrongs are not in the past (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Odysseus, moviemeister76

                        Race based discrimination still happens today.

                        Just this year the color of my skin cost me more money. I have it in black and white on paper.

                        When I started my mortgage process via web and phone, I passed for white. The mortgage guy marked it so on my application and quoted me an interest rate accordingly.  But then he had an opportunity to speak with my realtor, who had actually met me. Then I had a quote with me marked as black with a higher interest rate.

                        This type of thing goes on every day and has for years.  It slowly robs black people of money and opportunity, now.  But here in this very diary there are people claiming "it's in the past", and "they had nothing to do with it." I bet that loan guy who jacked up my rate would be among those claiming "I never owned slaves! Why should me and mine have to pay!"

                        •  Lol (0+ / 0-)

                          You are so full of it. If this is true I challenge to name names. Who is your realtor?  Who is the person handling the mortgage? Name the companies or I say you are slinging it like you read about.

                          •  So you claim I'm lying? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TrueBlueMajority, gramofsam1

                            This is why there isn't a civil discourse on race and discrimination in this country.  You flatly called me a liar.  I guess you think racism is over and blacks are whining about non-existing discrimination.

                            Sigh.

                            Anyway, not that I have anything to prove to you, but because I feel like being poking you with your own stick right at this moment...the mortgage broker was Trident, the realtor was from Fox and Roach.  And yes I did call the mortgage guy and confront him.  He gave me a bunch of blah blah blah daily rate fluctuations blah.  But the thing is, before I even thought that he did something shady, I checked the rates,  They had gone DOWN.

                            Also before you ask, no I will not post their actual names, as I value MY relative anonymity on the interwebs and I don't want a bunch of trolls easily tracking down where I live from a crappy real estate deal.

                          •   I live and operate in the real world (0+ / 0-)

                            There is and always will be racial, religious and sexual
                            Discrimination. Wake up, a sizable minority of homosapiens
                            flat out are horrible or monsterous. So clearly I know its not over. NEVER WILL BE. The world is filled with not just assholes,  but superimposed assholes.

                            Then you have grounds to sue them. If what you say is accurate you have a slam dunk case lawyers would line up for.

                            If I'm in your shoes at the very least I get a consultation with a lawyer. If you're ss concerned with racial injustice as you say you are at a minimum you don't let supposed scum like that do that to other minorities. Right?

                          •  sigh (3+ / 0-)

                            "if what I say is accurate"?

                            Seriously?

                            I thought you said you live in the real world?  If you did, then you wouldn't say "you have a slam dunk case lawyers would line up for."  

                            I had a long missive I was going to type next to try to get you to understand.  But then I realized you weren't interested in understanding and I would be wasting time and pixels on you.  You are only interested in being disrespectful and obstructionist.  

                          •  Yes "Seriously" (0+ / 0-)

                            and you know it. What you described is blatant discrimination.
                            You should sue not just for yourself but to protect others. So "seriously" why the hell aren't you filing a lawsuit?

                            Incidentally I have filed one lawsuit and won it and consulted with a lawyer on suing my pediatrician. Like I said I live in the real world.
                            You have zero reason not to consult with a lawyer based on what you posted here. If you haven't I have Damn good reason to call BS on you.

                            Even if you're laying this out accurately you have a responsibility to other innocent victims to nail these scumbags.

                          •  you keep providing a good example (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            moviemeister76, gramofsam1

                            of why not.

                            You keep saying "if I'm laying out accurately" and "if I don't do exactly as you say it's BS".

                            You are laying out exactly what so many have been talking about on the many diaries about race and perception.  Why is the bar set so high for you to believe, because it's pretty clear you don't .  

                            You come at this from YOUR perspective.  From YOUR perspective there is "zero reason" for me not to sue.  You are so set in YOUR experiences and viewpoint that you can't for one second see any other way than YOUR way as valid.  Because of course, in your world no one would be so stupid as to put discrimination right there on paper.

                            But yet I have it.  Two pdf's, one with the little race block checked "white" and a low rate, and another with the little block checked "black" with a higher rate days apart when the going market rate was lower than the either.

                            So yeah, I can print off my pdf's and take my black face into a white lawyer's office and have them whitesplain to me why my eyes lie and it isn't what I think, and how maybe there is some other explanation for it.  Or, I can go to some black lawyer's office and have them give me the knowing "girl they do this all the time, what do you expect", look while they write me a giant bill.

                            And before you even ready your blind fingers to type "no black lawyer would do that"!  I have a friend who is an attorney, and I told her my story, not because I wanted help.  But in a "girl guess what happened to me last week" way.  She sympathized and then went on to tell me the latest tales of BS she had to endure at her firm that week.  THAT is the reality of being black in this country.  We develop very thick skin and know that in many cases we will have to pay more, be smarter, faster, etc to get the same thing.  THAT is the real world we live in.

                          •  According to court documents, Wells Fargo. (3+ / 0-)

                            MADIGAN, U.S. DOJ REACH $175 MILLION SETTLEMENT WITH WELLS FARGO OVER DISCRIMINATORY LENDING

                            Madigan’s 2009 lawsuit alleged Wells Fargo established highly discretionary lending policies and procedures with weak oversight that permitted Wells Fargo’s employees and brokers to steer African-Americans and Latinos into subprime loans. Madigan’s complaint cited Wells Fargo’s compensation structure that rewarded employees for placing borrowers into high-cost mortgages. The complaint also alleged that African-Americans and Latinos paid more for their mortgages than whites with similar credit profiles, citing an analysis by the Chicago Reporter, which reviewed mortgage data submitted by Wells Fargo to the federal government. For example, the complaint notes that in 2007, Wells Fargo charged an African-American prime wholesale customer in Chicago an average of about $2,937 more in broker fees than a white borrower on a $300,000 loan, and a Hispanic borrower was charged an average of $2,187 more.
                            Plenty of ongoing discrimination in housing.

                            -7.75 -4.67

                            "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

                            There are no Christians in foxholes.

                            by Odysseus on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:49:05 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Quit yer trolling (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            gramofsam1

                            We get it.

                            Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

                            by moviemeister76 on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:53:23 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  Fortunately, that turns out not to be the case (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    moviemeister76, Odysseus

                    There is significant support for a Guaranteed National Income among those who study such matters. It would be as hard as Marriage Equality was a decade ago, but changing public opinion is what this is about.

                    I laid out a few reasons above for supposing that we could do a GNI in a way that would eventually cease to have a significant cost. Obviously, I must Diary some of the actual proposals and actual research on the question.

                    I have looked into the question globally, too, on ending poverty worldwide, and with it all of the oppressions and other ills that go with poverty.

                    Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                    by Mokurai on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 09:49:54 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Yes MM. (5+ / 0-)

                  Start with research. What is wrong with finding the truth?

                  It does not matter if 99% do not like the truth. Truth for truth's sake.

                  The amount would be staggering. It would be impossible (I think) to pay, but the US government, that is all of us, is responsible for the debt.

                  One of the things I would demand, at a very minimum, is that every descendant of enslaved people has the opportunity for a college education.

                  But we must start with research.

    •  None of the above (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moviemeister76, Odysseus

      My solution is

      To each according to his need
      defined as the difference between what he has gotten in this racist and otherwise broken system so far and a decent minimum standard of income and future opportunity, without any requirement to prove specific harm or specific malice.

      Everybody, black or white or other, rich, middle, or poor, has been damaged by centuries of racism and other delusions, and millennia of other horrors. We are not talking about fixing all of that, just about fixing enough of the damage to get to the proverbial level playing field when it comes to the basics.

      I described a mechanism to do this above, based on the Guaranteed National Income, with consideration of how that would effect housing, schools, jobs, and other necessities.

      Dealing with the perversities of the ultra-rich through voting and campaign finance reform, financial regulation, taxation, and so on is a separate issue.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 09:10:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think a lot of white people realize (4+ / 0-)

        That a lot of the policies that would be needed to actually help black people would also help a whole lotta white people. That's why it kills me that so many white people are against this. Shooting themselves in the foot.

        Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

        by moviemeister76 on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 09:17:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  According to Reagan strategist (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          moviemeister76, FogCityJohn, Odysseus

          Lee Atwater, they did and they do understand, but it's OK as long as Blacks get hurt worse.

          That has been the economic history of the entire South since the Civil War.

          There is actual experience in many parts of the world about what happens to such a caste system when the lower caste is able to develop economically in some other way. The problem fairly quickly goes away, because there is money to be made in dealing with the newly prosperous. That happened with the Irish, Jews, and Chinese in the US, and I have heard of the same thing happening in Sri Lanka with a literal caste system, from the work of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement.

          There is a theoretical analysis with numerous examples of a significant part of the problem in the book The Evolution of Cooperation, by Robert Axelrod.

          That is one of the reasons why I have hopes for a Guaranteed National Income. Abolish poverty at one go, not piecemeal, and let the no-longer-poor organize around the rest of the problems and tell the rest of us if anything still isn't working.

          Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

          by Mokurai on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 10:03:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I guess the problem then becomes (0+ / 0-)

            How do we build a society without a caste system? Is it even mentally possible?

            And that book sounds fascinating.

            Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

            by moviemeister76 on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 10:31:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The short version is (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              moviemeister76

              that you can build cooperation between formerly non-cooperating groups if you can force them into prolonged interactions, and you can remove the need for force if you can independently build up the economy for the previously disfavored group.

              Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

              by Mokurai on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 01:28:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Well done (8+ / 0-)

    I have been of the opinion for some time that "tolerance" is nothing more than a band aid applied to a stinking, goo-dripping wound and that the "post racial America" aspirations that those who promote tolerance, nothing more than that bandage finally being ripped off.  

    Fact is, until very recently in American history, wealth - true wealth was measured by the amount of land owned, whether it was used for agriculture or a trans-continental railway.  Since there was no systematic method for Blacks to inherit property (again, until quite recently), we have always been 100 yards behind the starting gate when "They're Off!" is sounded on the race to equality and prosperity.  

    I was sharing this opinion with a friend (my riding coach, actually), the other day, and he (rather grudgingly) conceded that I had a point:

    But don't you think repartions are completely impractical?
    We could always decommission the 7th Fleet
    (I stole this line from the West Wing)
     
    Of course I do, but just because something is impractical doesn't diminish the idea, does it?
    I gave my pony a pat.  
    Here's my mule.  Somebody out there owes me 40 acres.

    Don't practice. Train.--Brian Harvey

    by luvsathoroughbred on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 02:44:43 PM PDT

  •  You bolded the wrong part of Blackbun's commentary (5+ / 0-)
    ``I suspect that it would be impossible to arrange an affirmative action program in a racially neutral way and have it successful. To ask that this be so is to demand the impossible. In order to get beyond racism, we must first take account of race. There is no other way. And in order to treat some persons equally, we must treat them differently. We cannot -- we dare not -- let the Equal Protection Clause perpetuate racial supremacy. [Emphasis supplied].''
    -------------------------------------

    That was the set up. The punchline is bolded as follows:

    ``I suspect that it would be impossible to arrange an affirmative action program in a racially neutral way and have it successful. To ask that this be so is to demand the impossible. In order to get beyond racism, we must first take account of race. There is no other way. And in order to treat some persons equally, we must treat them differently. We cannot -- we dare not -- let the Equal Protection Clause perpetuate racial supremacy. [Emphasis supplied].''
    •  Fix the edit functionality post POST action (0+ / 0-)

      Blackbun to Blackmun.

    •  The last quoted sentence ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moviemeister76

      sums up the equal protection jurisprudence of the Roberts Court. They're using the equal protection clause to perpetuate white supremacy. If any race conscious remedy constitutes "racial discrimination" (against white people!), then the status quo will never be disturbed. Which is just the way white supremacists in black robes want it.

      "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

      by FogCityJohn on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 08:02:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Right on the money as always! (0+ / 0-)

      But don't expect 5 of the current crop of Supremes to ever accept much less acknowledge the existence of precedent decisions or judicial responsibilty; indeed, the current firebrand of radical conservatism they espouse requires an unflinching devotion to a closed bubble atmosphere to best prosper their oligarchic overlords and aristocratic agenda.

      "Life is indeed a mystery; everyone must stand alone....Dearly beloved, we are gathered today to get through this thing called life!"

      by Politikator09 on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 05:36:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks, Armando (6+ / 0-)

    I am going to hope I can get to Black Kos on Tuesday, but I'm glad to know your initial thoughts even if I end up hours late as usual (work, foo.)

    At this point, I just want America to admit that it still doesn't want its Black citizens to live in any state other than terror, subservience and inferiority, under pain of death. I can handle American racism, but I can't handle American denial.

    by shanikka on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 03:52:40 PM PDT

  •  Occupiers of Alcatraz Island proposed partial (6+ / 0-)

    reparations for American Indians in 1964 and 1969. The proposed reparations included a demand for the deed to the island and the establishment of a university, cultural center, and museum.

    The idea of educational institution as reparation surfaced again  more recently at Brown University, in relation to the profits that the university's founders earned from slavery:

    Demands for reparations for slavery go all the way back to the era of emancipation, but the issue has acquired new salience in recent years, due in part to the filing of several class action lawsuits. While Brown is not at this writing a named party in any legal action, this issue still has special significance to us. At the time of Brown’s founding, Rhode Island was the epicenter of the North American slave trade, a trade in which some of the university’s early benefactors were directly involved. As President Simmons noted in her letter charging the committee, this history gives us "a special obligation and a special opportunity" to engage the reparations issue in all its complex historical, political, legal and moral dimensions.
  •  August Wilson plays (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moviemeister76, etherealfire

    are a good place to start reading about race and black disadvantages post-slavery.

    Also Toni Morrison novels.

    Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

    by coral on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 05:37:20 PM PDT

    •  Buck and the Preacher (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moviemeister76

      with Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte mixes some historical realities about Black wagon trains, the Klans, and Native Americans with broad comedy. White audiences have been known to break into cheers when the Native Americans attack the evil White men.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 10:09:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans (2+ / 0-)

    Would wet their pants with excitement if Democrats were to seriously propose this on a national level. I dont even want to contemplate the shitstorm of racial resentment and anger.

    •  What do you think precisely (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shanikka

      Is being proposed in the article?

      Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

      by moviemeister76 on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 08:38:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's why we have to take the House (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moviemeister76, Odysseus

      and put through a new Voting Rights Act first, to undo the gerrymanders, block the voter suppression measures, and institute a new, SCOTUS-proof preclearance list. Replacing Scalia, Kennedy, and others will follow in due course.

      We could then attack the problem with a Guaranteed National Income implemented entirely through the IRS, with no state interference. It would be the biggest economic stimulus ever, among other benefits.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 10:13:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thats much more doable (0+ / 0-)

        than pie -in - the sky reparations.

        How difficult is it to understand that an obscene amount of money
        has been stolen from AA, NA and Asian Americans (Railroads ring a bell). So whether its 1 trillion, 10 trillion or 30 trillion its a moot
        issue. Concentrate on things that can be done.

        It amazes me that people actually think they can get raced based reparations. If you are getting pushback from people like me, imagine the shitstorm u will get from those less progressive than me.

        •  I said above that restitution is impossible (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kansaster

          You can't go back and litigate all of the sins of the past, or total up their value. You have to start in the present, with the scope of the need, taking due account of how that need was caused, only so far is necessary to be sure we can counteract its continuing effects.

          So we still need to address the racism that remains in education, housing, jobs, the financial system, and politics in order to counteract it.

          I also said above that my notion is to bypass almost all of that with a Guaranteed National Income run by the IRS as a negative income tax. Then people who actually have money and do not have to work two or three job to get by can deal with large parts of the problem themselves, including paying for better housing, moving to where there are more jobs, starting small businesses, paying local property taxes to get better schools for their children, and contributing time and money to political issues and campaigns. Having people with multiple jobs cut back to only one would go a long way to reducing unemployment by opening up a lot of jobs to other people.

          If we didn't have any poor people, most of the hostility that we see to them now would fade away.

          We would still need a lot more financial regulation.

          Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

          by Mokurai on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 01:44:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Ronald Trosper wrote 20 years ago on reparations. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kansaster

    Making an analogy to Native American sovereignty and tribal self-determination, Trosper suggested that to increase African American political power and capacity for self-rule may be the best form of reparation.

    Recognition of tribal sovereignty and the implementation of self-government have achieved the most significant results...

    What are the analogies to tribal self-government among Black Americans? Perhaps the Marshall Plan for cities has an element of political institution-building similar to the reconstruction of tribal governments. The narrow definition of reparations as investment in human and business capital does not. The Native American example would recommend investment in political capital, in institutions of community organization similar to tribal governments. Money cannot buy such institutions, and some kinds of reparation payments undermine them.

  •  Good piece, however (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority

    it's "affect." "...significantly affect the lives..." in the first paragraph. "Effect" as a verb means "bring into being," and not "influence or change." "Affect" as a verb means "influence or change."

    I will be the affect/effect guy if no one else will.

    To My Colonoscopist

    I think that I shall never see
    so far up you as you up me.

    by shieldvulf on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 08:15:36 AM PDT

    •  I should also say (0+ / 0-)

      the earlier use of the noun "effects" in the same sentence is correct.

      To My Colonoscopist

      I think that I shall never see
      so far up you as you up me.

      by shieldvulf on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 08:18:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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