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My Musings: Economic Matters, American Slavery & Black Wealth, Manufacturing Fear

Greetings friends,

As promised post before last, here are my latest musings from social media, using the new format of sharing a few quick postings rather than one longer piece so that I can spend more time writing fiction. Enjoy!

Talitha, why don’t you discuss economic matters more?

stacks_of_moneySometimes people ask me why I don’t speak out more on matters of the economy. I do, but those aren’t the social media posts that are popular. Most, if not all of our social woes in America, are inextricably bound to the fiscal ones anyway. I talk about fiscal matters to select audiences of people armed with the economic acumen to engage me. All else is a waste of my time. I can’t discuss the post-jobs economy, the ponzi scheme we affectionately call  Social “Security” quanitative easing, nor the mounting federal debt with people who retort with anecdotes, about their buying power, when the lack of wealth of certain groups in America is discussed. This usually comes from those whose cultural egos bruise easily, especially when our lack of wealth is pointed out by the likes of Donald Trump if I’m polite, any white person if I’m not. Many prefer that our fiscal, community, dirty laundry not be aired, and for some it’s a futile attempt to prove that race related poverty is mostly a myth. “I can keep up with the Jones’,” many insist. The keyword is “I”, which is irrelevant to the topic of what “we” can do, or have. Fortunately for me, I’m under no such delusion. An economic discussion is a moot one, when had with those who believe wealth can be measured by consumerism. This is America, where living beyond one’s means is the norm, and where many poor citizens spend frivolously, while many among the wealthy are frugal. We’ve got it all backwards folks, so one’s ability to consume has no place in an analysis of collective wealth. Some are asking me to discuss the blue sky, even though they’re stubbornly convinced that it’s green. Nope, I’m not doing that anymore, because it’s impossible to wake up people who are pretending to be asleep. Don’t fret though, such persons will never be alone. There’s always plenty of blissful room in Club Ignorance.

Slavery in America & Black Wealth:

Some Americans grossly underestimate the impact of centuries of chattel slavery in this shacklescountry on black folks, in terms of the lack of wealth as a whole. And before someone says “Africans sold other Africans into slavery,” or, “There were black/Native-American slave owners too,” “White people were chattel slaves too,” (utter nonsense, btw), or, “Look at immigrant group X and emulate them,”- note that these are all irrelevant, red herrings. Let your fingertips take you away from this discussion – this one’s for conscious grown-ups, not childish, talking point spouting, keyboard commandos. Everyone else, as my friend & mentor Steven Barnes (NY Times bestselling author of LION’S BLOOD & ZULU HEART) said to me a few years ago – “There’s no such thing as a wound that takes less time to heal than it took to inflict,”. Using those excuses, is like breaking the legs of one man in a race, then shooting the gun in the air for everyone to begin running. After the race & his obvious loss, the winners ask him, “Now why is it taking you so long to start running?”.

If you think that other groups, under identical conditions, would have fared better, you’re a part of the problem. If we believe that there’s no such thing as race, and it’s just a social construct, any other conclusions drawn point to a belief in the inferiority of black Americans, or Native Americans, who aren’t doing so well either. There’s no escaping that. For those who often ask me, “What can we do to help?”, you can start by acknowledging our humanity. When some did have wealth long ago – land (40 acres & a mule), economic prosperity (Black Wallstreet) or, were entrepreneurs (black owned businesses in the Jim Crow south) this was forcibly & violently taken from far too many. That’s not our fault, so you’ll have to excuse me if I’m weary of the whole “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” rhetoric hurled at black Americans. We did that, and were re-victimized many times over LEGALLY. It’s still happening on some level today via the judicial system. Do some of us gain economic prosperity despite this? Absolutely! but that’s not the point. Individual triumphs are anecdotal, nothing more or less. Collective ones, however, are an indication of economic stability, which is needed to have & maintain generational wealth. That should be the goal. That is our inherited disadvantage.

And last:

Manufacturing Fear: Hillary Clinton as POTUS & ISIS

isisI’m going to preface this by saying that this is more or less food for thought that requires some level of objectivity. In a recent discussion, a friend brought up his committment to vote for Donald Trump, because he thinks having a female president will open the door for more terrorist attacks from radical, Islamic jihadists. His logic and that of others, is that a woman as POTUS will give the appearance of weakness exceedingly more, from members of a culture & religion, in which women are totally subjugated & have very little freedom.This is within the context of an extremist, radical, Islamic microcosm, to be differentiated from the greater, non-radicalized Islamic culture. Obviously, all Muslims are not radicalized, and I don’t mind going further to say that most aren’t. My intuition initially says yes, they could view America as vulnerable with a woman at the helm, but that’s not reason enough for us to not elect a woman in any election. In fact, that line of reasoning is preposterous. Moreover, America may be embarking on its first female president, but we aren’t the first such country – that logic is lacking in precedents to buttress it. Having a female president may be perceived as a weakness by ISIS, and perhaps even domestic terrorists, but this can be advantageous in our battle against terrorism. Perception often doesn’t match reality. Doesn’t it benefit us to be falsely perceived as weaker? I’m not a fan of Clinton for a myriad of reasons, but this isn’t one of them. It can’t be. It’s a provocative assertion, and not altogether flawed, but it seems to me its more of a fear tactic than a cohesive, valid argument. Maybe I’m just not paranoid.Your thoughts?

Have a safe & productive weekend! Until next musing,

TK McEachin

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Today’s Musings: Dirty Laundry, Obama, Trump & American Complacency

Friends,

I’m going to change the format for my posts as of today, by sharing bullet points from my most popular social media posts. I’m very active on social media as most writers are, so this will help me reserve more time for my fictional writing & longer political pieces, which can be time consuming. Here goes:

Black Community to Trump: Don’t Air our Dirty Laundry:

dirty laundrySome have asked me, why some black Americans are so bent out of shape over Trump’s speech, which included incendiary yet truthful remarks about poverty in black America. Like the sheeple some are, they started giving knee-jerk anecdotal evidence such as “I’m not poor” as if that’s a substitute for analyzing hard data. Anecdotes disprove nothing. Since these blaxperts on MSNBC & the like are going to continue their destructive campaign of lies & economic amnesia at the expense of black America, I’ll tell you the reason for the faux outrage. It’s because black Americans don’t like their dirty laundry aired in front of, or by whites, least of all a right-winger. That’s the bottom line, and some need to get over themselves. This isn’t about individuals/you, it’s about the numbers for us as a whole. There’s no “I” or “U” in team. If you’re going to ignore the way black people have lost so much ground in America over the last 8 years, please get out of the way of those who genuinely care. I’ve got no room in my life for those who’d rather have their cultural egos stroked. Your allegiance to lies & ducking from the truth is just as dangerous as the bullets in a rogue, racist cop’s gun. Stop lying about black community failures & behaving like emotionally wounded children. Put on your big girl panties & grow up.

Democrats Milk the Obama Cow Again:

I find the timing of this new movie, “Southside With You”, about Barack & Michelle Obama‘s “first date” & eventual rise to the White House to be a very calculated, emotional distraction, and a perfectly timed release not long after his endorsement of Hillary Clinton. It’s really nauseating, but hey, after almost eight years of blissful symbolism & ignored failures, what’s one more milking of the Obama cow? Whatever…cow

America In 2016: Dumbed Down & Loving it

american_flag-971804.jpegYou’d think that with as many Americans in this country who are unhappy with the two major party candidates, we’d form a united front in solidarity against them both. Trump nor Clinton are the best persons to run the country, but they both have managed to slither through the primaries in victory. It’s a sad state of affairs, to see a populace so defeated & feeling powerless – so dumbed down. We have so much power and refuse to harness it. Thank God the founding fathers & those who fought centuries later in the struggle for Civil Rights didn’t acquiesce so easily to tyranny. What happened to that type of stamina & perserverance? We’ve all but been reduced to political zombies whose only sign of life is how polarized we’ve become. Even bees know the meaning of sacrifice, giving their lives against human foes with a final sting. It’s hard to believe that insects have more of a fight in them than we do…

And finally…

Trump & Outreach:

Trump is making the GOP establishment look like fools. He demonstrates that the “We don’t do identity politics” excuse is just that – an excuse. With the way racial demographics is steadily changing in America, a political party that doesn’t do outreach to minorities will absolutely become extinct. It’s survival of the fittest – American political style. Anglo-Saxons are consistently declining as the majority with every census, and inevitably, ethnic minorities will become the majority, as is the case in most of the world already. Republicans lack the foresight & humility to see this writing on the wall, which will lead the GOP to it’s demise if they don’t change. Trump has a point, regardles of what anyone thinks his motive is. He is unafraid of going into the black community, which is a sign of strength, or strategic planning, depending on who you ask.

http://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2016/08/29/donald-trump-court-black-vote-detroit-church/89527702/

Until the next post, be blessed!

TM

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2016 in Economics, In The News, Politics, Society, Uncategorized

 

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Clarence Thomas: “Northern Liberal Elites Are More Racist Than Southerners”

Friends,

Clarence ThomasRecently, conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas issued a statement stating that based on his experiences in both the North & South that “Northern Liberal Elites Are More Racist”. Many of you have asked my opinion so here goes:

One the one hand, many on the right are touting this as proof that racism is not so bad in the South & is exaggerated by the left. One the other hand many on the left are saying that this is further proof that Clarence Thomas is a sellout & that he is once again trying to assuage & appease white Conservatives. Well, the mistake Thomas makes (and this is not to take away from his experiences in both the North & South) is that his anecdotal evidence doesn’t mean that his experiences are the rule. Neither does mine or any of us. At best, he can say that this was his experience & concluding opinion based on that but that others may have had (or had/have) a different experience growing up in the South & North. See the difference? I could name at least 60-70 people who are the same age as Thomas whom I know personally, who would & have said differently.

It must also be taken into account that Thomas grew up in a somewhat isolated, predominantly black community near Savannah, Ga founded by freed slaves. Most of the people he grew up with were black, so his experience would be different from a black person who grew up in Montgomery, Atlanta or Birmingham during that time. It’s intellectually dishonest (and irresponsible) on his part & ours to ignore that. People are using his anecdotes as proof that liberal whites “are” more “racist”, a word that gets tossed around so frequently that it has all but lost it’s potency. Now, on the other hand, my friends on the left, to call Thomas a sellout or “Uncle Tom” (a misnomer really) or accuse him of lying to lessen the experiences of racism in the South or exaggerate those in the North is unfair as well. You’re the same people who came to Obama’s defense after he issued a statement in the aftermath of the Zimmerman verdict (and I agreed with you) that those attacking Obama’s experiences/anecdotes of racism/discrimination growing up were wrong to accuse him of lying. They weren’t there, they don’t know what he experienced & generally speaking, you simply cannot tell a person what their experiences was. Well, that same thing must be applied to Clarence Thomas! You can’t tell him what he did or did not experience growing up in the South or living in the North. He has no obligation to say that the South was more racist than the North just because he has black skin, especially if that was not his reality. His experience is his own & you can’t dictate it or take it away from him because it doesn’t follow a historical narrative. Please get that.
There’s an old saying in the South from that time, that “In the South they (whites) don’t care how close you get as long as you don’t get too high, in the North they (whites) don’t care how high you get as long as you don’t get too close” – Is one group of whites more racist than another? Well, it depends on who you ask but I say during that time you had some racism from both, most likely in equal amounts but not equivalent.That’s all I have to say to all about this. Until next time…

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2014 in In The News, Politics

 

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Today’s Introspection & An Excerpt from THE ELEMENTS

Friends,

Consevative Libertarian blogger Talitha McEachin

Conservative libertarian writer Talitha McEachin

In light of all of the drama after the Zimmerman verdict and talks about race & racism, I wanted to share my thoughts from my Facebook page today, because this philosophy is at the heart of my reasoning for writing my current epic fantasy series:

“I will say this – that the racists of America, of all colors, are starting to realize, that they don’t have as many allies in the general population as they thought or once had…I can feel it & it’s a great thing. Racism concerns me deeply because I want the best for us as human beings, and it’s inextricably bound to some economic problems we have. We cannot progress as a species until we learn that we’re more alike than we are different.” 

And now here’s an excerpt from Book I of THE ELEMENTS (Chapter Six), Enjoy!

“Kgosi’s plan of attack is foolish,”

“What do you mean? The Lungi prophesy says that the Kishnu will begin to follow the Lungi way. My uncle is only pretending to fulfill this to take back our lands. He says their land belongs to our people and they drove us into the caves long ago – Ajuoga you have taught this yourself. It is a good plan,”

“Is it a good plan or is it foolish? There are gods – there are those before us. The Lungi believe this too. They say that their god gave a word that our people would come to him, after a war which the Lungi will win. Is this not the very thing Kgosi is doing? Does it matter that he does this with intent? He still does it Phenyo. There are better ways to have war than mocking a man’s god. We should let the Lungi be. Everything that we need is plentiful here, the land is good to us. We want for nothing. Kgosi is a fool of the worst kind – he spills the blood of our sons to show his power. His war is not with Nkosana, it is with the god of Nkosana. It would be better if he aimed his spear at the one whom he can see. Men are not suited for wars with the unseen,”

“That is why I want to lead a group of women there instead Ajuoga.I would like your blessing and a muthi for this journey,”

“You ask for my blessing and I will ask those before us for this, for you. You ask for my muthi and I will make a special one for you to drink. You will ask Kgosi to give this duty to you, and he will fill your ears with laughter,”

“I will show him that mine is a better way,”

“The women in Kishnuizwe have always been warriors in some form or another and you are the best – as good as most men and better than some, but Kgosi thinks too much of men Phenyo.Victory in war he preserves for men,”

“I want to ask the she-god myself …I believe she will give me the power to bend my uncle’s will to mine on this matter Ajuoga,”

“I have been waiting for you to ask for proof of the she-god Phenyo…so long have I waited for you to believe. Now you have at last asked to see her, though your asking comes wearing the cloak of disbelief,”

”If I did not believe there was a she-god -” Ajuoga stood and leaned over to touch Phenyo’s face and her hand felt for her nose then moved down to her lips. Using the tip of her thumb and the finger next to it she pulled a little at Phenyo’s lips and held them tightly, as if one more utterance would summon a known terror. Her next words were frightened, whispered caveats and she let go of Phenyo’s lips before she spoke them.

“No, No….No Phenyo! She gives us words only for truth. She does not protect those who use them for lies. You know this daughter. We speak only of what we do or will do or what is – never if I did or did not. There is a she-god or there is not!”

“There is,” said Phenyo, visibly startled

“I believe. I want to see her,” she continued. She may as well go along with it. Although Ajuoga seemed willing to show her the she-god, she had decided long ago, that no matter how obviously a figment of her mind, she would behave as though she were real. It was the respectful thing to do.

“Good! Now that you have asked you shall see daughter of mine. Will you lend me your eyes?…will you tell me what you see? I want to know of her face – again…the she-god. I want to know of her beauty! My eyes….my eyes….I only have eyes in my sleep! There was a time when my eyes could see…long ago…I was still a girl. The she-god came to me then but I did not believe! I saw her with my eyes and she took them with her when she left me Phenyo – she took my eyes! I refused to believe but I was only a girl. Will you be my eyes Phenyo? I want to see her face again!”

Ajuoga trembled as she rubbed her hands together. Her words rushed into one another in desperation then were slow, like a procession of beasts running with all their might, slowing down for a cliff ahead and slamming into one another’s flesh. For the first time Phenyo felt afraid in her company but reached for Ajuoga’s leathery face with courage and wiped away the tears with her fingers. Ajuoga seemed more like a stranger with remnants of familiarity to her now.

“Yes mother…from where will she come?”

“Shhh…only believe what you can see…daughter. Believe what you see,” Ajuoga stood slowly and spread her arms – the left one towards the ceiling and the other perpendicular to it. Though closed, her eyes shone a dull white through the lids and escaped between her lashes at the bottom, like rays of a partially eclipsed sun. The arch in her back straightened itself triumphantly against the rush of wind that flew into the dwelling, past Phenyo, then orbited both women. Ajuoga’s hair rose and fell as Phenyo’s neatly woven hair withstood the wind. Dust and small pieces of debris danced. Phenyo stood but wanted badly to abandon her flesh standing there, allowing herself to escape invisibly, unable to be followed or seen. Shiluba could be heard outside scurrying about and making high-pitched pleas. If the winds didn’t calm soon, the chimpanzee would seek comfort in the heights of the trees away from the izindlu.

“Ajuoga?”

“You are Phen-yo,”

“Yes…are you from those before us?”

“Phenyo…you are a fine woman indeed. I see why she loves you so,”

“You are the she-god?”

“Yes,”

“What have you done with mother’s tongue?”

“She is here still – and has not been harmed,”

“What do you want of me?”

“I did not summon you Phenyo. What do you desire of me?”

“What is your name?”

“You wanted to know my name? How can a she-god help you?”

“I didn’t believe,”

“I know – she knows. I told her you would not believe until you could see,”

“Whose blood belongs to you?”

“No Phenyo, I am not an ancestor of the Kishnu, the Kishnu are of me,”

“Then you are -”

“Phenyo, do you believe?”

“No,”

“Will you believe?”

“Yes,”

Copyright 2012 All Rights Reserved by TK McEachin.
 
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Posted by on July 22, 2013 in Fictional Writing, Philosophy, Society

 

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Happy Easter Everyone!

Greetings & Happy Easter Friends!

For those who celebrate Easter:

Christ is Risen! crosses

Romans 6:8-11
“Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

 

For those who do & do not celebrate Easter, here’s some food for thought in the form of one of my favorite pics:

Awake

 

I have spoken quite a bit about American obsession with partisan politics & most of you should know how weary I am of our two party system. As politicians keep us at each other’s throats over various social issues, we are neglecting our economy & that we must hold Democrats & Republicans alike accountable for the fiscal tsunami near our shores. I want to remind everyone that I don’t care if you’re a Democrat, Republican, Independent, Libertarian or any combination of those. I want us to work together for the common good. Your political affiliation is not important to me. What is important is that we all are awake & aware of what is taking place in our great nation. United We Stand, Divided We Fall.

Everyone have a wonderful, productive week & God bless! I’ll be sharing more introspection throughout the week as usual.

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2013 in Philosophy, Politics, Religion

 

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Are Thee Black or Are Thee Human?

Are Thee Black or Are Thee Human?

People write from their experiences mostly  & in my personal experiences, I have not experienced much racism, so when I write about it, it’s from research, talking to others that have experienced it more than I, and my own experiences. There have only been two incidents in my life growing up in Atlanta where I was exposed to it directly & both were on jobs. As I have navigated my way through my series on race, I’ve received a ton of feedback via social media or email. From some other black people, I often get messages explaining to me that racism does indeed exist as if I’m a naive & timid sheep needing to be saved from the slaughter, from the ” colorblind” butcher. It seems to be the opinion of some that I either haven’t ever experienced any racism, or that I’m a “wanna be white” or “sellout” (you fill in the blank), so I can’t see it. They couldn’t be more wrong about either conclusion but that’s their prerogative & I don’t lose any sleep over it. Has my experience with “race” made me more naive than the average person or blessed? Well, depending on who you ask, based on observation or assumption, you’ll get a different answer. As for me, my answer is perhaps both. The question is, do black people need to experience racism to be accepted as part of the whole? In the case of those who don’t, haven’t, or have very little – are we black enough?

I have seen racism manifested more with others than myself without a doubt but I have developed a philosophy of giving people the benefit of the doubt, especially if the alleged racism is not overt. I’m also not too naive to think that my experiences are not unique. I don’t think white people are racist in & of themselves just because they are white and consider that thinking to be quite lazy, to be honest. The same can be said for any whites who think all black people are New Black Panther, card carrying racists (or anything else), just because they are black. The irony is that neither the New Black Panter party or the KKK represent the majority (or even half) of either race but the American mainstream media (conservative & liberal leaning) perpetuates the meme that theyare representative of their respective racial groups. I’m not going to pretend to see most things as having a racial cause & effect just because I’m black. If the shoe fits to me, then I’ll wear it. If not I won’t. Some black people think that all blacks must keep with them at all times, a racial prism with which to view things “just in case” in America & I just find that a profoundly sad way to live.
Should I be on the “racial alert” in America? In my opinion, no. This “emergency” racial prism is carried around by some blacks just as I carry my emergency, rescue asthma inhaler. I don’t use it everyday it’s just there in the case of a medical emergency. Unlike my inhaler, some whip out that racial prism at first sight & disagreement with anything from the mouths of whites. People do stupid things for reasons other than race – bottom line. What I should be on the look out for are those who have not given me a reason to trust them, and until I have that, I’ll be cautious of all, for the sake of self preservation, regardless of their “race”. Making this survival tactic racial can get you killed, because one may let their guard down in the name of solidarity, prematurely. As an old friend of mine told me years ago, “I distrust everyone I don’t know on some level until they give me a reason to trust them”. He didn’t make it a black or white thing because no race is without the tendency for wrongdoing.

I find that sometimes when a black person disagrees with my positions on race & culture they do so based ontheir experiences, ignoring what mine may be. In other words, they define being black as a shared vulnerability & victim status that we all must have, unless white culture has permeated our thinking, rendering us therefore, unable to recognize this. Being black does not mean that I have  experienced racism, but in so many cases in America, black people have and do experience racism. Do you see the difference? I often get negative feedback when I share that I have only experienced racism twice on jobs because it is presumed that I will more often, because of my skin color. Some black people tell me I must be lying, or completely blinded to it. It is also presumed that because a person is white, they will at some point in their lives be a perpetrator of racism.  Having been a victim of more intraracial discrimination than interracial, I reject both presumptions.

 Being black to me is biological and cultural. I inherited my skin tone and other physical traits because my ancestors had repeated exposure over a long period of time to a certain environment, in which said traits were favorable to survival – nothing more & nothing less. The same can be said for being white or Asian. The beautiful thing about America, is that whether deliberately, through sexual assault or mutual love, now we have reached a point of having a nearly complete heterogeneous racial composition, so most black and white people are not “pure” anything. It kind of makes me want to ditch race altogether and just be…human. Just a little food for thought…Oh and for those who don’t get the title, check with your trekkie friends :)

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2012 in Philosophy, Society

 

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Reparations: “Where’s My 40 Acres & A Mule America?

Reparations: “Where’s My 40 Acres & A Mule America?

“Well I think every black person should at least get $100,000.”

“What do you think that’s gonna do?”

“That won’t do nothing but make Cadillac the number-one dealership in the country!”

“Everywhere you look, there’s opportunity. You know what I mean?”

“Everybody here would love to get a handout.”

 “lf they handing it out, I won’t turn down nothing but my collar.”

“Not everybody think reparations is a good idea, It’s stupid.”

Conversation from Barbershop Part I

There is no dispute that Africans were sold and/or kidnapped,  brought to America via the Middle Passage and forced into slavery and because of this dark period in U.S. History, some black Americans believe that descendants of slaves deserve reparations of some kind for this forced, unpaid labor.  The debate has raged for years now and shows no signs of going away or slowing soon, so it should come as no surprise that this was the second highest question from black respondents to my survey.

When debating reparations, it is important to note that there are basically four sources from which proponents argue reparations should come – the federal government, big corporations built on slave labor, believe it or not – white people in general and any combination or all of these sources. As with other topics, even though I identify as a conservative ideologically, I like to speak with my liberal and moderate friends to get their perspectives to have some balance of insight. Yvette Carnell is a self-professed independent liberal blogger and editor at the African-American news site yourblackworld.net. She happens to support efforts for reparations and this is what she had to say when I asked her about the topic:

Reparations are really the only way to make amends for the enslavement and subsequent oppression of black Africans in this country. America recompensed the Japanese in this way, and Germany paid holocaust victims. But, for reasons I won’t dare speculate upon, conservatives recoil at the very idea of rendering compensation to the ancestors of black slaves who were forced to labor for free, against their will.

And before you start in on how most African-Americans alive today were never actual slaves, just descendants of slaves, let me point out the obvious fact; it is not the fault of African-Americans that America has been so slow to do the right, moral, and just thing. The U.S. Senate didn’t apologize for slavery until 2009. It took our lawmakers that long to admit that the torture and revocation of freedom inflicted upon Africans once they crossed American shores was, in fact, an atrocity. That long to own up to the truth of what was done to our ancestors at the hands of those who valued money over morality. And, apparently, it’s taking that long to truly do the math on the monetary impact of having progenitors who came from nothing, not because they were lazy, but because they were enslaved and robbed. There’s a value to that, and it’s time that our government paid up. How can the “land of the free” not see the hypocrisy in refusing to compensate people for robbing them of all choice in how to work, love, and live. Reparations in the country are long overdue.” 

I also got the opinion of a moderate Democrat who said:

“In a perfect world, the best form of reparations would be a historical role reversal in which black people become the oppressors and white people the enslaved. White people would finally completely understand the pain, anguish and why black people cannot “just get over it” and how horrific the institution of slavery was. Pious black people on the other hand, would receive a harsh reality check, because they’d be no more or less brutal and inhumane than their white counterparts in such a scenario. Given reversed historical circumstances, blacks would not have behaved a whit better and whites would not have survived with any less wounds. I’d love to see both groups squirm when the shoe is on the other foot. There’s no such thing as a wound which takes less time to heal than it took to inflict. Slavery in the U.S. lasted about 250 years (the first slaves arrived in 1619), followed by Jim Crow and segregation. Counting by lost man-years (the average slave lived about 13 years less than his white masters) the loss of life was easily profound.

I have never, ever denied the importance of Jews remembering the Holocaust, the Japanese remembering interment during WWII or the discrimination suffered by Irish Catholics, but some whites have never stopped implying that blacks are inferior, deserved their slavery, deserved to be separated during segregation or that we should “get over it already”. I’ll forget slavery when southerners stop reenacting Civil War battles, and Conservatives stop thinking the descendants of slaves are the same as immigrants. With that said, I still don’t think that blacks should receive reparations because we are too far removed from it. The most appropriate timing would have been as close to harm inflicted as possible, so it’s not very practical to attempt to indemnify descendants of slaves from hundreds of years ago, now.”

Now this moderate Democrat is uniquely qualified to give an opinion on the matter because he is none other than New York Times bestselling author Steven Barnes of diamondhour.com.  Steven is the author of Lion’s Blood and the sequel Zulu Heart, which are alternative history novels set in the late 1800’s in which Africa colonized the Americas, enslaving Europeans, so he has taken the time to meticulously explore this view in the realm of fiction. I highly recommend that every American read his books because Steven is correct: human beings are very tribal but behaviorally, we are not much different from one another at all. For the record, although I can certainly empathize with Yvette’s point of view, I do agree with Steven, in that it’s not very practical at this point to issue reparations. Now that does not exonerate this country from blame or wrongdoing, after all, former President Bush called slavery “one of the greatest crimes of the century” in 2003 and in 2008 former president Bill Clinton expressed regret for slavery. In 2008 the US House of Representatives apologized for slavery and, in 2009, the US Senate made a formal apology for it. I have to agree with the last sentence of the writer here  who ended the article with: “An apology is a small step toward redemption. It will not improve anyone’s lot in life. But symbols do matter.”

However, reparations proponents believe it should not stop there. The federal government and corporations that have reaped the benefits of free slave labor (and all white people for some) should pay up; citing reparations paid to Japanese-Americans during WWII and Holocaust victims from the German government. The fact of the matter is that the 7,000 Japanese-Americans were paid reparations at that time and were very easily identified, as were Jewish Holocaust victims. At this point, no actual perpetrator of the wrongdoing would actually be forced to make amends. They are long gone and so are their immediate victims. According to Wikipedia:

“Since in almost all cases there are no living ex-slaves or living ex-slave owners these movements have gained little traction. In nearly all cases the judicial system has ruled that the statute of limitations on these possible claims has long since expired.”

Let me also state that I vehemently disagree with those who think that “all white people” should pay reparations because simply put, “all white people” – in fact most white people are not descendants of slave-owners to start with. The most recent and accurate estimates that I found state that only approximately 20% of  Americans share ancestry with a slave-owner and that estimate includes white, black and Native Americans who owned slaves (yes there were free blacks and native Americans who owned slaves also). I have not seenany movements to seek reparations from descendants of free blacks or Native Americans who owned slaves.

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Posted by on August 18, 2012 in Politics, Society, Uncategorized

 

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