Do Whites Also Deserve Reparations?

In the United States, calls for reparations are, once again, heating up. A Duke University professor recently called for $14 trillion in reparations for the descendants of American slavery (roughly $350,000 per recipient).

The professor, William Darity, isn’t the only one calling for reparations. The mayor of Boston, Michelle Wu, has established a task force that will explore compensation for black citizens. In New York City, Mayor Eric Adams has signaled his support for the idea. Detroit’s Reparations Task Force is currently exploring forms of compensation for the city’s black residents. Similar events are taking place in St. Louis. In early May, California’s reparations task force approved recommendations that could see some black residents receive $1.2 million each as compensation for slavery and racial discrimination.

Reparations are a terrible idea.

Calls for race-based compensation appeal to emotion, not logic. First, how do we define slavery? Contrary to popular belief, African Americans weren’t the only victims of slavery. As Stephan Talty, an author who has researched slavery in great detail, has noted, white people were also the victims of slavery.

In a piece for Salon, a hyper-progressive online magazine, Talty discussed the fact that, contrary to popular belief, white slavery did occur prior to the occurrence of the Civil War. Talty referenced the work of Joel Augustus Rogers, a historian who meticulously documented the many ways in which whites were kidnapped and sold into slavery. These kidnappings occurred from the early 1700s right up until 1861, the year the Civil War started. Some of the victims were orphans or unwanted babies, while others were impoverished immigrants. White slavery occurred in America. This is an inconvenient truth that receives little or no attention, probably because it contradicts the “white privilege” narrative that continues to do the rounds.

Even if we were to agree on a definition of slavery, how are we supposed to verify those that claim to be victims? Then, of course, there’s the matter of financing reparations. Where will the money come from?

For comment on the matter, I reached out to David W. Rasmussen, the director of the Policy Sciences Center at Florida State University. Rasmussen recently published a paper discussing reparations for black citizens, and why such a system of redress for past injustices deserves criticism.

Rasmussen told me that although it’s easy to make the case that black citizens are owed reparations—the right to own slaves is embedded in the Constitution, after all—this doesn’t mean that the case being made has any real substance. The idea of reparations, noted Rasmussen, fails for many reasons.

First off, reparations are expensive, with “reasonable” estimates ranging from about $500 billion to $2.7 trillion. The highest estimate of damages is $7 quadrillion, he said, “a figure that emerges because damages are compounded at an annual interest rate of 6 percent.” For the mathematically challenged, a quadrillion is 1,000 trillion.

Moreover, black reparations would benefit about 12 percent of the population.

In other words, said Rasmussen, “We are asking 88 percent of the population to pay as much as $500 billion (probably over a period of years) to bear the cost.”

All Americans, including those who are currently struggling to put food on the table, would bear this cost (40 million Americans, more than 25 percent of the population, currently live in poverty). Only 30 percent of Americans are in favor of some form of reparations. “Many of these,” according to Rasmussen, “may find a $500 billion price tag a hard sell.” Indeed.

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Squad Member Cori Bush Introduces Resolution for $14 Trillion in Reparations to Black Americans

Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), a member of the far-left “Squad” in Congress, introduced legislation on Wednesday that would provide a federal reparations program for black Americans.

The draft of the resolution claims the United States “has a moral and legal obligation to provide reparations for the enslavement of Africans and its lasting harm on the lives of millions of Black people” in the country. The resolution further calls for $14 trillion to be distributed to American blacks in an effort to close the racial wealth gap.

“The only way we get closer to [reparations] is if we start putting forward those bills that speak to it and are very clear about what reparations could look like,” Bush said in an interview.

Reparations packages have been introduced in Congress since Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-MI) in 1989 and later by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), neither of which passed. Bush’s resolution would likely face the same fate, per the Washington Post:

The political path forward for Bush’s resolution also remains murky. During the 2020 Democratic primary election, The Post asked candidates if they thought the federal government should pay reparations to the descendants of enslaved people. Nearly all of the leading contenders, including Joe Biden, said that they supported a comprehensive study of the issue.

While public opinion polls have shown that the number of Americans who support reparations for Black Americans has grown significantly over the last 20 years, the idea remains broadly unpopular.

2021 Post poll found just 28 percent of Americans supported reparations, while 65 percent opposed paying cash reparations to the descendants of enslaved Black people. While 46 percent of Democrats favored the idea, 92 percent of Republicans opposed it. Two-thirds of Black respondents supported the idea, but only 18 percent of White respondents did.

Reparations advocate Dreisen Heath said the window of opportunity passed for such radical legislation in 2020 during the George Floyd murder crisis.

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Activists Demand Reparations for Latinos for Land Under Dodger Stadium

Activists are demanding reparations for land in the Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles that currently sits under Dodger Stadium, part of a broader movement across California that has focused thus far on African Americans.

The New York Times reported Wednesday on “the growing call for reparations from descendants of the people who lived where Dodger Stadium was built.” It cited reporting earlier this month by Jesus Jiménez, who wrote:

[I]n the early 1950s, the city of Los Angeles began displacing the residents of Palo Verde, La Loma and Bishop, through voluntary purchases and eminent domain, with plans to build a housing project in the area.

It was never built, and eventually, after the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, the team acquired the deed to the land. A condition was that the team build a stadium with capacity for at least 50,000 people.

The last of the families were forcefully evicted by sheriff’s deputies in May 1959. One woman, Aurora Vargas, who was known as Lola, was infamously photographed being carried out of her home by deputies. An article in The Los Angeles Times on May 9, 1959, described the scene as a “long skirmish.” Vargas was kicking and screaming and children were “wailing hysterically,” the newspaper reported.

The activists formed an organization in 2018 called Buried Under the Blue. They drew encouragement from the successful effort to obtain restitution for the original black owners of Bruce’s Beach. As Breitbart News noted:

The owners, Willa and Charles Bruce, purchased the land in 1912 and created a beach resort catering to black clients before the city used eminent domain to seize the property.

The land was dormant for decades until the city built a park in 1960 and later renamed it Bruce’s Beach. Descendants of Willa and Charles Bruce sued, claiming the eminent domain program was racially motivated.

The website for Buried Under the Blue states that the group’s mission is “to preserve our history of our three destroyed communities” and “[t]o empower and educate all people to create healthier communities, sustainable communities, and maintain historical documents for self-determination.” While the Times describes the group as “Latino,” the website refers to the former inhabitants of the area under Dodger Stadium as “indigenous.”

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We Asked Every California Congressional Democrat If They Support Their State’s Reparation Plan. Here’s What They Said

The Daily Caller News Foundation asked every Democratic member of Congress from California if they supported their state’s ambitious reparations plan, finding that just two would go on the record regarding the proposal.

California’s Reparations Task Force voted Saturday to send a plan to the legislature that would, if approved, pay out $800 billion in reparations to black citizens. Despite numerous attempts to contact members, only one Democrat in California’s Congressional delegation, which numbers 42 members, responded to inquiries.

The office of Democratic Rep. Mark DeSaulnier deferred to Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee’s opinions when contacted by the DCNF.

“We think checking in with our neighbor Rep. Lee would be best given her work on this issue,” Mairead Glowacki, a spokesperson for DeSaulnier, who represents California’s 10th Congressional District, covering Concord and San Ramon, told the DCNF.

Lee, who represents Oakland in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a former Congressional Black Caucus chair, has expressed support for the plan, which would see eligible black Californians receive up to $1.2 million in payments, on average. These include a housing discrimination payment of $148,099, a mass incarceration payment of $115,260 and an annual yearly payment of $13,619 for health care disparities, assuming an average lifespan of 71 years, according to the recommendations.

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Colorado Councilwoman Wants to Tax White-Owned Businesses to Atone for ‘Stolen Land’

A Denver city councilwoman facing a runoff election in June said white-owned businesses should pay reparations for the sins of slavery.

During a business forum, Candi CdeBaca — a Democrat socialist — said the race-based tax could be levied by the business improvement districts, as first reported by 9News. A business improvement district is managed by local business owners, residents, and local government officials and can levy incremental tax increases which are then redistributed in a specific geographic region, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. 

“Capitalism was built on stolen land, stolen labor, and stolen resources,” CdeBaca told the Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance, 9 News reported. “You could be collecting those extra taxes from white-led businesses all over the city and redistributing them to black and brown-owned businesses.”

While a tax levy can be distributed to assist underserved businesses, the tax can’t be applied based on an individual’s skin color.  That would be illegal under federal law, but the 37-year-old argued this plan would not be illegal since the taxes levied are “voluntary.”

A spokesperson for Denver’s Department of Finance told 9 News this was false. 

“Non-residentially assessed property owners within the BID are required to pay the additional taxes/fees,” said spokesperson Courtney Meihls. “It’s not voluntary.” 

Footage of CdeBaca became viral after being picked up by the Libs of TikTok page, garnering the video more than 4 million views. Critics have said this proposal is going too far. 

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California Reparations Panel Approves Apology for Slavery, Compensation Payments Destined to Run into Billions

California’s reparations task force voted Saturday to approve a report with instructions detailing state financial compensation for slavery alongside a formal apology.

The nine-member committee, which first convened nearly two years ago, gave final approval at a meeting in Oakland to a hefty list of proposals that now go to state lawmakers to consider for reparations legislation, AP reports.

U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, who is cosponsoring a bill in Congress to study restitution proposals, used the meeting to issue a call for states and the federal government to pass reparations legislation.

The demand follows others made previously by lobby groups insisting on payments for the misdeeds of previous generations and the “righting of historical wrongs.”

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California reparations hearing descends into chaos as activist blares out James Brown, another tells absent reparations tsar to ‘stay in Africa’ with Kamala Harris – and a third screams ‘we’re not asking for money, it’s ours!’

California‘s reparations task force has descended into chaos as activists blasted music and aired wild accusations – a day after it was revealed they want $800billion.

Among the first people to speak was Reggie Romain who blared James Brown’s I’m Black & I’m Proud through his phone and down the microphone.

Romain, as well as members of the audience, danced to the 1968 track and after cutting the song short promoted his social media channels before sitting down.

Later, a San Francisco-based activist at the podium described the US as a country ‘born in the name of evil’ and said: ‘Evil cannot give justice.’ She went on scream at the committee members: ‘We ask you for nothing. It’s ours!’

The second-day began amid controversy over the absence of senior committee member Rev. Amos Brown, who is in West Africa, as part of Kamala Harris’ official trip to the continent. On Thursday, one activist demanded that Brown ‘should stay in Africa.’

Unlike at Wednesday’s meeting, Rev. Brown did not Zoom in to make remarks on the meeting. 

Brown Zoomed into Wednesday’s meeting in Sacramento in which he complained that the reports that $5 million would be given to black residents in reparations in the Bay Area were part of a ‘smear campaign.’ 

Brown, 82, said that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, of which he is a member, gave ‘lip service’ to reparations and noted that the city is facing a massive deficit. 

A member of the public who called into the meeting to offer comment addressed Brown’s absence saying: ‘Shame on you.’ 

The reverend’s absence came on the same day that it emerged that the bill for California’s reparations bill has skyrocketed to at least $800 billion.

During the vice president’s historic visit to Africa, Harris promised billions of investment to the continent as she toured historic sites associated with slavery.

It later emerged that while in West Africa, Brown attended a lavish state banquet in Ghana this week as part of the VP’s delegation. 

‘Dr. Brown, shame on you… absolutely shame on you. You give us these fiery speeches only to turn around as Judas did Jesus and betray us…. Him being in Ghana with Kamala Harris, whose administration has done nothing to help black folks is a symbolic gesture,’ a member of the public said at Wednesday’s meeting.

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Reparations for Black Californians could top $800 billion

It could cost California more than $800 billion to compensate Black residents for generations of over-policing, disproportionate incarceration and housing discrimination, economists have told a state panel considering reparations.

The preliminary estimate is more than 2.5 times California’s $300 billion annual budget, and does not include a recommended $1 million per older Black resident for health disparities that have shortened their average life span. Nor does the figure count compensating people for property unjustly taken by the government or devaluing Black businesses, two other harms the task force says the state perpetuated.

Black residents may not receive cash payments anytime soon, if ever, because the state may never adopt the economists’ calculations. The reparations task force is scheduled to discuss the numbers Wednesday and can vote to adopt the suggestions or come up with its own figures. The proposed number comes from a consulting team of five economists and policy experts.

“We’ve got to go in with an open mind and come up with some creative ways to deal with this,” said Assembly member Reggie Jones-Sawyer, one of two lawmakers on the task force responsible for mustering support from state legislators and Gov. Gavin Newsom before any reparations could become reality.

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California Reparations Task Force member vows their ‘recommendations will be breathtaking’

A member of the California Reparations Task Force vowed the committee’s “recommendations will be breathtaking.”

Lisa Holder, a task force member and president of the far-left Equal Justice Society, published an opinion piece advocating for the reparations committee and writing that Californians “must be prepared for remedies on a scale approaching the Great Society programs of Medicare and Medicaid.”

“Reparations is a paradigm for understanding harm and repair as it relates to people who suffered a human rights injustice because of government action,” Holder wrote. “Harm and repair are the two sides of the spectrum.” She added that reparations will “likely” include “monetary compensation to Black people who are descendants of enslaved and persecuted Black Americans.” 

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San Francisco Board of Supervisors Expresses ‘Unanimous Support’ for $5M Reparation Payouts to Black People

San Francisco’s woke Board of Supervisors is strongly considering a draft proposal to gift black people in the uber-liberal city $5,000,000 as part of a reparations package.

Additionally, black people in the city could be entitled to homes, have all debts and tax burdens forgiven and receive a guaranteed income of at least $97,000 per year as part of the package.

The outrageous proposals were made by the city’s “African American Reparations Advisory Committee” as they deliberated various ways to atone for decades of slavery — never mind the fact slavery never existed in California.

“And the San Francisco Board of Supervisors hearing the report for the first time Tuesday voiced enthusiastic support for the ideas listed, with some saying money should not stop the city from doing the right thing,” the Associated Press reported.

The current proposal would cost non-black families “at least $600,000” according to numbers by the Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

The AP reports “Fewer than 50,000 Black people still live in the city, and it’s not clear how many would be eligible,” but admits critics are worried the massive payout would exacerbate the city’s already “deep deficit,” which is projected to reach $728 million over the next two fiscal years.

Hoover Institution senior fellow Lee Ohanian said the plan could bankrupt the city.

“Many African Americans living in San Francisco face significant economic challenges,” Ohanian said. “But implementing the Reparations Committee’s recommendations is not the solution to these problems. Rather, it is a proposal that would result in massive business and household relocations, ultimately bankrupting the city.”

Meanwhile, reparations committee vice chair Tinisch Hollins said the package was necessary in order to set a precedent for the nation.

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