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[P]
Reparations for the Descendants of Women

By gauntlet in Culture
Mon Aug 26, 2002 at 11:35:19 PM EST
Tags: Humour (all tags)
Humour

I got to thinking about this black reparations thing, and it occurred to me that Women were denied a number of rights for a very long time in the United States. Perhaps they, or their descendents, should seek reparations.


You'll have to just bear with me and assume that Women at one point were hard done by. Granted, they had been denied rights by the law of the land, and those rights had been denied "legally", but we all now recognize that it was wrong, so that doesn't really matter. You're going to have one problem in determining who is and who is not the descendent of a woman that had her rights abjugated. There are two ways to deal with this: Either include all people that can prove themselves to be of female descent, or require family histories going back to a person that was living here while women were being abused.

This second method is likely to eliminate a large percentage of people that would otherwise have legitimate claims, because of a lack of paperwork that is not their fault. In the interests of fairness, the first method is the only acceptable one.

Sure, there will be arguments that this will break the bank, etc. It's a motivation for the government to not make the same mistake again, however. Furthermore, it has precedent. Jews, for instance, have received reparations. So have Chinese and Japanese internment victims. Now granted, there's a difference between a race, and a sex. However, saying that you can give jews and their descendents reparations but you can't give women and their descendents reparations is saying that only crimes committed against managable numbers of people should see justice done. It also gives the message that jews are more deserving of justice than women, or that race is a more significant element of division than gender. What sense does that make?

Granted, the descendents of women may not be women, as such. But we cannot give reparations to the women themselves. They have died. If reparations are to be made, it must be to their descendents, and to deny reparations because some of them would go to men is absolutely sexist, and patently illogical. It is as if to say that a son's mother suffered less than a sister's mother, merely because the son is a man.

I freely grant that the wrongs done to women in the course of history were less than those done to blacks, jews, native american, etc., etc., but that makes them no less wrong, and the victims no less deserving of justice in the form of a cheque.

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Poll
Reparations: Do they?
o Sure they do. 8%
o No, they do not. 21%
o I'm not sure... give me some money and I'll let you know. 43%
o Do they what? 26%

Votes: 197
Results | Other Polls

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Display: Sort:
Reparations for the Descendants of Women | 290 comments (215 topical, 75 editorial, 1 hidden)
Suggestion (4.88 / 18) (#11)
by Humuhumunukunukuapuaa on Mon Aug 26, 2002 at 02:46:05 PM EST

To make it fair you should pay more to those people who have more female ancestors. Basically we need to have some system like the old one used with race (mulattoes, quadroons etc.) except with gender. People whose ancestors are half male and half female get no reparations. But people who have more female in their ancestry get more reparations. Anyone whose parents are all female should get the full value.

Sound fair?
--
(&()*&^#@!!&_($&)!&$(*#$(!$&_(!$*&&!$@

In concept, yes (5.00 / 1) (#16)
by DesiredUsername on Mon Aug 26, 2002 at 02:52:29 PM EST

But why are you excluding people who are fully half female ancestried? Those people should get the median amount of money, yes?

Also, you may want to define what you mean by "parents". Are the (either adopted or genetically-created) children of gay male parents out?

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]

right... (none / 0) (#21)
by quadong on Mon Aug 26, 2002 at 02:56:55 PM EST

but the median is zero. Remember that the money has to come from somewhere.

[ Parent ]
I think this has to be about genetics (none / 0) (#44)
by Humuhumunukunukuapuaa on Mon Aug 26, 2002 at 05:42:29 PM EST

Otherwise unscrupulous lesbian couples could adopt a child who'd get a payout which they'd then spend on themselves even though only half of their own ancestors were female.
--
(&()*&^#@!!&_($&)!&$(*#$(!$&_(!$*&&!$@
[ Parent ]
No (none / 0) (#162)
by karjala on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 10:12:54 AM EST

It's the state that should hand out those reparations. It was the state that had those sexist laws.

[ Parent ]
Remind me. Where does the State get its money? nt (none / 0) (#222)
by Humuhumunukunukuapuaa on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 05:43:29 PM EST


--
(&()*&^#@!!&_($&)!&$(*#$(!$&_(!$*&&!$@
[ Parent ]
What would be the point? (2.16 / 18) (#12)
by PhillipW on Mon Aug 26, 2002 at 02:48:27 PM EST

The problem with this is that it would be a huge waste of time.

To simplify the situation, let's just say that everyone who is descended from a woman is entitled to $300 because of the unfair treatment that their ancestors received. Essentially, what happens is everyone puts $300 in, and everyone takes $300 out. So, monetarily, noone has gained anything, and yet we've all wasted a whole shitload of time.

So, you have made a bad point.

-Phil
Not necessarily (4.00 / 1) (#23)
by DesiredUsername on Mon Aug 26, 2002 at 02:57:53 PM EST

What if we gave more money to people who had more abused ancestors? Then anyone descended from more women would get more and anyone descended from fewer would get less. Clearly we'd have to limit this to USian citizens, so basically we'd have new immigrants giving the DAR members big checks.

Also, it isn't just the gov't (==taxes) that oppressed women. Many large corporations still exist that refused jobs to women or allowed harassment to take place. Those corps have assets as well.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]

I could be wrong here ... (3.00 / 1) (#26)
by StrontiumDog on Mon Aug 26, 2002 at 03:03:18 PM EST

What if we gave more money to people who had more abused ancestors?

... but I thought you were against reparations for the slavery of blacks?

[ Parent ]

Sorry, try again (1.00 / 4) (#27)
by PhillipW on Mon Aug 26, 2002 at 03:04:29 PM EST

Most people have about the same number of female relatives. And even for those who have more or less than the average, the small amount of gain they would get from proving that they did would not be equal to the effort that would go into proving that they did have more female ancestors than everyone else.

Many large corporations still exist that refused jobs to women or allowed harassment to take place. Those corps have assets as well.

Not only do the corporations still exist, but the conditions do as well.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Sorry (none / 0) (#215)
by kurtmweber on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 04:28:20 PM EST

Many large corporations still exist that refused jobs to women or allowed harassment to take place.

The difference is that it is fully within the rights of private entities to discriminate on whatever basis they choose. The same is not true for government.

Kurt Weber
Any field of study can be considered 'complex' when it starts using Hebrew letters for symbols.--me
[ Parent ]
Not a huge waste of time! (3.50 / 4) (#29)
by dr zeus on Mon Aug 26, 2002 at 03:22:52 PM EST

Although it might seem to be. If everyone put in $300, they wouldn't get back $300. They'd get back roughly $150-200. The remainder of the money would be used to fund the lawyers, the publicists, the legal analysts, and the politicians that such a massive move of capital would require.

Come to think of it, this is pretty much what will happen with slavery reparations. Demagogues like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson stump around, make speeches, and pull in fat wads of donations, and nothing trickles down to the masses.

[ Parent ]

I thought... (3.66 / 3) (#39)
by nustajeb on Mon Aug 26, 2002 at 05:14:59 PM EST

his point was that it is pointless. I interpreted his comments as demonstrating that everyone has historical grievances, and that the black reparations movement is essentially silly. A position that I'm inclined to agree with.

[ Parent ]
It worked for Dubya (2.80 / 5) (#43)
by Sloppy on Mon Aug 26, 2002 at 05:40:21 PM EST

(US-centric, sorry) Isn't that exactly what Dubya had us do last year?
"RSA, 2048, seeks sexy young entropic lover, for several clock cycles of prime passion..."
[ Parent ]
Not quite. (none / 0) (#171)
by Happy Monkey on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 10:43:02 AM EST

Dubya gave us all $300 first, and then had us all pay it back in April.
___
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
gay parents (none / 0) (#118)
by chia on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 04:34:09 AM EST

what about if your mom and dad are both male?


Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. O Wilde
[ Parent ]
Dude, that *is* the point (none / 0) (#202)
by Shimmer on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 01:46:19 PM EST

It's a joke.  Satire.  Get it?  Swift didn't really intend to sell children for food either ("A Modest Proposal").

-- Brian

Wizard needs food badly.
[ Parent ]

how about a reparations lottery? (4.37 / 16) (#28)
by dr k on Mon Aug 26, 2002 at 03:17:56 PM EST

For every oppressed ancestor you have, you buy a set of reparation numbers for just $2. Then numbers would be drawn at random, and the person with the matching ticket wins the reparations pot. You could do this once or twice a week, and donate the extra proceeds to some charity or other.


Destroy all trusted users!

yes, but... (4.00 / 1) (#141)
by pb on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 08:29:59 AM EST

It won't be too long before you'll have to pay reparations to unlucky people, people who are bad at math, and their descendants...
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]
Absurd (3.50 / 4) (#41)
by Sloppy on Mon Aug 26, 2002 at 05:29:10 PM EST

For some reason after reading this, I found myself thinking of Hofstadter's Person Paper on Purity in Language.
"RSA, 2048, seeks sexy young entropic lover, for several clock cycles of prime passion..."
Hey, I'm oppressed too! (2.88 / 9) (#53)
by xriso on Mon Aug 26, 2002 at 06:21:24 PM EST

Give me some money already! It's cool to be repressed these days, you know?
--
*** Quits: xriso:#kuro5hin (Forever)
Re: (5.00 / 3) (#89)
by rde on Mon Aug 26, 2002 at 11:52:07 PM EST

Shut up and get back in your box.

[ Parent ]
Get repressed.... (none / 0) (#128)
by nustajeb on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 05:09:05 AM EST

It pays.

[ Parent ]
This is a positive step (4.35 / 17) (#66)
by Tatarigami on Mon Aug 26, 2002 at 08:31:33 PM EST

I too know the suffering these descendants of women have imagined their ancestors enduring. I too have been oppressed my entire life -- and for no other reason than I have a monobrow.

Yes, I could shave the bridge of my nose -- but that would just be pandering to the senseless prejudice of others. They are the ones that can't accept the fact of my single eyebrow -- it's up to them to change, to evolve their thinking to the point where this admittedly hideous deformity is accepted as the normal, natural condition it so obviously is to me.

I'm sorry, I can't continue... the pain is too intense...

Your descendants will deserve reparations... (4.75 / 4) (#84)
by erp6502 on Mon Aug 26, 2002 at 11:25:47 PM EST

... to institutionalize your present pain and suffering, to totemize the cross you now bear, and to assuage the national guilt that will be felt by all of the supposedly enlightened fat, rich dibrows of the future.

Puhleeeeeze.

[ Parent ]

Reminds me of Austin Powers 2 (5.00 / 1) (#85)
by Silent Chris on Mon Aug 26, 2002 at 11:34:52 PM EST

Wasn't Fran Farbissina's (I dare anyone to actually spell her name) female friend named "Unibrow". That's one of the funniest moments in the movie. "We met at the LPGA tournament".

[ Parent ]
Una. Una Brau. (n/t) (none / 0) (#210)
by rantweasel on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 03:17:51 PM EST



[ Parent ]
ROFL (ot) (none / 0) (#121)
by vile on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 04:43:57 AM EST



~
The money is in the treatment, not the cure.
[ Parent ]
Deconstructing your satire (4.02 / 36) (#71)
by driptray on Mon Aug 26, 2002 at 09:56:05 PM EST

It's clear that you're satirising the call for reparations for slavery, but it's also clear that you don't understand the logic behind those calls. Here's how it works.

In this comment I set out the basic logic of slavery reparations. Here it is:

  1. Based on racist attitudes, America imports slaves from Africa.
  2. Slave labour helps make white America (not just slave owners) rich and strong.
  3. Slaves are freed, but suffer from the after effects of slavery: racism, poverty, poor education etc.
  4. Descendants of slaves inherit the poverty, poor education etc., and continue to be subject to racist attitudes.
  5. Racist attitudes are perpetuated by the association of black people with poverty, crime etc. Black people who are not descended from slaves also suffer from these problems, and are drawn into the web of negative after effects of slavery.
  6. White people who are not descended from slave owners continue to be drawn into the web of positive after effects of slavery: increased wealth, benefits from racism etc.
  7. The people who benefited from slavery are asked to recompense those who have been damaged by slavery.

Now let's do a bit of word substitution to see how this applies to the idea of reparations to the descendants of women.

  1. Based on sexist attitudes, America subjugates women.
  2. The subjugation of women helps make men (even men who don't believe women should be subjugated) rich and strong.
  3. The legal restrictions on women are removed, but they continue to suffer from sexism: poverty, lower wages, etc.
  4. Descendants of women inherit the poverty, etc., and continue to be subject to sexist attitudes.

    OK, here's where the logic fails. Unlike the disadvantages faced by blacks, the disadvantages faced by women are not passed on to future generations. The sons of the women obviously don't face them, and nor do the daughters inherit them. For the daughters, the disadvantages are created anew for each generation.

And there's no point in going in further. The logic is broken, and your attempt to ridicule reparations for slavery is seen as the cheap and nasty joke that it is.
--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating

"while we're at it...." (none / 0) (#77)
by tebrow on Mon Aug 26, 2002 at 10:56:19 PM EST

I know how tired reductios ad absurdum are around here, but I think it's the best way to get my point across.

A theorem from which you seem to be working is that people benifited by a historical, legally inflicted circumstance are obligated to reimburse those damaged by it. If that is the case, then these rapartions are akin to:
  • White people paying off Native Americans for taking their land, which is no longer legal.
  • White people of Western European descent paying off white people of Eastern European descent for descriminating against them in hiring, which is now illegal.
There are several more listed in the comnments below, I am sure, so I rest my case here.

[ Parent ]
That's a start (5.00 / 1) (#80)
by winthrop on Mon Aug 26, 2002 at 11:15:45 PM EST

Why shy away from rationally-drawn conclusions? Your conclusions aren't absurd at all.

White people drove Native Americans off their land brutally and mercilessly, using terrorist tactics like biological warfare (spreading smallpox-infected blankets on purpose). Indian communities today continue to suffer because of it; they are some of the poorest people in all of the country. Reparations are clearly called for. I know little about Western European treatment of Eastern Europeans, so I can't comment on that case.

But regarding legality: what difference does it make if white people constructed a legal system in order to bless their subjugation of black people?

[ Parent ]

a start indeed (none / 0) (#257)
by tebrow on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 10:17:49 PM EST

The problem is that we are still in that legal system.

If we know that laws can change and then we can be sued retroactively, how are we to know what we can and cannot do? Anything might become illegal in the future and, as in this case, we might not be there to defend ourselves in court. If we begin litigating solely on the basis of damage, rather than legality of the action, we may notice that our constitutional rights lose meaning.

[ Parent ]
The problem I see isn't with reparations (none / 0) (#78)
by libertine on Mon Aug 26, 2002 at 11:00:23 PM EST

My problem is with people on both sides of the community fence who chime in with their own reasons as to why reparations should apply to black Americans as a whole.  The family members who, on behalf of their estates, are filing claims (for which no definable statute of limitation may possibly apply) against insurance companies for loss of life, theft of labor, etc, are going to have their day in court.  That is the law.  

However, there are both conservatives and liberals who have a problem with this.  They are being left out of the loop, but they want their soapboxen, and are really just trying to make reparations claims a wider issue for their own benefit (and not to the benefit of the families involved in the claims).  Those who are trying to define this as a POLITICAL issue, by adding all black Americans (descendants ex-slaves or not, those with a claim or not, etc), are just trying to push their own agenda.  They aren't helping those people with a true claim here- both arch-liberals AND arch-conservatives are trying to hold the claimants and their process hostage by attempting to derail the legal process and the discussion process through an attempt to manufacture some kind of groundswell tyranny of the majority for their own respective and flawed causes.

Just my 2 pennies.


"Live for lust. Lust for life."
[ Parent ]

I agree but (none / 0) (#93)
by blakdogg on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 12:20:18 AM EST

I oppose reparation on the grounds that it is economically infeasible, and most of the culprits would be unable to make good. Slavery was evil, not quite as evil as genocide but close. On strictly moral grounds there should be compensation, but in a world where some one gets 480,000 for spilling coffee on herself how much are the lives of millions of africans, americans, indians and chinese worth ?
Woe be onto the United Nations, there nothing but a front.
[ Parent ]
Who pays? (none / 0) (#94)
by BCoates on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 12:21:58 AM EST

The people who benefited from slavery are asked to recompense those who have been damaged by slavery.
How do you determine who has benefited from slavery, and to what degree, and make them pay?

--
Benjamin Coates



[ Parent ]

Exactly (5.00 / 2) (#144)
by Rift on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 08:42:49 AM EST

I'm a white male - would I have to pay?

My grandparents one one side were very poor norwegians who immigrated in the 1950's. My father was a swede immigrant who did not get citizenship before he died. I now have a very good job and a nice house with a wife and child. How much do I owe?

But what if my family immigrated just after the civil war? What if they were mayflower folks but never owned slaves?

The problem isn't that people are still at a disadvantage from slavery - I could agree with that (but haven't committed to it yet - see the statistics on hispanic poverty as well, even though they were never slaves). But how do you decide who to punish?

--Rift
A pen is to a car what a meteor is to a _____
[ Parent ]
White guy, slave ancestors. (5.00 / 2) (#155)
by Kintanon on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 09:44:26 AM EST

Back about 6 generations I've got a slave in my family tree, but the rest of my ancestors are mostly white (well, American Indian, german, etc... but mostly caucasion), is that enough that I GET some reperations or do I need to give reperations? My mother actually picked cotton in a field as a girl (she's white)... Should I just give myself money and call it even?

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

You would pay (none / 0) (#233)
by blakdogg on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 01:22:44 AM EST

see subject
Woe be onto the United Nations, there nothing but a front.
[ Parent ]
Ignoring your abuse of the term "deconstruct& (5.00 / 9) (#95)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 12:50:30 AM EST

...I'll engage you in the customary point-by-point tete a tete:

Based on racist attitudes, America imports slaves from Africa.

Check!

Slave labour helps make white America (not just slave owners) rich and strong.

Now hold on there just a cotton pickin' minute! The overly sentimental attachment of ole' dixieland to an outmoded and anachronistic agrarian plutocracy -- one which suffered from poor productivity and provided precious little in the way of a consumer market for industrial goods -- quite arguably acted as a net drain on the economy of the Republic, taken as a whole.

Slaves are freed, but suffer from the after effects of slavery: racism, poverty, poor education etc.

You previously attributed the institution of slavery to racist attitudes. Now you're claiming it is the vanquished institution of slavery which gave rise to racism. Which is it?

Descendants of slaves inherit the poverty, poor education etc., and continue to be subject to racist attitudes.

Making their situation akin to that of the coonass and the hillbilly?

Racist attitudes are perpetuated by the association of black people with poverty, crime etc. Black people who are not descended from slaves also suffer from these problems, and are drawn into the web of negative after effects of slavery.

And in this black people's plight differs from that of Hispanics, Arabs or South East Asians in what way exactly?

White people who are not descended from slave owners continue to be drawn into the web of positive after effects of slavery: increased wealth, benefits from racism etc.

The onus is on you to demonstrate that any of us, white or otherwise pigmented, have benefited from the legacy of racism in America.

The people who benefited from slavery are asked to recompense those who have been damaged by slavery.

I can conceive of no way in which I have benefited from slavery. Nor, in the long view, do I think anyone can be said to have benefited from slavery.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Don't pull tricks. (3.75 / 4) (#131)
by Estanislao Martínez on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 06:22:46 AM EST

Now hold on there just a cotton pickin' minute! The overly sentimental attachment of ole' dixieland to an outmoded and anachronistic agrarian plutocracy -- one which suffered from poor productivity and provided precious little in the way of a consumer market for industrial goods -- quite arguably acted as a net drain on the economy of the Republic, taken as a whole.

You are taking the difference between (a) wealth that actually was created and (b) wealth that could have been created but wasn't, and essentially calling the difference between (b) and (a) a "drain on the economy". Therefore, since slavery actually resulted in a loss, you imply that slavery didn't produce any wealth with which to provide reparations.

What you're missing is that the wealth represented by (a) *was* created, and by using slaves as a crucial resource. If you're allowed to posit the hypothetical historical counterfactual that if the South hadn't based its economy on slavery, the greater wealth represented by (b) above could have been created, I'm equally allowed to hypothesize that (c) none of wealth that actually *was* created might have been created without slavery. The actual trumps the counterfactual; bird in hand is better than 100 in the sky.[*]

In any case, losses don't remove responsibility for repairing damages.

*Or whatever is the appropriate proverb in English: "mejor pájaro en mano que 100 volando" would be the Spanish one I translated. There's always equivalent proverbs in essentially all languages, but they differ in unpredictable ways (e.g. the squeaky wheel gets the grease -> Quien no llora no mama "He who doesn't cry doesn't get to suckle").

--em
[ Parent ]

Make the proper comparison! (3.66 / 3) (#179)
by Steve Hamlin on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 11:18:43 AM EST


You are taking the difference between (a) wealth that actually was created and (b) wealth that could have been created but wasn't, and essentially calling the difference between (b) and (a) a "drain on the economy". Therefore, since slavery actually resulted in a loss, you imply that slavery didn't produce any wealth with which to provide reparations.

What you're missing is that the wealth represented by (a) *was* created, and by using slaves as a crucial resource. If you're allowed to posit the hypothetical historical counterfactual that if the South hadn't based its economy on slavery, the greater wealth represented by (b) above could have been created, I'm equally allowed to hypothesize that (c) none of wealth that actually *was* created might have been created without slavery. The actual trumps the counterfactual; bird in hand is better than 100 in the sky.

However, YOU are taking the difference between:

(a) the condition in which decendents of slaves are living NOW in the U.S.

and

(b) the condition in which decendents of slaves WOULD BE living now in the U.S had not slavery existed, and yet Africans still came to North America in the 1500-1800s, and essentially calling the difference 'subjugation and oppression', and demanding reparations.

I would posit that the actual comparison should between:

(a) the condition in which decendents of slaves are living NOW in the U.S.

and

(b) the condition in which decendents of slaves WOULD BE living now had not slavery existed - i.e. the condition of the average African from the Ivory Coast region.

In this case, reparations would not be due because blacks in the U.S. live, overall, in better condiditons that those Africans in the same situation 400 years ago who were not sold into slavery. In my mind, at least, if we are going to do an exercise in "what ifs", then go back to the initial fork of the (hypothetical) timeline.



[ Parent ]

Gosh, Mr. Peabody! (1.00 / 1) (#252)
by Pihkal on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 05:32:39 PM EST

But why stop there? It's well known that homo sapiens originated in Africa; I think every living Caucasian owes a lifetime's salary for the gift of sentience. The conditions in which Caucasian hominids would be living had not the homo sapiens killed them would be brutish and nasty and involve lots of picking bugs out of each other's hair and then eating them. This is unless it turns out that the monoliths were responsible after all.

I think, taken to the extreme, reparations will be great for accountants: "So Mr. Davidson, let's view your Historical Expenses and Deductions claim, shall we? Okay, you're raised Jewish, descended from your mother's side who immigrated from Russia... looking favorable so far. Lessee, Irish immigrants on father's side with some Norwegian. Okay, Jewish heritage with the pogrom deduction plus early 20th c. Irish work discrimination minus Viking raiding minus wealthy Jewish educational cultural advantage minus late 20th c. Irish blending in, minus Native American land theft plus Russian Jewish land theft... oh wait, the Vikings raided the Irish and I'm afraid you can't claim intra-heritage discrimination. Still, it looks as if you'll be receiving a sizable sum from the government this year, Mr. Davidson. Still, if you want to improve your financial situation next year, you should give some serious thought to staking out a more highly victimized status. Have you considered converting to Rastafarianism and arranging for some police brutality? I know a couple Palestinian-descended cops who are looking for a few extra deductions. That way you could both come out ahead."

"I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered!"
-- Number 6
[ Parent ]

I've got an idea (5.00 / 2) (#186)
by lonemarauder on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 11:36:35 AM EST

You're right. Slavery demands action. We need to do something about it. A price must be paid.

Let's start by sacrificing the lives of 620000 men. Then, let's sieze the homes and property of those who lost the war, and give it to the former slaves.

It would be a good plan, if we hadn't already done it.



[ Parent ]
You sir are a racist! (1.75 / 4) (#149)
by howardjp on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 09:22:24 AM EST

Only a racist would use a phrase like "cotton-picking."

[ Parent ]
aren't you begging the question? (5.00 / 5) (#98)
by misanthrope112 on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 01:03:26 AM EST

I don't agree that the very real disadvantages of ex-slaves were simply passed along to the present day.  What about the 75% of blacks in the US who are not in poverty?  You'll have a black physician making $200k a year getting reparations... why?  To say that "she still suffers from racism, and has been negatively affected by racism in her life" may be true, but that isn't the same as saying she inherited poverty and poor education because her ancestors were slaves.  What about the case of Jamaicans and others from the West Indies, who have the same skin color as other blacks but who have an average income equal or higher than whites?  That data is from an old Thomas Sowell book (and he got it from the census bureau, I think) and while it may be irritating, it isn't, I think, a red herring.  The question is whether or not race dictates destiny, and it does not, as far as I can tell.  That would be insulting to the vast majority of blacks who have succeeded economically, who haven't been in prison, etc.  I'm not saying that there is no racism or even that racism is a minor problem, only that I see no reason to believe that the poverty and poor prospects of some blacks is not due solely, or even primarily, to the fact that their ancestors were slaves.  As as often been pointed out, there are many MORE whites on welfare and other government assistance programs that blacks, yet whites weren't slaves.  Blacks are over-represented in the lower income brackets, due in part to racism I'm sure, but also I'd wager to the reasons outlined in McWhorter's book Losing the Race.  If black kids are told by other black kids that doing their schoolwork is 'acting white' and 'acting white' is by definition a bad thing, then those kids will grow up to be failures by all the ways success is measured in the US.  

I think the movement for reparations is not motivated by arguments as concise as the ones you gave, but from a feeling that blacks as a group were horribly wronged and deserve some recompense.  At first blush that looks sensible, but it has to be balanced against the very realistic questions of whether or not we can inherit guilt (something most people are going to disagree with you about), whether you can tax a race (a fictional creation of racists preserved today mainly by those same people the racists disliked in the first place) to compensate another race, etc.  If I'm 50% white and 50% black, am I both taxed and compensated?  How about Tiger Woods?  Miriah Carrey? Or do we just go by skin color?   And who decides if you're dark enough?  How do you tax only whites in a society with so many multi-racial people?  

The pro-reparations people who DO believe we can inherit guilt will be unlikely to want to extend the concept beyond the scope of reparations to blacks, but once the idea has a legal foundation it will mutate and go wild.  I've never seen any of these questions seriously addressed.  I'm not saying they weren't addressed, only that I've never come across an explanation that actually dealt with any of the stickier issues.  

I'm not asking you to answer my questions, just pointing out why most people think reparations aren't the simple ethical issue they're presented as.

[ Parent ]

Don't forget . . . (4.75 / 4) (#148)
by Dphitz on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 09:14:04 AM EST

That no one seems to have thought about what effect reparations will actually have.  Would a payoff to blacks improve race relations in the U.S.?  Would people magically throw their prejudices and racist attitudes (black or white) out the window?  Probably not.  And of course everyone will want a piece of the slavery reparations pie.  Realistically speaking it probably wouldn't be enough to lift a family of four above the poverty line or change their lifestyle much.  I would rather see any possible money go to education funds, community projects etc. or something that would have a long term effect, not just a one time band-aid especially in light of the points you made above.


God, please save me . . . from your followers

[ Parent ]
Connecting two points: (5.00 / 4) (#112)
by Quila on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 03:16:30 AM EST

  1. Slave labor helps make America rich and strong
  2. The people who benefited from slavery are asked to recompense those who have been damaged by slavery
In a "rich and strong" economy, everyone has the possibility of benefitting. There are flat-out more jobs and higher paying ones.

If you want to argue that post-slavery treatment kept the blacks from the good jobs to benefit from that economy, then you're not talking slavery reparations, but racism reparations.

But then, the Italians and Irish experienced some pretty severe social and economic racism when they got here too. So logically we have to add their descendants to the reparations recipient list too. Isn't that just about everybody?

I'm also wondering what we do about descendants of abolitionists. Are they exempt from paying? Otherwise it's a slap in the face to those fighting to free the slaves in the first place. Or how about James Birney. He was a former slave holder, then abolitionist.

Oh what a tangled web we weave from the threads of avarice.

[ Parent ]

Connecting the points properly (2.00 / 1) (#157)
by marinel on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 09:55:30 AM EST

In a "rich and strong" economy, everyone has the possibility of benefitting. There are flat-out more jobs and higher paying ones.
So, if you steal my money and donate it to the govt, I should be thankful for benefiting from it when part of it comes back to me through handouts?
If you want to argue that post-slavery treatment kept the blacks from the good jobs to benefit from that economy, then you're not talking slavery reparations, but racism reparations.
Nice redirection. How about simply redressing the original sin first and then worrying about further injustices?
But then, the Italians and Irish experienced some pretty severe social and economic racism when they got here too. So logically we have to add their descendants to the reparations recipient list too. Isn't that just about everybody?
Somehow the Italians and Irish managed to never be sold as stock on the market next to cattle. Hmmm...come again about how Italians and Irish' experiences are comparable?
I'm also wondering what we do about descendants of abolitionists. Are they exempt from paying? Otherwise it's a slap in the face to those fighting to free the slaves in the first place. Or how about James Birney. He was a former slave holder, then abolitionist.
This is were we get into the details. If you want to do justice, don't hand out a check and ask everyone to foot the bill (that I would call poisoning the well of reparations). Find the direct beneficiaries of slavery and seize assets (a la RICO). You might say that such feat is unattainable, yet somehow a few legal researchers managed to track down illegal land seizures practices against blacks more than 100 years ago. I believe AP published a series of articles on this endeavour.
Oh what a tangled web we weave from the threads of avarice.
Avarice indeed as demonstrated also by those that don't want to admit the injustice done (or belittleing it through unfair comparisons and scare tactics) and/or by those that don't want to see it redressed 'cause it might poke a hole in their pocket. How about that?
--
Proud supporter of Students for an Orwellian Society
[ Parent ]
not quite (4.00 / 1) (#172)
by Quila on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 10:47:18 AM EST

So, if you steal my money and donate it to the govt, I should be thankful for benefiting from it when part of it comes back to me through handouts?

No, if your legal status as a slave helps grow the economy, your later free status and/or that of your descendants will benefit from that grown economy. There aren't too many blacks in America living in 1700-1800s slavery conditions right now. The government (aside from not making slavery illegal) has nothing to do with it.

Nice redirection. How about simply redressing the original sin first and then worrying about further injustices?

What sin? It was legal. The entire concept of reparations for a legal act is too close to the unconstitutional ex post facto

Hmmm...come again about how Italians and Irish' experiences are comparable?

Slavery having been legal and helped grow the economy, freed slaves and their descendants were not able to fully take advantage of the advanced state of economy they helped to create. The reason was, of course, discrimination against them, people hating them because they were black. The Italians and Irish experienced this same discrimination in the post slavery years.

Find the direct beneficiaries of slavery and seize assets (a la RICO).

... for something that was perfectly legal. You'd better hope something you're doing right now isn't later declared illegal, and punishment retroactively made. But you say you're not doing anything unethical? Lots of people had hard biblical support for their slavery, and they considered it perfectly ethical and sanctioned by God.

This whole concept of reparations puts our legal system on its head.

And why aren't we going after the African slave traders who were capturing their own people and selling them to us? We were just buyers, nothing more. Why? Of course, they don't have that much money. No use suing broke people when all you're after is money.

[ Parent ]

Don't confuse legality with morality (none / 0) (#195)
by marinel on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 12:43:36 PM EST

What permeates through your rebuttal is basically your assertion that slavery was legal then and had biblical support, thus slavery reparations are a bad precedent to set because it could incriminate people for otherwise past legal actions, right?

I will venture to suggest that slavery is (and always was) morally wrong and any law that validates slavery should have been null and void. I would also suggest that the legality of slavery was a direct consequence of the self-serving misinterpretation of the Bible. I would further propose that laws are only reflections of the mores of those that make them and they surely do not constitute an absolute, but at best an approximation. In the end, morality should trump law. If we are to consider that laws were usually established by a minority of the population in such a way that it would serve their interest even to the considerable disadvantage of others, I would seriously question the validity of such law at any point in time (past, present or future).

As to the biblical support of slavery, I think that many read the Bible a bit to literally to further their goals, and that does not make their mistakes right. I would assume that this commandment:

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's
was interpreted as a validation of slavery and serfdom. Actually it is self-contradictory (as a lot of the Bible is) with respect to servants since all of us are neighbours and by redux it should distill to the Hippocratic "do no harm" to ANY human being (a reasonable interpretation which should have condemned slavery from the start).

And to address the danger of setting a precedent by punishing past legal actions, I will dare say that people should actually try to follow the ten commandments in spirit (especially those that do not refer to some arbitrary deity), and not the letter of the law (or some perverse interpretations of the Bible). If we are to walk the line of the law and nothing more, then we're really accepting the legal system as our moral beacon and that is a more dangerous proposition than the former could ever be. If we are to follow perverse interpretations of the Bible than we have the Inquisition and the Catholic Church, and that is just another global injustice that we have not even dare take on seriously. Has any serious investigation into Church past wrongdoings ever been attempted? I visited the Vatican and I'm pretty sure that the riches accumulated inside those walls (and countless others) were not accumulated mainly through voluntary donnations.

I, for one, am willing to suffer the consequences of past wrongdoings (even if they were legal then) knowing that I did my best to follow my conscience, and I would hope for the sake of justice, that past wrongdoings are not simply swept under the rug by waving the red herring of setting bad precedents or by invoking some arbitrary legal statutes that simply "expire" any injustices!
--
Proud supporter of Students for an Orwellian Society
[ Parent ]

In general (none / 0) (#238)
by Quila on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 03:33:21 AM EST

I have to agree in general to the principle that law doesn't always equal morality, even at times when the law and the morality it is defying are contemporary. A good current example illegal-but-shouldn't-be is the war on drugs. A good example of legal-but-shouldn't-be is the current system of outright purchasing our politicians.

However, as far as legality is concerned, we have to have standards, or chaos will ensue. After the drug war is lost, should we put all the enforcers on trial? If we clean up the purchasing of our politicians, do we then demand reparations from past contributors? Will any company or person be willing to do anything legal at all for fear of future illegality? That's unconstitutional.

Slavery was considered moral to the majority of Americans. Our morality has changed. In the future, do we go back and prosecute based on changed moralities? Do we know the current moralities are right?

At some point, we have to stop looking back and start looking forward. This seems too much like Jesse Jackson's pandering and camera chasing, trying to find, invent or resuscitate evils so he can keep up the racial tensions and not let our society go forward.

My ancestry goes back to the Czech Republic, around the Sudatenland area. Do I feel that current Germans should pay for what happened to my family? My greed is not strong enough to override my morality. I'm not going to make current taxpayers or stockholders pay for what their ancestors did.

[ Parent ]

Just remember... (4.66 / 3) (#120)
by vile on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 04:42:05 AM EST

you are the one compensating... not anyone's grandfather...

~
The money is in the treatment, not the cure.
[ Parent ]
Correct rewriting of argument (3.25 / 4) (#154)
by Betcour on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 09:43:20 AM EST

Unlike the disadvantages faced by blacks, the disadvantages faced by women are not passed on to future generations.

Go to a feminist rally and tell it very loud so everyone hear it. Then observe as what you think as obvious doesn't look obvious to them (as the angry mob makes sushi out of you)

For the daughters, the disadvantages are created anew for each generation

Are you saying that sexism is created anew for each generation but racism was created only during the old days of slavery ? I'd be curious to how you came to that surprising conclusion.

[ Parent ]
blacks less deserving of reparations (3.50 / 2) (#193)
by Phelan on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 12:40:15 PM EST

Are you saying that sexism is created anew for each generation but racism was created only during the old days of slavery ?

Wow, if this is true, than women (and the descendents of women) are more deserving of reparation than the blacks. After all, their call for reparations is for somethign that happened a couple-hundred-years ago. The crime of oppression against women happens anew every generation, compounding the crime.

As a direct descendant of a woman, I demand my reparations. ;)

[ Parent ]

Ah ! (none / 0) (#237)
by Betcour on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 02:42:05 AM EST

As a direct descendant of a woman, I demand my reparations. ;)

Not so quick ! I demand to first see your proofs that you are a real descendant of a woman. There are all too many would-be women descendants who are just here to make a quick buck, unlike the real ones who are truly proud of their heritage (playing Barbies, watching Meg Ryan's movies, talking about the latest highliner from l'Oréal, etc.).

[ Parent ]
Hey, I watched When Harry Met Sally (3.50 / 2) (#241)
by Phelan on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 08:20:14 AM EST

Now gimme my damn check!

[ Parent ]
wow - good job (none / 0) (#166)
by waxmop on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 10:23:47 AM EST

you did a good analysis while avoiding looking like you got trolled. the point abut how (black-descendant != woman-descendant) because the stigma isn't transferred is really good - and i didn't think about it until you pointed it out.

you really elevated the level of debate with your post.

but i'm not really saying necessarily that i agree with you.
--
We are a monoculture of horsecock. Liar
[ Parent ]

+1 front page (1.66 / 6) (#86)
by United Fools on Mon Aug 26, 2002 at 11:35:56 PM EST

Wonderful, clear, reasonable and understandable. The authors have given considerations for fools and people of low IQ when writting this article. An excellent examples for other authors to follow. We fools fully understand the arguments in this article.
We are united, we are fools, and we are America!
Wrong (2.44 / 9) (#88)
by duncan bayne on Mon Aug 26, 2002 at 11:43:11 PM EST

I voted +1 FP - hopefully, those who support reparations of any kind will read this and realise how wrong the whole reparation concept is.



why on earth would they do that? (4.50 / 2) (#100)
by DavisImp on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 01:14:56 AM EST

I could post a rant comparing the social habits of george bush to those of a monkey. It wouldn't make george bush any more or less like a monkey.

This article is likely to appeal to people who find the concept of reparations to the descendants of slaves absurd, but it doesn't point out the absurdity of reparations, it points out the absurdity of reparations to the descendants of women. Which is not something that really needs to be pointed out.

[ Parent ]

Wishful thinking (3.50 / 2) (#101)
by duncan bayne on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 01:24:08 AM EST

I was hoping that people might be able to extrapolate from one position (reparation to Women is absurd and immoral) to another (reparation to Blacks is absurd and immoral). Perhaps that's just wishful thinking?



[ Parent ]
it's not wishful thinking (4.50 / 4) (#102)
by DavisImp on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 01:40:52 AM EST

It's just a pointless argument. Everything is absurd when taken to its logical conclusion. Physician-assisted suicide leads to forced euthanasia. Gay marriage leads to the formalizing relationships with animals. Regulation leads to state ownership of all business. Arguing pointing out the absurdities of euthanasia, bestiality, and communism is not the same as pointing out the absurdities of their more moderate arguments. In the same way, pointing out that reparations for everyone is stupid is like doesn't do anything more than point out that reparations for everyone is stupid.

For the record, I'm not sure where I sit on the reparations issue, but I'm fairly sure I'm against them for many of the more logical reasons already discussed here. The smugness of the article really turned me off, though, and it seems designed to elicit a knowing chuckle, not serious discussion.

[ Parent ]

But... (3.00 / 1) (#123)
by vile on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 04:55:34 AM EST

I damn sure got one hell of a laugh out of it...

~
The money is in the treatment, not the cure.
[ Parent ]
Reparations (3.66 / 9) (#90)
by wji on Mon Aug 26, 2002 at 11:56:35 PM EST

The idea of "slave reparations", in itself, makes no sense. There are no slaves in America.

There is the argument, of course, that since Afro-Americans today suffer the effects of slavery in the form of economic inequality, reparations are still justified. I agree, but see no need to restrict it to African Americans. Inequality, in itself, is what needs to be adressed.

And, by the way, nobody argues that reparations would be justified if the economic distribution in America wasn't racially biased. It seems that the relationship between race and class in America is among the the best kept -- well, it's hardly a secret. Among the best censored realities of American society.

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.

Censored??? (none / 0) (#91)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 12:02:23 AM EST

The strong correlation between race and poverty is one of those facts with which I've been repeatedly beat about head since I was but a wee lad.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
However... (4.00 / 1) (#105)
by Skwirl on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 02:29:41 AM EST

Intelligent, mainstream discussion of race and class in America is hard to come by. Being "beat about the head" with it doesn't sound like a in-depth conversation to me.

--
"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
[ Parent ]
It's like the crazy uncle in the attic (none / 0) (#204)
by wji on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 02:25:00 PM EST

Everybody knows about it but hopes they won't have to deal with it if they don't admit it.

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
[ Parent ]
Reparations can take many forms. (5.00 / 4) (#108)
by Noam Chompsky on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 02:42:13 AM EST

Slavery funded capitalism. It did so for almost 300 years. Latin America is "dark" because Africans were forcibly removed from Africa in order to harvest and mine the American continent. If every African and Latin American nation defaults on their loans today, justice will be served.

That's a form of reparations many people are taking seriously. There's a good chance something like that will happen.

Re: America. Reparations should be pursued as far as the SCOTUS. America will never pay a cent of reparations, but the reparations case, precisely because it is seditious, is the best way to focus American attention on the wide economic gap between blacks and whites. Closing that economic gap is more important than giving the brothers an extra hundred dollars, but if kur0shin thinks the gap will close by itself without an ideological struggle, then kur0shin should ask itself why it hasn't already; or why the US government has never issued a formal apology for slavery; or why Americans are almost entirely ignorant of the transatlantic slave trade and the set of social relations that survive it; or if anything at all has ever been accomplished without a struggle.

Win or lose, it's all about raising people's consciousness.

--
Faster, liberalists, kill kill kill!
[ Parent ]

Latin & South America (none / 0) (#153)
by Merk00 on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 09:40:20 AM EST

Latin and South America are not "dark" because of Africans being imported as slaves. There are very few countries that have a sizable group of African decendants (Haiti and Jamaca being the most prominent). Instead, the reason that Latin and South America are "dark" is because the native Indians (or indigenous peoples or whatever you'd like to call them) were of darker skin than the European immigrants. Because of cross breeding (ever hear of mestizo's? they make up the majority of the population in most of Latin and South America), the current day population of Latin and South America is somewhat dark.

------
"At FIRST we see a world where science and technology are celebrated, where kids think science is cool and dream of becoming science and technology heroes."
- FIRST Mission
[ Parent ]

OK, I'll bite. (none / 0) (#158)
by Noam Chompsky on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 10:09:14 AM EST

There are very few countries that have a sizable group of African decendants (Haiti and Jamaca being the most prominent).

And Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Dom. Rep., Nicaragua, Venezuala, etc.

No, I was not referring to Mestizo (who are persons of mixed White and Amerindian anscestry) or even Mulatto persons; I was referring to Blacks.

--
Faster, liberalists, kill kill kill!
[ Parent ]

Numbers (none / 0) (#183)
by Merk00 on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 11:24:10 AM EST

  • Belize - black not listed as an ethnic group
  • Brazil - 6% black
  • Colombia - 4% black
  • Cuba - 11% black
  • Dominican Republic - 11% black
  • Nicaragua - 9% black
  • Venezuela - percentages not listed
All data from the CIA World Fact Book. None of those populations of blacks really seems to indicate a huge importation of blacks into the country. Particularly since the Spanish and Portuguese did not develop the same type of colonies that the British and French did (importing lots of people from home).

------
"At FIRST we see a world where science and technology are celebrated, where kids think science is cool and dream of becoming science and technology heroes."
- FIRST Mission
[ Parent ]

Yeah, and that's a lot of black people, isn't it? (none / 0) (#187)
by Noam Chompsky on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 11:41:25 AM EST

How did they get there? Now factor in the Mulatto population. P.S. Ever been to Belize? There are more Blacks there than Whites or Amerindians. PPS. Amerindians are not "black."

--
Faster, liberalists, kill kill kill!
[ Parent ]

I disagree... (3.50 / 2) (#117)
by vile on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 04:27:12 AM EST

there are no slaves in this country? We are all slaves to some form of an entity.

~
The money is in the treatment, not the cure.
[ Parent ]
(snicker) (3.27 / 11) (#97)
by pyramid termite on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 12:56:40 AM EST

You'll have to just bear with me and assume that Women at one point were hard done by.

Heh-heh, heh-heh, he said "hard".

"I forget, in a certain way, everything I write, doubtless also, in another way, what I read." - Jacques Derrida
i was thinking along those lines too... (4.75 / 4) (#99)
by isaac_akira on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 01:14:53 AM EST

did you read my comment attached to the Aetna lawsuit story? your article does a much better job of explaining the idea though.

http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2002/3/26/23149/6572/80

oky doky (1.80 / 5) (#103)
by turmeric on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 01:41:38 AM EST

anything to stop all this drama

heh... (none / 0) (#122)
by vile on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 04:49:35 AM EST

Damn women....

~
The money is in the treatment, not the cure.
[ Parent ]
Um (1.80 / 10) (#104)
by carbon on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 02:28:52 AM EST

Technically, isn't everyone a descendant of a woman?


Wasn't Dr. Claus the bad guy on Inspector Gadget? - dirvish
Um, that's the point [n/t] (3.00 / 3) (#106)
by joecool12321 on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 02:33:24 AM EST



[ Parent ]
I guess I wasn't clear about my point (1.33 / 3) (#109)
by carbon on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 02:48:07 AM EST

Nearly every culture had or has an issue with oppression of women at some point. Given that, wouldnt every single person on the planet require recompensation? That would be kind of silly.


Wasn't Dr. Claus the bad guy on Inspector Gadget? - dirvish
[ Parent ]
That's the point. (4.33 / 3) (#110)
by joecool12321 on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 02:51:22 AM EST



[ Parent ]
No, you were perfectly clear... (5.00 / 2) (#199)
by p3d0 on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 01:14:44 PM EST

...and you still don't seem to understand that that was the whole point. It's called "irony".

Take a look at the quintessential work of irony, Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal, and tell me what you think it's about. (Hint: it's not about eating babies.)
--
Patrick Doyle
My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
[ Parent ]

No. It's about helping the glove industry. (nt) (none / 0) (#205)
by Kwil on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 02:30:11 PM EST


That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
Wow (4.00 / 2) (#236)
by carbon on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 02:16:39 AM EST

Ah, yeah, wait, I see it now. Thanks for explaining it, instead of just making giggling noises, fun as that is. I need to avoid posting any comments at all after a certain time of night...


Wasn't Dr. Claus the bad guy on Inspector Gadget? - dirvish
[ Parent ]
Ding Ding! (3.00 / 1) (#226)
by Disevidence on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 07:07:14 PM EST

Ladies and Gents, we have a winner!

[ Parent ]
Some people don't deserve the ability to read. (4.00 / 6) (#140)
by shftleft on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 08:26:11 AM EST



[ Parent ]
SSSHHH!!! (2.66 / 3) (#176)
by lonemarauder on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 11:07:15 AM EST



[ Parent ]
No. (4.00 / 5) (#216)
by kitten on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 04:37:12 PM EST

Macduff, adversary of Macbeth, was not of woman born.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
My only fear (3.25 / 4) (#107)
by joecool12321 on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 02:37:01 AM EST

My only fear is that rather than turning people away from reparations, it will interest people in female reperations. Almost as if, rather than adjusting policy towards Ireland, people actuall thought Swift had a good idea.


like women aren't still second best now?? (3.66 / 12) (#111)
by livus on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 03:08:53 AM EST

Ha ha, to read this article anyone would think women nowdays get average equal wages for work done, that theyre seen by society as equal, and so on. Anyone would think that the medical profession put as much funding into women's sexual health as it does into Viagra. That every few minutes a woman isnt getting raped. That there had ever been a woman President in your country. What is the intended function of a reparation? To "make up for" the wrongs of the past, or to try to even things out now?

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

Women will get paid the same as men (1.33 / 9) (#136)
by gazbo on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 07:18:31 AM EST

When they are as good at their jobs as men. Also, women who get raped were almost certainly inviting it with their attire.

As for Viagra Vs Whatever - How much money is spent on breast cancer screening/treatment and smear tests?

-----
Topless, revealing, nude pics and vids of Zora Suleman! Upskirt and down blouse! Cleavage!
Hardcore ZORA SULEMAN pics!

[ Parent ]

Catching up (4.33 / 6) (#138)
by curien on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 07:45:38 AM EST

anyone would think women nowdays get average equal wages for work done

They do, mostly, in the US. While women, on average, earn less than men do per year, the same is not true when you break it down to an hourly wage. Yes, women make less than men per year, on average. They also work (ie: perform a task in exchange for monetary compensation) less (ie: for a shorter period of time) than men per year, on average.

Anyone would think that the medical profession put as much funding into women's sexual health as it does into Viagra.

Breast cancer research receives far more funding and media attention than prostate cancer research, yet more people die from prostate cancer each year (the only deadlier cancer is lung cancer).

That there had ever been a woman President in your country.

Obviously, that is the yardstick by which all tolerance should be measured. So you believe that in Pakistan, women are treated more equally?

What is the intended function of a reparation?

The purpose is to ease the guilty consciences of a few people in power, and to give a pulpit to a few other people who desire more power.

--
Murder your babies. -- R Mutt
[ Parent ]

Women are still the best. (4.50 / 2) (#142)
by Per Abrahamsen on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 08:33:13 AM EST

> anyone would think women nowdays get average equal wages for work done,

I don't know about the US, but in Denmark they do, by law.  They earn less, but also work less (even including housework).  Different priorities.

> that theyre seen by society as equal,

Hard to quantify.  Generally, they are considered a lot less expendable than men.

> Anyone would think that the medical profession
> put as much funding into women's sexual health as
> it does into Viagra.

They put much more effort into women health, despite the fact that women live longer.

> That every few minutes a woman isnt getting raped.

Fortunately, it happens a lot more often than every few minuttes that a women isn't raped ;-).

In answer to what you ment to say, men are far more likely to be victims of a violent crime than women.

> That there had ever been a woman President in
> your country.

There have never been a president in my country, instead we have a Queen (whose houseband is merely a prince).


[ Parent ]

Pregnancy Fucks Women (4.00 / 4) (#152)
by Kintanon on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 09:31:26 AM EST

Studies have shown that the average female employee works less over the course of her employment that the average male employee. This is the reason that employers will usually offer women less money. Pregnancy skews the statistics by taking a big percentage of women out of the work force for years at a time. Most women miss 3-6 months of work while they are pregnant, and anywhere from 6 months to 3-4 years after they give birth. Some women will pretend to be coming back to work after they give birth only to blow their employer off after they get their paid maternity leave. Employers see women as liable to get pregnant at any moment and disappear from the work force. So they don't usually invest as much time in keeping them happy while employed. If fewer women would trade their career for children, or would have just one child and then dedicate themselves to a career once the child is in school, maybe employers would take women more seriously.

Kintanon
Disclaimer: I am in no way ascribing this behaviour to ALL women, only a very visible and very large minority (Actually, it's probably a majority of women but I don't know that for sure)

[ Parent ]

Yup (4.00 / 5) (#173)
by ph317 on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 10:48:24 AM EST


And there are other similar factors that simply don't show up in statistics well.  I work in a well-paid professional unix job.  I have three peers in my group (same job title, pay, tasks, responsibilities, etc), one of which is female.  She's a mother of two children, and her husband also works full-time.  If I take more than half or so of my alotted sick days, I get frowned at, and it looks bad for me career-wise.  She's averaging about double her sick days, and the boss just stops accounting them to HR and allows her to keep skipping days.  "The kids are sick", "I have to take them to XXXX today", etc...

In the end, she gets a lot more slack and works considerably less hours for the same pay and title, and she doesn't appear to lose any merit with upper management for it.

In a funky psychological twist, she can also make ten times the dumb mistakes without feeling the effect.  If I make a stupid good (oops, I hit the power button on the wrong machine, or typo'd command as root that does damage), I get reamed, and it directly reflects on my status here (same for the other guys).  She is generally less skilled and less careful than the rest of us, and makes considerably more errors, but goes unscathed.  She is automatically forgiven because she's female and can't help it, or some psychological crap like that in the minds of the management above us.

It drives me insane.

[ Parent ]

wow..wowie wow wow wow (3.00 / 1) (#220)
by randinah on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 05:36:34 PM EST

In a funky psychological twist, she can also make ten times the dumb mistakes without feeling the effect. If I make a stupid good (oops, I hit the power button on the wrong machine, or typo'd command as root that does damage), I get reamed, and it directly reflects on my status here (same for the other guys). She is generally less skilled and less careful than the rest of us, and makes considerably more errors, but goes unscathed. She is automatically forgiven because she's female and can't help it, or some psychological crap like that in the minds of the management above us.

So you're saying she screws up more and acts like a ditz, and is less careful because she is a woman? I work with many people who just happen to be lazy and not careful and air-headed. I don't blame it on their gender. Lol..she's "female and can't help it." That's classic. I'm off to crash my husbands computer now just for that reason!


"Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
[ Parent ]
Please learn to read. (5.00 / 1) (#230)
by LordEq on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 08:37:49 PM EST

So you're saying she screws up more and acts like a ditz, and is less careful because she is a woman?

No, genius-child. She screws up more, acts like a ditz, and is less careful -- full stop. "She is automatically forgiven because she's female". (Emphasis mine.)

TSSIA.



--LordEq

"That's what K5's about. Hippies and narcs cavorting together." --panck
[ Parent ]
Is this a productive debate? (3.76 / 17) (#113)
by Skwirl on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 03:27:42 AM EST

I read a rant like this and I say, "hyup, there's a stereotypical angry white male."

The reparations debate bothers me, and here's why. Really, I could give a rat's ass either way whether corporations or the government gives millions or billions of dollars in reparations. At the end of the day, it won't affect my pocketbook by any significant amount. My energies are better spent fighting the military-industrial complex or looking for a solution to social security.

On the other hand, the reparations issue is a dividing issue. It often boils down to a pure and simple flamewar. To say that current black people aren't still affected by the history of slavery and racism in America is utter ignorance. There's a direct correlation between the class of one's parents and one's own class. Sure, some people make good on humble beginnings or totally screw up a good deal, but by and large we end up about as well off as our parents were.

Class is only superficially about money. It's really about how people view you. Throwing money at the descendants of slaves isn't going to raise the average class of black people. On the other hand, by engendering a whites vs. blacks attitude in the opposing sides of this debate, it might actually be setting back the acceptance clock.

--
"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse

I think you're oversimplifying (5.00 / 8) (#116)
by misanthrope112 on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 04:04:45 AM EST

That wasn't a rant, but a satire.  And why do you make assumptions about the race of the person who wrote it?  Because you support the idea of reparations, I guess I can assume you're black... or would that indicate latent racism on my part?  

No one is disputing the existence of racism, only saying that the poverty of a black family in 2002 isn't traceable directly to slavery.  There are too many poor whites and people of other races (whose ancestors were not slaves) to link poverty directly to slavery.  According to poverty statistics here:(http://www.census.gov/hhes/poverty/poverty99/pov99hi.html) the poverty rate for hispanics is less than one percentage point below that for blacks.  Yet hispanics were not slaves.  The US has a long and rich history of racism against just about all non-wasps, but the reparation movement focuses on slavery, not on racism directly.  So while racism and slavery are connected issues, they should not casually be mixed together as a lynchpin argument for reparations.  

The reparations movement is indeed balkanizing, which is the point.  It's sort of the same reason Pat Buchanan pushes isolationism; the idea isn't going to be put into law or acted upon, but it creates a divide and puts Buchanan directly at the head of a new faction he created with his rhetoric.  No one who popularizes this idea actually thinks it's going to happen, but it increases racial resentment and keeps them in the public eye, and with plenty of writing and speaking engagements.  I'm not saying they're insincere, only that we have an amazing capacity to find ideals that accord remarkably well with our self-interest.  

[ Parent ]

Rant and satire are not mutually exclusive (3.20 / 5) (#133)
by Skwirl on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 06:34:01 AM EST

That wasn't a rant, but a satire.
Typical of attempted humor on K5, this "satire" was so obtuse that I didn't really feel the need to dignify it as such. Okay, okay, I didn't get past the introduction, but my eyes had rolled too far into the back of my head for me to continue.
Because you support the idea of reparations, I guess I can assume you're black... or would that indicate latent racism on my part?
You're assuming that I support the idea of reparations. Hold on, I feel the need to quote myself: "Really, I could give a rat's ass either way whether corporations or the government gives millions or billions of dollars in reparations."
The reparations movement is indeed balkanizing, which is the point. It's sort of the same reason Pat Buchanan pushes isolationism; the idea isn't going to be put into law or acted upon, but it creates a divide and puts Buchanan directly at the head of a new faction he created with his rhetoric. No one who popularizes this idea actually thinks it's going to happen, but it increases racial resentment and keeps them in the public eye, and with plenty of writing and speaking engagements. I'm not saying they're insincere, only that we have an amazing capacity to find ideals that accord remarkably well with our self-interest.
Hm. Yes. That's pretty much what I was meaning to say. My point is that we're better off not playing this game.

--
"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
[ Parent ]
I misunderstood you, sorry (none / 0) (#134)
by misanthrope112 on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 06:47:08 AM EST

Sorry for not getting your point.  Sorry also for being a little smug on the racism implication.  Funny how it never looks asinine when you're writing it, but you go back and realize you were being a bit of an jerk.

[ Parent ]
Correction: Hispanics were/are basically serfs (none / 0) (#151)
by marinel on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 09:30:21 AM EST

You say "the poverty rate for hispanics is less than one percentage point below that for blacks. Yet hispanics were not slaves."

I will contend that Latin Americans were basically serfs (and some still are), the replacement and reinforcement for the freed slaves. Many from South of Rio Grande come to US as illegal aliens and they work the worst paying jobs for years being denied the most basic rights, until an amnesty comes along or until Imigra throws them back over the border. You could say that they shouldn't come to this country if they don't like it, or that they should go back, but then:

Who toiled and still toils in the fields today? Who does your landscaping? Who butchers your meat? Who cleans your house? Who builds your house? Who washes your dishes after you eat in the restaurant? Who makes your bed after you leave the motel/hotel?

US is just as dependent on these workers, just as the master depends on his maid to wash his clothes, to clean the house and to feed him. Latin Americans were not slaves, but they were/are doing the dirtiest and lowest paying jobs in America today. That's why they are poor, because they are the bottom of society just like blacks were (and many still are).
--
Proud supporter of Students for an Orwellian Society
[ Parent ]

You've identified the key difference (3.00 / 1) (#174)
by lorcha on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 10:57:19 AM EST

Africans were kidnapped and brought from their homes against their will to serve as slaves. Hispanics are actively trying to get into the country and are risking their lives just to get across the border. We must assume that their lives are better off because of it. Otherwise, they would not come here.

--
צדק--אין ערבים, אין פיגועים
[ Parent ]

Serfs (none / 0) (#184)
by Znork on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 11:27:43 AM EST

I'd be impressed if you could find a single person on this planet who was not a descendant of serfs of one kind of another. I doubt there are any.

Poor unskilled labour is used for unskilled labour jobs all over the world, regardless of ethnicity. And people whose parents are of a poor unskilled labour class tend to stay within that social group unless given sufficient opportunity to advance. Including schooling and lack of pressure to remain where they are (both from the outside in the form of discriminatory hiring and treatment and from the inside with attitudes of sticking to your peer group and not getting above your station).

Modern society as a general is not dependent on most of these jobs; in fact I think it would be far better served by automation (something which tends to happen as labour costs rise). That some forms of it remain is usually due to the country being so undeveloped that the labour is cheaper than automation or due to very inappropriate legislation which creates cheap gray zone labour.

Of course, this is something you can do something about. Fixing the US immigration laws would be one thing. Providing better opportunities for everyone would be another. Discussing how to solve the problems of class rigidity would be a far more constructive debate than any reparations debate imo.

[ Parent ]

Correction: Serfs (none / 0) (#250)
by CENGEL3 on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 04:18:28 PM EST

Serfs were tied to the land opunn which they lived (but did not own) and while not slaves (i.e. property)  they had certain obligations of service (mostly working the Land) to whoever legaly owned that Land. They were not free to come and go as they pleased.

Illegal aliens are definately NOT serfs.

You might have a more valid analogy by comparing them to Indentured Servants ... people who VOLUNTARLY sold thier services to a master for a specific period of time (usualy doing menial labor) for a specific renumeration.

However on that basis you could argue that most of us (upper middle class wasps included) are indentured servents.

[ Parent ]

Inheriting social class (none / 0) (#218)
by CymruAmByth on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 04:47:45 PM EST

Without wishing to sound flippant, as you say there is a correlation between your class/wealth/social standing, and that of your parents.

However, what do you think would be the social standing of current Americans of African descent had their parents not been taken ( against their will, granted ) to America ?

This isn't meant to be a justification of slavery at all - just curiosity based on your assertion.



[ Parent ]

Wait a sec... (4.33 / 3) (#114)
by obyteme on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 03:31:55 AM EST

What if we have a Black post-op transexual? Two for one on the reparations idea!

On second thought that might suck. You have to experience racism and sexism. But hey, I bet you could qualify for just about every government loan there is!


---------------------------------------:-p
To err is human, or I could be wrong.
If you can't poke fun at it, get a sharper wit.


Not every government loan . . . (5.00 / 1) (#150)
by acceleriter on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 09:26:53 AM EST

. . . unless s/he served in Vietnam or the Gulf War.

[ Parent ]
Pick a group (5.00 / 1) (#270)
by Genjuro Kibagami on Fri Aug 30, 2002 at 01:39:36 AM EST

Once upon a time, people with dark skin were the Niggers of the world, then it was some other group, whether based on sex or based on ethnicity or based on sexual preference, it's always been the same, pick the different ones and single them out for scapegoating and humiliation.

Think that now that the discrimination is swinging the other way the process isn't just going to repeat itself? just look above this post at some of the people of caucasian descent bemoaning how they're oppressed by modern PC dogma, what racial slur is perhaps the only one you're likely to hear from a modern socially acceptable neophyte with a belly filled with bile and a need to hit out?

If you guessed "White trash", ten points.

And you know what? They're right, but it isn't fixing the problem.

The only way to stop this endless cycle of foolishness is to absorb the tide rather than pass it on over and over again to be handled eventually by superior human beings with the dignity and foresight necessary to do so.

Everytime I am accused of oppression as a member, based on the colour of my skin and my gender, of the oppressing class, I remember that, and I don't get angry.

I just pity them.

I'm not going to pass it on, I will be the one to absorb it, I will not be weak, I will not whine for a handout or a concession, and I will not fail.

And for this, I will be a better person, and this is all the reward I will ever need.

I encourage all people, whatever your colour, creed, or call. Don't let any person trying to classify you on the basis of your race pull you down, realise the process that they're caught up in, a vicious cycle of hatred and destruction that has torn the entire world asunder over it's history, and don't be just another victim.

[ Parent ]

devils advocate (1.71 / 7) (#115)
by boxed on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 03:37:12 AM EST

Compensations for Jews, Blacks (or whatever is todays PC term, I can never keep track of it since I don't live in the US), etc, is a Good Thing because they have been descriminated on the basis of "race", which we all know now doesn't exist. Genetics has proven to us that they were oppressed as a group, while at the same time not even being a group! This must be rectified. Women however are a distinct genetic subgroup of humanity, with clear physical and mental differences. Oh you might think (as I) that opression is always bad, but at least the oppression of women where of an actual genetic group, not based on ignorance. Also, 50% of the children of women where men, and thus instantly taken out of oppression, unlike the american slaves.

I wish... (1.53 / 13) (#119)
by vile on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 04:35:43 AM EST

.... I could've voted this -1. This article attempts to declare that anyone who has in any way been harmed by our developing society receive a check every month? Why not hand out everyone in America a check every month? Let me guess, you have a job right? I guess that's your check.

Think about it for a second. Your girlfriend gets paid because society didn't want her to vote? While she sits around doing nothing?

Here's another thought. Native Americans. Why shouldn't they receive full-pay benefit from what we've done to them? Let's say, $2500/month.. a good salary for being Native Americans.

And let's go one step further. What about my Jewish Grandfather who came into this country.. I should deserve a check.. he had a hard time making his way in this country.

I hate to shame you, but you deserve it. -1.

~
The money is in the treatment, not the cure.
*wooooooooosh* (4.40 / 5) (#124)
by Khendon on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 04:56:17 AM EST

I think the point just went *waaaaay* over your head.

[ Parent ]
Not really... (1.00 / 1) (#125)
by vile on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 05:00:30 AM EST

It's a comdical argument.. all it needs it some jazz...

~
The money is in the treatment, not the cure.
[ Parent ]
Not really.... (1.00 / 2) (#127)
by vile on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 05:03:23 AM EST

It's a comidical argument.. all it needs is some jazz..

~
The money is in the treatment, not the cure.
[ Parent ]
Comidical? (4.50 / 2) (#146)
by pexatus on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 09:03:45 AM EST

You know what they say: "A comedical argument embiggens the smallest man."

[ Parent ]
Go a step further still (4.00 / 1) (#139)
by p3d0 on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 08:22:04 AM EST

For the irony impaired...
And let's go one step further. What about my Jewish Grandfather who came into this country.. I should deserve a check.. he had a hard time making his way in this country.
Let's go a step further still. How about my great grandmother who was denied voting rights? Everyone who is descended from a woman...

(Now do you get the thrust of the article? Hint: the author does not believe in paying the descendents of downtrodden groups.)
--
Patrick Doyle
My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
[ Parent ]

Welcome to the new millenium, grab a helmet. (3.66 / 12) (#126)
by SarGasm on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 05:01:01 AM EST

Well, it appears by reading through the comments here that we still have the same moronic bleeding heart mentality that we must throw money anyone who's ancestors may have been oppressed at one point in time. The author of this story is right on the ball.

Taking money out of my back pocket and handing it over to someone who I didn't oppress is just imbecilic. Think about it for a moment. Your great-great grandfather incurred a gambling debt in the 1800's. The casino owners great-great grandson comes knocking at your door asking for money. Would you give it to him? If you answered 'yes' to this question, you are a fool, as are we all for not standing up and demanding that in this age of 'equality' that ALL people be treated equally, regardless of sex, race, creed, or religion.

So, next time you look at your paycheque, and you see all the deductions that are going to go to someone who hasn't suffered, nor done anything to deserve this money other than being born to a certian person, think about it. Would that money not serve you better going to your family or yourself, or at least a cause you belive in? I know it disgusts me to think that someone is getting the money I worked for, and not having to do anything for it.

One more group (4.83 / 12) (#129)
by Quila on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 05:22:00 AM EST

Weren't the Southerners abused immediately after the Civil War? Carpetbaggers, various laws and policies, etc., served to rob them of their status and livelihood. I think we should make reparations to them.

Or, we could just call it even and drop the whole thing.

Ridiculous. (4.60 / 5) (#130)
by Graham Thomas on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 06:07:55 AM EST

There has been a lot of talk about racism, and certain groups' inheritance of the legacy of racist policies, and so on.

While there can be no doubt that these things have had some effect on society in the past, the neccessity of continuing to rasie them as valid modern day issues is, quite frankly, ridiculous.

Let's examine the source, and use parts of Africa itself as an example. When certain groups of people use their heritage as an excuse for remaining in a state of poverty and their respective countries remaining in a state of civil war, that's one thing. When they try and palm these problems and transfer the blame to groups that have been, at least in most areas of Africa, out of the picture for decades, that is quite something else.

Certainly, perhaps they might have had valid reason to put the blame on these groups at some point, and there can be no arguing that at those times, these groups had an effect on their socioeconomic position, but after decades, it's difficult to accept that they cannot seem to take responsibility for their own actions and stop blaming their faults and failures on others.



a simple suggestion (2.77 / 9) (#135)
by grist on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 06:47:20 AM EST

give everyone a choice of staying where they are or going back to whichever piece of (probably) warring jungle their ancestor was kidnapped from. if they want to go, reparate them the airfare. if they don't, they can stay.

not sure where you're going to send the women though.  ;-)

grist
~ we have enough youth. how about a fountain of smart.

heh (5.00 / 3) (#160)
by vinay on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 10:11:55 AM EST

not sure where your going to send the women though :-)

Obviously: My place. ;-)

-\/


[ Parent ]
'Kidnapping' (4.00 / 2) (#217)
by CymruAmByth on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 04:39:03 PM EST

I think you'll find that blacks profited as well from the slave trade. Many black tribes went round abducting other Africans to sell to the Europeans

[ Parent ]
Sueing, raparations, eye 4 an eye? (3.16 / 6) (#137)
by jago25 on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 07:25:07 AM EST

 How do you punish someone for something without harming yourself?

 Ghandi on Eye 4 an Eye said something like 'well there's going to be a lot of people walking around without eyes then'.
 So that's what would happen - some people will get money for the suffering of thier own descrimination group (but mostly not themselves) while the group as a whole is damaged.

 I'm not going to complain though if someone wants to give me money. In fact I'm sure I could start a secondary arguments for money being gay, white, dyslexic wether I'm am or not I could probably fake it.

 Realistically though I would see raparations more likely in much more harsh countries where the tide is changing only now, if they have the US sue disease.

Ghandi (4.00 / 1) (#181)
by Shren on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 11:22:34 AM EST

I believe it was, "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." My favorite Ghandi quote was when a journalist asked him what he thought of western civilization. Ghandi thought it was a good idea.

[ Parent ]
Not quite (1.00 / 1) (#224)
by upsilon on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 06:57:31 PM EST

Ghandi said "It [western civilization] would be a good idea." (Emphasis mine.) Really kinda changes the whole tone of the quote, eh?
--
Once, I was the King of Spain.
[ Parent ]
I realize this is satire... (3.37 / 8) (#143)
by cliffyman on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 08:36:31 AM EST

Hey, I always thought that affirmative action was intended to "right the social wrongs" that I, the evil white man, have perpetuated against women, minorities and other longly-discriminated-against groups. Now I've got to write these guys a check every month, too? Shucks.

Whites just love these kinds of stories (2.33 / 18) (#156)
by Citizen B o b on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 09:48:59 AM EST

It shows you that yes, you were right all along. That yes, black people have exactly the same opportunities as you do. It shows you that yes, your world is just, and everyone is well fed, apart from the lazy. Go on, vote it up in spite of the utter lack of humour.

You only want to read things that tell you exactly what you already knew. What a way to learn.

It was Americans who sued Germany to repay Jewish people.

Reparations wouldn't cost more than $10 per person, and this isn't money you would miss. It would be more than $100 per black person cash in hand. This is a token gesture, and not a condonment of lazyness.

So, middle class white boy. Live in your priviledged world, and visciously attack everyone who dares intrude.

Question. (5.00 / 4) (#159)
by Langley on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 10:09:53 AM EST

Would you mind explaining to me what that $100 "token gesture" would solve?


A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded. -Abraham Lincoln (Sixteenth President of the United States of America)
[ Parent ]

Just throw money at it? (4.00 / 1) (#164)
by Nafai on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 10:15:38 AM EST

Really, what is taking money away from those who have earned it, and giving it to those who have not, going to achieve?  Regardless of race, gender, etc., reparations is a horrible can of worms.  I'd rather tax more and make better schools so everyone will have a REAL chance at equality in the future...

Reparations will do little more than anger hard working people.  Why push everyone else down?  It's more beneficial in the long run to pull everyone else up.

[ Parent ]

Reparations FROM Africans (4.50 / 10) (#168)
by El Presidente on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 10:30:57 AM EST

As a Latino, I am descended from a people that were conquered and held in bondage by Africans. African Moors held spain for 700 years (711-1492). Should I now seek reparations?

The point is that no population anywhere on Earth can claim that it has never owned slaves nor ever been slaves. The best we can hope for is to finish relegating slavery to the ash heap of history and write our own future.

[ Parent ]

rebuttal (4.50 / 6) (#175)
by lonemarauder on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 10:58:19 AM EST

Go on, vote it up in spite of the utter lack of humour.

Okay, I admit, this story wasn't nearly as funny as it is after having read your comment.

Reparations wouldn't cost more than $10 per person, and this isn't money you would miss. It would be more than $100 per black person cash in hand. This is a token gesture, and not a condonment of lazyness.

First of all, by what arrogance do you presume the value of $10 to me? You have no idea how I live, and stand justified in absolutely no way to determine the value of that money to me. The funny part, tho, is your math. Here's how reparations would break down per dollar:

  • $.84 - the lawyers involved
  • $.12 - mysteriously redirected to the organizations of individuals such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson
  • $.03 - hard and soft contributions to Democratic party candidates
  • $.005 - lost without explanation
  • $.005 - actual disbursement per reparee


[ Parent ]
I object (5.00 / 3) (#192)
by glothar on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 12:25:32 PM EST

...to be called the racially stereotypical name "White". I am a proud German-from-Russia American, and you'll address me as such.

Second, since my ancestors lived in Russia until around 1908, and did not even see anyone of African heritage until the 60's, I find it hard to believe that they ever harmed a single African American. Yet I am supposed to pay reparations to them for something I had no control over? Will they pay me for the suffering my ancestors endured during the Russian Revolution? They had their land stolen from them and were given the choice of deportation or forced conscription into the Russian Army. I demand that I have reparations. Its unfair that everyone else has a foot up when my ancestors had to struggle as farmers during the depression when they couldn't afford a house.

Where are my reparations?

[ Parent ]

Serious issue here!!! (4.00 / 1) (#235)
by bayankaran on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 01:26:51 AM EST

You got a serious problem here. I agree with you on your point of being white but not connected to the issues.

Is this called the collective guilty thingy???

Try to get a nice tan and learn spanish to pass of as a hispanic when they round up reparation dudes and dudinies.

[ Parent ]
That's *Upper* Middle Class White Boy to you! (4.00 / 4) (#194)
by Yanks Rule on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 12:42:01 PM EST

And I don't care if its 10 cents. Its the principle. My ancestors are italian who came here during WWI, and they didn't exactly get greeted with open arms. Complaining about a lack of opportunity in today's world is just whining.

Richard

"I do think we live in dangerous times, and anybody who looks at the world and says this is the time to be a wuss--I can't buy that anymore. " -- Dennis Miller
[ Parent ]

What the hell do I have to do with it? (none / 0) (#264)
by ph0rk on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 04:54:28 PM EST

AFAIK both sides of my family migrated Stateside after the 1870's, so what is my $10 to you? Even if you felt the need to push the point, and I gave you $10 or even $100 just to get you to shut up and leave me alone (which is what countries and businesses do when they pay reparations, they certainly don't feel remorse), what is that to you? $100 cash in had isn't spit, its barely more than living expenses for a week, and it surely won't better anyone's socioeconomic status by an appreciable amount. It will however let me for evermore say "I gave already" whenever anyone brings it up, so by all means, take your bloody sawbuck.
[ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]
[ Parent ]
Why I opposed reparations... (3.66 / 6) (#161)
by dnordwall on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 10:11:58 AM EST

For a few years, I lived near the Navajo reservation near the four corners area of the US. Large chunks of the population recieved monthly checks from the gov't. I learned a little bit about the treaties which got them this money, with some line about supporting their families for generations to come.

I don't think we did them a favor.

The sort of it is that there was nothing to strive for. Not to say that there were not working navajos. By all means, I met many very nice people, and several who were very hard workers. But there was a large chunk of the population that did not, and had little reason to.

Humanity is not ready for a lack of struggle in their lives.

What a convenient explanation you have there (4.75 / 4) (#170)
by spcmanspiff on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 10:42:18 AM EST

You do realize that payment for land is not the same thing as a handout, do you? Not to mention that said payment is chump change compared to what we promised when we dumped native americans onto the reservations.

The bottom line is: No shit we didn't do them a favor. We forcibly removed their way of life, forced them onto ever-shrinking "reservations," committed untold atrocities and frauds, all while promising the sky and delivering nothing.

As far as "lack of struggle" goes, I would argue that Native Americans are so deprived of opportunity that, for many, there's nothing worth struggling for.

It's about as myopic as you can get to be blaming government handouts for the current sad state of reservation society; near where I grew up, the monthly checks were the only thing keeping many alive at all.

 

[ Parent ]

Somebody once pointed out.... (4.00 / 1) (#180)
by madgeo on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 11:20:19 AM EST

that there is no place on earth that hasn't been fought over and stolen from some race, tribe, or people with the possible exception of the extreme north and south where it's hard enough to survive the summer, much less the winter, where no one has time to fight over the snow (land).

Life is suffering.

Handing out money solves nothing, handing out services MIGHT help.

[ Parent ]

And that makes it all okay, doesn't it? (3.75 / 4) (#191)
by spcmanspiff on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 12:06:00 PM EST

One:
They're not handouts. They're a token debt repayment -- merely a bandaid to cover three centuries of broken promises and treaties.

Two:
The BIA doesn't write checks directly to each tribal member. The money is given to the tribe as a whole, who then decides what they wish to do with it. They often choose to distribute some of it as checks to each member. Why? Because it's fair. Because otherwise many couldn't afford to eat.*

If there was enough left over to provide a services infrastructure, then I'm sure they would have one. As is, most tribes have to sell oil/gas/mineral rights in order to even meet basic needs -- and this from peoples who traditionally hold nature as sacred.

Three:
Sure, life is suffering. Some people get to suffer poverty and discrimation; others, the agony of being forced to choose between Harvard and Yale. It's all the same, right?

Four:
Just because something happens all the time doesn't mean it's all right, so who gives a damn about what somebody once pointed out? It doesn't make anything righter or wronger.

Summary:

  • You seem to believe that repayment of a miniscule portion of a promised debt is equivalent to a handout.
  • Furthermore, the recipients can't be entrusted to figure out what to do with it themselves.
  • If only we stopped handing out money, then there'd be more suffering -- which is good, because finally then the lazy do-nothings might show some initiative!

    Extended summary:
    You patronizing, short-sighted, shallow-thinking, unfeeling slob!

    * (This is how it works conceptually; I believe that in some cases the distribution is handled by the BIA. I could also be completely wrong on this detail WRT other tribes and treaties than what I'm familiar with.)

    [ Parent ]

  • My judgemental aren't we........ (5.00 / 1) (#228)
    by madgeo on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 08:03:42 PM EST

    Quotes:

    One: They're not handouts. They're a token debt repayment -- merely a bandaid to cover three centuries of broken promises and treaties.

    It's a handout if no one alive today had anything to do with the broken promises and treaties. If you can find a person alive today that had that promise or treaty then pay him a HANDOUT, but no one else. It has been conclusively historically demonstrated that handouts create apathy in the masses (whoever they are) and does them no favors. Just ask anyone from a former communist country.

    Two: The BIA doesn't write checks directly to each tribal member. The money is given to the tribe as a whole, who then decides what they wish to do with it. They often choose to distribute some of it as checks to each member. Why? Because it's fair. Because otherwise many couldn't afford to eat.*

    See my response to ONE and note that in my original post I said to provide services i.e. FOOD BANKS.

    If there was enough left over to provide a services infrastructure, then I'm sure they would have one. As is, most tribes have to sell oil/gas/mineral rights in order to even meet basic needs -- and this from peoples who traditionally hold nature as sacred.

    If they didn't "Fairly" divide the money and instead used it for services, it would probably get farther.

    I hear that we (presumably the WHITE MAN in your worldview) have recently endorsed Indian Gaming in numerous States. Seems like a fair way to allow "them" to make a living off the backs of poor white/black/latino slobs with gambling habits (I won't get into the "nature" ethics of THAT)

    Three: Sure, life is suffering. Some people get to suffer poverty and discrimation; others, the agony of being forced to choose between Harvard and Yale. It's all the same, right?

    Just because someone gets to go to harvard/yale does not mean you have a point anywhere in your reply.

    Four: Just because something happens all the time doesn't mean it's all right, so who gives a damn about what somebody once pointed out? It doesn't make anything righter or wronger.

    The point is, it happened historically before you and I were born. Give it up already.

    Summary: You seem to believe that repayment of a miniscule portion of a promised debt is equivalent to a handout.

    Answer: It CAN be

    Furthermore, the recipients can't be entrusted to figure out what to do with it themselves.

    I didn't say anything of the sort, see above.

    If only we stopped handing out money, then there'd be more suffering -- which is good, because finally then the lazy do-nothings might show some initiative!

    I would phrase it as follows. If only we minimized handing out of money and did services maybe they could pull themselves out of their own suffering. Period

    Extended summary: You patronizing, short-sighted, shallow-thinking, unfeeling slob!

    How erudite of you. Let me give you a little tidbit to mull. Last week I sent over 40, THATS FORTY brand new books to an an Indian institution since I do not send handouts of MONEY. I sent 30 last year and 30 more in about a month.

    So what the hell do you know. When was the last time you helped an Indian with his/her education? Maybe you shouldn't waste your time on K5 theorizing stupid ass government programs to do your dirty work and get your lazy ass out there and help someone.

    How's that for feeling!



    [ Parent ]

    No; just cranky. (none / 0) (#253)
    by spcmanspiff on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 05:40:09 PM EST

    It's a handout if no one alive today had anything to do with the broken promises and treaties.

    Say Joe Schmoe owes my grandfather $100,000. My grandfather kicks the bucket. Is Joe Schmoe off the hook? Hell, no. Debts and credits are inherited just like anything else.

    Besides, this isn't about individuals. It is about agreements and debts between the United States of America and various soverign nations. The US never indebted itself to any person or group of persons, but instead to tribes as a whole. If a tribe were to be completely assimilated or go extinct, then you may have a point -- but this bunk about dead people long gone is irrelevant.

    See my response to ONE and note that in my original post I said to provide services i.e. FOOD BANKS.

    If you were talking about welfare, I'd probably agree with you. However, we're not. This is about debt repayment, not arbitrary handouts -- by your logic, morgtgage payments are really just 'handouts' to the lender.

    Since the money is not ours, it's not our place to tell anyone what to do with it. That is up to the various tribal governments. Furthermore, I imagine that most tribes have a number of infrastructure/services initiatives underway -- they typically don't distribute everything directly out to members. It's not an either-or situation until there isn't enough to go around, and since monthly checks are all that keeps many reservation families afloat, spending on services lags.

    Answer: It CAN be

    I don't buy it. If we promised money to a group of people in exchange for the land they occupy and if we fulfill this promise (partially, late, and with middlemen and crooks skimming off the top the whole way), how in hell is that a handout???

    I would phrase it as follows. If only we minimized handing out of money and did services maybe they could pull themselves out of their own suffering. Period

    I would respond that:

  • It's none of our busines what tribes choose to do with their money.
  • What makes you think that "handing out money" isn't already minimized? How can you prove that reductions in monthly checks wouldn't lead to deaths, homelessness, family collapses, etc.?
  • The typical reservation is devoid of economic opportunity. Qualified and ambitious people are forced to choose between unemployment and poverty on the reservation, or life as Just Another American elsewhere. Services alone won't change that.

    Side notes:

  • I don't believe that state/federal government has anything to do with it; soverignty lets a tribe open a casino if they so choose. Morality aside, it can pay for all those services and dramatically boost quality of life. As far as morality goes; well, that's capitalism for you. Can you blame them for playing the game by the same rules as everyone else?
  • I haven't given anything in a while, but I do spend a decent amount of time (3 weeks, last year; 2 this) volunteering.



    [ Parent ]

  • Okay I'm game for this.... (none / 0) (#260)
    by madgeo on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 12:45:19 PM EST

    Say Joe Schmoe owes my grandfather $100,000. My grandfather kicks the bucket. Is Joe Schmoe off the hook? Hell, no. Debts and credits are inherited just like anything else. Besides, this isn't about individuals. It is about agreements and debts between the United States of America and various soverign nations. The US never indebted itself to any person or group of persons, but instead to tribes as a whole. If a tribe were to be completely assimilated or go extinct, then you may have a point -- but this bunk about dead people long gone is irrelevant.
    If Joe Shmoe AND the guy that owed him the money were dead, the banks involved for all intents and purposes no longer exist, and the governmental institutions that were around at the time are basically a shell of their former selves, then I think ALL of the people and institutions involved for all intents being DEAD is VERY relevant.
    If you were talking about welfare, I'd probably agree with you. However, we're not. This is about debt repayment, not arbitrary handouts -- by your logic, morgtgage payments are really just 'handouts' to the lender.
    See my first response as to why I see this as another form of welfare. And for the record, I am NOT against welfare, I would argue that it TOO needs to be a service not a handout, and that it needs to have time limitations to wean people off of it (as it seems to be now). Same with the indian payments.

    Since the money is not ours, it's not our place to tell anyone what to do with it. That is up to the various tribal governments.

    Oh man I about jumped off my chair with that one! What do you mean the money is not ours!! Its totally ours. Yours and my tax dollars! Think about it this way, imagine that the money is being taken DIRECTLY from your kids (future or current) and being handed to an Indian.

    Imagine if they were taking 25-40% of your income (taxes) that you would spend on your children (future or current) and GIVING it with little or no oversight to an Indian. How would you feel about that? Because THAT is what we are talking about.

    And it's a great analogy if you think about the fact that if we allow this or any other government spending to continue unchecked we are literally taking money from our descendants 100 years from NOW.

    It's none of our busines what tribes choose to do with their money.
    It is ALWAYS totally yours and my business what the government does with yours, my, and our descendants tax money. PERIOD. No matter how good the intentions are!
    What makes you think that "handing out money" isn't already minimized? How can you prove that reductions in monthly checks wouldn't lead to deaths, homelessness, family collapses, etc.? The typical reservation is devoid of economic opportunity. Qualified and ambitious people are forced to choose between unemployment and poverty on the reservation, or life as Just Another American elsewhere. Services alone won't change that.
    Well too make a very long discussion shorter, I work with government institutions and SEE that handing out money isn't minimized ($50,000 toilets anyone?). I can't prove that no one will be hurt by removing handouts, but I can support that handouts hurt TOO. A LOT! The world is a mean place and I do not want to enhance that, but it has been historically proven time and again that free money hurts those that get it. Services DON'T. And government is THE WORST way to get almost anything done. I would rather we give them a one time payment of $20 billion to build a casino than $500 a month per person for life!

    For the record, there was a time in America when the government did not act like a Nanny and people had to take care of themselves. You know how they got by? They had friends and there was WAY more giving in the private sector that slowed up when welfare was started. So government took the donations that were going to charities that knew best how to allocate the resource and wasted it on government programs which almost never run well. NUTS!

    A quote that I just love: "Those that would give up liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty no security" Benjamin Franklin. I feel my liberties being eaten by the government every time they take my money and spend it on something I do not personally approve of. I even get upset at things that they spend money on that I do approve of but OTHERS disapprove of sometimes!

    I don't believe that state/federal government has anything to do with it; soverignty lets a tribe open a casino if they so choose. Morality aside, it can pay for all those services and dramatically boost quality of life. As far as morality goes; well, that's capitalism for you. Can you blame them for playing the game by the same rules as everyone else?
    I find them having casinos totally acceptable and a fair trade off for what has happened to them in the past. I also think it's morally repugnant but I believe in freedom and I believe in Capitalism. I do not beleive in any socialistic system that hands out money with or without a century old treaty!
    I haven't given anything in a while, but I do spend a decent amount of time (3 weeks, last year; 2 this) volunteering.
    I took that cheap shot to hopefully point out how your assumptions about me were not justified. And sincerely, Cheers to You for being a volunteer (three weeks or two). Thats more than many (maybe most) people do in a lifetime. I sometimes feed people at a really cool homeless shelter (they help get the people jobs and a residence after three months), what do you volunteer for, just out of curiosity?


    [ Parent ]
    Do you believe in treaties at all? (none / 0) (#262)
    by spcmanspiff on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 02:49:38 PM EST

    The U.S. government is not dead, defunct, or gone. Far from it.

    Most tribes are still around, too.

    How do you get from there to "ALL" of the institutions involved being dead?

    For someone who professes to believe in capitalism, you have very little respect for contractual obligations. (Another word for treaties).

    And yes, the government back then did indeed sign away some of its future revenue; just like you can buy a car on credit and pay it back gradually they did the same with land. Don't want to make your payment? Then return the car.

    Oh man I about jumped off my chair with that one! What do you mean the money is not ours!! Its totally ours. Yours and my tax dollars! Think about it this way, imagine that the money is being taken DIRECTLY from your kids (future or current) and being handed to an Indian.

    Yeah, well, that's the consequence of signing a treaty / buying something on credit. Maybe a renegotiation is in order, but to simply refuse to honor the treaties is little better than theft. (Not that it wasn't frequent in the past...)

    In essence, you're saying that if I foolishly purchase something on credit and it means I can't afford my child's education, then it's right and proper for me to refuse to pay the bills. I call BS.

    And it's a great analogy if you think about the fact that if we allow this or any other government spending to continue unchecked we are literally taking money from our descendants 100 years from NOW.

    Yep, too bad for them. Of course, some government spending may offset those costs by giving them better health/education/security, etc., which would allow them to earn more.

    I think the natural resources, land, etc. in exchange for the chump change we promised in treaties was more than worth it (from the non-native perspective). Don't you?

    For the record, there was a time in America when the government did not act like a Nanny and people had to take care of themselves. You know how they got by? They had friends and there was WAY more giving in the private sector that slowed up when welfare was started. So government took the donations that were going to charities that knew best how to allocate the resource and wasted it on government programs which almost never run well. NUTS!

    Your rose-colored glasses aside, it's quite ironic to see this here, since you're essentially avocating that the government take money from tribes that know best how to run their own business and waste it on government-run service programs instead.

    Not only do you have no respect for treaties (since it's 100 years old, we can't honor it, oh no!), but none for soverignty, self-government, or independence ... at least for Indians.

    I find them having casinos totally acceptable and a fair trade off for what has happened to them in the past.

    A fair trade off? God, no.

    Casinos are a desperate attempt to stay afloat after generations of hard times imposed on people.

    In the process, culture, heritage, identity -- not to mention morality -- have all been jettisioned, but at least people are eating and going to school and have some health care.

    Something truly fair would be 50% of almost all farming, mining, timber, oil and tourism industry revenue -- or at least a negotiated amount decided between equals. That's the way it's supposed to work in capitalism, isn't it?

    As far as volunteering, I do fieldwork, and some training and computer support, for an in-its-infancy environmental monitoring program on the reservation near where I grew up.

     

    [ Parent ]

    The U.S. government..... (none / 0) (#263)
    by madgeo on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 04:11:40 PM EST

    as it exists today is not the IDENTICAL entity is the point. And only in government would you have morons enforcing 100+ year old contracts, per se. And that is ONE of my points.

    I also never said to abandon the contract wholesale, I would, as you say, "renegotiate it". Contractual obligations rarely last past lifetimes. Even Copyrights expire (although some moron companies i.e. Disney are trying to extend even that past lifetimes and I'm against that too).

    What we have here is this. You say I "have no respect for treaties... and none for soverignty, self-government, or independence" and I would say to you, on the contrary, I trust people to figure out how to live their lives without the government nanny to suck on past the point most people can figure it out i.e. services, food, casinos! You seem to think that government is the solution to their problems and they will die without it. I would say the government continues to screw them by making them dependant. No one is "sovereign, independant or self-governing" if they have thier mouth to the Big Government Tit in Washington!!!!

    I have no intent to just yank the carpet out from under them, but like most socialistic policies, this one's time to be slowed down has come.

    Independance and self-governing mean just THAT. No-handouts.

    [ Parent ]

    I'm sorry, but you're rambling. (none / 0) (#265)
    by spcmanspiff on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 05:17:19 PM EST

    as it exists today is not the IDENTICAL entity is the point. And only in government would you have morons enforcing 100+ year old contracts, per se. And that is ONE of my points.

    So? I'm not the same person that I was a month ago when I signed my lease. I guess it must be invalid, then?

    As far as morons in government enforcing treaties go, well, I guess in this day and age it really is only morons who KEEP A PROMISE.

    I mean, is it really so hard to figure out?

    We, the people of America, promised these other people money in exchange for their land that we took.  America still exist, the tribes still exist. The agreement still stands. What's so hard about this????

     

    [ Parent ]

    Heh, I'm not the only one.... (none / 0) (#280)
    by madgeo on Tue Sep 03, 2002 at 04:36:19 PM EST

    You seem to assume that governments behave logically, an illogical conclusion. Governments drop treaties all the time! And I would argue that a promise made that hurts the receiver of the promise is no Promise at all. It is an insult! "We the people" you refer to died around 50 years ago, minimum.

    You should stop thinking that the government is doing them a favor. Free government money only contaminates, hurts, and ENSLAVES the receiver of said funds!

    [ Parent ]

    reparations... (2.50 / 4) (#163)
    by disfunk on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 10:14:42 AM EST

    I find all of this a bit impractical.. Can I sue the UK because of the way my serf ancestors were treated? Because of the way my Irish and Scottish ancestors were abused?

    I have an idea, if you were alive during slavery you should be compensated...

    My granfather was part Mohawk - but there are precedents that make any compensation to my family for displacement, racism and loss of tribal land...

    Just my 2˘

    Hell, no! (none / 0) (#271)
    by epepke on Fri Aug 30, 2002 at 01:58:06 AM EST

    Can I sue the UK because of the way my serf ancestors were treated?

    Sue France for that.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    I can see from here (2.50 / 2) (#165)
    by bob6 on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 10:19:37 AM EST

    The molecular biologist saying we can assert one has female descendants by detecting mitochondrial DNA in its cells.

    Cheers.
    Many k5ers has a very short and distorted memory (4.50 / 6) (#167)
    by marinel on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 10:27:14 AM EST

    It seems that not long time ago (March 2002), a K5 story discussed reparations in the context of a lawsuit filed against three US companies (Aetna, FlletBoston, CSX) that would not hand out checks, but would simply create a fund to improve housing, education, and employment opportunities for blacks. That is the right way to do it. Where does the idea of handing out checks footed by the taxpayer come from? From people's fear that those reparations might affect their pocketbook indirectly? From their ignorance of the facts?

    I believed for a long time that conspiracies were the reason for many injustices, but I'm becoming more and more convinced that simple ignorance and avarice are the culprit.
    --
    Proud supporter of Students for an Orwellian Society

    The "right" way to do it... (3.25 / 4) (#190)
    by pla on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 11:59:22 AM EST

    would not hand out checks, but would simply create a fund to improve housing, education, and employment opportunities for blacks. That is the right way to do it.

    No, the "right" way to do it involves painful electrical shocks administered to the 'nads of all the whiners who go around complaining about the way "we" treated their great-great-grandparents.

    Suck it up. Get butch, bitch. ACCEPT SOME PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY! (Sorry, not directed to the poster of the parent, but to society in general).

    No one "owes" group-X a living, or even a damned Snickers bar, based on something that happened before the birth of either party. I really don't care if group-Y made group-X's grandmothers work the fields all day, then give "two pointers" to village horses every night. If *I* didn't do that to *YOU*, expect a broken arm when you try to stick your hands in my pockets.

    Or should we all run around playing the ego masturbation game? Fine. Send me my 2.7 trillion dollars for tossing my great400-grandfather's white male ass out of the nice warm fertile equatorial region in the first place, and I'll consider donating my old car to PETA.

    Y'know, perhaps I *should* sue someone. All the crap I hear about *MY* responsibility, as a white male, for the plight of countless minority groups, really stresses me. I've never done anything really "bad" to *anyone*, yet people look down on my just for my color and gender. Heh, well, perhaps someday my great-great-grandson can sue on my behalf, for more money than we can even *imagine* today. I'll end this rant on that happy thought.


    [ Parent ]
    actual lawsuit (none / 0) (#200)
    by karb on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 01:17:23 PM EST

    Is the one against the companies.

    However, there has been a wide discussion of other lawsuits elsewhere. Here is a CNN story about a rally supporting such lawsuits.

    It's kind of scary, because all we need is some crackpot 9th circuit decision telling the U.S. government it owes 100 trillion dollars to nearly drive the whole country into bankruptcy.
    --
    Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?
    [ Parent ]

    OT: 9th circuit court (3.00 / 1) (#211)
    by marinel on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 03:26:44 PM EST

    Are you inferring that the 9th circuit court makes crackpot decisions? Maybe because they struck down the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance, words which were added in 1954 only as a genuflection to the McCarthyism of those days? What if one has no God, or many Gods? Does that make him/her any less of a citizen than one who claims that he has but one God? What does good citizenry have any to do with one's religious affiliation?

    Do people get stupider, more intollerant and ignorant by the day, or have I simply started to take more notice?
    --
    Proud supporter of Students for an Orwellian Society
    [ Parent ]

    I believe (none / 0) (#214)
    by karb on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 04:06:52 PM EST

    I'm referring to the fact that they proportionally have more of their decisions struck down by the supremes than other circuit courts.

    I really don't care about "under God", although the implication that it was somehow rammed into law because the great evil of mccarthy controlled the land seems weak to me.
    --
    Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?
    [ Parent ]

    The Supreme Court vs 9th Circuit Court (none / 0) (#225)
    by marinel on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 07:03:17 PM EST

    One out of all the circuit courts is bound to have a higher overturn rate than any other (it's a law of nature and not an anomaly as you make it sound). Considering that the Supreme Court is/was mostly if not always conservative and the 9th Circuit Court is somewhat more liberal than all the others, the rift between the two should be somewhat predictable, wouldn't you say?

    As to the ramming part, you are talking about the US Congress, right? The Congress which even in 2002 (with Ashcroft as today's mini-McCarthy dragonslayer) was appalled that a court would actually have the balls to uphold the US Constitution, short of calling for the hanging of those judges, right? Or are you talking about the Congress which basically handed over to the president its prerogative to declare war in spite of the US Constitution? I would dare say that the US Congress does not deserve the benefit of a single doubt when it comes to bending the US Constitution!
    --
    Proud supporter of Students for an Orwellian Society
    [ Parent ]

    What about the Native Americans? (4.71 / 14) (#169)
    by edremy on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 10:37:23 AM EST

    I know your article was intended to be satire, but in all seriousness, if we give reparations to blacks for slavery what should we give Native Americans?

    After all, if any group was screwed over worse than blacks it was them. A host of diseases killed 90% of the population. (Sometimes caused intentionally) Their land was stolen from them, multiple times, even after the government signed treaties with them. They were forced into death-march-like situations numerous times and killed when they fought back. Today, they're stuck in reservations on some of the most useless land in the country, most mired in grinding poverty. Economically they are worse off than blacks as a whole.

    If we accept the argument that many of the companies that exist today are due to the labor of slaves and thus the descendants of slaves deserve reparations, shouldn't we(*) also pay the natives for the land we stole from their ancestors and what we took from it? Ideally, of course, since the land still exists we could just give it back, right? The acre of land I own sits on what used to be Monican land: the deed doesn't seem to mention that for some strange reason.

    (*)And who's "we"? I'm certainly on the hook, since my ancestors were some of the original land grabbers (and slave owners to boot.) But whites weren't the only folks busy killing the red man: many blacks went west to escape slavery and discrimination. Perhaps the reparation payments of their descendants could go to the Native Americans instead?

    Once we've sorted that out, we can move on to payments for the Chinese who built the railroads...

    Eric

    Whatever happened to the good old days? (4.25 / 8) (#182)
    by countzro on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 11:22:48 AM EST

    Back in my day when you conquered a people, they damn well stayed conquered, at least until the next peasant uprising when you got to conquer them again!

    I find the idea of reparations to be asinine. Did Genghis Khan, any of the Ceasars, Alexander the Great, Ivan the Terrible, Joseph Stalin, Napolean, or Edward I pay reparations to anyone? Did the first Continental Congress pay reparations to England for kicking its' ass back across the Atlantic? Are we planning on paying reparations to Afghanistan for bombing the living crap out of their country? Well, okay, we probably are planning on giving Afghanistan some money, but only after we've firmly installed a pro-US government over there.

    The point is that shit happens and there's no point in complaining about it afterwards. You want to give native Americans some help? Zip back to 1491, tell them the white man is coming and they better start working on a coastal defense; maybe, if you could get them to stop the constant inter-tribal war (they never paid reparations to their victims, either - maybe the Apaches could sue the Lakotas, or something), it might make a difference. Of course, if you get right down to it, they aren't native Americans, either - they came across the Bering Straight 10,000 years ago. Maybe they should really be getting reparations from the bastards that kicked them out of Asia to begin with.

    Maybe we should just take this reparations thing to its' ultimate limit and do a little DNA testing. Since there is some evidence that Neanderthals were bred out of existence by homo sapiens, maybe we could find everyone with a trace of Neanderthal DNA, and force all the people without Neanderthal DNA to pay them reparations...

    Reparations are the most ridiculous liberal idea I've ever come across, and I've come across quite a few ridiculous liberal ideas.

    Feel free to flame.

    [ Parent ]
    Fallacious argument (4.00 / 1) (#197)
    by marinel on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 01:07:53 PM EST

    You seem to argue that we should not pay reparations because reparations were not paid in the past with any other crime against humanity. Many unprosecuted injustices does not make another one less of an injustice or not worthy of prosecution.

    Just because we can't right the wrongs done in the past by Julius Caesar or Ghenghis Khan, does not imply that we should not make CSX, FleetBoston, or Aetna pay for taking advantage of slavery and enriching their executives and stockholders. Hell, I would actually trace the profits of those companies into who's pockets they ended up in as opposed to suing the whole company and making the current poor sucker^H^H^H^H^Htockholders pay for it.
    --
    Proud supporter of Students for an Orwellian Society
    [ Parent ]

    There's a Native American at the door... (4.00 / 1) (#203)
    by edremy on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 01:58:16 PM EST

    Just because we can't right the wrongs done in the past by Julius Caesar or Ghenghis Khan, does not imply that we should not make CSX, FleetBoston, or Aetna pay for taking advantage of slavery and enriching their executives and stockholders.

    There's a Native American coming to visit. He wants his land back. I suggest you start packing and go back to Europe or wherever your folks came from. Just because you didn't steal it doesn't mean it isn't his by right.

    [ Parent ]

    Reparations for Native Americans (3.00 / 1) (#208)
    by marinel on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 02:58:46 PM EST

    You're right. The 100'x120' piece of land (most of which my bank actually owns) would have to be given back to its original owners (the descendants of some Iroquois tribe that occupied it in the past). Or do I have it all ass-backwards and Native Americans did not have the concept of land ownership and the closest to it was the subversive idea of communal land which everyone is supposed to share? At worst, I would lose the deed on my property but I would gain the right to use this land since it would be a communal property.

    This loony idea of communal land is so subversive that we wouldn't even have to fear losing our land holdings to Native Americans, but we would have to dump our current Western greedy concepts of real estate property and a shitload of legal houses of cards built on top of it, and that is just not acceptable. Better live with most of our past mistakes than attempt to right any of them, right?
    --
    Proud supporter of Students for an Orwellian Society
    [ Parent ]

    Judaism isn't a race (4.33 / 6) (#177)
    by macemoneta on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 11:13:35 AM EST

    Whatever your definition of "race" is, Judaism (being Jewish) is not a race.  It is a religion.  Any member of any "race" can certainly be a Jew.  At least according to any dictionary I've ever read.

    I've heard Judaism referred to as a race and a nationality (I assume the speaker was refering to being an Israel national).  This is probably worthy of a separate discussion to try to figure that all out.

    On the issue of reparations to Jews, I can provide some information that might be of interest to this discussion, since both of my parents were concentration camp survivors.  Reparations were made only to those survivors.  Family members and descendants don't get reparations.  That is, my parents received reparations, but I don't.  Nor do any members of their family that were not directly impacted.

    You can think of the reparations in the sense of a class action lawsuit payment for damages and injury, paid as an annuity with no survivor benefits or beneficiary.

    Considering the actual extermination of 16 million individuals (leaving about 80,000 survivors if I remember my history class correctly), and those survivors having to deal with the resulting lifelong physical injuries they sustained, that seems understandable.

    judaism not an ethnicity, ethnicity in general (4.66 / 3) (#206)
    by gatekeep on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 02:45:33 PM EST

    Crap, preview made me lose my message.  I'll summarize briefly;

    I agree with you that Judaism isn't a race, but the phrase 'Jewish' seems to have adopted a meaning of a people from a certain lineage.  I so often hear people say they're 'half Jewish' and it drives me nuts.  You can't be half Jewish, you either are or you aren't.

    To get back on subject though, the idea of being half anything is kind of ridiculous.  We're a nation of half-polish half-irish half-italian half-russian americans.  We've got african-americans, french-americans, muslim-americans, jewish-americans, etc..  Until we drop the whole idea of putting something else before our americanism we can never really come together as one group, one 'We the People'  Let's stop being *-americans and start being Americans.

    [ Parent ]

    Not quite... (none / 0) (#212)
    by curunir on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 03:50:35 PM EST

    You can be Jewish by birth simply if your mother was Jewish. There is no faith requirement for that to be true. The Nazis didn't go around identifying Jews by asking people what their religion was...they took anyone who was even 1/16th Jewish.

    While being Jewish might not qualify as a race, it's definitely not just a religion. In my experience, we are bound together by our heritage much more than our beliefs.

    [ Parent ]
    Ethnic or Faith (5.00 / 1) (#223)
    by Persistence of Penguins on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 06:53:12 PM EST

    Jewishness has long been defined in two ways; ethnic and faith.  Because the Jews have long held themselves separate from the rest of the world, the attitude of keeping their Jewish identity has prevailed, despite being without a country for centuries.  The culture of Jewish identity is strong.

    Of course, it stems from faith Jews.  These are those who are Jewish by faith.  They could be ethnic Jews or simply proselytes.

    Exactly which of these groups were the targets of oppression of the years would probably change with each situation, but I dare say that both have received the wrong end of the stick in their time.

    As for reparations for any group... can any amount of money ever make up for injustice?  No.  Instead we must live in the present, having learned from the past.  That cannot be legislated; it must be the deliberate act of individuals.

    "Serve hot... with lashings of butter."
    [ Parent ]

    of course it's not a race, there is no such thing! (none / 0) (#242)
    by boxed on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 08:39:38 AM EST

    The whole concept of "race" is fundamentally flawed. It has no support in genetics at all, and thus has no foundation in reality. Black is no more a race than white or jew, so arguing that jews are not a race is a silly thing.

    [ Parent ]
    Just Another Money Grab (3.75 / 8) (#178)
    by jazman_777 on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 11:14:10 AM EST

    All reparations are efforts to utilize the coercive power of the state to redistribute other people's money. "The US Gov't screwed us. Let's get them to screw someone else for a change." How about working to stop the US Gov't from screwing _anybody_? Aka: Justice, not Vengeance.

    I propose... (1.66 / 3) (#185)
    by madgeo on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 11:34:15 AM EST

    that anyone that can prove a grievance within, say, 50 years or maybe one (active) lifetime should be granted reparations.

    If my great-grandparents were bad to blacks, indians, women, children, gays, greens, communists, Sandinistas, or whatever they will just have to sue the company that owns the grave where my great-grandparents are buried.....

    I and the taxes that I pay to my current government had nothing to do with their plight! Okay maybe my taxes did, but you can blame Ted Kennedy for that.



    Washington Post column (3.50 / 2) (#188)
    by Eccles on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 11:44:32 AM EST

    William Raspberry had a pretty good editorial about reparations in Monday's Washington Post.

    Reparations for Humans! (4.00 / 1) (#196)
    by DesScorp on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 12:59:27 PM EST

    The Borg have assimilated our people at will. Enough! They should pay to have all of that shit removed from them, especially those dorky looking things that spin and whir on the hands.
    Go straight to Hell; Do not pass Go, Do not collect 200 Dollars
    Idenfifying recipients: a solution (3.85 / 7) (#198)
    by tgibbs on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 01:08:13 PM EST

    The problem with all reparations schemes is the difficulty of identifying who should be compensated. How much inheritance from an abused group is required? Should modern individuals be compensated in proportion to how much their specific ancestors actually suffered? How much should their compensation be reduced if their ancestors included people who profited from the abuse of their other ancestors?

    Fundamentally, these are insoluble problems. For most people, the required information simply is not available. But we can make a simplifying assumption:

    Presumably, the more that somebody's ancestors suffered in the past, the more likely they are to be disadvantaged today. So rather than try to identify ancestors with specific grievances, we can simply provide aid to people who are economically disadvantaged today, in confidence that most of that aid will go to people whose ancestors suffered in the past. We could provide benefits like publicly funded schools, publicly funded health care, job training, unemployment insurance, and so on.

    What? We're doing that already?

    Oh...well...never mind.

    Ha ha!!! (2.09 / 11) (#201)
    by gjetost on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 01:35:42 PM EST

    All right!!! Nice one!!! Finally someone stood up to all this "reparations" trash...

    Exactly (3.00 / 3) (#221)
    by titaniumtommy on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 05:42:14 PM EST

    I agree, reparations are stupid and not justice.

    [ Parent ]
    Reparation is not Justice (4.33 / 6) (#207)
    by slur on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 02:49:53 PM EST

    The fact is that everyone comes from a history of oppression and suffering, whether prehistoric, generations ago, or yesterday. In America at this very moment dark-skinned people continue to get dissed by light-skinned people. Light-skinned people continue to get dissed by dark-skinned people. Hippies are demonized by cops while cops are demonized by hippies. Women are oppressed psychically and physically every day. The elite still disdain the unwashed masses, while the middle and lower classes continue to envy the elite.

    Reparation does nothing about these problems.

    In the ocean of everyday reality the concept of monetary reparations is ultimately flawed, but there is ample justification for "compensating" those groups with specific grievances (i.e., Native Americans whom our government continues to screw out of land and money owed them by written contract).

    I believe social thinkers such as Gandhi and MLK would say that there can be no justice until all people receive equal opportunity and recognition of their inherent human dignity in the present day.

    The problem lies equally with the oppressed and the oppressors, because the way we think of (read: imagine) each other is what ultimately determines the progression of social conditions and the realization of Justice.

    Make no mistake: There is certainly a material element. There are people who live in dire need for many reasons, whether poorly educated or trapped in the inner-city or emotionally/mentally unstable. If conditions are going to improve for the disenfranchised, the well-off are going to have to learn to let go of their material wealth a little bit and stop disdaining others as less than themselves.

    True reparations (justice) is paid out in what we choose to do from moment to moment. The harm has already been done. Only action guided by compassion can heal the vast social scars left by past injustices.

    I sure wish people would wake up to this instead of being so cold and crass about it.

    The article succeeds in its mockery of the concept of reparation, but I think it demeans the concept of justice. The volume of "yeah, right on!" responses attests to the fact that a lot of K5 readers are unable to get beyond the article's ironical leaving-off point.


    |
    | slur was here
    |

    If everyone was oppressed, who did the oppressing? (none / 0) (#229)
    by mingofmongo on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 08:32:00 PM EST


    "What they don't seem to get is that the key to living the good life is to avoid that brass ring like the fucking plague."
    --The Onion
    [ Parent ]

    Oh, that's clever. (none / 0) (#232)
    by kitten on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 10:53:46 PM EST

    X does something to Y, and Y is now unable to do anything to Z, or back to X for that matter?

    Please, don't be naive.
    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
    I don't understand your post (none / 0) (#261)
    by slur on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 01:57:43 PM EST

    It sounds like algebra. Please elaborate.

    |
    | slur was here
    |

    [ Parent ]
    Simple. (none / 0) (#266)
    by kitten on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 07:11:41 PM EST

    The original question was, if everyone is oppressed, who did the oppressing?

    I was merely pointing out that if Alice attacks Bill, that doesn't mean Bill won't attack Alice back, making them both "oppressed". Or Bill may go attack Clay, and Clay attacks Darlene, and then Darlene attacks Alice. Or whatever. Everyone is a victim, yet they were all guilty of attacking someone else.
    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
    Let the reparations begin! (4.40 / 5) (#209)
    by skyknight on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 03:03:47 PM EST

    Since we're essentially compensating the descendants of all formerly oppressed women, and we're being equal opportunity, paying reparations to descendants regardless of their sex, this problem is actually quite simple. I'm going to estimate that the damage done to women is approximately 48 million billion trillion dollars, and we are to divide this up amongst... everyone. Now, this might be a bit of a stretch, but let's assume that everyone has roughly the same level of guilt. So, everyone is hereby ordered to pay everyone else 8 million trillion dollars. Of course, we don't want to let the sexist/racist/ethnicist/whatever banks exploit this by charging transaction fees, let's just have 6 billion simultaneous, self-cancelling transactions... ready?? NOW! Alright, it's done. Let's move on.

    It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
    Pfah! (4.50 / 4) (#213)
    by krek on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 04:00:24 PM EST

    I emphatically and categorically deny and disdain the belief that I am somehow responsible for the sins of those who may or may not be my ancestors.

    If there are reparations to be made, then I say make them by living 'better' than those who sinned; learn from mistakes and move on, anything else is a sort of wallowing in your own putrescence and will only serve to propagate the inequities and, thus, the hate.

    Oppressed By US Gov't? (4.00 / 3) (#227)
    by bjlhct on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 07:24:01 PM EST

    Well, sure! Great idea! But, read The Grapes of Wrath and ask yourself if those poor people don't deserve reparations too.

    You misunderstand the point of reparations... (3.80 / 5) (#234)
    by sanity on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 01:25:31 AM EST

    ...I am no incredible fan of reparations, affirmative action, or anything similar, but your otherwise clever argument ignores the core argument of reparations for blacks, which is that they are still suffering the effects of previous abuses today.

    Go to any poor inner-city area, who is it populated with? Blacks, and whoever the most recent immigrant group happened to be. In the early 1900's it was the Irish, and the Italians, now it is Mexicans and those from Eastern Europe, but the one constant were the blacks.

    Now you might want to argue that there is something biologically inherent in African-Americans which keeps them in this situation - please PLEASE someone try to make that argument! Of course, sane people will realize that it is the continued discrimination which originated during periods of overt discrimination which keeps the black community squarely at the bottom of the economic ladder.

    This, if you talk to intelligent people on the pro-reparation side of the debate, is the reason that reparations are justified - not some abstract notion of victimhood being hereditary.

    Native Americans still suffer (none / 0) (#246)
    by tbc on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 01:54:54 PM EST

    As was already brought up.


    [ Parent ]
    I think he understands pretty well (5.00 / 1) (#248)
    by CENGEL3 on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 03:35:03 PM EST

    It's one thing to talk about ensuring equal opportunity or improving the standard of living of impoverished areas....it's quite another thing to talk about "reparations". The former is something which a government owes to all it's citizens as part of it's basic function.... the latter is something which is owed to a specific group of individuals by a specific entity as re-imbursement for a specific wrong.

    I can see "reparations" as being reasonable if both parties directly involved are still living (i.e. it is reasonable for living Nazi's who directly profited from the Holocaust to be forced to pay reperations to living victems of the Holocaust from whom they profited. It is also reasonable for the U.S. Government to pay reperations to Japanese Americans who were actualy interred during WWII). The point where reperations start to become absurd is where the obligation is passed on to descendents and descendents of descendents.

    Another note about reparations is that it's really only reasonable to provide people with reparations sufficient to return them to the exact situation they would be in had they never been transgressed against in the first place.

    In the case of African-Americans the transgression was to forcibly remove them from thier homes in Africa and subject them to slave labor in America.

    Hazard to guess what the average standard of living is today in most african nations when compared to the standard of living in even the poorest areas of the U.S.?

    I say we should provide reparations to any African-Americans who insist on it. Those reparations to consist of a 1st class, One Way Airfare to any nation in Africa of thier choice... upon surrender of their U.S. citizenship.

    Also we should remember that the people responsible for capturing and selling into capitivity many of the slaves who eventualy wound up in America were not Americans or even Europeans, they were thier fellow Africans.
    If any reparations are due, shouldn't they be held as equaly responsible?

    I'm sorry if this response sounds racist, it was not intended as such. However, I get quite annoyed by many proponents of African-American reparations and the rather "selective" process they have of only including certain facts and history when making thier arguements.... and excluding all other facts and history which do not support thier goals.

    [ Parent ]

    As stated above... (4.00 / 1) (#249)
    by Gooba42 on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 04:17:31 PM EST

    As posted above, it's the categorical imperative which makes these reparations wrong. All reparations on the basis of past cultural repression are right, or none of them are right.

    You can't tell me that an inner city welfare mother has been hurt by the system. She's parasitizing it and arguably receiving more benefit than I am as a productive member of society. If you did just hand over a lump sum cheque would that really benefit people better than improving the systems and government around them? Would it hurt us more than it would help them? If that's the case then it really can't be justified. To paraphrase, we'd be robbing Peter's grandkids to pay Paul's.

    The system isn't right as-is, but we won't fix it by moving the money around, spreading maybe, but not just moving it.

    [ Parent ]
    Where is the disagreement? (5.00 / 1) (#251)
    by CENGEL3 on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 04:24:25 PM EST

    I'm a little confused with what about my statement you are disagreeing with then?

    Since I think I was basicly saying the same thing you are. At least I pretty much agree about the welfare statement.... and the statement about reparations being absurd in general.

    [ Parent ]

    Not disagreement precisely... (4.00 / 1) (#272)
    by Gooba42 on Fri Aug 30, 2002 at 02:18:02 AM EST

    I don't think I was disagreeing so much as putting forth a simpler reasoning for the same opinion.

    [ Parent ]
    Correlation != Causation (5.00 / 1) (#269)
    by RyoCokey on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 10:08:59 PM EST

    Of course, sane people will realize that it is the continued discrimination which originated during periods of overt discrimination which keeps the black community squarely at the bottom of the economic ladder.

    No, you'll argue that, 'cause that's what you want to believe. The fact that they remain at the bottom of the ladder doesn't have much to do with racism at all, as earlier immigrants were treated with equal disrespect. Ever wonder where "dago" and "paddy wagon" came from? What about Jewish immigrants? Don't see many of those ghettos anymore. Everyone loves the Jews.



    If there really is a causation between porn and rape, then I say bring on the bukkak
    [
    Parent ]
    What a great idea. (4.00 / 4) (#239)
    by a on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 04:25:27 AM EST

    Consider it done!

    I hereby decree that each person should pay him or herself reparations in the form of $1,000 on the first day of April each year; unless said person does not have $1,000, in which case he will owe himself $1,000. If a person feels that he is unjustly representing his inability to pay himself the $1,000, he may sue himself for damages. So let it be written; so let it be done.

    Can I go back to my ranch now?

    serious issue (3.33 / 6) (#240)
    by nomoreh1b on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 04:41:07 AM EST

    Frankly, I found poking fun at the reparations issue a bit offensive. The issue is one that is quite serious to a lot of folks. The whole issue of African Americans has been handled badly from day one. After emancipation, the promise of 40 acres and a mule wasn't kept--and the Yankee imperialists pretty much made sure that the region where blacks lived would be quite impoverished(i.e. through various federal policies). The massive immigration that brought the ancestors of most white folks to the US was in large part aimed at keeping black folks in their place(i.e. white immigrants competed for lots of low end jobs with blacks). The changes to the economy of the last 80 years have also been hard on blacks(i.e. there were more black businesses in the town I grew up in 80 years ago than today). 40 years ago, there was another big con--that integration, social programs and affirmative action would create a just society. The end result has been that black men can hardly move around cities like LA, NYC, Philly, Miami and Chicago without getting hassled by cops--and in the prison system, blacks play a rather sociopathic role(i.e. most prison rape involves non-whites raping white men). At some point, it becomes credible for someone to at least ask: is this solution really working? There may be folks in the US that think that integration is an important enough ideal that they are willing to make real sacrifices to make it work--but there are lots of folks-black and white that don't really want that. For lots of blacks, reparations is fundamentally about creating a situation in which they have the option to have communities that are really under their control should they make that choice. The issue isn't going to go away. The next 30 years, we will see some states in the former south develop black majorities-which means pure and simple that the state governments in those areas will be run by blacks(same thing with Hispanics in places like New Mexico, Arizonia and California). Frankly, I don't think the US power structure is going to really be able to deal with that whole development.

    You grew up 80 years ago? (none / 0) (#243)
    by Inoshiro on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 10:37:49 AM EST

    Exactly how old are you, Methusala? ;)



    --
    [ イノシロ ]
    [ Parent ]
    Categorical Imperative.... (none / 0) (#244)
    by Gooba42 on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 01:02:14 PM EST

    This isn't poking fun at all, this is an example of the categorical imperative. If it is right to give reparations to *anyone* then it must be right to give them to *everyone*. If one is true, both must be true without exception.

    Don't try to tell me that it's better to pay blacks than it is to pay anyone else, that's just racism.

    Should the Catholic Church pay reparations to everyone targetted by Charlemagne or some other of the "Holy Roman Emperors", or the Inquisition? Again, the categorical imperative insists that this must be right if it is right to pay reparations to blacks out of money that would otherwise serve the nation as a whole in its aim of integration.

    If your contention is to say that the US should be required to fund the creation of a separatist black state, then you're further off base than my first impression led me to think.

    Our quality of life overall would be damaged by the payment of these reparations.

    [ Parent ]
    Thanks! (none / 0) (#276)
    by epepke on Sat Aug 31, 2002 at 02:56:20 AM EST

    I always wondered what reparations were going to be used for. Now you've explained it. Reparations are something that some revisionist twenty years from now can call a con job from Whitey.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    Reparations Against Italians? (4.33 / 3) (#245)
    by bouncing on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 01:53:46 PM EST

    Reparations: The slippery slope of sillyness.

    Most historians would agree that the Roman Empire enslaved and deprived many other peoples of their rights. Most of Europe, Jews, and blacks too were tormented by the Roman Empire. So, it seems fair to me that everyone who is non-Italian should get repairations from people of Italian descent.

    So, just get over it.

    Maybe some day (4.66 / 3) (#247)
    by jaymz168 on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 03:23:56 PM EST

    More people will realize it's not race vs. race it's have vs. have-not, rich vs. poor. People seem to think that all white(define?) people are well-educated, affluent types who get a nudge and a wink in job interviews from other whites. Take a trip to the Kensington part of Philadelphia and see for yourself how poverty affects everyone.

    Poor whites can disguise themselves... (5.00 / 1) (#255)
    by tbc on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 06:39:30 PM EST

    If they groom and dress and talk like whatever economic class they're trying to blend in with, they get treated the same as that class. They can thus avoid being followed around in stores by employees who are afraid they're going to steal something, being ignored by store clerks when they're trying to get service at a counter, and getting pulled over in their cars at a rate greater than all whites put together.

    Sure there is class discrimination in every country in the world, and that creates its own set of injustices. But race is more insidious -- prejudice based on discernible characteristics that can't be disguised is different from something that can be remedied by giving everyone the same economic opportunities.

    Look at American ethnic history. Jews, Poles, Irish, Swedes, Italians -- all suffered from discrimination. But as they assimilated and "blended in" with other Americans by dropping their ethnic accents and other ethnics "looks" -- some even changing ethic names -- discrimination against them disappeared. Some Native Americans (especially those who intermarry with Europeans) can do this, too.

    But those whose skin (or eyes) look non-European are unable to assimilate by disguise. European America always tells them -- in more and more subtle ways as overt racism is squelched -- that the "don't belong."

    Women have the same problem in areas of culture that always have been dominated by men. Then again, male nurses are an example of the gender door swinging the other way.

    It's really about which group has more power in the particular circumstance.

    Thank God there's one way to eliminate all such prejudice!

    (And thank God communism is dead! :-)

    [ Parent ]

    Intersting choice of words (none / 0) (#273)
    by acceleriter on Fri Aug 30, 2002 at 07:59:06 AM EST

    . . . male nurses are an example of the gender door swinging the other way.

    You aren't playing into a sterotype there, are you?

    [ Parent ]

    Could you be more specific? [nt] (none / 0) (#274)
    by tbc on Fri Aug 30, 2002 at 03:51:13 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    The stereotype: (none / 0) (#275)
    by acceleriter on Fri Aug 30, 2002 at 09:15:16 PM EST

    male nurses tend to be gay.

    [ Parent ]
    Male nurses never shared their sexual preference (none / 0) (#279)
    by tbc on Tue Sep 03, 2002 at 02:22:45 PM EST

    with me. Nor have male hairdressers, ballet dancers, chefs, or interior decorators.

    So the answer is, no, I wasn't playing on stereotypes.


    [ Parent ]

    Heh :) [nt] (5.00 / 1) (#281)
    by acceleriter on Tue Sep 03, 2002 at 09:41:31 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    Obvious external characteristics. (none / 0) (#282)
    by vectro on Wed Sep 04, 2002 at 09:57:59 PM EST

    The problem with your theory is that it really dosen't explain the apparant lack of discrimination against asian americans (excepting affirmative action policies, from which they are curiously exempt), and, for that matter, native americans. Furthermore, your treatment of native americans is inconsistant - couldn't blacks do the same thing?

    Furthermore, your entire argument that discrimination exists against blacks appears to be based on the same corelative evidence in question.

    “The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
    [ Parent ]

    I stand by my theory (none / 0) (#283)
    by tbc on Thu Sep 05, 2002 at 08:06:32 PM EST

    Asians are indeed discriminated against. They don't suffer from the stereotype that blacks do, though. They are stereotyped as "passive," and "educated." But you'll find many Americans who wouldn't want their son or daughter to marry one. Have you ever seen Lee Mun Wah's film "The Color of Fear?"

    The more Native Americans look like Europeans the better chance they have of avoiding blending in. That's not inconsistent. Blacks have the same opportunity -- as long as their outward features blend. Consider South Africa's silly attempts to deal with "coloreds" who "look white." In America we don't quibble over genetics. At some point, the outward appearance allows Blacks to "blend in." Then they get it the other way -- they're not "black enough" to other Blacks.

    Furthermore, your entire argument that discrimination exists against blacks appears to be based on the same corelative evidence in question.

    Please explain. I do assert that discrimination exists against Blacks. Is that what you dispute? I'm not following you.


    [ Parent ]

    Discrimination against asians. (none / 0) (#284)
    by vectro on Thu Sep 05, 2002 at 10:21:05 PM EST

    I'd hardly use the phrase "discriminated against" in the context of an educated stereotype. But while stereotypes exist against asians, that's very different from saying that there exists discrimination against them, especially if you're restricting discussion to protected arenas such as housing, education, or employment.

    That said, there appears to me at least to be a contradiction: If asians experience discrimination, why are they so successful? And if they don't, then your thesis that racial discrimination is worse than the economic kind is false.

    Your treatment of native americans is inconsistant because the same argument can be applied to any race. A person with about 3/8 African descent looks about the same as a tan Spaniard. And the argument about losing one's original community seems to suffer from the same difficulty.

    No, it seems to me that your argument that racial discrimination is fundamentally different from any other kind is flawed, precisely because of the large number of obvious non-whites into the US which were able to assimilate, either by losing their features (e.g., natives) or by being successful (e.g., asians, indians).

    And while it strikes me as fairly indisputable that significant discrimination still exists against blacks and perhaps hispanics, one ought still to ask the question why these two groups have failed to refute their stereotypes where others have succeeded. And it seems to me that the only possible answer is cultural.

    Specifically, blacks and hispanics both have distinct cultures from the american mainstream. This is true of other cultures - asians, for example, often stay with others of the same descent. But quite simply, the black and hispanic cultures appear to have different value systems from the mainstream American one, and so suffer.

    Many inner-city children, for example, have to justify college to their peers or parents as being "just for the money". Many immigrant parents do not wish their children to learn English, for fear of their losing Spanish. And it is my perception also that Latin cultures tend to put a much greater emphasis on family than traditional America allows.

    Note that I don't feel that these differing values are necessarily a negative thing, but one ought to recognise that they do have an effect, and attempts to bring their members into economic parity with the majority may imply the distruction of such cultures.

    “The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
    [ Parent ]

    in an attempt to wrap up... (none / 0) (#285)
    by tbc on Fri Sep 06, 2002 at 01:38:27 AM EST

    ...your thesis that racial discrimination is worse than the economic kind is false.

    I don't want to go that far. My thesis is merely that ... oh, just read the next section of my reply.

    Your treatment of native americans is inconsistant

    Perhaps I was selective, but it fits with my general argument that when people look different, they will be treated differently. Therefore, to the extent that people can blend in, they will mitigate the effects of discrimination. That's all I am prepared to assert. I present myself as a case in point. I always mark "Hispanic" on forms that ask me (more precisely 7/16, to the best of my knowledge), but I show no outward trace of my heritage (I'm actually most partial to Hawaiian shirts :-), so I "blend in." (Well, perhaps my dark hair and Latin eyebrows betray me to the most discerning snobs.)

    Because American Indians keep coming up in the dialogue, I feel that I have to say as an American of European descent that I am ashamed of this country's treatment of the aboriginal people. I'll leave it for others more eloquent to elaborate further.

    ...one ought still to ask the question why [Blacks and Hispanics] have failed to refute their stereotypes where others have succeeded. And it seems to me that the only possible answer is cultural.

    So which is it? Economic or cultural?

    ...attempts to bring their members into economic parity with the majority may imply the distruction of such cultures.

    So economic disparity is the problem, and changing ethnic cultures is the solution? (That was rhetorical.) It seems we're going around in circles. I think St. Paul said it best:

    You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Gal 3:26-29 NIV)
    No one's heart is beyond change.



    [ Parent ]
    Careful. (none / 0) (#286)
    by vectro on Sat Sep 07, 2002 at 11:00:34 AM EST

    I haven't gotten to the point of solutions, I'm still trying to characterize the problem.

    What I'm saying is that the problem, at this point, is perpetuated primarily through culture. But culture and economics affect one another, and attempts to change things on the economic side (e.g., via reparations, affirmative action, tax breaks, or whatnot) may have destructive effects on the cultural side.

    The question, however, of whether or not this is desired is more subjective.

    “The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
    [ Parent ]

    Treatment of native americans (none / 0) (#287)
    by vectro on Sat Sep 07, 2002 at 11:03:34 AM EST

    As one who is 1/16 native and 7/8 European [not sure about the other 1/16] I have to agree. What was done was horrible, there's no question.

    “The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
    [ Parent ]
    I've seen links to this (1.00 / 5) (#277)
    by rustybot on Sat Aug 31, 2002 at 05:13:18 PM EST

    i've seen interviews with oliver stone that were the victim of someone's vendetta, you would build up the creek.

    think about it. Although i do is force the proper mindset here...

    [ Parent ]
    Pondering Reparations... (4.71 / 7) (#254)
    by Horseman on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 06:13:48 PM EST

    First things first.  Let me say right off, that the present calls for reparations in the US are entirely, plainly, unequivocally wrong.  If the reader has already decided that reparations are a good thing, then the reader is a thief or an abetter of thieves.  

    There is no way that such a blunt statement can be presented without evidence, so let me present it.  For purposes of my "Angry White" rant, I'll divide it into three areas.

    (1) Individual Responsibility

    Legal tradition in the US, and, to my understanding, the rest of the Western world and most of everywhere else, places responsibility for wrongdoing on the head of the individual.  It is entirely true, that people tend to retain the economic and social status of their parents.  But, who is alive that can be held responsible?  I know of no one on the earth who was alive 137+ years ago.  If no one alive today bears responsibility for holding slaves, then who shall be held responsible to pay reparations?

    If we must insist on damning the US Caucasian for bringing slavery to these shores, then we must also credit them for bringing freedom to slaves around the world.  While the US was hardly the first nation to employ slaves, it was among the first to repudiate the practice.  Now, I believe, the only nation to practice chattel slavery is Sudan.  If credit for liberation must also be given, then who's decendants shall be held responsible for these payments?

    So, while the history of slavery in the US is tragic and shameful, there is no one around who can justly be held responsible for it.

    (2) Fallacy of Group Accountability

    So, what's wrong with holding people accountable by group?  

    First, it's obviously racist on it's face.  Judging people on the basis of ethnicity, to determine their worthiness or liability for payment, is certainly a step backward in the march of equal protection under law.

    Second, to justly apply ethnicity as a basis for group accountability, would be very damning to US blacks.  This ethnic group, in fact the object of benefit for the reparations lobby, is responsible for crime (in fact, crime in the present, rather than crime generations past) far out of proportion to it's population.  The present social and econmic status of US blacks is no excuse for crime, any more than the social and economic status of slave holders an excuse for failing to hire help instead of purchasing it.  

    Group responsibility has no place in a system of justice.

    (3) Existing Remedies

    US blacks are privileged in many ways.  The reader reads that correctly.  While white (and other) against black racism does indeed exist in the US, blacks are richly compensated already, in many areas of US life.

    First, US blacks enjoy enhanced protection under the new umbrella of hate crime laws.  These laws strengthen penalties for crimes of violence or simple ill manners taken against certain protected persons.  

    Second, US blacks may participate in ethnic exclusive organizations without social retribution.  These organizations are easy to find and easier to identify.  To do so, simply ask whether exchanging 'black' or 'negro' in the name to 'white' or 'caucasion' would cause outrage.  

    Third, US blacks benefit from quotas for hiring, and awarding of government contracts.  US law requires government procurement contracts be awarded preferentially to minority owned business whenever possible.  Employers must hire at least a certain proportion of minorities to avoid outraged scrutiny.  Colleges and such institutes of higher learning are tending to lower entrance requirements for minorities, in order to avoid the same outraged scrutiny.

    Fourth, in disputes regarding discrimination, a black accuser is considered to automatically be virtuous and correct.  Notice the annual shakedown ritual conducted by various US black leaders against a large and deep-pocketed company.  Notice the media coverage when a US black employee accuses an employer.  Notice the lack of media coverage (except with an obvious novelty slant) when the rare white employee charges 'reverse' discrimination.  This assumption correctness on the part of the accuser is so pervasive that even blacks, when accused, may be presumed wicked.  Remember Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill?  Just in the last few weeks, Georgia congresscritter Cynthia McKenny accused her (also black, also female) Democratic Primary opponent of working to unseat a black woman from congress.  I have witnessed this process in action, personally.  I have no doubt that most US K5 readers have as well.

    If reparations would make white against black racism recede, then I might be for it.  But it won't.  In fact, quite the opposite.  Every US white person that I speak to on the issue would be pushed more toward an anti-black bias were this to go forward.  As I write (my nationality and ethnicity presumably obvious by now), the offensiveness of the subject makes it hard to stifle anger.  

    If reparations would actually 'repair' the status of black people in the US, then I would certainly be for it.  If they would be removed from the hate crime protection status; If they would be prohibited or ridiculed from forming ethnic organizations; If they would have to compete fairly for contracts, employment, and education; if the furious racist witchhunt would end...  Then I would happily kiss half my bank account goodbye to pay for it.  But, reparations will do none of these things.  None of these changes toward real equality would be made.  

    So, to once again be blunt, to Hell with reparations.  To Hell with the supporters of reparations.  To Hell with the benificiaries of reparations, should they come to pass.  

    ++++++++++

    Those who seek to punish slave holders, should concentrate their efforts on the various (smuggled illegal immigrant fueled) sweatshops that crop up near our own borders from time to time.  Such shops exist elsewhere as well, and would be well worth examination.  And, of course, putting real pressure on places like Sudan and elsewhere, where real, present, humanity is being sold and trod upon.  


    Ah, Kuro5hin! (3.00 / 1) (#259)
    by epepke on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 09:54:23 AM EST

    Where a bloodlessly serious response to a satirical reductio ad absurdum gets a 4.33 rating!


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    reparations BY whom? (5.00 / 2) (#278)
    by hippiefr33k on Mon Sep 02, 2002 at 07:17:52 PM EST

    OK, so you went over the top with this "white rant", but you touched on many ideas that our liberal mindset is too afraid to even talk about...

    1. Why not reward White Westerners for Eliminating Slavery?

    If "white western culture" gets dinged for slavery, shouldn't it also get rewarded for bringing freedom to slaves worldwide? What if I claim allegiance to Abe Lincoln and William Wilberforce? Can I at least be exempt from reparation "penalties"?

    The answer seems to be that both reparation penalties and reward seem rediculous. Can you have one without the other? And shouldn't you then create exemptions for us good white folk?

    2. Which whites have to pay?

    Do we all have to pay taxes, and then give the money out to the descendents of the oppressed? Or do we just tax the "descendents of the guilty?" Or are all white people guilty because they have "reaped the benefits" of white oppression?

    I am a fourth genration American - my relatives arrived from Hungary and Poland in the 1900's. They had nothing to do with slavery. In fact, they were both persecuted (albeit, not enslaved) as "foreigners", and had to "Americanize" their family names in order to get work. Should I, or they be compensated for such duress? Perhaps I should be considered a "minority" and get paid. Heck, like one person wrote, since I am both persecutor and persecuted, maybe I should just pay myself reparations.

    Perhaps only the decendants of slave owners, or white southerners in general, should pay reparations. That seems the most fair.

    But again, WHO should pay is a sticky issue. I certainly think that non-descendants of the evil slave owners should not pay, and perhaps, descendants of any type should not have to pay. Or perhaps it expires after X generations (where x = 2 or 3 or 5?)

    3. Who gets reparation?

    Do rich blacks get compensated? Only those who had slave ancestors? What about recent immigrants from Africa?

    4. Blacks and crime.

    Two things. First, I agree that blacks are not treated fairly by our justice system, and are convicted more often and sentenced more seriously than non-blacks based solely on skin color.

    However, this does not entirely account for the skewed crime rates among blacks. It seems obvious to an outsider that the VALUE SYSTEM of the black community is the real problem. I'm not talking about the pastors and mothers who are trying to lift the value system in poor neighborhoods - but the overwhelming culture of acceptance of violence, promiscuous and irreponsible sexuality, drug use and crime. It's obvious in the music of the black community (with notable exceptions), and in the almost total LACK of voices from black leadership preaching self-determination and self-responsibility. There are, as I said, some notable exceptions. But they are the exceptions, and not the rule.

    As it is said, if we point the finger at people and circumstances outside of ourselves, there are three pointing back at ourselves. I think that's a good ratio - for every one bit of work that needs to be done "out there" in the opressing system, three bits of personal diligence and responsibility need to be practiced by those seeking reparations .

    5. Women and reparations

    Well, all I know is that, even though I'm a male, I am a son of a whole line of women who were discriminated against, so perhaps all descendents of women should get reparations ;)

    REDUX and CONCLUSION

    • With a few very targeted populations, such as the WWII Japanese interned, I think reparations is in order. This may apply to certain blacks and their descendents as well, esp. those who were promised something by the government. However, how much that initial payment would have been worth today is debatable.
    • It is silly trying to compensate huge populations of "the descendents of the oppressed." It is impossible to tell who should pay (unless you make everyone pay through taxes), and who should get how much. Group accountability is not just.
    • In general today, I think those seeking reparation are looking to satisfy both their need for "justice" for their ancestors, and perhaps for their own "resulting" poverty or situations. Reparation may pacify their need for justice, but it won't force them to become responsible for their own success. Nobody seems to see the virtue in overcoming - it's seems largely about handouts.
    • My ancestors had to sacrifice, change their names, and move around just to succeed. I believe that opportunities exist for all minorities today, even if the "system" is not perfectly just or balanced in their favor.

    I'd rather die trying than die not trying.
    [ Parent ]
    hardly.. (2.00 / 1) (#288)
    by Dan Gunn on Mon Sep 09, 2002 at 06:45:20 PM EST

    So, what's wrong with holding people accountable by group? First, it's obviously racist on it's face. Judging people on the basis of ethnicity, to determine their worthiness or liability for payment, is certainly a step backward in the march of equal protection under law.

    This is assuming that the group is detemined by race. However in the case of reparations they are grouped by the label of "slave". The fact that slaves were all black is secondary.

    The assertation that blacks enjoy unproportional advantages in the United States is simply untrue. They still do not have the number of advantages avalible to them that whites do. While the state may seem to lean towards black (minority/women's) rights, you are ignoring the social advantages that most whites hold, like higher incomes, better schooling, better social services, all of which contribute to perpetuating their advantages.

    [ Parent ]

    Yea or Nae...it's still funny. (4.00 / 6) (#256)
    by Goldblubber on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 08:19:34 PM EST

    The author has obviously thrown any moral high ground out the window and gone for the laughs. I feel at this point I should try and tell some people that the peice is pure satire and not the Authors manifest of social belief. Of course I can just sit back and scroll through the minefield that is the politically correct backlash that is the embarrasement of the new left. For those with no understanding of humor, here is a simple explanation of the joke. 1) Oppression of Blacks by Whites was a fact. 2) ditto for women by men 3) Author has deliberately switched reparation arguements for one to the other 4) Conclusion...farcical argument creates hypertension for those who wish to continue arguing. Laughter is created for those who have debated the subject to point of boredom and can appreciate the twist in facts. For those who find the joke offensive their are two courses of action. 1) Study what you can about the oppresion of people by the Rich( be they Women, Africans, Irish, Dwarves etc) and write a brilliant article that proves succinctly that humor about oppresion is wrong. 2) Get out in the real world and find out what the meaning of offensive is.

    Why Reparations Might be a Good Thing (1.00 / 1) (#267)
    by jefu on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 07:53:30 PM EST

    Great story - very funny indeed, I'm going to have to remember that.

    But, after quite a bit of thought and opinion changing on my part, I've come to think that (at least with certain restrictions and related actions) reparations might well be a good idea in many ways.

    First, depending on the population affected and the size of the reparations, it would not be that expensive overall. Guestimating that there are 50 million African Americans in the country and we give each one $50,000 - the total price would then be on the order of 250 trillion dollars - a big number, but perhaps not so much as it looks since all recipients would (naturally) have to pay taxes on what they received. Further, if this were paid out over several (say 5 or so) years, the yearly hit would not be that bad; and if we just canceled the planned party in Iraq we'd probably have a big chunk of it.

    Second, make it a direct payout to individuals (only those alive on some specified date - not for anyone already deceased, nor for anyone who might be born in the future in the future) - and not to any organization that claims to act for them - I may not be African American, but whomever I may be, I can't think of any organization that in any major way acts for me.

    Third - make it a requirement that the payout for anyone under 30 would not be released to that person until the age of 30 - EXCEPT for educationa l purposes.

    Fourth (and this may be the fun one) make the payment of reparations contingent on the complete abandonment of affirmative action (this would probably help pay for it all).

    Possible good consequences include :

    • Money funnelled into those living in inner cities (etc) would potentially help spur industry in those areas as well as things like home ownership (probably a good thing).
    • The education restriction/requirement would help spur accessibility to college educations (and possibly accomplish more than the current system of affirmative action).
    • Distribution of these funds would (when taxed by the states) amount to extra payments to those states proportionally to the African American populations there - which often correlates with requirements for state spending.
    • It would remove an essentially permanent committment to affirmative action with a much shorter (and finite) payout period.

    It would, naturally also pose some problems. One that interests me is how does one determine eligibility - often legal records are spotty or nonexistant. Perhaps there is some way to build a dna test. In the same vein, would someone descended from immigrants to the US in the last 100 years or so (and hence not descended from slaves).

    Great! (5.00 / 1) (#268)
    by RyoCokey on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 10:01:05 PM EST

    You should have typed this when the story was in the edit queue though, it would have been a great addition. I especially love the $250 trillion figure, seeing as the GNP of the US is around $3 trillion a year.



    If there really is a causation between porn and rape, then I say bring on the bukkak
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