What Reparationists Really Want
Mychal Massie is Chairman of the National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives-Project 21 – a conservative black think tank located in Washington, D.C. He was recognized as the 2008 Conservative Man of the Year by the Conservative Party of Suffolk County, N.Y. In December, 2011, he was recognized as one of the 20 most influential black Republicans. Mychal is a prolific blogger, a nationally recognized political activist, pundit, and columnist. He has appeared on Fox News Channel, Fox Business Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-SPAN, NBC, and talk-radio programming worldwide. A former self-employed business owner of more than 30 years, Mychal’s complete Bio is mychal-massie.com/premium/bio Blacks are singularly interested in being angry and accusatory.
As a child, we had a saying: “Ignorance is bliss and there are a lot of blissful people out there.” I believe that is most applicable to those who prattle on about blacks being owed reparations and the country being built on the backs of slaves.
My friend and colleague, Dr. Walter E. Williams wrote an article titled, “Slavery Reparations.” (Creators Syndicate; 6/18/2014) In this article Dr. Williams writes: Punishing perpetrators and compensating victims is not what reparations advocates want. They want government to compensate today’s blacks for the bondage suffered by our ancestors. But there’s a problem. Government has no resources of its very own. The only way for government to give one American a dollar is to first — through intimidation, threats and coercion — confiscate that dollar from some other American. Therefore, if anybody cares, a moral question arises. What moral principle justifies punishing a white of today to compensate a black of today for what a white of yesterday did to a black of yesterday?
There’s another moral or fairness issue. A large percentage, if not most, of today’s Americans — be they of European, Asian, African or Latin ancestry — don’t even go back three or four generations as American citizens. Their ancestors arrived on our shores long after slavery. What standard of justice justifies their being taxed to compensate blacks for slavery? For example, in 1956, thousands of Hungarians fled the brutality of the USSR to settle in the U.S. What do Hungarians owe blacks for slavery?
As I have said countless times, slavery was a vile and immoral practice. Ask the Israelites (if that were possible) that Moses led out of Egypt. Go back through the annals of time and you will that slavery as an institution thrived.
Are we to believe that free men built the pyramids or the ancient civilizations including the Roman Empire? That said, is that throughout the world up to and including this very time, slaves did become on rich on the backs of slaves. But that is as Dr. Williams wrote a: “foolish unchallenged argument that the United States became rich on the backs of free black labor. That’s nonsense that cannot be supported by fact.”
The problem is that, as Dr. Williams pointed out “slavery doesn’t have a very good track record producing wealth.” That is except for two of the examples I site forthcoming.
Over 65,000 slaves fought on the side of the Confederates during the Civil War. And they did so without being conscripted. Reparationists are obviously unaware that slaves were paid for their military service and some who served were paid more than Confederate officers. Reparationists love to pontificate endlessly pursuant to how poorly the slave owners had treated slaves (and for dramatical effect I’m sure). They expound how the slaves were many times sold naked on the trading blocks, and how evil white men were able to shamelessly fondle the women. They lecture about slaves being separated from their families, and the family member never being seen by the family again.
But that is typical of those who are big on vitriol and low on facts. They omit key points. They overlook, (and that assumes they knew it to start with) William Ellison, a successful Southern business owner and cotton farmer during slavery. Ellison who was black engaged in slave breeding, which was a practice most white slave owners refused to participate in. But Ellison, who was himself a black man saw nothing wrong with it. Reparationists also ignore the fact that in Louisiana more than 3,000 freed slaves were themselves slave owners. The fact is large numbers of free blacks owned black slaves.
It is also conveniently overlooked that a black woman and her family owned one of the most profitable slave plantation in the history of America. They also overlook Anthony Johnson, a black man and slave holder, who in 1654-55, won a court suit in Northampton, Virginia, which is believed by many to have ushered in the legalization of slavery.
I could go on but these people are interested in facts and truth. They are singularly interested in being angry and accusatory.
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