Reparations are a horrible idea for all the reasons you outlined and then some. It couldn’t be a more unjust act of racial discrimination to extract money from a poor white person who never owned a slave and give it to a rich black person who never was a slave. Reparations devolve into arguments that cannot be settled about who pays what and who gets what. What about people of mixed racial background? If someone descended from a Confederate general and a plantation slave would she pay reparations to herself? Does your whole scheme for reparations presuppose everyone has spent a month on ancestry.com and has a full racial history? What about white hispanics, recent Nigerian immigrants, or Japanese Americans whose parents were interred during WWII? What about white people descended of Union soldiers who fought and died to end slavery? What of the people descended of Confederates who lost everything during the Civil War? Didn’t they pay? We cannot go back and settle old injustices by creating new ones.

Your arguments are all statistical. They don’t involve unfair treatment of any individual. If an individual is discriminated against on account of race, they can get redress. That’s been the law since the 1960s Civil Rights Act. The EEOC has heard thousands of such complaints. There is also an extensive amount of Affirmative Action that has explicitly given black people advantages in admissions, hiring, promotion, and contracting. Further, many organizations are awash in Diversity and Inclusion executives ostensibly there to accomplish the same thing. We have also had years of Food Stamps, AFDC, Medicaid, HUD, Education grants and loans, mortgage loan guarantees, and other benefits that flow disproportionately to blacks. Whether because of or in spite of these government programs, blacks have made significant progress. Before Covid-19 hit, Trump economics had produced the lowest black unemployment ever, the lowest black poverty rate ever, and a growing black middle class. A black man was even elected twice to the Presidency just over a decade ago. Race is no barrier to getting ahead.

The way upward is to promote good job opportunities, entrepreneurial skills, and greater interest in career development in growth industries and occupations. Safe neighborhoods and governments that protect businesses expand those opportunities. A reparations payment for ancestry and not accomplishment will undermine that. When the first reparations payment has zero long run benefit, how long before another one is demanded and then another till it becomes permanent extortion?

Mathematician, Statistician, Businessman, and Academic. Student of history, poli sci , and the Bible.

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