Friday, October 9, 2020

reparations for slavery

10/8/20 City Journal makes several points that I have repeatedly made about slavery reparation.  

1. Not every black American is descended from slaves.   Some are descended from black slaveowners.  

2. Are descendants of blacks free before the Civil War eligible for the same payments as those freed by the Civil War?

3. Should blacks never held in American slavery (descendants of Jamaicans or recent African immigrants) deserve compensation?

4. Reparations to those interned by Democrat FDR were only to the actual internees, not their descendants. By that standard,  only former slaves deserve reparations.   (Total cost: $0.) 

5. Should Americans whose ancestors arrived after the abolition of slavery have to pay through taxes for reparations when their families never held slaves?

6. Should those of us whose ancestors died in the Civil War on the Union side be compensated for the loss of loved ones?  Yes, my g-g-g-mother received a pension,  but I doubt it matched the loss of his earnings.  He moved up rapidly in wealth from the 1850 to 1860 census.

7. Should descendants of black slaveowners be eligible for reparations?

Questions 1-3 and 7 would yield very complex calculations depending on a black person's ancestors.   The records of slavery are very poor, so figuring out who fits in what category would be impossible. 

Finally, any compensation to individuals based on their race (as opposed to their having been held in slavery) would clearly violate the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause.
As my wife reminded me, there is at least an equally valid claim against the descendants of the West Africans who sold those slaves to Europeans. 

Hat tip to SmallDeadAnimals.


  1. Those are all good arguments against slavery reparations but while there aren't any people living now who owned slaves, there is an organization who worked to preserve slavery, formed a terrorist organization to intimidate Republicans and blacks, instituted racist laws to keep blacks from participating in the benefits and protections from the US government. That organization, the Democrat party, still exists and continues to lie about their contribution in past (and arguably current) racists policies.

    We shouldn't force people who had no contribution to slavery to pay reparations descendants of slavery (as unworkable as it is), but why not force the Democrat party, the one on-going organization who was directly responsible for the effort to preserve slavery and racist laws to pay reparations?

  2. There are also oil rich native Americans in Oklahoma who owned slaves. Do they have to pay reparations?

    Do white families who can prove they were always abolitionists get a pass?

  3. Stand Watie, native american in Oklahoma participated in the Transmissisippian portion of the civil war on the side of the south. I recall a woman in the PTA when I was a child who told my mother and other mothers that THEIR slaves stayed with them after the war because they were not cruel to them. That family doubtless benefited from the "Peculiar Institution.