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(The Atlantic)   The case for reparations: "In America there is a strange and powerful belief that if you stab a black person 10 times, the bleeding stops and the healing begins the moment the assailant drops the knife"   (theatlantic.com) divider line 951
    More: Interesting, Massachusetts General Court, American racism, Valley Forge, humans, servitude, good behaviour, John Conyers, Manhattan Institute  
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11200 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 May 2014 at 10:58 PM (29 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-05-22 02:57:47 PM  
It's a long article, but it's one of the best-written articles I've seen in ages.
 
2014-05-22 03:11:09 PM  

Rincewind53: but it's one of the best-written articles I've seen in ages.


T-NC is one of the best writers of our time.
 
2014-05-22 03:19:08 PM  

Dusk-You-n-Me: Rincewind53: but it's one of the best-written articles I've seen in ages.

T-NC is one of the best writers of our time.


I agree. The article is filled with absolutely fabulous lines, phrasing that cuts to the heart of the issue. Just came across this one:

"The early American economy was built on slave labor. The Capitol and the White House were built by slaves. President James K. Polk traded slaves from the Oval Office. The laments about "black pathology," the criticism of black family structures by pundits and intellectuals, ring hollow in a country whose existence was predicated on the torture of black fathers, on the rape of black mothers, on the sale of black children. An honest assessment of America's relationship to the black family reveals the country to be not its nurturer but its destroyer."

He also makes powerful points against those who say "But my family only came here in 1900!" Those people are perfectly happy to talk about how awesome George Washington was, how important the Declaration of Rights is, and are happy to take credit for  that aspect of being American. But they refuse to accept any responsibility for any negative aspect of the American experience. T-NC writes of this: "To celebrate freedom and democracy while forgetting America's origins in a slavery economy is patriotism à la carte."
 
2014-05-22 03:22:43 PM  
Wow.

I'm only a third of the way through, but what a spectacular read.

I'll have to finish later.
 
2014-05-22 03:29:04 PM  
Also, Link
 
2014-05-22 03:35:51 PM  
i.imgur.com
 
2014-05-22 03:37:56 PM  

violentsalvation: [i.imgur.com image 380x285]


i.imgur.com
 
2014-05-22 03:38:33 PM  
tl;dr: black writer wants welfare

/I should catch a few with that.
 
2014-05-22 03:54:23 PM  

Rincewind53: violentsalvation: [i.imgur.com image 380x285]

[i.imgur.com image 500x258]


I'm reading it, it's just long and I can't give it my undivided attention right now.
 
2014-05-22 07:04:25 PM  
Do Jews deserve money because of the Holocaust, if they didn't personally live through it?
 
2014-05-23 01:31:05 AM  
Rincewind53 finally had the time to finish the last half (long day). If this:

In the 1970s, the Yale Law professor Boris Bittker argued in The Case for Black Reparations that a rough price tag for reparations could be determined by multiplying the number of African Americans in the population by the difference in white and black per capita income. That number-$34 billion in 1973, when Bittker wrote his book-could be added to a reparations program each year for a decade or two. Today Charles Ogletree, the Harvard Law School professor, argues for something broader: a program of job training and public works that takes racial justice as its mission but includes the poor of all races.

plus ending the drug war and completely reworking the criminal justice system can be called reparations than I'm all for it. Of course I don't expect that wealth gap to instantly close either, it will take generations to undo. Pragmatism.
 
2014-05-23 08:31:22 AM  

itcamefromschenectady: Do Jews deserve money because of the Holocaust, if they didn't personally live through it?


You might want to go back to high school history class and re-read the chapter covering 1947-1948.
 
2014-05-23 08:45:18 AM  
So racism ends the moment we write the great-great-grandchildren of slaves a check? Something tells me that's not quite that simple.

Nor is it ever going to happen. How about the families of the Chinese brutalized into building the continental railroad? The Irish oppression in the northeast? Women? So far the closest we've gotten to paying for the moral failings of our forefathers is throwing some tax breaks to the handful of Native Americans we failed to wipe out.
 
2014-05-23 10:10:42 AM  

violentsalvation: Rincewind53 finally had the time to finish the last half (long day). If this:

In the 1970s, the Yale Law professor Boris Bittker argued in The Case for Black Reparations that a rough price tag for reparations could be determined by multiplying the number of African Americans in the population by the difference in white and black per capita income. That number-$34 billion in 1973, when Bittker wrote his book-could be added to a reparations program each year for a decade or two. Today Charles Ogletree, the Harvard Law School professor, argues for something broader: a program of job training and public works that takes racial justice as its mission but includes the poor of all races.

plus ending the drug war and completely reworking the criminal justice system can be called reparations than I'm all for it. Of course I don't expect that wealth gap to instantly close either, it will take generations to undo. Pragmatism.


I agree. Glad you liked the article!
 
2014-05-23 10:15:46 AM  

Kyro: So racism ends the moment we write the great-great-grandchildren of slaves a check? Something tells me that's not quite that simple.

Nor is it ever going to happen. How about the families of the Chinese brutalized into building the continental railroad? The Irish oppression in the northeast? Women? So far the closest we've gotten to paying for the moral failings of our forefathers is throwing some tax breaks to the handful of Native Americans we failed to wipe out.


If you read the article, it's not about slavery reparations. In fact, it's primarily about reparations for the ongoing system of white supremacy enshrined in the government until extremely recently, like how even until less than 50 years ago, the Federal Government would not give secured loans to anyone living in ANY black neighborhood (redlining).

And "sundown towns", which were towns where blacks were not allowed on the streets after dark, existed until the 1980s. I was born less than five years after the last sundown down went away.

The Irish, the Chinese, and others had it bad. But they did not have it nearly as bad or for nearly as long, nor was the entire modern country of America built on centuries of their suffering. Our current cities are massively shaped by white supremacist  laws and policies from when your parents were born. It is hypocritical for Americans to claim the heritage of Valley Forge and the Declaration of Independence and then dismiss white supremacy as "just the past."
 
2014-05-23 12:59:45 PM  

Rincewind53: If you read the article, it's not about slavery reparations.


I read it, and I realize. It just doesn't read as well to cite every example he provided.

But that doesn't really change my opinion that I don't think we can buy our way out of this. This isn't a money problem. Sure the program-route has promise, but it's still attempting to apologize for beating the hell out of your kid by buying them an Xbox.

Rincewind53: It is hypocritical for Americans to claim the heritage of Valley Forge and the Declaration of Independence and then dismiss white supremacy as "just the past."


That I'll give you. I'm personally of the opinion that we shouldn't be taking credit or blame for the actions of Americans 100+ years ago.
 
2014-05-23 10:17:58 PM  
The next day, I stationed myself by the side of the road, along which the slaves, amounting to three hundred and fifty, were to pass. The purchaser of my wife was a Methodist minister, who was about starting for North Carolina. Pretty soon five waggon-loads of little children passed, and looking at the foremost one, what should I see but a little child, pointing its tiny hand towards me, exclaiming, "There's my father; I knew he would come and bid me good-bye." It was my eldest child! Soon the gang approached in which my wife was chained. I looked, and beheld her familiar face; but O, reader, that glance of agony! may God spare me ever again enduring the excruciating horror of that moment! She passed, and came near to where I stood. I seized hold of her hand, intending to bid her farewell; but words failed me; the gift of utterance had fled, and I remained speechless. I followed her for some distance, with her hand grasped in mine, as if to save her from her fate, but I could not speak, and I was obliged to turn away in silence.
 
2014-05-23 11:56:16 PM  

Rincewind53: And "sundown towns", which were towns where blacks were not allowed on the streets after dark, existed until the 1980s. I was born less than five years after the last sundown down went away.


The sign was still there at the city limits of Cullman, AL in 1998. Nineteen - F*cking - Ninety - Eight. I saw it with my own eyes.

If I was half the man I am now I would have taken it down myself, but I didn't live there and had no idea what I might have started.

Last year, two counties away, there was a "religious revival" ending with a "Christian Cross Burning."

But at least the sign is gone now, so I guess that's something.
 
2014-05-24 11:05:13 PM  

itcamefromschenectady: Do Jews deserve money because of the Holocaust, if they didn't personally live through it?


...they got an entire country. What have blacks gotten other than centuries of oppression?
 
2014-05-24 11:09:33 PM  
Yeah, money heals all wounds.
 
2014-05-24 11:09:41 PM  
A neighbor who opposed the family said that Bill Myers was "probably a nice guy, but every time I look at him I see $2,000 drop off the value of my house."

It's funny: you still see people using other people's bigotry to justify their own. "We can't let gays adopt kids because they'll get bullied for having gay parents!"
 
2014-05-24 11:10:20 PM  
I agree that it's a well-written article, but I disagree that it's a good argument in favor of reparations.

The actual logos of the article boils down to assertion with a side of ad hominem, with a disconnected conclusion.  Nothing really convincing in there as far as reparations actually potentially effectively addressing any kind of actual extant problem.

// Historically, it's taken disenfranchised populations a generations or perhaps two to go from legally granted equal footing to having actual economic equal footing and enfranchisement.  We've seen it with women, the Irish, etc.  The only historical example of reparations for anything we really have is the founding of Israel, and that's... not really a strong argument in  favor.  Maybe a good argument  against...
 
2014-05-24 11:10:32 PM  
40 acres and a mule, Jack.
 
2014-05-24 11:11:07 PM  

Kyro: So racism ends the moment we write the great-great-grandchildren of slaves a check?


Yeah, see that's how I know you didn't read the article.

Reparations don't need to take the form of direct payment to the victims.  Further, the author makes the point that slavery is not the only wrong committed against blacks in our society, and wronged blacks are very much still alive.

Read the article, give it a think, and come back with some thoughts, you know, about the farking article.

/white guy
 
2014-05-24 11:11:21 PM  
Can't read the article at the moment, but basically it states that the African-Anerican part of the 99% are getting screwed ovee even more so than the rest?

I believe it.
 
2014-05-24 11:11:39 PM  
Sounds more like a problem with the decline of social mobility in the US than with racism. The poor in the US remain poor, doesn't matter if you're black or white.
 
2014-05-24 11:12:06 PM  
I'm all for reparations.

Anybody who's not happy here should renounce their citizenship and receive free plane ticket back to the county of their birth and $1,000 in cash.
 
2014-05-24 11:12:27 PM  
Technically, bleeding is part of the healing process.
 
2014-05-24 11:12:44 PM  
Barack Obama would pay reparations to himself?
 
2014-05-24 11:13:02 PM  

DubtodaIll: Yeah, money heals all wounds.


That's false.  In the same sense that "money can't heal any wounds" is false.
 
2014-05-24 11:13:58 PM  

To The Escape Zeppelin!: Sounds more like a problem with the decline of social mobility in the US than with racism. The poor in the US remain poor, doesn't matter if you're black or white.


Another person commenting on the article who can't be bothered to read it.
 
2014-05-24 11:14:12 PM  
Obama should use his executive powers to give reparations to everyone who isn't white and doesn't have a penis.
 
2014-05-24 11:14:43 PM  

IlGreven: itcamefromschenectady: Do Jews deserve money because of the Holocaust, if they didn't personally live through it?

...they got an entire country. What have blacks gotten other than centuries of oppression?


An entire country. See "Liberia".
 
2014-05-24 11:15:19 PM  
fusillade762: A neighbor who opposed the family said that Bill Myers was "probably a nice guy, but every time I look at him I see $2,000 drop off the value of my house."

It's funny: you still see people using other people's bigotry to justify their own. "We can't let gays adopt kids because they'll get bullied for having gay parents!"


Neighbor, please.
 
2014-05-24 11:15:24 PM  

Flying Lasagna Monster: Barack Obama would pay reparations to himself?


Ah, yes.  Directly addressed in the article.

I'm sensing a trend here.  People don't want to sit down and read something that can't be consumed in less than 60 seconds, yet feel compelled to offer an opinion.
 
2014-05-24 11:16:17 PM  

vernonFL: 40 acres and a mule, Jack.


Sometime around 1965 the Democrats figured out that you only have to promise them that and 90% of them will vote for you whether they ever get it or not.
 
2014-05-24 11:16:26 PM  
Give me the name of your ancestor that was a slave.
 
2014-05-24 11:16:36 PM  

To The Escape Zeppelin!: Sounds more like a problem with the decline of social mobility in the US than with racism. The poor in the US remain poor, doesn't matter if you're black or white.


Sure; but it seems that a disproportionate number of blacks are poor compared to whites.  People like Robert Moses didn't help the cause; it was the likes of him that rounded up poorer blacks in neighborhoods like Harlem, etc.  They had a big special on this on PBS...one of those narrated series that discussed it. Wish I could remember the name of it.

Probably goes hand-in-hand with that whole "redlining" thing in TFA.
 
2014-05-24 11:17:06 PM  
Yeah, I'm almost more liberal than the libbyest lib that ever libed and yeah, no thanks.

If anything just make confederate flag waving dickhead states in the south pay up, my ancestors were part of burning Atlanta to the ground and I'm sad they didn't burn harder and wider.
 
2014-05-24 11:17:28 PM  
His interview about this article on Moyers is really good. I recommend it, especially if you're critical of this essay. Link
 
2014-05-24 11:17:48 PM  

Yogimus: Give me the name of your ancestor that was a slave.


Again, RTFA. Oppression against blacks did not stop in 1865. It continues to this day.
 
2014-05-24 11:17:53 PM  

Babwa Wawa: DubtodaIll: Yeah, money heals all wounds.

That's false.  In the same sense that "money can't heal any wounds" is false.


I forgot to use a sarcastrophe there. Obviously money can only buy things. The entire argument for reparations does not hold water. It will not make anyone whole. You think more handouts is going to do anything to improve the plight of black people in America? The only way to success is through the achievements of your own work and effort. Guilting someone into giving you things is the way con men make their money.
 
2014-05-24 11:18:25 PM  

Jim_Callahan: // Historically, it's taken disenfranchised populations a generations or perhaps two to go from legally granted equal footing to having actual economic equal footing and enfranchisement. We've seen it with women, the Irish, etc. The only historical example of reparations for anything we really have is the founding of Israel, and that's... not really a strong argument in favor. Maybe a good argument against..


Um.. you do know the point of the article is that it points out that the disenfranchisement continues to this day? point.
 
2014-05-24 11:18:39 PM  

To The Escape Zeppelin!: Sounds more like a problem with the decline of social mobility in the US than with racism. The poor in the US remain poor, doesn't matter if you're black or white.


As far as conservatives are concerned, black people and poor people are one and the same.
 
2014-05-24 11:18:45 PM  
And for the record, I hardly see a workable solution to TFA's author's issues, as race-based reparations are difficult to implement and would be questionable in both justification and effect.

That being said, I agree that we are not in a post-racial society, and that his modest proposals (which consist of simple consideration and study of the issue) are worthwhile.
 
2014-05-24 11:19:21 PM  
My family didn't come here til around 1900 so don't blame me.
 
2014-05-24 11:20:10 PM  

DubtodaIll: forgot to use a sarcastrophe there. Obviously money can only buy things. The entire argument for reparations does not hold water. It will not make anyone whole. You think more handouts is going to do anything to improve the plight of black people in America? The only way to success is through the achievements of your own work and effort. Guilting someone into giving you things is the way con men make their money.


Yah, yah, yuh.  You didn't read the farking article did you?

Please to explain where IN THE F*CKING ARTICLE HE PROPOSES HANDOUTS.
 
2014-05-24 11:20:25 PM  

Babwa Wawa: People don't want to sit down and read something that can't be consumed in less than 60 seconds, yet feel compelled to offer an opinion.


Well, in their defense, I've written book reports on shorter Steinbeck novels.
 
2014-05-24 11:21:17 PM  

vernonFL: Yogimus: Give me the name of your ancestor that was a slave.

Again, RTFA. Oppression against blacks did not stop in 1865. It continues to this day.


So does oppression against chinese, whites, jews, mexicans, etc... What makes one group a sacred cow, while the others consistently succeed?
 
2014-05-24 11:21:26 PM  

Abox: My family didn't come here til around 1900 so don't blame me.


You're not to blame. But that's not the point. America is to blame. This article moves the discussion forward on we as a country atone for our racial sins -- not just of the past, but also the ones we are committing today.
 
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