Recycling Bad Ideas

Hot Air posted an article today about Democrat Presidential hopefuls Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren. Both candidates have stated that they would be in favor of reparations for black Americans.

The article reports:

Last week, Senator Kamala Harris of California agreed with a radio host’s recent suggestion that government reparations for black Americans were necessary to address the legacies of slavery and discrimination. Ms. Harris later affirmed that support in a statement to The Times…

Ms. Warren also said she supported reparations for black Americans impacted by slavery — a policy that experts say could cost several trillion dollars, and one that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and many top Democrats have not supported…

“We must confront the dark history of slavery and government-sanctioned discrimination in this country that has had many consequences, including undermining the ability of black families to build wealth in America for generations,” Ms. Warren told The Times. “We need systemic, structural changes to address that.”

I would like to suggest that this might not be a winning issue. The article notes that last year Rasmussen found 70 percent of Americans opposed to reparations for slavery.

How would reparations be a positive thing? The money would have to come from somewhere. The people who paid increased taxes to pay reparations would resent it. Also, what about people in families that were not here during slavery? Also, how would you prove that a black person had ancestors who were slaves? How about reparations for the soldiers who fought against slavery? How about reparations for the Native Americans for the way they were treated? How about reparations for the Japanese interred during World War II? How about reparations for the Irish indentured servants who were treated badly?

As you can see, this would be the beginning of a journey down a very slippery slope. How about we make sure that all people of every color are treated equally under the law and given equal opportunity? How about we work to change the culture in low income communities of all colors to encourage intact families, a culture of learning, and a strong work ethic? Encouraging those three things would do more to increase the wealth of poor black communities than all the reparations in the world ever could.

 

I Have No Words

On Friday, The Washington Examiner reported the following:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s ex-husband co-founded a DNA testing company and wrote one of the first computer codes for making genetic comparisons.

Jim Warren’s career involved him in the kinds of genetic testing that Elizabeth Warren controversially invoked this month to prove that she had Native American ancestry.

One of the two other co-founders of his testing company, FamilyTreeDNA, has worked with Carlos Bustamante, the Stanford University geneticist who administered a DNA test at Elizabeth Warren’s request.

Why do I think 23 and Me might have gotten different results? Actually I am not sure 1/1024 Indian would even show up on a 23 and Me DNA test.

On October 15th, The National Review reminded us:

In fact, at the far end of the range — if her Native American ancestor is ten generations removed — then she is only 1/1024 Native American. By that measure, “white” Americans are also commonly black, and black American are also commonly white. It turns out that at least some mixing is routine in American racial groups. In 2014, the New York Times reported on the results of a massive DNA study and found that “European-Americans had genomes that were on average 98.6 percent European, .19 percent African, and .18 Native American.” Black Americans were “73.2 percent African. European genes accounted for 24 percent of their DNA, while .8 percent came from Native Americans.”

In other words, Elizabeth Warren isn’t a Cherokee. She’s a relatively normal White American — a person with some bit of mixing somewhere in their distant past. How distant? If you move to the older end of the generation range, her Native American ancestor could predate the founding of the country. She had no business holding herself out as Native American in faculty directories, in a book, or in her personal narrative.

This is a living example of how silly quotas are. Everyone needs to have any application judged on the basis of their qualifications and nothing else. Can we please put all of this group identity behind us and simply identify as Americans?

Another Reason To Stop Funding The United Nations

Trails of Tears (English version)

Trails of Tears (English version) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last time I checked, America was a sovereign country. We are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but we are what we are. Well, the United Nations wants to make us better. The UK Guardian reported yesterday that the United Nations has stated that the United States should return the stolen land it took from the Indians. Now that could get very messy very quickly.

The article reports:

A United Nations investigator probing discrimination against Native Americans has called on the US government to return some of the land stolen from Indian tribes as a step toward combatting continuing and systemic racial discrimination.

James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, said no member of the US Congress would meet him as he investigated the part played by the government in the considerable difficulties faced by Indian tribes.

Anaya said that in nearly two weeks of visiting Indian reservations, indigenous communities in Alaska and Hawaii, and Native Americans now living in cities, he encountered people who suffered a history of dispossession of their lands and resources, the breakdown of their societies and “numerous instances of outright brutality, all grounded on racial discrimination”.

Man, there are a whole lot of connections made in those statements that I am just not seeing. I totally agree with what is being said about the horrible way we have treated the Indians. I just have a real problem with what is seen as the solution. We took land from the Indians and forced them on reservations. Would giving them back land have any impact on the way they live or their prosperity? There are specific instances where it might–In 1830, Andrew Jackson, the founder of the Democrat Party, signed the “Indian Removal Act of 1830.” The Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee-Creek, and Seminole Indians (known as the “Five Civilized Tribes”) had prospered, and President Jackson had ordered the Army to relocate them. Gold had been found on their land, and they were relocated. Is the gold still there? Is it accessible? How is the land currently being used? The answers to those questions would make an interesting addition to the discussion.

I am not sure anyone has a solution to righting the wrongs done to the American Indian. Giving them their land back really won’t change a whole lot. Giving them an education and helping them transition into the twenty-first century might, but how do you do that without destroying their culture? I will admit to being something of a pro-American snob–I think the American economic system with all its faults is better than any other economic system. I just don’t know how to enable the American Indians to take part in it successfully. I simply am not convinced that giving them back their land is the answer.

Just to be difficult, I also think the United Nations has more important things to worry about–people are being killed in Syria by their own government, Christians are being murdered in Nigeria, and there are some serious questions about human rights in China. Aren’t these things a little more pressing than whether or not to return land in America to the Indians?

 

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