Author: R. Alan Harrop, Ph.D
A very wise political historian once stated that: “Democracies (and Republics) can exist only until the people with power, realize that they can obtain money from other taxpayers through legislation.” Abraham Lincoln once declared that if America is to be destroyed it would not be by a foreign enemy but rather from within. Well, we are facing both these circumstances in the form of the growing movement towards reparations for slavery to black Americans for the injustice of slavery and subsequent discrimination.
Certainly, no one can deny that slavery in this country was an abomination. It was a common practice in almost all countries at one time or other but that does not mean it was not evil. The question becomes when does a country redeem itself from the guilt of slavery? The Civil War, fought essentially by white soldiers, eliminated slavery and did so at the very high price of 600,000 deaths–far more than we lost in any other war. Admittedly, the war did not end the difficulties for black Americans. Progress over the years however is undeniable as shown by the two time election of a black president. True racial harmony can only be obtained when all Americans are given equal opportunity to succeed regardless of their skin color.
The increasing call for reparations not only threatens to reverse the progress that has been made, but will destroy the fabric of our nation by going backwards and using skin color as the basis for so-called justice. This is happening in several cities and a couple of states that have enacted or are considering setting up task forces to develop programs for reparations. These include the usual suspects: California, New York State, Philadelphia, Chicago, etc. It is estimated that the cost of the proposed reparations in California alone would total nearly $800 billion at the rate of $1.2 million per recipient. Some of the advocates of reparations are not satisfied with individual states and cities enacting reparations legislation, but want federal reparation laws since the federal budget currently has no limit on what can be spent as the recent debt raising debacle has shown.
Besides the financial aspect, there is also the issue of justice. Is it just for a generation of Americans who did not profit from slavery to be held accountable for prior generations, most of which were not slave owners? My family, as immigrants from Europe in the early 1900s like many Americans, did not even live in this country during the years when slavery existed. This would be equivalent to making a person pay now for his great grandfather robbing a bank over one hundred years ago!
If you believe, as I do, that the Marxist Left in this country is out to destroy America, then this is a great way to do it. Just at a time when we need to unite to face the external threats from China and other foreign adversaries, the last thing we need is more division. What will it benefit the advocates of slavery reparations, when the outcome is the destruction of America where they truly have the best chances of leading a free and successful life?