There must be another election coming up, because Democrats are once again shamelessly pandering to black folks.
Their latest ruse is reviving the idea of reparations — literally, race-based transfer payments from white Americans to black Americans. Can you believe that’s really a legislative priority for Democrats at a time when African American unemployment is hovering at record lows?
Nevertheless, 64 House Democrats are co-sponsoring a bill that would establish a commission to work out the details of a national reparations policy, and the House Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing to draw public attention to the effort.
It’s important to study the text of the bill in question. Most of it is a rambling litany of the real evils of slavery, spiced up with “woke” language for a contemporary audience, such as the notion that slavery was immoral in part because American slaves were denied “African citizenship rights” and “cultural heritage.” But one thing is very clear: this legislation is concerned with racial reparations that are supposedly owed not just to the descendants of former slaves, but to “African Americans as a group.”
The underlying theory of reparations is that some Americans must pay other Americans compensation in order to redress historical injustices that were perpetrated long before anybody who is alive today was even born.
The concept is utterly impractical as policy, and trying to determine which people are owed how much and by whom would only serve to exacerbate the existing divisions in our society. The whole concept of reparations is also antithetical to the founding principles of this country, as Democratic presidential candidate and Sen. Cory Booker more or less acknowledged during the hearing.
America’s founding, Booker told us, is “tainted” with “racism and white supremacy” that we have yet to “acknowledge.” When Democrats such as Booker speak of “white supremacy,” of course, they’re really talking about America’s founding principles of equality before the law, individual liberty, and limited government.
The type of institutional discrimination that Democrats want people to associate with the term “white supremacy,” on the other hand, is practiced almost exclusively by liberals at all levels of government.
Flint, Michigan; Los Angeles, California; Chicago, Illinois. The places where African Americans are suffering the most hardship are invariably cities that have been controlled for decades by Democratic politicians. Long, difficult experience shows us that feel-good liberal policies do far more harm than good for the black community.
The whole reparations enterprise starts to look even more sinister when you consider how it would work in practice, a determination that the legislation punts to a 13-member commission tasked with recommending “appropriate remedies” for historical discrimination.
If the commission were established today, President Trump and Nancy Pelosi would each get to appoint three of the members, and the Senate president pro tempore (currently Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch) would appoint one more. The remaining six slots — almost half the total — are reserved for “major civil society and reparations organizations that have historically championed the cause of reparatory justice” — in other words, radical left-wing activists.
Dozens of those “reparatory justice” advocates were on hand at the hearing itself, where they booed and hissed at Coleman Hughes, a young African American scholar who dared to argue that there are better ways to help American blacks than reparations, and more pressing issues facing the African American community than the injustices suffered by their ancestors more than a century ago.
That’s because the Democrats don’t actually care about justice, fairness, or any of the other noble principles they constantly invoke in their public comments. The real purpose of holding this conversation about reparations is to reinforce the Democrats’ hold on the African American vote in advance of a critical election that most people expect will be decided by the slimmest of margins. It also promotes the Democratic Party dogma that the redistribution of wealth by a vast and powerful central government is how our society should be structured.
Black Americans don’t need reparations — or any of the other destructive policies Democrats use to keep us dependent on their supposedly benevolent protection. We’re doing better than ever right now, and we’re doing it on our own.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.