The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

24 February 2005

While we're at it, let's sue Jefferson Davis

An op-ed in the Oklahoma Gazette by Felix Paul Linden, Jr., on the subject of reparations:

When inequality is present, it automatically limits your opportunities. One thing some white men in America tend to forget is that, for them, it never has been unequal. For more than 200 years, from 1776 to present, white men have had the opportunity to increase their lot. Black people haven't had a full 40. The length of time in itself is reason enough to justify leveling the scales for black people. Not where it teeters out of balance but to the point where we as a people can step onto the playing field and see sideline to sideline.

In his inaugural address, President Bush talked about an ownership society. Black people in America have thirsted for this opportunity. America now should take the lead and own up to its responsibility to this group of citizens and stop deferring the problem to future generations. Reparations equals justice, and justice is the American way.

When he says "40," he's referencing the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. And he does have a point about white guys, a group in which I hold a half-membership.

Still, I think he's going to have trouble getting this one to fly. The statute of limitations put a stop to a lawsuit demanding reparations for the Tulsa race riots, and if 1921 is out of play, certainly anything prior to 1863 is going to be.

And then there's this observation from La Shawn Barber:

Sold a bill of goods by black "leaders" and white liberals, some blacks have bought the idea that they will never get ahead in America because of white people. And even if they manage to get ahead... it's their responsibility to make white America pay.

Coming down NE 36th yesterday, I saw a couple of banners for a Home Ownership seminar this weekend, sponsored by a group of black churches. A similar event last year drew 800 people. I can't help but think that in the long run programs such as this will accomplish far more than even the most eloquent evocations of guilt.

Posted at 6:32 AM to Political Science Fiction