“So you think that people who never owned slaves should be required to pay reparations to people who never were slaves.” This was a comment made by an individual in a class I taught recently in which the issue of slavery reparations was raised. Interestingly, the individual who made this comment is black and the one who proposed reparations is white. Reparations are an ill-conceived concept advocated by people who think they are owed because blacks were once enslaved in America. Those pushing for reparations are predictable: Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton are two of the most vocal advocates. In fact, Farrakhan has gone beyond the borders of the United States with his reparations road show.
Failing to gain any traction in America for slavery reparations, Louis Farrakhan took his entitlement message to the Caribbean last year. In Jamaica he demanded that the Pope endorse slavery reparations to atone for the supposed sins of the Catholic Church. “Project 2019” is a white paper that sets out the case for slavery reparations to be paid by taxing U.S. citizens (although its author admits that seeking reparations is probably a waste of time and effort that could be put to better use in other causes for black Americans).
Reparation demands will probably be with us for a while because they grow out of the entitlement mentality that has become deeply engrained in so many Americans. But demands for slavery reparations are just that: pure entitlement nonsense. In fact, they are an example of race hustling at its worse.
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