Monday, 09 April, 2001

Slavery Reparations is a Bad Idea

I guess I'm behind the times.  Back in January,  David Horowitz published an article entitled Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Blacks is a Bad Idea for Blacks - and Racist Too.  Last month, he tried to get the article published as an advertisement in university newspapers around the country.  Most wouldn't run the ad, which I think is cowardly, but beside the point.  Of the three that did run the ad, two later printed apologies--another cowardly act.  At one university, students who disagreed with the contents of the ad went around collecting and destroying every copy of the newspaper that they could find.  I guess those students don't believe in open debate.

Horowitz has made a huge mistake and damaged his credibility by withholding payment ($1,007.50) for the ad that ran in Princeton University's student newspaper.  The reason?  Because on the same day the paper ran an editorial that attempts to discredit the contents of the advertisement.  The paper ran the ad as agreed--Horowitz should pay up.

Although I don't agree with all of Horowitz's statements, I do agree that reparations for slavery is a Bad Idea for everybody, especially if paid for with tax dollars.  There's absolutely no logical reason for taxpayers, most of whose ancestors arrived after the Civil War, to pay these claims.  Yes, Blacks were enslaved.  Yes, it was an unspeakable thing to do.  But there's no way that we can punish the guilty parties (the small minority of slave-holding citizens), and there's no way to compensate (or even identify) the victims, their children, grand children, or even great grand children.  Racial reparations are hardly fair, as not all Whites supported slavery and not all Blacks were slaves.

I think this is just a money-grabbing scheme cooked up by lawyers who will ultimately benefit far more than the clients they claim to represent.  Don't believe me?  What small group ended up with the largest single piece of the 15.3 billion dollar Texas tobacco settlement?  How about 25% to the lawyers?