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Sociology Professor: Whites Should Set Up “Individual Reparations Accounts”

Sociology Professor: Whites Should Set Up “Individual Reparations Accounts”

Because white privilege

If you’re among the “oceans of white folk” agonizing over centuries of white privilege and the systemic oppression of black people, Michael Eric Dyson has the solution to your anguish.  This sociology professor from Georgetown thinks that white people who find themselves consumed by this anxiety should set up “individual reparations accounts.”

The New York Times interviewed Dyson last month about this “benediction” section.

Your forthcoming book, “Tears We Cannot Stop,” is subtitled “A Sermon to White America.” Which part of white America do you envision reading it? I envision the audience to be that ocean of white folk I encounter who are deeply empathetic to the struggles of minorities — they are the ones who ask me, “What can I do, as a white person?” This is my attempt to address them in the most useful and, hopefully, edifying manner.

What’s your strategy for getting through to the white people who may not be particularly sympathetic? What I’ve seen under the wonderful presidency of Barack Obama is the tendency to not tell white people the truth, for obvious reasons — they don’t vote for you. But I’m not a politician. I don’t have that power or influence, but what I do wield is a different kind of bully pulpit. We have to have enough belief in white people to tell them the truth. They are grown!

. . . . At the end of your sermon, you do a “benediction” section, in which you talk about making reparations on the local and individual level: donating to groups like the United Negro College Fund or a scholarship program, but also, to cite your example from the book, paying “the black person who cuts your grass double what you might ordinarily pay.” That gave me pause! Good! I used to say in church, “If the sermon ain’t making you a little bit uncomfortable, it ain’t effective.” Look, if it doesn’t cost you anything, you’re not really engaging in change; you’re engaging in convenience. You’re engaged in the overflow. I’m asking you to do stuff you wouldn’t ordinarily do. I’m asking you to think more seriously and strategically about why you possess what you possess.

I agree with reparations, but maybe this is my white privilege speaking: I can’t imagine actually doing that. That is what I meant by an I.R.A.: an individual reparations account. You ain’t got to ask the government, you don’t have to ask your local politician — this is what you, an individual, conscientious, “woke” citizen can do.

The interviewer understood that she was being asked to do this on her own, and her revulsion at the suggestion is indicative of the deep-seated belief of progressives that charity begins—and ends—with government programs and handouts.  Doing anything as an individual is anathema to progressives . . . even those wracked with faux guilt and empathy.

Dyson’s riff is that “you possess what you possess” because . . . white!

He tried to explain this “individual reparations account” stuff to Tucker Carlson on Friday’s show.  The result was hilarious.

The Daily Caller reports:

Dyson, whom Juan Williams once accused of demonizing white people, dodged Carlson’s opening question about how and why his idea would work, insisting on placing his idea in the “context of a much broader discussion about white privilege, white innocence [and] white identity.”

“What I don’t believe in is collective guilt. And that is why I’m confused by the phrase ‘white privilege’” Carlson shot back.

“Well, white privilege doesn’t suggest guilt, it suggests responsibility and accountability. The same accountability that America talks to about people pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, and addressing their situations, their communities, as being responsible for doing what they are doing. I don’t believe in collective guilt but I do believe in collective responsibility,” Dyson replied.

Carlson, who co-founded The Daily Caller, wasn’t buying it.

“Responsibility and guilt are synonyms in this case. Let’s be specific. Privilege. I’m privileged, and I wouldn’t deny that — and I am white — because I have a good-paying job. But you’re privileged too. We live near each other, nice neighborhood, you’re rich, you went to an Ivy League school like me. And so you are way more privileged than most white Americans,” Carlson pointed out. “So why would they owe you something?”

Dyson noted that baseball star Jackie Robinson was more financially “privileged” than a lot of white people in the 1950s, but still had to use separate water fountains due to segregation.

“And in 1955, I think that was much truer than it is now,” Carlson replied.

Dyson then went off on a tangent and argued that white privilege is rooted in “ancient documents” like the Constitution and Declaration Independence and therefore applies to all white people who live in America.  Or something.

RCP has the transcript of this exchange:

TUCKER CARLSON: If I live in eastern Kentucky and I am unemployed, why am I more privileged than you? And why am I in any way, as you put it, responsible for problems with people I’ve never met on the other side of the country?

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON: Look, we know that larger forces provide people opportunities or disadvantages. Many people say, let me restrict it even further. Some people say, I came to this country 20 years ago, I came to this country 30 years ago, I wasn’t advantaged directly by a system of enslavement that prevailed in America.

But if you came to this country as an immigrant and you are a white immigrant and you inherit certain privileges associated with people who are already here, that means that that privilege is given to you regardless of the fact that you indirectly benefited from it and you did not directly contribute to inequality. The constitution was written a long time ago, so, was the Declaration of Independence. But those ancient documents continue to inform people’s lives and shape their aspirations.

If you’re having trouble following this “logic,” it’s because it makes no sense.  It’s word salad into which are dropped key SJW words and phrases that are intended to inspire shame, self-loathing, and apparently, an overwhelming desire to pay individual reparations to black people.


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Please, Mr. Dyson; hold your breath until I set up such an account. You’ll being doing the country, and the world, a favor.

Comedy is not dead!

The Friendly Grizzly | February 4, 2017 at 8:08 pm

I think Mr. Dyson should go do something anatomically extremely difficult and unpleasant.

“If you’re among the ‘oceans of white folk’ agonizing over centuries of white privilege and the systemic oppression of black people, . . .”

Nope. Never have given it a thought. Don’t plan too either.

    herm2416 in reply to pfg. | February 5, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    What I HAVE given thought to is this: my great great grandfather fried, fighting to free the slaves. Where are my reparations?

pfg, I definitely agree. But what gravels me is that they never define precisely WHAT that white privilege IS. I noticed that it keeps changing depending on what point the speaker wants to make.

I’m asking you to think more seriously and strategically about why you possess what you possess.

I’m not dead certain … but I don’t think it’s because somebody paid me twice what he normally would.

So I guess “white privilege” means that whitey is doomed to work for a living … and work for somebody else’s living, too.

In a way, Liberia and Sierra Leone were acts of reparation. How did that work out? Even without white Devils around, things have never turned out great. For those that define themselves as African first and American second…you are a plane trip away from fulfilling your dream. Warning….the grafted roots of being an American you despise are deeper and more vibrant than your hopeless dream of being African.

The Africans were originally enslaved by other Africans, many of them Muslims. Perhaps this idiot should hop on a flight to Syria or Afghanistan and go demand reparations.

    Miles in reply to Paul. | February 4, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    He won’t do that because I can almost guarantee there’s no money in it for him.
    And that’s what it’s all about.
    Figuring out how to get on “The Gravy Train”

cheif bighorn | February 4, 2017 at 8:44 pm

I didn’t know I could laugh and barf at the same time

Unlike rights, privileges are granted not extracted.
If I am offered ‘white privilege’, I find it my responsibility to graciously accept this honor.

Henry Hawkins | February 4, 2017 at 9:11 pm

The man talks to his liver from the inside.

Bruce Bartholomew | February 4, 2017 at 9:38 pm

I like the phrasing in the last paragraph, “Word Salad”, salted with “key SJW words and phrases”. I think that is the exact standard called for in modern collegiate writing.

Seriously though, isn’t this call for a monetary payoff just an Al Sharpton pitch dressed up in academic finery?

“… thinks that white people who find themselves consumed by this anxiety should set up “individual reparations accounts.””

What a wonderful idea. You get all of the whiny liberals who think this way to send their money to me and I’ll pool it together (taking a small percentage for expenses, of course) and search for proper recipients (which will entail more expenses, of course), checking to make certain these happy people meet extremely stringent criteria before cutting them each a small monthly paper check (another expense, of course) and mailing it out to them.

After deducting an appropriate salary, I’m fairly certain I can mail out a check or two a month from my home in the Bahamas, but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make in order to bring comfort to these poor guilty liberals.

/sarc (for the humor impaired)

Unlike those that say they had no slave owning ancestors, I did have them. My great-grandfather had about 20 blacks living on his farm in the 1870 census; presumably they were former slaves.

No, I’m not inclined to pay reparations. My ancestor’s exploitation failed to result in riches for the family. My great-grandfather died young, leaving seven children, none out of their teens. To make a long story short, everything was sold to pay off the debts and none of the kids inherited a thing. What happened to the former slaves, I have no idea.

An interesting side note: All the black children in that 1870 census had the same last names as a black male-female couple (4 couples, 7 kids). Hardly evidence that today’s dysfunctional black family is a legacy of slavery.

Not to worry. Watch for all the articles about Hollywood liberals signing up for this tomorrow. I expect Miss Daisy’s driver & Samuel L to be among the first. I’m sure Al Sharpton will be happy to administer the fund. For a small (non-taxable) fee, of course, just to cover expenses.

Why, if all the progressives put their money where their mouths are, poverty (among blacks) will shortly end. If each were to adopt a single black person & provide for their needs, all would be well. And Sally Strothers will not have toiled in vain.

My family owned slave and they were illegally taken from us. So yes I want reparations and interest for their value.


What “(Fill-in the minority)-Studies” class does this moron purport to “teach?”

Presented as a ubiquitous hidden threat – yes, it even extends to the most poverty-stricken areas of Eastern Kentucky! – “white privilege” serves as a useful tool in Dr. Dyson’s quest for relevance. The fact that it can be defined to meet the situation makes it all the more useful.

In truth, Dyson is just another Liberal with a poor opinion of black people. Obviously it’s gotten to the point that he feels that it’s necessary to panhandle on their behalf.

Sure wish some of that “white privilege” would kick in so I could actually find FT employment instead of being stuck in a dead-end PT job like I have been for the past 10 years.

    Nordic_prince – I am truly shocked that you have not spent the last seven years following the seer Pelosi’s advice by spending the free time given to you by Obamacare on more artistic endeavors.

I’d like to take everything Dyson has. Reparations for stupidity.

According to the 1860 census there were 31.5 million people living in the USA. Of these, slightly less than 4 million were slaves. These slaves were held by 300,000 slave holders, or less than 1% of the US population.

Prof. Dyson must have some method of identifying the descendents of these slave holders, including those who were foreign, white, Native American and African American.

Of course, if he wants big numbers why bother with the 4.2% of all slaves brought to the New World that ended up in the US? Cuba, Jamaica and St. Dominique each accepted more slaves than the USA. The big granddaddy, though, was Brazil which imported more slaves than all other New World countries combined.

    Joe-dallas in reply to MSO. | February 5, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Adding to your comment, approx 15-16m people from the north (3m in the northern army) involved in the freeing of the slaves – should those white people be owed money for freeing the slaves,

    What about the whites that immigrated from europe post 1865 who never owned slaves,

    Since blacks social and economic status is much higher in the US than what it would be if their families had stayed in Africa, should they pay for their improved life?

Discover your [individual] dignity.

Right after the reparations for my relatives that died in Federal service in 1861-1865, including one that died under deplorable conditions as a prisoner of the Confederates in Salisbury, North Carolina. None of these men or their families owned any slaves.

I have a two word response to that suggestion that is far too rude to post. Let it suffice to say that I will not be setting up a reparations account. Ever.

I watched Tucker’s interview and thought I must have slipped into some kind of time warp–it could have been Cornel West and Bill Buckley on Firing Line.

If you never saw any of those interviews from thirty-or-so years ago, Google it up. You’ll be amused.

From now on I’m going to call the money I set aside to buy weapons and ammo my “Individual Reparations Account,”

… the deep-seated belief of progressives that charity begins—and ends—with government programs and handouts …

I recall during the 2008 election season, Obama being asked if there was anything positive he could say about George W. Bush, whom he derided constantly as part of his campaign. Obama did graciously mention the direct foreign aid Bush had sent to impoverished central African countries. However not being one that could even give faint praise to Bush for anything, Obama also chided Bush for sending the aid directly and not through the United Nations or other NGOs. Progressives not only believe that charity begins and ends with government, or quasi-government organizations, but that the charity, must also pass through various levels of ever expanding government and non-government bureaucracy so that the progressives can collect their percentage of the aid for their salaries and handling fees.

I have NEVER asked myself, “What can I do as a white person”. NEVER. And never will.

I have no guilt. I owe nothing.

I have never owned a slave. My parents never owned a slave. My grandparents came over from Poland, where they never owned slaves but may have been close to being slaves.

Less than 1% of the US population ever owned slaves.

The US is one of the first countries to abolish slavery, and it cost us over 300,000 brave souls to do so.

Only the European and European cultured countries have ever truly abolished slavery. It is still practiced in Africa, the Mid East, and Asia. There are said to be over 27 million Black Slaves in Africa, owned by Blacks. And neither the US Black community nor the larger Liberal community gives a damn.

Our former president, Barry Zerobama, whose ancestors were slave owners, is still pro Black African slavery. He has been the first president since Buchanan to actively support slavery.

He had cancelled several long standing anti slavery initiatives to please his pro-slavery moslem brothers. He has supported the moslem slavers of Boko Haram and ISIS. He had remained silent on the issue of slavery of his own people. His own US family, and that of First Cow Moo, have a slave owning heritage.

The Democratic Party remains the party of Slavery, Secession, Segregation, Separatism, and Socialism.

I have no guilt. I owe nothing.

I propose removing law enforcement from, providing free drugs to and opening a Planned Parenthood facility in every black neighborhood across this nation.

In five years there will be no more blacks.

There are millions of Americans with ancestors who fought in the civil war to abolish slavery and suffered greatly because of wounds, captivity and death. They would not ask for any reward. Maybe the Jews should be reimbursed for a couple of thousand years of slavery by Egypt.

    DaveGinOly in reply to Hawk. | February 5, 2017 at 11:34 am

    Northern dead and maimed of the Civil War was payment of reparations in full, and in blood. No more reparations are owed.

Dr. Dyson is an intelligent man, no question. He communicates a message to a small number of folks that want to take comfort in the very real idea that they or more accurately their families have been victims of oppression. There is truth in both of those arguments as racial discrimination has and does occur.

It’s impossible, imo, however to say just exactly who and how should we extend reparations to. So families might be easy to identify but many become difficult or impossible. My family, for example, has a great (x5) grandfather who was “negro” on the 1850 census from SC. as was his wife and five children. He was not a slave. The 1860 census places him in Franklin TN where he was now “mulatto” and the holder of five “negros” all of whom had the same names as his five children mentioned in 1850. By 1870 he was said to be “non-white European” and his family, now adults living and running a general store in Franklin TN were “mulatto”. Shortly after the turn of the century my 3d great grandfather, who – like me – carries his name was “white”. The family remained in Franklin TN until FDR and the TV by court order took all 164 acres of land from them, without compensation, and created Columbia Lake. My grandfather, a dark skinned man, remained angry and bitter about this until his death and passed on the federal court order to vacate the land to my father who’s since passed it on to me. I’ve never been anything but “white” on any form or document in school the military or work. Yet I know my family genealogy is of mixed ethnic origin. Ad a middle aged, social worker and father of five I’ve never felt a benifit of being “white” and would argue that in chosen career field it’s actually been a mark against me working in and around Detroit.

What will be the measure used to determine who ought to benifit from Dr. Dyson’s plan? Can I rush myself and all of my children into a DNA testing center to scream, “here”! Will this be such a grotesque widening of the net like we saw with the Native American Casinos where tribe members seemed to come out of thin air? Ought I now jump on the Sen Warren train and use my family history for my benifit?

I don’t question that racism existed and still rest in the hearts of some. I also don’t deny that evil, real – true evil was done in the name of bigotry. I do however question if today we could ever “fix” what occured generations ago. I think caution should be taken by Mr. Dyson and all of those who advocate similar ideas as I’d wager my left nugget that there are millions of people, like me, that have just enough black ancestry to cross the threshold and be counted. Imagine all of the new GOP minority voters such a demand would create!

Get in front of a camera and suggest that “white people” set up “reparations accounts” for black Americans, and the left sagely nods its collective head.

Let a white man get in front of a camera and suggest a program by which white people “adopt a Negro” and it would condemned as “paternalistic” and “racist” by the Left.

“Colored” people should set up individual reparation accounts to calm the cognitive dissonance caused by their not so distant ancestors miscarriage of mass abortion, white slavery, [class] diversity, and colonization.

No Reparations EVER! The biggest beneficiaries of slavery are the African Americans who are alive today. If it hadn’t been for their ancestors being brought here as slaves they, today’s Blacks, wouldn’t be here, they’d be in some third world failed nation trying to scratch a living using bronze age technology with one eye over their shoulder looking for bandits or armed thugs from their government coming to take everything they have including their lives, wives, or daughters.

i’ve got no money for “reparations”…

i spent it all on guns and ammo.


Subotai Bahadur | February 5, 2017 at 4:34 pm

Anything the Left creates as “voluntary” quickly becomes mandatory enforced by deadly force operated by the State.

How long after this “voluntary” program becomes the norm will it take the “contributors” to this program to figure out that if the 12.6% of the US population that is Black were to be reduced to as close to zero as possible, that there will be no further need to contribute anything? The “Reparations” program sounds like a perfect deliberate provocation for a race war.

Blacks should…

Do their homework.
Finish school.
Get a job.
Get married.
Stay married.

…I mean, while we’re telling racial groups what to do and all that.

What he basically is asking for is a big screen TV and a pair of Adidas for every black man, woman, and child. That will solve all of their problems!

Yes, I have White Privilege. I have the Privilege of paying roughly half of everything I make in order to support the 72% of African Americans babies born out of wedlock, and unsupported by their fathers, the 35% the prison population that is black despite making up just 13% of the population, blacks committed half of homicides in the United States for nearly 30 years. DOJ statistics show that between 1980 and 2008, black people committed 52% of homicides. In 2013, black criminals committed 38% of the murders. Whites accounted for just 31 percent.