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Beto O’Rourke Flip Flops on Reparations, Tells Sharpton He’d Sign Jackson Lee Bill

Beto O’Rourke Flip Flops on Reparations, Tells Sharpton He’d Sign Jackson Lee Bill

O’Rourke is writing checks with his mouth that the American taxpayer can’t – and shouldn’t have to – cash.

It’s “Al Sharpton Primary” week in New York City, and many of the 2020 Democratic candidates for president have lined up to kiss the reverend’s ring at the annual National Action Network convention.

One in particular is Beto O’Rourke, failed candidate for U.S. Senate. In a flip flop from his earlier positions on the reparations issue, the former El Paso Congressman told the crowd in attendance Wednesday he’d be on board with signing a proposed reparations bill:

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke appeared Wednesday to back off his initial opposition to slavery reparations, saying he would support a bill in Congress to study and consider the payments.


Asked by Sharpton if he would back a measure introduced by Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a fellow Texan, O’Rourke answered, “absolutely I would sign that into law.”

The comments by O’Rourke represent an apparent shift on the issue for the White House contender.

Campaigning in Iowa last month, O’Rourke indicated he was not in favor of traditional reparations but stressed that it was crucial for the nation to confront the truth of how black people have been treated in America and that systematic racism exists in the country.

And a few days later, campaigning in New Hampshire, O’Rourke said: “I don’t believe… that [reparations] should be the primary or initial focus of the conversation.”

He explained his newfound support at the convention by dissecting the word “reparations” and suggesting that Americans don’t fully understand what the civil rights movement is about:

Later, O’Rourke said that he’d discussed the issue with Brian Stevenson, the executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative. “Foundational to reparations is the word repair, foundational to repair is the truth,” O’Rourke said.

“Until all Americans understand that civil rights” also involves “the injustices that have been visited and continue to be visited on people, we will never get the change that we need to live up to the promise of this country. So absolutely I would sign that into law,” he said.

Watch video of O’Rourke’s remarks on the issue below:

Sen. John Cornyn (TX) responded to O’Rourke’s pandering change of heart by noting that it’s unfair to make today’s taxpayers pay for something they didn’t do:

“There is no question that slavery is a scar on our history and a terrible, well, you could call it a sin that America engaged in back at our country’s founding,” he told Texas reporters on a weekly call. “But we’ve come a long, long way, obviously. And I don’t see the fundamental fairness in having taxpayers today pay for mistakes that were committed 200 years ago. This strikes me more as a way to try to appeal to the energized base of the Democratic Party rather than a serious effort to deal with racial inequality or the legacy of slavery.”

Legal Insurrection’s Professor Jacobson made similar points in his 2014 response to Ta-Nehisi Coates’s 15,000+ word piece advocating for reparations:

If you can’t answer the question of why a Vietnamese boat person has to pay reparations for the conduct of white plantation owners more than a century earlier, then you can’t make the argument.

If you can’t answer the question of why two successful black doctors living in a fashionable suburb should get reparations paid for by the white children of Appalachia, then you can’t make the argument.

If you can’t answer the question of why the adult black recent immigrant from Paris should be pay or be paid reparations based on the color of his skin for crimes committed in a land he did not grow up in, then you can’t make the argument.


And as if we have not thrown trillions at the problem, and sullied ourselves with engaging in more racism to remedy past racism.

Reparations is becoming a litmus test of sorts for the Democratic candidates. While they may be trying to appease their base voters in order to win their primary votes, expect a pivot to a more nuanced position from the eventual nominee. As I’ve written before on this topic, polling shows the idea is deeply unpopular with the American people, and for good reason.

–Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter.–


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JusticeDelivered | April 4, 2019 at 5:07 pm

These clowns are tripping all over themselves to piss off American voters. No reparations, and kill all the affirmative BS to make that point.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to JusticeDelivered. | April 4, 2019 at 5:58 pm

    Robert Francis O’Rourke even lies and flip-flops about his real name (just like Obama, just like Sand OC from Park Slope – home of thespians…).

    Please call him what his mama named him:
    Robert Francis O’Rourke
    whiter than dead Ted Kennedy.

My wife is a beautiful black lady born and raised in Africa, and we have a mixed-race biological son. Does either of them get reparations, or have to pay?

It is safe to say reparations (if they ever come to pass) will only go to well-heeled Democrat groups with the proper political connections. Average citizens regardless of race won’t get a penny.

    I’d go with Spike Lee…. the combined descendants of each documented slave can share/split up /whatever the mule and 40 acres some general promised each freed slave. I might even be generous and not deduct the cost of the war since is was initially over states’ rights or some such. This could bring more members in to 4-H and Future Famers of America! No sharecropping here, no sir… real farming, tilling the soil and getting back to nature. Also, tractors discourage drive by shootings. Inside of Southside of Chicago it will be the south 40 acres.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Recovering Lutheran. | April 4, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    I have known a number of contemporary black African immigrants, they are quite vocal about their disdain for American blacks.

    This will require DNA analysis.

    But, as a rule of thumb, any black American who arrived after the Civil War must pay reparations and they do not receive them.

    Since my family was in Sweden until after the Civil War, I have to pay reparations to victims of Viking Pillaging.

    This will require DNA analysis.

    But, as a rule of thumb, any black American who arrived after the Civil War must pay reparations and they do not receive them.

    Since my family was in Sweden until after the Civil War, I have to pay reparations to victims of Viking Pillaging.

Kevin Smith | April 4, 2019 at 5:34 pm

Baka O’Rourke is lying and pandering for votes and has no intention of honoring his fake promise of supporting reparations. Baka O’Rourke knows that the reparations bill will never pass either the House or Senate. Baka can then keep lying and pretending to support reparations without the risk of losing any of the fringe democrap votes.

rustyshamrock | April 4, 2019 at 5:47 pm

Yeah… let’s make people that never committed the wrong, make “reparations” to people that never suffered the harm. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it.

The “reparations” fantasy is so grotesquely un-American and obviously counterproductive that I’m starting to suspect that it’s part of a scheme to turn the Alt-right into a real political party.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to tom_swift. | April 4, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    Sounds just like a scheme someone by the name of Adolph would dream up…..

    Just sayin’…..

What if racism is not the primary reason blacks lag behind whites and Asians in most everything except certain sports? Could it be, because it is not PC to explore other reasons, that we are trying to solve a problem that has a fundamental flaw in its primary premise?

    aka Hoss in reply to Anchovy. | April 5, 2019 at 9:32 am

    People say they want a dialog on race, until you start asking some uncomfortable questions that require a little introspection.

I’m a little surprised that no sane Democrat has jumped into the race. There are untold number of “Sister Souljah” opportunities to take advantage of. Of course, the last thing I want is a Democrat that can win, so hopefully the crazies will remain in control of the party.

    94Corvette in reply to topcat69. | April 4, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    They are waiting for the moment that Michelle
    can jump into the race to save it for them.

    clintack in reply to topcat69. | April 4, 2019 at 6:46 pm

    The sane Democrats under 70 realize that 2024 will be a much better opportunity for them.

    No reason to spend 2020 getting the Biden treatment, when they can just keep out of the mudslinging this go-round.

“Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke appeared Wednesday to back off his initial opposition to slavery reparations, saying he would support a bill in Congress to study and consider the payments.”

Read what he said. He doesn’t say that he would sign a bill giving reparations. He supports a “study” and “consider the payments”. A true politician right there. Commit to nothing.

I’m always amazed at how gullible some people can be when they think that they heard what they want to hear. He only agreed to this to obtain endorsement from Al and his loony base. If the study recommends payments, I’m sure he would consider it. He would consider how much he will get of that pie!

The Friendly Grizzly | April 4, 2019 at 6:55 pm

I see it’s the start of the quadrennial Al Sharpton Ring-Kiss-Athon. .

Paul In Sweden | April 4, 2019 at 8:28 pm

I read this last month and found it interesting. The premise is to twist the constitutional protection against corruption of blood to prohibit any reparations. Granted there are problems which are stated in the article but it was an argument using corruption of blood. That is something that you do not come across every day.

Article Three, section 3, reads “The congress shall have power to declare punishment for Treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted.” In modern English, children and other relatives are not guilty of the crime of treason if they did not actively participate in it, and their assets cannot be taken except during the life of the convicted. Corruption of blood in the 1700s meant that the family of the convicted were no longer permitted to inherit, and so the entire estate forfeited to the crown.

Granted, this applies only to treason, but given how other parts of the Constitution have been interpreted and expanded, it seems reasonable that this should be treated in a similar fashion. If applied to chattal slavery as practiced in the colonies and later United States between 1640 and 1865*, then only those who have held others in involuntary servitude should be asked/forced to pay reparations. And being descended from a slave owner should not carry “corruption of blood.” If you inherited a painting, or a silver set, or part of a family fortune that started with your slave-owning ancestor, you should not be forced to sacrifice it to “make amends and atone the wrongs” done to the enslaved people.

–Corruption of Blood? | Cat Rotator’s Quarterly
-RETRIEVED-Fri Apr 05 2019 02:23:53 GMT+0200 (Central European Summer Time)

Robert “Panderer” O’Rourke. A more fitting nickname for this obsequious and inauthentic empty-suit apparatchik, than the ridiculous “Beto.”

Are the heirs of the slaves going to pay reparations to the Union soldiers families who sacrificed their lives to get freedom for the blacks?
Fair is fair.

O’Rourke standing with Sharpton: guilt by association.

I thought that the NFL and NBA are reparations for black people.

Pander on, Beeto, pander on…

I wouldn’t matter if you cut them all a check tomorrow. They’d blow through the found money and they’d still be lagging behind in certain economic/social categories. And you know the race-pimps would be back to say the initial reparation wasn’t sufficient and there needs to be a round two to get those folks to where they need to be.

“An election is an advance auction of goods yet to be stolen” — attributed to Ambrose Bierce.

OleDirtyBarrister | April 5, 2019 at 2:51 pm

The idea of reparations for slaves is growing on me.

Having ones valuable property taken away without compensation is entirely unfair. So the descendants of slave owners should be compensated for their value at the time of the government taking plus annual compounding interest of 8%.

I cannot wait to track down the descendants and get them to sign up for me to represent them on a contingency fee basis. I will be reasonable, charging 35% if I don’t have to litigate, 40% if I have to appear for a trial.

Keep me in mind!