In spite of the deep unpopularity of reparations, the left periodically trots this issue out because there are few cards they enjoy playing more than the race card.
The issue of reparations took center stage in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday and, as expected, the Usual Suspects were standing at the ready with some familiar absolute moral authority cards to play against those who oppose the idea.
The main target of the left’s ire this week has been Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who was asked about the issue Tuesday. Here’s what he said:
“I don’t think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago for whom none of us currently living are responsible is a good idea,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters in response to a question about whether reparations should be paid or a public apology should be made by Congress or the President.
“We’ve tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation. We elected an African American president,” he said.
“I think we’re always a work in progress in this country but no one currently alive was responsible for that and I don’t think we should be trying to figure out how to compensate for it,” he said. “First of all, it’d be pretty hard to figure out who to compensate. We’ve had waves of immigrants as well come to the country and experience dramatic discrimination of one kind or another so no, I don’t think reparations are a good idea.”
Watch video of his comments below:
CNN‘s Don Lemon blasted McConnell Tuesday night:
CNN anchor Don Lemon took aim at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Tuesday night, arguing his opposition to the idea of reparations was “simple-minded and stupid.”
“To say no one is alive is dealing with that, ok, that’s an argument, that’s an excuse a lot of people use,” Lemon said. But no one minds taking advantage of the benefits they got from slavery and from Jim Crow.
“Maybe you should give back some of your wealth. Maybe you should give back your grandfather’s college degree, your great, great grandfather’s land that you were given,” he continued. “People weren’t there, but people reaped the benefits from it and that is the whole point of the matter.
“His argument is simple-minded, it’s stupid. I would say it’s — it comes from a position of privilege and probably one of bigotry as well,” he concluded.
Watch video of Lemon’s rant below:
@donlemon “No one seems to mind keeping the benefits they got from Slavery & Jim Crow. Maybe you should give back some of your wealth. Maybe you should give back your grandfather’s college degree. Maybe you should give back your great great grandfather’s land.” Reply to McConnell pic.twitter.com/t0FRBxuUT5
— Antonio Moore (@tonetalks) June 19, 2019
The following day, a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on reparations took place:
A House Judiciary subcommittee debated H.R. 40, a bill that would study how the U.S. would implement reparations to black Americans, amid a national conversation about what the federal government owes descendants of slaves. [Sen. Cory] Booker, writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and actor Danny Glover were among the witnesses who testified before the panel.
The panel took place on “Juneteenth,” a holiday which commemorates the day of emancipation for slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865, as well as the general emancipation of all slaves.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) said Wednesday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) comments this week in opposition to reparations for descendants of slaves displayed a “tremendous amount of ignorance.”
“You hear things like that, and talking about somehow electing Barack Obama was tantamount to reparations. Just leaving that alone — it’s hard to do that, frankly,” Booker told Sirius XM host Joe Madison Wednesday.
“I think that one of the big strikes of ignorance that he says there is that somehow this is about a compensation, in other words, writing a check to somebody and reducing the urgency of this conversation to simply that,” added Booker, who has introduced legislation to study the issue.
Not surprisingly, the knives were out for McConnell at the hearing – most notably from Ta-Nehisi Coates, the left’s favorite reparations advocate:
Coates, the author of “The Case for Reparations,” a 2014 Atlantic article that pushed discussions of reparations further into the national spotlight, argued that McConnell’s comments dismissed the very real impacts of slavery in America and ignored that many living black Americans directly experienced Jim Crow and other forms of legalized discrimination.
“For a century after the Civil War, black people were subjected to a relentless campaign of terror,” Coates said. “A campaign that extended well into the lifetime of Majority Leader McConnell.”
After describing the vast economy built on the backs of enslaved men and women and the “torture, rape, and child trafficking” they endured, Coates then listed several acts of racism and injustice against African Americans that occurred during McConnell’s youth.
Watch the speech Coates gave to the committee below:
Ta-Nehisi Coates criticizes Mitch McConnell over his comments on reparations: "For a century after the Civil War black people were subjected to a relentless campaign of terror, a campaign that extended well into the lifetime of Majority leader McConnell" https://t.co/UjZHiEHxbx pic.twitter.com/YUHZBpoTkg
— ABC News (@ABC) June 19, 2019
Naturally, the left and the mainstream media (but I repeat myself) fawned over Coates’s speech and how he managed to so eloquently take unnecessary cheap shots at those who oppose reparations.
But as well-spoken as Coates happens to be on the subject, his case for reparations is a “dead-end,” as Professor Jacobson pointed out in 2014 after Coates’s essay was published:
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.
In spite of the deep unpopularity of the idea, and despite the well-reasoned arguments of Prof. Jacobson and others like Kevin Williamson against reparations, the left periodically trots this issue out because there are few cards they enjoy playing more than the race card.
What better time to do it than in a crucial presidential election season? Several Democratic candidates have stated they are on board with studying ways for reparations to be implemented, and those who have previously expressed opposition have been – ahem – made to care about the issue.
Democrats are bringing this issue up at a time when they know it has no chance of passage in the Senate, and even assuming a Democrat wins the White House next year, the Senate likely will still be controlled by Republicans. So even then reparations wouldn’t stand a chance of passage.
Bringing up reparations at this point is just another way Democrats can shamelessly exploit the issue of race for political gain and give false hope of something happening that they know in reality will not for the foreseeable future. It’s another way they go about attempting to buy votes. They’ve done it in similar ways with women in the past. With the LGBT community. And also with the black community. It’s insulting, it’s dishonest and it’s not going to happen – and Democrats know it.
As to Booker’s criticism that McConnell said electing Obama was a form of reparations, he, too, is being dishonest. But then again, Booker has rarely come across a camera, microphone, or spotlight that he didn’t like. McConnell’s point in bringing up Obama’s election was to demonstrate we as a country had made significant racial progress.
This is something even David Axelrod acknowledged in a tweet from last night, even though his overall point was wide off the mark:
Kind of ironic to hear @senatemajldr cite the election of @BarackObama as a sign of racial progress in our country.
He’s right, of course, but no one did more to thwart Obama once he was there nor worked harder to defeat him.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) June 20, 2019
So in order to totally be on board with racial progress in politics you must agree with everything the politician says, too, I guess.
On this issue, Democrats are nothing if not predictable.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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