>I read this opinion piece from TheRoot.com.
It basically recounts the reaction from bloggers and pundits on the idea that Republicans, whose anti-immigrant wing of the Party are driving Hispanics to the Democratic Party, may be willing to support slave reparations in exchange of giving up affirmative action.
The argument originates from Bruce Bartlett, a former advisor to President Ronald Reagan and treasury official under President George H. W. Bush, who claims that the Republicans would do this just to get more votes. Blacks, Bartlett argues, have been written off by the Republican Party and is taken for granted by the Democratic Party (a whole other issue).
Blacks, according to Bartlett, would benefit by having the parties compete for their votes, thus comes the idea of Republicans trading reparations for affirmative action.
The commentator goes on to talk of two alternatives that would compensate blacks for the injustices their ancestors face: giving the victims of Jim Crow reparations (from Jonathan Rauch) or allowing blacks to live tax free for one generation (from Alan Keyes).
For the record, I don’t support monetary reparations. I don’t want any money from this government. No dollar amount can match what my ancestors went through during slavery and Jim Crow. No dollar amount can soothe the psychological pain that racism and sexism inflicts on blacks today.
What I would support is initiatives, with the combined efforts of the federal and state governments, designed to support the economic and educational mobility of blacks. Black students continue to be left behind in terms of education and blacks as a whole continue to be denied their fair share of the success pie.
As for trading reparations for affirmative action, it’s basic race pandering, to say the least. Studies have shown that blacks have not benefited from affirmative action. White women have been the main beneficiaries from affirmative action. So despite the claims that blacks students are taking the “spots” of white students in college applications and blacks are being hired solely based on their race, affirmative action remains to be a failure in creating a diverse working and educational environment. (Read here for more myths and truths).
How do you feel about slavery reparations? Yea or nay? Why? What do you think of the two proposals given by Rauch and Keyes? Would you accept money in exchange for giving up affirmative action?