Because the subject has come up several times with a variety of 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls, two weeks ago I wrote a long discussion on the need for and difficulties involved with implementing reparations for several of America’s past and current mistakes, and sins against its people.
So in summary, we’ve had 250 years of chattel racial slavery, followed by 100 years of racial terrorism and lynchings, sharecropping, black codes, Jim Crow, segregation, poll taxes, literacy tests, and the denial of voting rights. This was followed by another 50 years of a racially biased police and criminal justice system; red-lining; housing, lending, and job discrimination; voter suppression; white-flight; re-segregation; and a rapidly increasing wage and wealth gap.
And frankly, as bad as this is, the injustice and crimes that America rendered upon our Native American population is actually far, far worse than any of this and certainly should be addressed as well.
Reparations aren’t just about slavery itself (which again, didn’t technically end in 1868). It’s about all of this, all of these various issues of continued racial injustice and violence which have spanned more than 400 years.
Many people pointed out that this would likely spark a major backlash and that pushing this issue would likely guarantee a second term for Donald Trump. In reponse, I wrote a piece on the history of affirmative action, which documented how insufficient it has been as a form of reparations. Still, affirmative action has generated its own fairly rabid backlash and resistance during the past 50 years.
This week I will examine how even the smallest attempt to balance the scales, or even the most minor pubic statement by either a lawmaker or a movie star, can spark a virulent backlash—or white-lash if your prefer—of anger, umbrage, and outrage, which is completely out of all reasonable whack.
If they’re going to distort your position and come after you for being too #woke; being openly in support of #Black Lives Matter and #MeToo; admitting to being a #Social Justice Warrior (SJW); or supporting reparations, you might as well get ready for the white-lash and buckle up.
It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.