I Am Myself Alone

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One of the things I did a lot, growing up in a village and seeing the unending generations stretching back — some in the village, in various houses, some in the nearby cemetery — was to think about ancestry.

Oh, not in the sense of eugenics, though that too a bit, as anyone who grew up in farm country.  But in the sense of “who was here before me?”

I still think that way a lot, hence the interest in historic fiction/non fiction, and in alternate history.

As far as I can tell we live in the world in slices of time.  The world I live in is not the world my grandmother lived in.  This also worries me a little, because I am one of those who believes the soul goes on, and I’d like to see grandma some day, but I’m not sure we’ll have any points of contact left, when we meet.  Not that it matters. I could sell years of life just to sit in grandma’s kitchen and have tea out of the good cups just once more (after I was about about twelve she insisted on bringing them out for me and the good “bought” cookies too. Sometimes Ferrero Rocher chocolates, since we both had a weakness for hazelnuts.) But I also realize it’s probably like a two year old worrying about what he’ll do for a living. I think on the other side of eternity things are so different they’re unimaginable to us, here on this side.

So, concerning ourselves with this side, which we know we have, we live in slices in time.  They overlap a little, and the physical circumstances make you think it’s all the same, but it’s not.  I suspect even people who died in the mid twentieth century, were they brought forward now, would find our world hard to understand.

Anyway, when you live surrounded by the leavings of other generations: Roman mines, medieval ruins; when your walks in the woods take you into abandoned farmhouses and millhouses, it’s impossible not to think in terms of ‘where I came from’.

And when you get to meet a lot of your ancestors, either in person (we’re a long-lived family. For the much younger child of a younger child, I still got to meet one of my great grandmothers.) or in others’ stories (grandma was as close to her grandma as I was to mine, and apparently the chain goes on, ad infinitum, and so do the stories.  It took me some time to realize stories of the napoleonic wars weren’t her grandmother’s but probably her granmother’s grandmother’s, though making sure of that would necessitate actually doing genealogy and I can’t be bothered.

But there was also talk about people in the village that went back generations.  How do I put this?  My mom’s grandmother for good and sufficient reason took off for Brazil with her husband’s best friend.  Not only were all her daughters carefully studied for evidence of flightiness, but her granddaughters had to prove they were extremely pious and well behaved (yeah, mom failed that so badly. I’m a pale copy compared to mom. Mom … well, mom is mom. And if G-d in his infinite wisdom hadn’t had her be born a girl in poverty in Portugal, she’d probably be supreme leader of the world by now) or they were tarred with their grandmother’s offense.  In fact the only reason I wasn’t (and I probably was a little. Only that explains the village thinking my geeky, solitary self was juggling foreign boyfriends and local ones too) is because mom moved to dad’s village, and I wasn’t in her neighborhood to be pointed out as “so and so’s granddaughter.”  It helps too that unlike mom’s family which tends to the small and lythe (at least until middle age) I took after dad’s family, which tend to be tall, ungainly and of elephantine proportions. So I was more Almeida than anything else.  Bookish, depressive, large, with a gift for words and just enough of mom’s nervous creative energy to run me into writing for good or ill.

You see that above? I thought of people in terms of heredity.  Not unbreakable heredity as the crazy eugenicists, no. Just heredity. Because mom’s family (not unusual for their genetic origin) throws out both morons and geniuses (though I think the morons were nutritional or probably disease. But I might be wrong.) And dad’s hovers from normal to genius and back again to normal and I’m not sure why.  And let’s not forget the village family that was low-normal (at best) until the farmer’s daughter met the proverbial city slicker.  Her child was a prodigy.  Was it his father?  No one remembered him as that brilliant.  Sometimes thing meet and spark in a different way. Genes, most of all. Hybrid vigor and all that.

I also grew up with a sneering disdain for the entire idea of races as separate entities, because even in the village I’d seen people who married black people from the colonies, and three generations later you couldn’t tell, and in three more it would be forgotten.

Recently I was shocked to find that your great grandkids might be only marginally related to you.  Two percent or so, at a level that is barely above other people in highly genetically connected regions, like the one I came from.  And my 23 and me report at the fourth level includes a lot of English, French and German people who aren’t aware of and don’t test for any Portuguese/Iberian ancestry. (Sure, ggggggggdaddy was a traveling man. Probably. Whoever the sod was. Like I know.)

It shocked me, because, as I said, in the village you thought in families.  In fact, if the village still existed and hadn’t long since been subsumed into a suburb of Porto, overwhelmed with stack a prol apartments filled with “foreigners” (anyone from more than ten miles away) my kids could walk down the main street without introduction or explanation and be pointed to the family houses because “they’re Almeida right enough.” (Curiously, other than being a lot taller, they also have the same characteristics as my husband’s family.  Since he recently got 2% Portuguese on his 23 and me test, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop and determinedly staying out of “your relatives” page. Because. Look, that’s the other thing you know, growing up in a village.  Everyone is cousins, it’s the degree that matters.)

Of course, your descendants can also have a lot more of your DNA.  The shuffle is kind of random, and we’re in the early days of figuring out what is what, and where heredity fits in.

All this to say that it doesn’t matter.

Because, you know what? Even if you’re as close to an ancestor as to be them come again (sometimes with a sex change.  If older son hadn’t been born while grandma was still alive, and got to meet her, I’d be a convert to the idea of reincarnation.  In the same way, my younger son is as much my dad as someone can be while being a different person. If he’s seen dad for more than a cumulative two months (maybe) over his lifetime, I’d say he’d just modeled himself on dad. As is, nothing explains it except very odd genetics.) you live in a very different world.

Perhaps the world is more different for my kids and my parents than it would be normal, because immigration came in in the middle, as well as tech innovation.  Maybe.  But I think my world is that much different than grandma’s, and always was even before I came here. Look, grandma had gone to the city 20 minutes away by train a total of five or six times by the time I was in my teens.  And I lived there except for sleeping. Yes, she read a lot, but it in her day it was “books suitable for young ladies” not the kind of thing I read… No judgement, just completely different.

So, even allowing heredity a lot of influence, even in the fifty some years between grandma’s birth and mine, the world had changed a lot.  And the way it changed allowed me a range of options (college!) a village girl of grandma’s time never had.  It closed others too, by societal disapproval.  My parents would have been rather miffed if I had the grades for college prep and chose to marry in the village and work with my hands.

Our starting ideas, our options, the food we ate, everything we learned at that age before we’re fully conscious of learning, was different. Even if you grant the exact same innate interests and abilities (I don’t, I knew grandma. We were similar, but not anywhere near the same) the result would be very different.  And not just in opinion but in impulse and the basic way of processing the world. (I got a good dose of mom’s temper.)

Which means, while I was very aware of my ancestors, and it amused me to find a resemblance in a portrait, or to be told I was just like paternal grandad’s mom (not the flighty one, the terrifying one, who could knit an entire sweater in an evening and kept her daughters in law in fear and awe)  I knew whatever characteristics of her I had, I wasn’t her.  She was in the cemetery, in a very handsome family tomb, before I was even a gleam in daddy’s eye.

So.  Reparations.

There is no doubt, if you read history, that people in the past treated other people very badly.  We still do, too, but I guess it’s much more awful when society is not quite so affluent and when being on the bottom can mean starving to death.  It is impossible to read history, particularly primary sources, and not to be horrified.

But part of that is that we’re imposing our values on the past. Look, history is looked at backwards, while we live forward.  Take slavery (I don’t want it.)  Yes, it was a horrible institution. It was also pervasive in human history, and as far as we can tell pre-history, world without end. Hell, still is in well, considerably less of the world than it was, but in Africa it’s pretty much still a thing, and not just in Arab countries.

Romans had complex rules to deal with it, and lived in fear of slave revolts.

It required mental gymnastics, because it was obvious to anyone that slaves were as human as their masters, and so a complex set of rules and philosophical separations were instituted and once any idea of the equality of man (or that man ought to be equal before the law (and G-d) the whole thing was doomed, sooner or later.

Americans tend to have a bizarre idea that slavery was always by race. I blame public school. I don’t know if it’s deliberately obscured, to emphasize the specialness of racial victimhood, or just because race and slavery are so associated in American history that it overshadows everything else. (Yes, again, is it malice or stupidity? Perhaps we should formulate an axiom that sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from malice.)

Men and women of all colors were enslaved throughout history.  Heck, in the peninsula, in the long centuries in which it was a frontier between Christian and Moor, the slaving went on both ways.  One of my favorite medieval “songs” starts with “To war, to war oh moors, I want a Christian slave.”  The person speaking is a Christian “queen” married to a moorish “king” (whatever that meant at the time) who doesn’t trust her moorish slaves not to poison her, and so wants a Christian slave.  (Yes, the story goes on to have her sister be captured and enslaved. Never mind.)

Roman slaves were often blond, and the citizens often of African origin. But even there, it wasn’t tied to race. (Though celts were apparently in general fairly cheap, from what I can figure.)

So. All of us have slave ancestors. ALL OF US.  All of us have slave owners in our ancestry.

Even in the US — though rare — there were black slave owners.  And if you’re going to parse quadroons and octaroons who might very well be slaves, you’re going to assume race is one-drop but only for non-white races.

Again, reparations.  In the twentieth century. For evils done to people who looked vaguely like people alive today and who might or might not be their ancestors.

No? Then what? Are we going to institute a policy that everyone has to prove they have a slave ancestor? No, not every black person in the US does. Obama, for instance, mostly has slave owners in his ancestry (probably having nothing to do with his attraction to Marxism, but permit me an amused smirk.)

And there were a lot of black immigrants, too, in the last almost century. Who had no slave ancestors in the US.

Only the left who thinks in tribes (because it’s easier to make tribes into client groups, than to make individuals into serfs) could think “reparations” makes any sense.

Do black people in America as a whole suffer from the after-effects of slavery?

What? Compared to what and to whom?

Only a philosophy who thinks of people as widgets can think it’s possible for everyone to start out tabula rasa and that those of us who aren’t VISIBLY minority (well, I read minority, but that’s a whole other story having to do with the government breaking people into categories) have some kind of advantage at the get go.

We’re all individuals. What advantage did I have coming in, away from family, friends and all possible connections and at a time it was a pain to even get my education certified? Or for that matter, what advantage did I have, when most people have truly bizarre ideas about Portugal, (including but not limited to thinking it’s a country in South America.)

What advantage did my husband have, setting out into math and computer programing? His parents were not particularly interested in any of his interests. He had no head start.

Sure, a lot of people do start out ahead, with inheritance, but weirdly that doesn’t tend to help in the long run (Heinlein’s dictum about making your children’s life too easy would seem to apply.) And a lot of people start out with nothing and either climb, or more likely, stay at nothing.

None of which, in this year of our Lord 2019 seems to have anything to do with the color of your skin, or at least not in America.

If reparations made any sense, as in compensating you for the psychological wounds done to your ancestors that still hamper your progress/ability to thrive (okay, it’s unlikely but possible. Families as well as countries have cultures, and it influences you very early on) how far would they have to go. Does the baneful influence of past enslaving/oppression vanish? when does it vanish? How many generations? Should I demand the people who happen to live in Rome compensate me for some long-distant enslaved Celtic or Greek ancestor?  No? How about I present a bill to Saudi Arabia for the enslaving of my ancestors? Do people now living in Portugal but descended from slaves get to present me a bill for the enslaving of their ancestors, presuming one of my ancestors was a slaver captain (maybe. I don’t know of any, and we weren’t at the societal level where we’d have a lot of slaves. But according to some accounts of 18th century Portugal even beggars had slaves), or do I get to present some other Portuguese people the bill for presumed slave ancestors?

Or how about, given the mating habits of slave owners, just pass money from one pocket to the other and pat ourselves on the back?

It is time we say enough is enough. Yes, America as founded had slavery. Yes, it was an awful thing.  Yes, people bled and died to end the institution.  Are we going to let the guilt mongers destroy the best thing on Earth in the name of that long ago — and expiated — sin?

Or are we going to tell them shove it, and take a long walk off a short pier?

Black, white, yellow and possibly pink pokadotted, Americans are Americans. Isn’t it enough to stop all the crazy obsession with race and the past, and instead now — at least four generations after anyone was enslaved — look at people as people? How about we yes admit that the past had horrible things in it, but also consider so does the present. We’re all human and tainted by the fact that we’re living forward and we can’t see injustices the future might find glaring.

Instead of standing in judgement of our ancestors, let’s absolve them. They were just human, doing the best they could. Sure, some were outright villains, but they’re gone now.

Our sins are ours alone, and we can only account for those.

What sense does it make to hold people whose ancestors weren’t even here back at that time for the sins of other people who looked vaguely like them? Or to consider people perpetual victims because they look like people who were victimized in the past.

I will gladly pay reparations to any slave I’ve ever owned.

I will demand no reparations for things done to my ancestors who were not me.  And while I feel great sympathy for the great grandmother who took off for Brazil (her husband was a loon and inordinately fond of axes and menacing) I am not her. Her oppression and the terrible decision she made were not mine.  All she contributed to me, besides a little bit of genetic material at the maybe 4th cousin level, is she might have given the village reason to get really creative with gossip about me.  Which in the end harmed me not at all and provided some minutes of amusement every time it was brought up.

I am not my ancestors. Nor are you.  Ancestral guilt is a lie used by would-be rulers to keep the serfs in line. It is they who ought to feel ashamed and guilty of trying to bind free men and women with the shackles of heredity, of a past they had no say upon, of a skin color they did not choose.

They, these would be masters of our fate, are in fact the same old evil in a new shiny package. (And again, it’s probably just coincidence that so many are descended of slave owners, but I’m allowed to smirk.)

We owe them nothing, except a “Leave me alone.”  Nothing. They have no power over any of us, whatever our skin color.

We are Americans and therefore inheritors to freedom.  They can take all those shackles and shove them where the sun don’t shine.

The shackles don’t fit. They never will.

270 responses to “I Am Myself Alone

  1. Reparations. Another scam to enrich one faction of the multi-sided socialism bingo game.

    A pox upon the lot of them.

    The future belongs to the Republic of Get Off My Lawn.

  2. Anyone who thinks they have to “atone” for the sins of their ancestors is mentally ill. Seriously. I once had a white college-kid tell me that “all white people are guilty of slavery!” I first laughed at him, and then told him to get his head out of his ass and try to actually learn something. I told him my (white) ancestors came from Poland, and that they not only did NOT own any slaves, but they were trying to keep from being enslaved by the Germans or Russians.

    For that matter, I also (long ago) repudiated the idea of “Original Sin.” I have told God that I am NOT responsible for the sins of anyone who came before me (and He agrees!) Yes, I will take responsibility for my own sins, but not for anyone else’s sins!

    • They’re telling the kids this. That all white people everywhere have always oppressed all black people and enslaved them. It’s lunacy. Slavery went both ways. Still does, in Africa.

      • Yep. Some of my maternal ancestors were indentured servants, brought to the colonies because they were cheap and if one died, hey! No major investment lost there (unlike a chattel slave). And given how people around the world have and still do practice various forms of unfree servitude, I don’t think anyone’s got a claim on anyone else, with the exception of here-and-now. If a Yazidi woman wants to take her pound of flesh out of an ISIS banker, I’ll help.

        • If a Yazidi woman wants to take her pound of flesh out of an ISIS banker, I’ll help.

          It is one thing to suggest that persons who were directly effected by actions such as the seizure of property or person without criminal due cause and process should be provided with reparations. It is altogether another to suggest that seven generations or simple resemblance should justify. That is how you get a Serbia.

          • “That is how you get a Serbia.”
            Exactly. And it seems to be exactly what the proggie reparations fans want. Everyone at each others’ throats.

          • “That is how you get a Serbia.”
            Exactly. And I believe that is exactly what the proggie fans of reparations for slavery want — everyone at everyone elses’ throat.
            Be careful of what you ask for – as you just might get that.

      • They told us that when I was in school in the 1960s and 1970s, with heavy trowel-loads of “white guilt” and original sin.

        The propaganda has been in the system for a long time.

      • In all the leftist rhetoric, replace the word “white” with “Jew” and one can see what the left is saying is often identically verbatim to what actual real Nazi’s said in the 1920s, 30s and 40s.

    • Aye, there are no original sins – and it’s not like folks haven’t been trying!

    • “all white people are guilty of slavery!”

      Well, yes. Same as all brown/blackpurple people. So what?

      • Ah, but this is the same group who will tell you that ONLY white people can be racist, shortly followed by ALL white people (except them more often than not)

    • For that matter, I also (long ago) repudiated the idea of “Original Sin.” I have told God that I am NOT responsible for the sins of anyone who came before me (and He agrees!) Yes, I will take responsibility for my own sins, but not for anyone else’s sins!

      *theology geek hat*

      You’re not guilty of their sin. They threw a rock through the window, it shattered, that is their sin alone.

      Doesn’t mean that the window isn’t broken, just means that you aren’t at fault for it; we still have to clean up the mess and figure out how to block the window.

      Interestingly enough, one of the things that the God of Israel did that scandalized His people and the metaphorical neighbors was informing people that the sins of the father were not those of the son, and the other way around. (Ezekiel 18:20)

      *removes theology geek hat*

    • I’ve seen variations of this online, where someone trying to gotcha you is placing words into your virtual mouth, and blaming you for the actions of others, because collectivism.

      And they howl really, really loud when you reverse it on them.

  3. As part Irish, should I demand reparations for the Irish slaves and indentured servants in the US? That I know of, none of my ancestors were in that group. There may have been in Ireland. So should I demand reparations from the English – or maybe the Scots? Who knows. But the idea quickly reaches the realm of ridiculous.
    I think you’re right. It is the sons and daughters of former slave owners who seek to emulate their ancestors social practices. I won’t go along with it.

    • Not to mention Celts sold into slavery by the Romans.

    • I’m Jewish; I’m still awaiting reparations for my ancestors uncompensated labor building those effing pyramids. I reckon the compounded interest on that should make me and mine owners of Egypt, so it is no wonder we haven’t yet started collection proceedings.

      Then there’s the payment due for confiscated property in Iberia …

    • I’m part Irish and part English. Does the English part of me owe the Irish part reparations for the generations of oppression of the Irish?

      Think it through enough and it soon becomes silly.

      • My German side is from Protestants in the south and along the Rhine. Who do I send the bill to for their sufferings? Spain? Austria? Maybe just send it to the Pope and let him sort it out…

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          And the Pope will likely reduce the “reparations” due to the sufferings of Catholics in Protestant areas. 😈

          • And we can both then pay off the Jews. I’m quite sure that many of my ancestors were far, far from saints – and joined the “fun” when pogrom season came around.

            Much simpler, of course, to just have everyone keep their own “ancestral” money, however acquired by those ancestors. But that wouldn’t allow for large slices to be carved off by lawyers, bureaucrats, and “advocates” – which is the real purpose of every one of these schemes.

            • I don’t know about you, but I suspect most of us have no ancestral money. What they want is our “white privilege.” Or perhaps I have Latin privilege.
              They can still gaze lovingly on my middle fingers. I have a matched set.

              • Oh, many of my ancestors (German, Irish, English, Scottish) probably had money – we noticed that a lot of them “went off to warre.” So, loot most likely.

                Which probably went straight into drink, gambling, and women of ruined virtue. I think that is a big factor for most of my family having come to America early; they had to get out of the country for one reason or another.

              • is it bad i was waiting for The Presentation Of The Middle Fingers?

            • Don’t forget the Jews weren’t exactly nice to those nasty new-guy heretics, either. (Remember St. Paul’s original job.)

              Oh, gads, and the Romans…..

              • Unlikely any of my ancestors, though. The one region we never traced anyone to was the Eastern Med.

                Blond haired and blue eyed Roman slaves, on the other hand – fair chance of that.

                Of course, I could be wrong; someday I might have the “mad money” to get the testing done to see. Hasn’t mattered all that much to me, as my basic attitude is like Sarah’s.

              • Actually, the Romans didn’t care until those Christian heretics proved as sticky about worshiping the divine Caesar as their parent sect…..

                https://www.poetryloverspage.com/poets/kipling/gallios_song.html

                “Were it a question of lawful due
                Or Caesar’s rule denied,
                Reason would I should bear with you
                And order it well to be tried;
                But this is a question of words and names,
                I know the strife it brings.
                I will not pass upon any your claims.
                I care for none of these things.”

                • Actually, the Romans didn’t care until those Christian heretics proved as sticky about worshiping the divine Caesar as their parent sect…..

                  ???? Not sure how that’s a correction?

                  Far as the Romans cared, we were just yet another flavor of Jew.

                  • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                    IIRC At first the Romans thought of Christians as “just another sect of Jews” but as Christianity spread outside of the “tribe” of Jews, we lost what ever “cover” Jews had for “not worshipping the gods of the Roman State (including the Emperors)”.

                    Judaism was a “known group” but as we became (to Roman minds) not just a sect of Judaism, we entered “strange territory” to Romans.

                    They were sure how to take us (especially since we gained members among the slaves & other lower classes) and our refusal to worship the gods of the Roman State caused some problems in their minds.

                    • If I remember the theory correctly, it was that we WANTED converts.

                      The whole thing where we had a bunch of girls (picked up on the hillside) and kids tended to take mom’s faith didn’t help.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Could be.

                      Adding to that thought, the Jewish Dietary Practices and male circumcision made it less likely that Romans/Greeks would want to convert to Judaism.

                      IIRC Many of the early Gentile converts to Christianity were people who found G*d more attractive than the Roman/Greek gods but didn’t want to be circumcised or follow the Jewish Dietary Practices.

                      Going along with what you said, the numbers of Christians were growing faster than the number of Jews.

                      A few “nut-cases” (by Roman standards) weren’t a problem, but a group of “nut-cases” that was growing faster than the other “nut-cases” were seen as a problem.

        • Start with the group that will give you the largest payout, then “identify” with the next on the list after you get the first check.

          If “African reparations” ever becomes a thing, I’m *totally* getting my share. All my ancestors still came from somewhere in central Africa according to accepted collegiate texts. Just because some of them became melanin-deficient after migrating (migrants GOOD!) to Ireland and Scotland doesn’t mean they’re not of African descent. I want my melanin-deficient diversity celebrated and the blancophobic racists punished for their badthink. And, of course, the money…

          Where will the money come from? Simple, stupid! “You just pay for it…”

      • Russians would owe Finns quite a lot, although no hope of ever getting anything out of them. When it comes to slaves: Greater Wrath about 300 years ago, an occupation of Finland, then part of Sweden, by Russians. They took, at some estimation, about 10 000 Finns away to be slaves, a lot of them children. A few thousand returned after Russia and Sweden reached a treaty and Sweden got most of Finland back.

    • I think we should demand reparations from black folks for drafting of our Irish ancestors to fight in the Civil War. Think of it–you escape from the same type of slavery-like conditions in Ireland, get to the New World, and are immediately drafted into a war to go free a bunch of people you’ve never met, who are valued more than you are (being property, they have value to their owners in the way that the Irish were not of value to absentee landlords), even though your family is likely still being subjected to the same sort of thing back in the Old Country.

      And then, the descendants of those same folks are now being told that everything is their fault and they cannot possibly imagine the depths of terribleness of the institution.

      Then there’s the fact that the entire discussion leaves off the Barbary Coast pirates and the slave raids they conducted. Only European raids of sub-Saharan Africa count, you see. Because only Europeans have moral agency.

      • I guess those of us with ancestors who voluntarily joined up would get nada.

        What to people get it their ancestors served as voluntary replacements for richer guys? Or if they were the richer guys who paid?

        What about Confederate draftees and replacements?

        • You realize I’m not serious, right? But, it has just as much justification as any other demand for reparations. Which is the point.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Only European raids of sub-Saharan Africa count

        If such raids existed, they were the exception not the rule as Europeans were buying slaves from Black Africans.

        Why go to the trouble of sending troops to “steal” Blacks to be slaves when other Blacks will do the hard work for you?

        • Not just that, but malaria killed most whites who ventured into Africa.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            True.

            Of course, the assholes don’t want to admit that Black Africans were strongly involved in the Slave Trade.

            • That only makes Europeans worse, suborning African Blacks into the corrupting practice of taking slaves, waging war upon their brothers for the meagre rewards given by those terrible Whites. Just so have modern Whites corrupted African-Americans by making them their agents in the drug trade, viciously giving them scads of off the books money to encourage their obtaining, transporting and retailing drugs to wealthy White suburbanite teens.

        • “If such raids existed, they were the exception not the rule as Europeans were buying slaves from Black Africans. ”

          Thus the reason for slavery of black Americans are those who stayed in Africa. They need to go there to seek compensation … After all that is where the money went. Who is selling the popcorn for watching that?

          We know someone is going to come back & state “but they wouldn’t have sold their “brothers” (cough, cough, enemies) without someone willing to buy them.”

          Ans: “Without someone to buy your ancestors, they would have been killed by their (so called) brethren.”

          That is how tribalism works. Enslave or kill the other tribe. FYI. They might enslave the teen girls & boy. Warriors, most women, & most children & babies would be killed outright.

          Conclusion — go to Africa for your compensation. Go. Don’t let the door slam on your ass on the way out.

    • Of course if you go back further, you find the Irish also having British slaves (most notably St Patrick, as legend has it anyway). I am Irish with an English/Scots husband, and it’s anyone’s guess which set of ancestors enslaved or otherwise mistreated each other more, or who owes whom reparations.

      (although in practice most of our ancestors were most likely ordinary peasants whose major concern was trying not to starve, rather than going around oppressing or enslaving anyone).

  4. you live surrounded by the leavings of other generations

    Years ago I received a copy of The Twelve Caesars (thanks, history Book Club; I forget which author) and quickly discovered that in order to understand it I needed (much) better grounding in Rome’s history ante. So I got a good transcription of Livy and read it, by which time I had mislaid The Twelve Caesars and to this day have not read it.

    But I did learn an appreciation for how little human nature and social conflict have changed over twenty-five centuries. People on the bottom (Proles) still complain about privileges accorded the aristos, aristos still gripe about their greater share of the burden for the cost of the state, politicians still play one against the other and take whatever they can graft from both sides. The tale of Caius Marcius Coriolanus rings as true today as it did in Shakespeare’s times and when Livy first put it on parchment.

    Of course, such understanding of the immutable facts of human nature is not encouraged these days as it tends to engender skepticism about anybody’s ability to “make a better world” through social engineering.

  5. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Apparently Idiot Warren is talking about “reparations” for American Indians.

    Of course, there’s the “harm” done by Spain, Portugal, France, and other European countries. 😈

  6. I’m too poor to make reparations.

  7. I think the morons were nutritional or probably disease. But I might be wrong.

    Reading the news about the utterings of many of today’s “geniuses” (I’m looking at you, Lawrence Tribe, and you, Richard Posner) I am inclined to accept an argument that genius and moron are not mutually exclusive categories.

    • There is a very special kind of idiocy indulged in by the highly intelligent and (usually) highly educated. I’ve generally called it Ivory Tower Syndrome. When I’m being polite.

      • That is honestly what “sold” the character of Tony Stark/Ironman for me.

        He makes the kind of utterly moronic mistakes you’ve got to be very, very smart to indulge in.

        • Lord yes. Dan and I had a saying “if our kids are brilliant, what are the other kids like” Eh.

          • I recall Freshman English in college, when I struggled against feeling wholly inadequate for the effort required to compose a proper one-page essay — then came the day the teacher had us swap papers about and read what others were doing.

            O. M. F. G!

            Of course, the conclusion I reached was not that I am brilliant (that discovery came somewhat later) but I was head, shoulders, waist and hips above the rest of the class. But just being the tallest in the room does not a giant make you.

            • Just about every discussion question in my online classes. Me: well researched, cited statements with proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation, as well as professional language and well-reasoned arguments. Everyone else: not ANY of those things. I will at least give some of the kids some slack, but many of my compatriots are mid-career professionals just as I am. But can’t write professionally to save their lives.

    • Regardless of cause, Judge Posner is still a moron . . .

    • Looks at younger son. Often.

  8. As a first generation USAian, I refuse to consider reparations for something done by people who could not possibly have been related to me in any way other than being human.

    Furthermore, since my Australian ancestors didn’t move there until long after convict labor was available and stuck to the cities and established towns when they did, neither I nor my ancestors have any responsibility for the undeclared war against the Australian aboriginal people or the convicts (who were, functionally, slaves).

    Frankly, since an awful lot of my ancestry appears to be a mix of Celtic/Viking and crypto Jewish, I should be paying myself reparations from the 900AD invasion of the Isle of Man, but owed reparations from just about anyone else.

    Which is, not to put too fine a point on it, so much bullshit you could fertilize the corn belt with it.

    • I just laughed out loud. Ummm we may have some distant ancestors. As for the invasion of the Isle of Man, I bet I should be paying myself reparations too. 😀

  9. I am an American mutt. Not entirely sure of all the various particulars of the ancestry, but there are European lines on both side of my family that arrived here long before the Revolution. Don’t know how mixed they may or may not have become along the way. Do know that they represented all, um, class levels when they arrived. (I also have family that made it out of Europe more recently, which was good for they were targeted for systematic extinction… but that is another issue.)

    At any rate, I fully expect that if I were to undergo the appropriate DNA tests we would discover that I owed myself reparations.

    • Ditto. Only thing I’m sure of is no “native aborigine”; I think …

      • iirc most of my great grandparents were not even in North America before the Civil war. Those ancestors who were, resided in Canada.

        • We have very good family histories available, starting with when various ancestors set foot on this continent. Dad’s side missed the Civil War entirely, coming here from Ireland in the 1880’s. Mom’s side has been here since the 17th century, mostly in Canada (where there are streets and statues, I’m told) then migrating south of the border just in time to fight on the losing side of the Revolutionary War.

          I checked my 23andMe and Ancestry reports, moved $5 from one pocket to the other, and declared reparations complete.

          Then bought a taco, because cultural appropriation is delicious.

          • Two great grandfathers on dad’s branch came here from England and Czech lands, mom’s side had some come earlier but via Canada, or about the same time. One great grandma is a bit harder a story to track down.

            • Both sides of the family, for the most part, were well established on the east coast, participating on the winning side of Revolutionary War, except for one great grandfather who came over from Scotland “more recently”; where that is defined as late 1800’s, through Canada. Everyone decamped the east coast for points west well before the ACW. Some to Montana. Some to Oregon. None of them owned Slaves. Oregon crowd was against the Oregon law preventing non-European from taking up homesteads & owning land. That they pissed off the demorats (who had a contingent head south to join the southern cause) enough to lose their own homestead, is well established family (& legal) history. Me & mine owe jack s*** for reparations to anybody.

              Besides I think the very early immigrants are pulling reparations gleefully from the more recent idiots (casinos) to the point that they are declining & de-registering anyone without verifiable tribal membership.

  10. From ‘Free and Equal Blues’ regarding the chemical makeup of the average human:

    “iron, 57 grains.”
    Not enough to keep a man in chains.

    And:

    Why, those men who think they’re noble
    Don’t even know that the corpuscle is global
    Trying to disunite us with their racial supremacy,
    And flying in the face of old man chemistry,
    Taking all the facts and trying to twist ’em,
    But you can’t overthrow the circulatory system.

    Or, as Mad Mike put it regarding reparations, “So, how much am I supposed to pay myself?”

    Oh, my kind? We’re happy to not deal with Olympus. Ambrosia is for suckers.

  11. “Or are we going to tell them shove it, and take a long walk off a short pier?”

    Over the Grand Canyon as far as I’m concerned. No “reparations” for anyone regardless of where they came from (local or not) based on ancestral history.

    Okay. If you had items stolen in WWII & they are recoverable, yes, you or your decedents should be able to recover those items, or even money stashed away in Swiss banks. But “just because”, heck now. Will go as far as HE!! no.

    Don’t remember who it was, or if maybe it was even fiction, but there was a celebrity who went to find his ancestral roots. The region where they were raided & sold into slavery from. His take “Thank god he & his were American.”

    I agree with Rusty above. Repudiated the concept of original sin a long time ago. I believe every new child is “new hope” for the future. Children do not bear the sins of their parents, let alone their ancestors. Every aborted child is a loss of that new hope, but that is someone else’s burden to bear; not mine.

    I too am more aware than most of ancestor stories. We still intern any family member who wishes in the .8 acres heritage cemetery between Drain & Yoncolla Oregon, on part of the old Jesse Applegate homestead. My paternal grandparents, great-grand, all the way back to Jesse & his wife, including my dad (& someday mom) are buried there. I suspect I will be too with my husband (provided he goes first … shh, don’t tell him that). Do not know what my son will ultimately choose; I hope to not be around then.

    • I’ve a cousin who is working on returning items stolen from Jews during WWII.

      • Elf scandalized a relative by suggesting he check a WWII relic “Samurai sword” against the registry for the lost blades.

        Elf’s great-grandfather brought the sword back, the guy was dead before Elf’s dad was around even; it’s cool, but…giving a now ally some honor is good, too.

        • yeah, some were historic, others were just tossed out asap.

        • An argument can be made that under the Samurai philosophy, that one who takes a Samurai sword in combat has earned the right to keep that sword as a token of winning honorable combat.

        • I think I’ll keep the Japanese bayonet Dad got in Okinawa. AFAIK, there was a pile of stuff left after surrender; the USAAF officers had first pick, but the enlisted got something. Dad was non-combatant (draftsman), but he did keep his issue USG bayonet.

          • Oh, it’s not all the war-trophy stuff– the Lost Swords is an incredibly tiny group.

            Even more romantic, a lot of them weren’t used for WWII; they were ancestral swords turned over during the surrender, usually as a public act of “no, really, we’re done”.
            …I highly suspect a lot of them walked right out the back door, but what do I know. It would be incredibly dishonorable to admit it had happened, if it did.

    • Thank god he & his

      That was, IIRC, a Washington Post reporter who spent much of the Nineties as their African correspondent. He wrote a book. It has (probably) been memory holed and he fitted with new lenses.

  12. in Africa [slavery]’s pretty much still a thing, and not just in Arab countries.

    A strong argument can be made that it is still a thing in China — although I suppose one could make a superficial argument that, in communist countries, it is not “slavery” since all people are property of the state, not of individuals. I expect the lash tastes the same for all that.

    As for reparations, any argument that requires some poor scion of Appalachian hillbillies to give money to Spike Lee fails the laugh test.

  13. From somewhere/one on Twitter (or Gab)… [paraphrased]

    Since black people in the USA generally live at a much better level than those in Africa, how much should they be paying in reparations?

    • Or how much dies an African owe for selling enemy captives to the Arabs who sold them to whites?
      For that matter, the first legal case of a slave and owner in the colonies was a black who owned a servant

    • In the early oughts my brother was part of one of the aid missions to Kenya. He was a USAF cargomaster.

      His work was much harder than it should have been. He looked like an SS recruiting poster – 6’2, pale, blue eyes, blond hair. The Kenyans were fine with that. They were okay with the Hispanic airmen. But the locals would attack the black airmen on sight, screaming things like “You fools, you have everything, and you throw it away!” So the black airmen had to stay in nearby building while the rest of the crew ran short-handed.

      These were trained, uniformed airmen trying to do their jobs, not hip-hop gangbangers. But Kenyans’ take on whatever American mass media they were getting didn’t slice that fine; any more-or-less Negroid features were enough to set them off.

  14. Incidentally, I think your math on genetic impact is slightly off. Each parent contributes roughly 50% of the DNA of the first generation offspring. So, your genetic contribution to Generation 1 is 50%. Your genetic contribution to the grandkids (blood only, no adoption included) is roughly 25%. Great grandkids are 12.5% (assuming no intermarriage between the descendants to re-up that percentage). To get down below the 2% mentioned, you need to go roughly 6 generations out with the no intermarriage between cousins rule being strictly followed.

    Of course, there are 2 major exceptions to the DNA being passed down. The DNA passed down in the Y chromosome is not subject to the normal blending rules. Mutations are possible, but the Y chromosome remains remarkably stable as you go down the various male lines. Similarly, the DNA in the mitochondria are similarly stable and passed down solely from the mother’s line (and note that the mother’s line determines the mitochondrial DNA for both male and female children as only the mother’s mitochondria make it into a fertilized embryo to the best of our current knowledge – with a couple of very rare exceptions where the process of eliminating Dad’s mtDNA may have gone wrong).

    • What Sarah was talking about wasn’t averages. You contribute roughly 50% of the DNA to your child. Your child contributes roughly 50% of his DNA to your grandchild, but there’s no guarantee that that 50% is composed of 50% your DNA. In the extreme case, that 50% of your child’s DNA could be 100% your partners, making it so none of your DNA made it into the grandkid. Even if that’s statistically unilkely, it’s distinctly possible that more of the DNA of one grandparent than the other made it in. If that patterns continued a couple of generations, 2% doesn’t strike me as at all unreasonable.

      Though, as you say, this analysis is ignoring the mitochondrial DNA, which a mother will always pass down.

      • I suppose Heinlein might have made those calculations. Time for the Stars, and identical (I think they were, but not quite sure, a couple of decades since I last read that one) twin brothers with a telepathic bond, one leaves, one stays on Earth. Not FTL travel, but relativistic. Finally when the ship comes back the not much aged brother marries his great grand niece.

        • And I never had problems with that scenario, btw, but did with the situation in one of Mary Stewart’s romantic mysteries. The romantic couple in the story are cousins. Whose parents – I think it was fathers, and also fathers, not grandfathers, and they were first cousins – are identical twins. THAT is way too closely related for a love affair in a romantic mystery story. However the fact that she used it does seem to very clearly show one thing – that mores were rather different in the 60’s than they are now, because to use that relationship in that kind of book probably means it was NOT particularly controversial at the time.

          • In the USA, those laws are passed by the member states. The degree of blood relationship that would prevent a marriage varies quite a bit. And in some states, even a de jure relationship with no genetic commonality (adoption, remarriage, etc.) may count.

            • IIRC, the genetic laws were relatively new, the older ones recognized blood, but also what they’d now call power complications or something. Basically, marrying your step-mom is Not Healthy.

            • Ironically, the states loaded with people that tend to call Flyover Country “a bunch of cousin-marrying inbreds” are the ones living in states where closer cousin marriage is legal, whereas most of the interior states have had much stricter marriage guidelines since their settlement.

      • Yep. That’s what I was told by the geneticist I constructed.
        I didn’t even think of mitochondria, perhaps because supposedly there’s only a few lines common to all humanity, or at least there were last thing I read on it, and oh, they might not be so much “human” as symbionts with us.
        OTOH possibly I ignored it because I have no daughters. Of my grandmother’s daughters only my mom had one daughter: me. And I only have sons. If there’s anything unique there, it ended here.

    • It’s not a straight up passing, though. I asked a geneticist, because it was important for a story and he said it could be as much as 50% and as little as 2%.
      In each conception half the DNA gets (and I know this is not the correct term) wrapped up and thrown away. Which is why say 23 and me of siblings can be completely different. You can bet on that much of your DNA passing every time but I wouldn’t. Particularly not your expressed DNA (from what I understand, you can still pass on what doesn’t express) Mitochondria, etc. are a different deal.

      • …and all those nice statistics don’t even count the chimeras.

        I wonder how much “solid DNA evidence!” that has hosed…

      • Eldest brother and I have joked about elder brother. Was Mom really sure he was hers? (Easy to see the familial resemblance to Dad, but you have to squint a little to see the maternal carryover in him.)

        • Eh. That was a joke when the kids were little and looked just like Dan. “Hey, they gave me the wrong baby.” 😀
          But as they grew they looked more like me.

          • I have 4 sons and a 4 are different. The oldest is a dead ringer for my next youngest brother (I was also the oldest of a pack of 4 boys). Stuart was killed in a car wreck 43 years ago. #2 son is a male version of my wife. If you take their 3 yr old pictures and block out the hair, they look like identical twins. He has my wife’s head on my body. #3 son is a tall male version of my mother-in-law. He has M-I-L’s head on my Dad’s body. The youngest son is the only one we cannot see an ancestor in. We can see pieces of both families in him. Mentally, he is more like me.

      • Three out of nine siblings in my family have similar characteristics. When we did our autosomnol DNA, the youngest brother had 7 percent Native American, The older brother had no NA DNA and had northern Germany 7 percent. I had no NA DNA and 1 percent Finland. So yea– we look very similar– blond hair and blue eyes … with similar features that for our genders, but in the DNA we have differences. I wonder how different the other siblings would be… considering they have olive skin and are shorter. Btw when we were growing up, people meeting us that we were a blended family. Nope, full siblings.

    • This is one of those really FUN questions where you’ve got a bunch of different measures, definitions and data to work with.

      First off, most of the DNA measures are going to be less than total gene sequencing, and there’s a bunch of varieties — and a lot of them involve skipping the “junk” DNA, as just noise. (Can go both ways on that, since with the….argh, thing where chunks of DNA switch sides on the strands… makes that even messier.)

      Then you have to ignore the stuff that HAS to be roughly the same for the whole population, to result in a human.

      And THEN you remember that we have had several genetic bottlenecks….

      It could be illustrated by breaking stuff down into a video game character design– ten skin tones, ten hair colors, ten eye colors, ten heights, ten shoulders, ten waists/hips, two sexes. Chance of being a 1-1-1-1-1-1 just like your grandmother is ____, and hten contrast with the average chance of being that in the population…..

  15. A recent column at Bookwormroom.com pointed out that the Constitution rather explicitly rules out any attempt to punish people for the crimes of their ancestors. Article 1, Sec. 9: no bills of attainder, no ex post facto laws. Article 1, Sec. 10: the States also don’t get to pass bills of attainder.

    See also Article 3., Sec. 3: “The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.”

    The Founders knew the history of bills of attainder in Europe, their use to punish or exterminate descendants of someone accused of treason or other crimes, and they weren’t having any. I don’t think any reparations legislation will get past the Supreme Court.

    • I don’t think any reparations legislation will get past the Supreme Court.

      Meh. Let Liz Warren or Kamala Harris (or any other of the Demned candidates) appoint two Justices and they’ll find a way.

      I dislike such speculation, but what is the over/under on the percentage of Progressives willing to consider assassinating Justice Thomas, Alito, Kavanaugh … it isn’t as if they’ve renounced character assassination.

      • Well, yeah, the question of whether the Supreme Court or any part of our Constitution will survive the current insanity is still open. I choose to believe they will, because the alternative is too brutal to think about. But I admit it’s an act of faith.

        • If the left packs the Supreme Court with leftists, all bets are off. Remember that Obama, when he was an Illinois State Senator, did a radio interview where he complained that the Supreme Court did not go far enough with its civil rights cases because it did not mandate redistribution of wealth in the name of civil rights. I have no doubt the Democrats will ram through appointees who share this view that the Supreme Court has the power to impose communist redistribution of wealth.

    • Yeah. And the Easter Bunny will make it all better.

      – TRX (no faith in SCOTUS)

    • I don’t think they will happen, but I’m outraged at its being used as yet another wedge between Americans.

    • Unlike the left, even the Klingons felt that the “sins of the father” only lasted 7 generations:

  16. Isn’t it enough to stop all the crazy obsession with race and the past, and instead now — at least four generations after anyone was enslaved — look at people as people?
    But,but,but . . . then what would the perpetually aggrieved ride to power have to complain about?

  17. Purely to defend my Church’s theology: “Original Sin” isn’t so much a belief that we are morally responsible for the sins of our ancestors as it is a belief that the absolute first sin of the first humans — which, metaphors about eating fruit aside, can best be described as essentially choosing to abandon our moral innocence in defiance of God’s wishes — caused our physical, mental and moral nature, as a temporal species, to change permanently and irrevocably, in a way that now redefines and limits the capacity for virtue and goodness in every individual born.

    The state of “original sin” — the state of moral temptation, pride, selfishness and concupiscence to which all humans are born — is not an arbitrary punishment inflicted on all Adam’s descendants for the choice of Adam, in other words; it’s an inevitable, logical, and necessary consequence of the nature of that choice, and of the fact that choices have to have consequences to matter at all. And while we may not be morally responsible for the sins of our kindred, the simple fact of being kindred sometimes means that we have to take the lead in making amends for those sins, as best we can — and as with Original Sin, this isn’t so much a moral responsibility as simply a recognition of the most practical responsibility: whom should I hold responsible for correcting my father’s errors, if not me myself first and foremost?

    Now that said, reparations for American antebellum race slavery are still an idiotic idea, not just for their sheer practical infeasibility and temporal irrelevance but for the simple fact that nobody arguing for them ever does so honestly — i.e., presents any kind of actual plan with numbers, methods and actions attached. Nobody argues for reparations except as moral leverage for gaining momentary political concessions, which is the cheapest kind of psychological blackmail and has nothing to do with the ethical issues of responsibility above.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      My proposal for reparations related to slavery and Jim Crow is different.

      The key impact of Segregation was in political capital, and that was used to preserve the Democratic Party.

      The only way the unjust profit can be paid back is if the Democratic Party no longer exists.

      If Americans are unwilling to say that what the Democratic Party can give them is less important than the reparation of ending it, they can choke on their talk of reparations and blaming others for their own injustice.

    • Yes. We’re not responsible for other people’s sins, we’re however afflicted with our corruptible nature. But every human is, so say blaming only white people is insane.

  18. Americans tend to have a bizarre idea that slavery was always by race

    *cough*


    A Broadway revival of this would probably be denounced as hate crime.

    • My wife just recorded the Zero Mostel version in preparation for PBS and the month-long holistic doo-wap pledge period. We saw a semi-pro version in San Jose in the 90s (the lead was a pro, rest local talent, usually quite good), and I’ll play a cast album from time to time.

      But, yes, it’d be denounced.

  19. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Oh, not in the sense of eugenics, though that too a bit, as anyone who grew up in farm country. But in the sense of “who was here before me?”
    Hurr, hurr, rural people are Nazis.

    A more general comment: There are basically two options in premodern times for what to do when you’ve dealt a serious defeat to a neighboring tribe, and want to save on the cost in blood of fighting them over the following years. Slavery or massacre. (Endemic warfare is customary for quite a lot of prehistoric societies. Functioning peace treaties are a product of societies very different from those.)

    Anyone not an enthusiastic proponent of massacre must be a pro slavery racist. 🙂

    More seriously, the underlying consensuses that permit peace within American society have been weaponized against themselves. Black political activists have been punching above the weight of the black population because ‘whites’ felt that is was unjust to continue to exclude blacks from the American brotherhood. But the extremists within black politics are so firmly convinced that they are forever excluded from American brotherhood, convinced that American brotherhood is less distant than it has always been, that they believe that there will be no cost to undermining the pact behind American brotherhood. Hence the bitter tedium of these proposals of petty tribal politics.

    I too can point to mistreated ancestors. I too can play on fears. I too can compose insane policies that seek only vengeance.

    If you prick me, do I not bleed? If you wrong me, do I not seek revenge?

    • Nothing to do with rural people being Nazis. If you grow up around fam animals, you are aware of the concepts of breeding and selecting for characteristics.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        I should’ve put a smiley by that part also?

      • ….and how often it doesn’t work.

        As opposed to the magic city-people idea of “I use Sire A and Dame D and get what I ordered.”

        • (For those wondering how to get a decent education on this– go look at Select Sires’ stud book. They sell bull semen. They list the father’s stats, yes– but they also list the stats of the calves he tends to throw, especially birth weight and such. I’ve delivered far too many calves that were dead because their sire threw too big of calves for the cows involved.)

          • “Pulling Calves” was always a terrible event on the little farm I grew up on. We had the farm from when I was around 10 till I was around 15 or 16. It happened twice in that time. The first time was hard enough, the cow ended up being ok but we lost the calf. Since we farmed to eat rather than for market, it was a blow but not a devastating one since we had other sources of food. The second was terrifying. I was older, for that one. Old enough to be expected to actively help. The calf was so stuck, we ended up having to use a wench. We of course lost the calf. Surprisingly, the cow managed to survive.

            The other calves we had on the farm were born relatively easily. We did have a goat who’s uterus turned inside out. That was pretty gross. I didn’t see too much of that though, since I was busy doing whatever I could think of to take care of the twin kids that she had dropped, It was one of those times when “the bad stuff” happened while my father (who grew up on a farm and knew what to do) was away, and my “City Kid” mother had to figure out how to deal with it.

        • yep. We don’t know as much as we think.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            But, but, AI-deep-learning-big-data-singularity-frangilistic-akesmealidocious.

            If we can build a transistor radio, we can perfect humanity. Totally for sure.

        • see culling, which would probably give most city people heart attacks.

    • re endemic warfare: “Carthago delenda est” pretty much sums up how war was waged for may centuries:

  20. race and slavery are so associated in American history that it overshadows everything else

    This is an important part of the problem, as the Fugitive Slave Act essentially meant NO black person was truly free, that any was subject to being taken as property and deprived of all rights, including due process.

    Of course, that also directly led to the War of Southern Secession and ending of all racial slavery in the United States, as Yankees found they could no longer remain Pro-Choice but were required to directly abet the slave-holders.

    • There are times when I look at the late great unpleasantness that I think that as messy as it was the dozen or so years that proceeded it may have been even more unpleasant.

      The argument that everyone in the nation would be better off if they were under the care of masters was seriously proposed. Who can imagine that now? Not at all like having the government take of us.

      • George Fitzhugh in Cannibals All, IIRC. Didn’t get much traction.

        • Yes George Fitzhugh writer of <I Slaves Without Masters – Cannibals all! .  In this case I was referring to Fitzhugh’s pamphlet Sociology for the South, in which he made such statements as ‘Liberty is an evil which government is intended to correct.’  His arguments didn’t take the country by storm, but he had his fans in certain regions of the country.  His arguments were not new then, and they are even being revived today — with such assertions as marriage being a form of slavery.

          Certain kinds of kookiness seem to keep rising to surface.

          • Of course. For one thing, there are always those who prove themselves to be unfit for anything except slavery.
            It’s one of life’s little ironies that said subset of people includes nearly everyone who desires to be a master–and there is no one fit to be a master.

  21. Perhaps we should formulate an axiom that sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from malice.

    Invert that: Sufficiently aggravated malice is indistinguishable from stupidity, is indeed a primary contributor to stupidity. Malice makes you stupid.

  22. compensating you for the psychological wounds done to your ancestors that still hamper your progress/ability to thrive

    Isn’t shrugging off those wounds denial of your authentic identity?

    just pass money from one pocket to the other and pat ourselves on the back?

    What, and evade the handling fees?

  23. William H. Stoddard

    How do you figure 2% relatedness for great-grandchildren? The way I learned it, you pass on half your genes to your children, they pass on half to your grandchildren, and they pass on half to your great-grandchildren. 1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2 = 1/8 = 12.5%. I’ll stipulate that the chromosome division in later generations might not give your genes a fair shake, but two generations in a row of only one-fifth of the genes coming from your side of the parentage seems really unlikely. Can you point me at a published source?

    • It’s not that … regular. It’s random how much your kids get.
      No published source. I asked a geneticist.

    • That is the rough figuration, but it misses out on the way that genes “swap” between lines.

      Best explanation I heard was from Vathara in Embers, on of all things the “nation of half-elves” idea. (I actually disagree, but that’s a matter of my view of elves as not being a totally different species. I would suggest you read the whole thing, but this is the chapter with the relevant foot-note.)
      She was working on hybrid vigor vs hybrid breakdown, but it works for this, as well; long quote:
      A lot of people are familiar with hybrid vigor. Cross two very different pure strains, and the offspring can be more successful than either parent. There are various reasons for this, ranging from a lucky genetic outcome (not all hybrids do well) to the extreme that some genes (or gene complexes, bunches of related genes) are over-expressed because the other half of the hybrid’s DNA doesn’t have a “match” to them. (See mules and ligers.)

      Hybrid breakdown is a little more complicated. It basically hinges on the fact that because of chromosome crossover (part of how most organisms form gametes to reproduce), we do not inherit genes and gene complexes as discrete units. Not always.

      Say we have two “pure” strains to begin; call them red and green. Imagine each individual with their set of genes; a pair of chromosomes, two long strings of colored beads. (Humans have much more than one, but let’s keep it simple.) Red parent has two strands of red. Green has two of green. Before they reproduce, crossover happens – but since they are pure strains, red crossing over with red still gives you a strand of red, and likewise for green. So your hybrid has one red strand, and one green. A good setup for hybrid vigor, and reasonably simple.

      The problem comes when your hybrid reproduces. The red and green strands line up to crossover… and the resulting single strand that goes into the offspring (and its genes) is a patchwork of red and green. You may literally have part of a gene from one of your hybrid’s parents, and part from the other. The resulting gene may not work. It may work somewhat, but not as well as an all-red or all-green gene. (This, BTW, is part of what’s called outbreeding depression.) Or it may not work at all… which can be lethal.

      Straight vanilla humans very, very seldom have enough difference for the not-working to be lethal.

  24. Non-Blacks do not owe Blacks reparations for slavery. We DO oew them reparations for the Progressive/Leftist policies that destroyed their subculture’s family structure and turned the Public Schools systems from indoctrination centers that at least taught language amd basic math to brainwashing centers that tech nothing….and most of that, wrong.

    What to do about the familt structure is beyond me. As for the schools, the ultimate solution would be vouchers, but in the meanwhile what is needed desperately is scholarships for urban poor for private schools.

    And the Left will hate that poisonously, so there is no down side, per se.

  25. I’ve always liked the idea of reparations, and feel that a privately funded organization should be formed to accomplish it.
    Anyone ought to be able to petition this organization for a free DNA test, and if they are found to have slave ancestors every effort must be made to restore them to a state as though those ancestors had never been taken and sold into slavery. Return them to the area from which their ancestors had been taken, and all they have to do is renounce American citizenship and turn over whatever possessions they have to the organization since both that citizenship and those belongings are the result of slavery and thus tainted.

    Look, snark aside, this country fought a long bloody war with over half a million Americans dead to among other things end slavery. And then amended our constitution to ensure that former slaves and their descendants were granted full citizenship, something that present day people are more than willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars to achieve. And to this day we still have a plethora of affirmative action policies that offer a bit of an edge in compensation for past abuse.

    Call me cynical, but this whole reparations deal tastes of a scam by the usual corps of grifters trying to line their wallets on the back of a mostly undeserved white guilt.

  26. “(Though celts were apparently in general fairly cheap, from what I can figure.)”

    Fractious bunch, the Celts. Difficult to keep them properly subservient . . .

  27. “Reparations” is 99% a scam by race hustlers. But it is 1% more than that.

    For instance, in the early 1800s, Georgetown Univervisity operated several tobacco plantations in Maryland. In 1838, GU sold off the slave work force of those plantations to a buyer in Louisiana, collecting over $100,000. This is all entirely documented. Somewhat unusually, the identities of the slaves were recorded. The slaves remained largely together until the Civil War and emancipation, when they formed a community. Many present-day blacks can trace clear descent from that community.

    Do those people have a claim against GU?

    There are white people descended from “upper-class” Southern families who became wealthy through slave-worked agriculture, and who did not lose that wealth during the War and Reconstruction. The capital they held then often became the foundation for later wealth. It seems obvious that, for instance, the descendants of 20th century Jewish immigrants should have no liability for reparations, but what about those upper-class Southerners?

    These are the ~1% of “reparations” that can’t be dismissed out of hand, and I for one don’t know what do with them.

    • Dismiss them. NO ONE ALIVE OWNED ANYONE IN AMERICA.
      Would you punish children for the sins of the father?
      As for the victims, have they not got American citizenship and various “affirmative” benes from government since?
      Bah, sir. That’s fatuous.

      • I agree with the above, and remember that they were breaking NO law. as much as I think that slavery was/is/always will be evil. and if I remember the constitution correctly, the US government may take no property with out compensation. slaves (under the law) were property. legally the US government owes reparations to those whose property was seized.
        and I think my tongue has got stuck in my cheek.

        • Meh. More than three generations and it’s going to be tough even for the stuff expropriated from the Jews.
          But slavery? There is a cogent economic argument that it gave NO ONE a leg up. (Slave labor is not just more inefficient, but often malevolently inefficient.)

        • IIRC, early in the ACW, slaves ran away in droves in the border states, to shelter in Union Army camps – and when their irate owners showed up to try and reclaim their property – the Union commanders blandly refused, saying that the ‘slaves’ were valuable contraband, seized from the enemy.
          In a number of reminiscences by nurses from the Sanitary Commission following and supporting the Union Army, the term “contraband” was what self-liberated former slaves were called. Women volunteers like Mary Anne “Mother” Bickerdyke called on such former slaves to do cooking and laundry in support of the various hospitals that she established.

          • For folks scandalized– this can be a brilliant way to give food, shelter and medical care to escaped slaves, while also making it so nobody else can re-capture them.

            No idea if that’s how they did it, but my immediate reaction was a solid “that’s brilliant!”

          • Exactly — all property owned or held by those in revolt against their lawfully constituted government is forfeit … unless they win, of course.

            The Yankees cannot even credibly charge that secession is an illegitimate act as they themselves gave it serious contemplation in 1812. But we established quite clearly in 1776 that secession is only acceptable if the “Mother Country” relinquishes title.

            • No, only property used to carry out the rebellion is forfeitable. That was clearly understood at the time. The “contraband of war” doctrine was first applied to slaves who had been employed in building rebel fortifications. Other property of any rebel or alleged rebel was not forfeitable.

              For instance, Arlington House and its grounds (now Arlington Cemetery), the property of the Lee family, was not confiscated. It was seized for non-payment of taxes in 1864.

              • Nope. Property that is of use in waging war is contraband of war. A Confederate general used slaves to dig entrenchments, therefore proving their utility. Also, the Union put them to work once freed at war work, thus proving it again.

          • The “contraband of war” idea was the brainstorm of Benjamin Butler, a Massachusetts politico turned general. He was utterly useless as a field commander, but he was a cunning lawyer and administrator. (In 1860, he tried to get Jefferson Davis the Democrat nomination; in 1862, Davis proclaimed him a war criminal to be executed immediately if captured.)

      • What about Georgetown University? The profit earned from slave-worked tobacco farming and the sale of slaves is still on its books.

        We live in a time which has a novel condition: there are accurate, detailed records of events which happened hundreds of years ago. That makes it hard to just forget about the moral implications of such events.

        • Where do you stand on statutes of limitations?

        • Nice that it’s still on the books. Any of the people who did it alive? Did they break any laws of their time?
          No? Then judge not lest you should be judged and your descendants who had nothing to do with it penalized.

        • there are accurate, detailed records

          *the earth shakes as a thousand book-keepers fall down laughing at the idea that the books are completely accurate reflections of reality*

          Nah, this is the same mistake that a lot of scientists make– they look at, for example, temperature records.
          And then assume that they were accurately measured, and recorded, when they said they were.

          When, for example, I know that fire-watch in the Oregon forest would not infrequently record a whole month’s worth of “readings” ten minutes before the guy coming to pick up the book showed up, because they forgot, or that the thermometers in China Lake in 2002 were poorly placed, or that Navy shops have a long standing issue with the automatic humidity/temperature records being poorly placed, so they get false readings. (Yeah, right above the back-draft of the computers! Great idea, guys. Uh, no, moving it to DIRECTLY ABOVE THE COFFEE POT is even worse.)

          This has been a known issue for at least a century, the English went through it with their whole “scientific governing” and forgot the data they were using was “stick your head out the door and yell at the local constable to see what he said.”

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      One hundred sixty years since the end of slavery in the US. Sixty years since the formal end of Jim Crow, and the start of Johnson’s great society.

      Five to eight generations since the end of slavery. That is a lot of churn when it comes to family wealth. Basically a very weak influence.

      Two to three since Johnson. Much less churn, much more influence on current levels, much more stores of wealth lasting. Particularly political capital. Who has profited most from the growth towards the current situation? The Obamas, the Harrises, the Sharptons, to a lesser extent the Clintons, the Kennedys, the Gores. Even that is too much of a can of worms to open, and does not separate evenly along racial lines.

      The answer to your ‘1%’ is to do nothing.

    • Institutional wealth is one thing– do you really want to expand asset forfeiture to “someone listed as your ancestor did a crime”?

      Are we going to start stripping the property from those whose fathers are found guilty of theft?

      • Fifty years ago, an armed robber stole $50,000 from a bank, shooting and wounding a guard in the process. He got away.

        Last week, a gun was among loot recovered from a burglar. It was run through ballistics check, and matched the bullet taken from the bank guard. It was also identified as the property of a Mr. Atkins, who had inherited it from his grandfather, along with the house his grandfather had bought for $50,000 in cash fifty years ago. (Do the math.)

        Does the bank have a claim against Atkins, legal or moral?

        WI the robbery was five years ago? Or five weeks? WI the robbery victim was an individual (say, a jeweler) who was killed?

        • Claim, hell, they don’t have a case.

          While it is highly suggestive, there is reasonable doubt– even if we grant for the sake of argument that the match between the bullet from the crime and the gun was perfect proof that it was the same gun– there’s a lack of connection between the grandfather and the gun at the time of the crime, and frankly the kind of guy who would HAVE 50k in cash would also be likely to do things like buy a heluvadeal pistol and then keep it.

        • I think that your hypotheticals better belong as an exercise in a law class, where the students would be expected to cite the relevant case law in support of their position.

          As standing, according to present jurisprudence the grandson of an alleged perpetrator of a crime does not stand to loose the property that passed to him at the death of said grandfather.  Outside of the statute of limitations having taken effect for the crime as initially described, the grandfather having passed is not able to stand trial.  All the evidence you present has not been adjudicated and will not be adjudicated under the circumstances.  While the exact specifications of the relevant laws vary from state to state, those who receive goods in good faith are not subject to charges or forfeiture.

  28. I’ve said it before. If you haven’t recovered from your ancestors being enslaved 7 generations ago, you really are too stupid to be free.

    • If you’re dealing with people who think _Black Panther_ was a documentary…

      (OK, not that bad, but Wakanda is fiction, folks, fiction. That means made up, not real, does not exist. I keep waiting for someone to ask where the Wakandan Embassy is in D.C.)

      • [perks up]

        Operate a Wakandan Embassy out of one of those mailbox stores in DC and charge for “applications to emigrate” and “replacement passports by mail!” Don’t forget to set up a web site too.

        Someon’es gotta do it…

      • Wakanda is fiction, folks, fiction.

        A fiction concocted by a couple of NY Jews, Jacob Kurtzberg & Stanley Lieber — for whatever relevance that has.

      • Fiction originally created by white people too. Wakanda is a white fantasy African country. Peopled by white fantasy Africans.

        Which, I am fairly sure, some people will remember sooner or later. If we stay in the Crazy Years some years longer we will pretty surely see some furor about cultural appropriation once the first flush of love with the movie is gone, and they think they can do it without being lynched by the fans.

  29. One of my favorite medieval “songs” starts with “To war, to war oh moors, I want a Christian slave.” The person speaking is a Christian “queen” married to a moorish “king” (whatever that meant at the time) who doesn’t trust her moorish slaves not to poison her, and so wants a Christian slave. (Yes, the story goes on to have her sister be captured and enslaved. Never mind.)

    Supposedly, this is a major reason behind Daesh-bags and their similars level of success in the hell hole middle east.
    You can trust a Christian slave more than you can trust anything but your immediate family, as a rule, and in many cases more than your own brother.

    How is that for a view into hell?

  30. I see the comments bogged down into calculation genetics. However, as one who has attained the great age of 82, I am more intrigued by your writing of a place in time. My sisters and I were talking about how our grand and great grandchildren live in a completely different world than we do. We have history in our head, they do not have our history, nor will they ever really comprehend what it was like in the late 1930’s and on to when they were born. Unless they can enter another person’s mind no one will ever know the life of another.
    I live in Rockport, TX, we had a horrible Hurricane that tore the town apart and the lament was, “It will never be the same.” Well of course it won’t, nothing is ever the same. My family moved here in 1949, how many “the sames” have there been? As many as have lived here and had a history here. Their same is not mine and I wouldn’t expect it to be.
    Just like climate change, which climate do we choose as being the one we don’t change, this earth is eons old, we have no comprehension of the eons.

  31. I have more neanderthal DNA than 86% of the people tested by 23-and-me … I demand reparations for the genocide of my people ;>b

  32. “sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from malice”

    This is so true. And willful stupidity, like AOC’s, automatically qualifies as malice.

    • AOC is just a “post turtle”…

    • In fact, the Catholic Church teaches that affected ignorance — ignorance that you go out of your way to maintain — aggravates guilt, because of the hardness of heart entailed.

      • Wow! it is a good thing that none of the people in Congress who, under the pretense that a viable “fetus” delivered from the womb, voted to against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act are Catholic and subject to Church discipline. Failure to act against such flagrant denial of human rights might undermine the moral authority of the Church, giving followers the impression that for people of great prominence great tolerance is granted.

        • The. Pope. Is. A. Commie. He’s more concerned we won’t open our border to the invasion of third world commies (no, really, look up Bill Reader’s posts in this blog) than the fact that the dems are trying to pass infanticide legalization.
          This too shall pass. It’s not like the church didn’t survive the Borgias.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Unfortunately, the Church’s “lack of action concerning Catholic politicians who support Abortion” predates this Pope. 😦

            Personally, I think any religious organization has the “right” to insist politicians belonging to their organization NOT SUPPORT laws contrary to the organizations beliefs.

            Of course, if “you” don’t accept your church’s positions on certain issues, why are “you” still a member of that church.

          • I suspect the Borgias’ understanding of and belief in Christianity was far superior.

  33. I have black distant relatives I can trace from 2 of my ancestral cousins of my g-g-grandfather’s generation. One had children with several slaves. (and his father’s will left his share of the inheritance in trust for his legitimate son….) The other, after his wife died, continued living with his housekeeper- who he couldn’t legally marry in VA. They had 9 children, and she inherited the house. Census records show her living in it until her death. And she did refer to herself as Mrs. after his death.

    Doing a single surname search on the family, I have black relatives who have been every rank from PVT to Colonel. I have white relatives who’ve been every rank from PVT to Colonel. (No flag ranks yet…) I have black relatives who are doctors- right now. And distant black relatives have ended up with jail time. I have white relatives who are doctor- right now- and white relatives who’ve spent time in jail, including San Quentin. I’ve also had sailors, airmen, and Marines among B+W relatives. And preachers. Lawmen, Lawyers. Used car dealers….

    And I have descendants of the housekeeper who were white on the 1940 census. I have one relative who was black on the 1940 census- and white on his WWII draft card, which ensured him a better job in the segregated (by a Democrat president) military.

    And the research has forced me to conclude that while your genes have some bearing on your life and achievements, they’re not the be all end all. It’s what you do with what you’ve got that has the most bearing.

    It wouldn’t matter which of the living in the U.S. here in the 1700’s surnames I researche, I’d find the same thing. Family stories and histories tend to leave out the jailbirds and concentrate on those that did well.

    Does bring up a reparations question though. The descendants of the one ancestral relative and his housekeeper. Do the ones that decided to pass for white have to pay the others reparations? Or do they get to declare themselves black if the reparations happen?

    • I think the Progressives will go by the one drop rule. If you have one drop of white blood in you, they’ll take everything you have for themselves.

      • Now be fair, they will take everything everyone has, skim off an appropriate stipend for themselves to properly pay them for caring ever so much, and dole out what’s left to each according to whatever they decide your need should be.
        Communism must work, historical failures happened because it just wasn’t done right, but we’ll do better this time.

  34. Several hundred thousand white folks died or were horribly maimed so that several million slaves could live free.

    I consider that debt long since paid, and implementation of reparations to be legitimate grounds for a tax revolt.

    At minimum.

  35. Jeeez, my kids are doomed – 1/2 German (north and south)(hubby), and 1/4 Norse and Croatian (me). All came only two generations back to the US. All of whom were/are known for their calm, peaceful, characteristics of course. /s

    Then there’s the granddaughters, whose mother is eligible for DAR, and organizations on both sides of our Civil War, plus some Indian, not to mention Scotch and Irish. Again, calm people…

    Pretty American all the way. I forget exactly how it goes, but that song, “when you’re running down my country, you’re standing on the fighting side of me.” I hope that grit is still in our young people.

  36. Christopher M. Chupik

    Uh oh. I “bought” someone at a charity “slave auction” at a convention a few years back. Am I in trouble?

  37. “Reparations.” Heh. Like some of the other commenters here, I’ve got a couple of indentured servants in my ancestral tree – on Dad’s side, they came over from England sometime before the Revolution. Also on Dad’s side I’ve got a direct ancestor, George Seaton, who was hanged by the British Crown for following Bonnie Prince Charlie. There might have been some drawing and quartering in there for poor George as well. I figure Her Majesty the Queen owes me some money for centuries of oppressing my Scots ancestors, at least. And my Irish ancestors, too; I’ve got at least one of those.

    On Mom’s side I’m descended from Hessian mercenaries who came over to fight for the Brits during the Revolution, and liked America so much they stuck around after the Brits left. Does Mom’s side of the family owe Dad’s side money for, however briefly, helping King George V oppress the colonists?

    Go back far enough in Mom’s familial line and you’ll find some Russian and Mongol as well, presumably because the Mongol raped the Russian. Which would explain the epicanthic folds all the women on Mom’s side of the family have to this very day. What it doesn’t explain is what reparations would be for that long-ago and forgotten crime. A yak? Where would I keep it? And how would I get it home? Anybody know what the freight charges for a live yak from Ulan Bator to, I guess, Springfield MO or St. Louis (as the closest airports) would be? Do they ship FedEx?

  38. I can cap everything y’all said so far:
    http://phantomsoapbox.blogspot.com/2019/02/no-whites-yoga.html

    This is a REAL THING, happening at University of Toronto, right now.

    Now I really am going to bed. To dream of guns with outputs measured in megatons per second.

  39. I have a better case for reparations than most. Some of my ancestors came to California in 1776 with the Anza expedition, and owned major parts of the bay area prior to the U.S. stealing California. The treaty that settled that unpleasantness was supposed to guarantee land ownership of those who had earlier stolen it, (from the people who had stolen it from the animals, and tamed the ecology with their fires). The commission established to do such, ended up with most landowners losing their land. Lawyers did well.

    Once gold was discovered, all the rif-raff showed up, and squatted on said land. So we who are descended from the second set of thieves clearly have the right to be compensated by those who benefited from the actions of the third set of thieves, and the corrupt commission.

    While it would be nice to own a much larger hunk of the people’s republic. It was the breakup of the large land holdings and the inadvertent land reform of the 1850s that set California on the path to success. Without the breakup, California would have just been another former Spanish colony where the rich owned almost all the land. So I approve my ancestors having their land stolen.

    Its current dictatorship is seeking to end said success, by making land so expensive only the rich can own property. So only the very rich or poor can remain, so the wheel turns and California returns to its roots, just with different owners .

    • i dunno if you can claim, say, Nacy Pelosi’s SF house as reparations, it wouldn’t be all bad… i mean, you could sell it for enough to buy a small town in Montana or so…

  40. Atone for the sins of my ancestors?

    I may have long hair, a beard, like to swing swords and have a brusque manner, but I assure you I am not a Klingon.

  41. Section 4 of the 14th Amendment prohibits reparations:
    But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

    • I’m not sure. A strict textualist reading would indicate that it only prohibits reparations to slaveholders.
      The Radical Republicans would not have voted for a constitutional amendment that would have kept them from enacting “forty acres and a mule.” (Something that should have been done. Might’ve stopped a whole lot of nonsense from happening.)

      • These forty acres are too hilly for good plowing.

        My forty acres are swampy, his forty are good bottom land.

        My forty acres are too arid and too rocky.

        My mule is too old.

        My mule is too young and needs to be trained.

        My mule is left-handed!

      • I would argue the today’s descendants of “emancipated” slaves are making a claim for reparations because their ancestors were “emancipated”. It would be interesting to see how SCOTUS would rule.

  42. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    People have been talking about “ancestors” so I’ll put my 2 cents in.

    Dad had been tracking the Howard line but hit a road-block.

    There was this Howard who came into Southern Indiana and said that he was from someplace (IIRC) Kentucky.

    Dad attempted to local him in that area of Kentucky but never found any evidence for him living there.

    Dad joked that he wasn’t named Howard until he arrived in Southern Indiana.

    Nobody knows why he’d have reason to change his name. 😈

    • Amsel, Matthew

      Is it bad that my first thought was “tracing the Howard line” was a Heinlein reference?

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Chuckle Chuckle

        If it’s “bad”, others have been “bad” in that way. 😀

        Of course, while it was called the “Howard Families”, it was named after the Howard who set up the original Foundation and there’s no evidence that any family within the “Howard Families” were named Howard.

        Of course, the creator of the original Foundation was too short lived to become part of the Foundation’s project. 😉

  43. This is the strongest argument yet for reparations. Given the amount of donations received from slaveholders (at compounded interest and adjusted for inflation) the DNC is probably the single largest beneficiary still extant. Put a tax on every cent donated to the Democrat Party and use it to fund reparations for slavery and Jim Crow

    Reparations? Let Democrats Pay for Their Anti-Black Abuses
    By Deroy Murdock
    Democratic presidential candidates Julián Castro, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren recently pushed their party even farther left with their latest radical scheme: slavery reparations. This is beyond ironic, of course, since Democrats have tortured blacks for centuries and hammer us even today.

    As Black History Month draws to a close, it is vital to remember that slavery spread agony across the South under the watchful eyes of Democrats, such as President Andrew Jackson, from the party’s 1828 launch. It was not until 1860’s election of Republican Abraham Lincoln that the final, decisive push toward abolition began. The GOP-led Union Army crushed the Democrat-led Confederacy in 1865. That’s when Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation came into full force, as Republicans freed the slaves.

    The Republicans’ Radical Reconstruction empowered newly liberated blacks. Overriding the presidential vetoes of Democrat Andrew Johnson, congressional Republicans pressured southern states to ratify the 14th Amendment, guaranteeing blacks equal protection under law.

    “Blacks won election to southern state governments and even to the U.S. Congress during this period,” History.com recalls. Alas, by 1877, the Democrat-launched “Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist organizations targeted local Republican leaders, white and black, and other African Americans who challenged white authority.”

    Tightening Democratic control of state legislatures and Congress rubbed out Reconstruction and swept in Jim Crow segregation. Democrats adopted and enforced these statutes across Dixie and even in Washington.

    Democratic president Woodrow Wilson resegregated the previously integrated bathrooms in the State, War, and Navy Department Building, which was adjacent to the White House. (It now is called the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.) The order to create separate toilets for “women, white men, and Colored” was signed on August 7, 1916, by none other than Assistant Navy Secretary Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

    [SNIP]

    Today, teachers’-union-funded Democrats tirelessly battle school choice, thus stranding black children in classrooms where, too often, little learning occurs. Obama struggled mightily to kill the Washington, D.C., school-voucher program, which George W. Bush had signed. Then–House speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) and former senator Joseph Lieberman (I., Conn.) secured the funds to keep this sliver of hope alive.

    [SNIP]

    Democrats cheer abortion, which disproportionally kills black babies. Blacks equal 13.4 percent of the U.S. population, the Census Bureau reports, but 40.1 percent of aborted Americans, the Centers for Disease Control discovered in 2015, based on the ethnicities of mothers in 37 states. The corresponding white figures were 76.6 percent of population and 48.6 percent of abortions.

    So, if Democrats want reparations to atone for their nearly 200 years of anti-black sins, they should finance them. From Barbra Streisand to George Clooney to Tom Steyer to George Soros, the Democratic 1 percenters should shove their billions into a huge pile and then show us the money!

  44. “Whether maddened by envy and hatred or motivated merely by cold self-interest, all tyrannies, ideological or otherwise, seek to destroy the good and the beautiful: the most nourishing human grain and the loveliest human blossoms. For they know that individuals who publicly lay claim to the goodness of their freedom—people of real moral stature, who in dangerous times continue to speak, think, and act for themselves—especially endanger their rule.”

    Prophecies of democratic leveling by Jacob Howland
    On the philosophical foreseers of tyrannical equality.

    New Criterion March 2019

  45. “most people have truly bizarre ideas about Portugal”

    Growing up in Hawaii, I was positive Portugal was in Asia because all the Portuguese I knew came from Macau.

  46. Courtesy of the NY Post OpEd review:

    Culture critic: Embracing Reparations Debases Blacks
    The support for reparations from three Democratic presidential candidates — Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Julian Castro — is “yet another insult to black America that is clothed in the trappings of social justice,” charges Robert Woodson at The Hill. The argument is that all white Americans should compensate all black Americans, because slavery’s legacy “explains the current wealth gap between blacks and whites.” Yet “the ownership of black slaves was not the exclusive domain of whites”: both blacks and Native Americans were “complicit in the slave trade.” Moreover, reparations “debase the determination and achievement of blacks throughout history who managed to prosper in the midst of virulent racial hostility.” Says Woodson: “Whites who seek to save us from ourselves, and black ‘spokespersons’ who embrace an agenda of racial grievance and an identity of victimization, should stand aside.”