"What I will offer to someone who is like a Alex Haley, who was a descendant of Kunta Kinte is simply this - I am sorry this happened to your family. I really am."
Today the socialists in the House start hearings on reparations. And why not? It is "Juneteenth". It is a day that symbolizes the freedom of slaves in America. I wonder if this is what is taught in school these days instead of the Emancipation Proclamation, which was signed by President Lincoln on January 1, 1863. That was after all, a Presidential order which freed all slaves then and for evermore in this country. But who cares about the facts.
So if reparations becomes law, whereas descendants of slaves may get restitution from descendants of slave owners, how is that going to work? Don't come after me - my great grandparents came from Norway and Germany. And because I am mostly Norwegian, I have my own problems. What if the Brits decide to come after the descendants of Vikings for restitution for all the plundering which happened in England from 793 to 1066. Now that - could cost me a pretty penny.
Okay - facts are stubborn things. For reparations, first go after the slave traders. Who where they? England and Portugal. To go into Africa and get the people to be enslaved, they also needed help from the war lords in Africa to gather the slaves. Many hands in this stew already. But what about us? Didn't we receive and mistreat the most slaves? No. Most of the slaves when to Brazil. Funny, we don't hear spit about that one. The United States on the other hand, is estimated to have received only 10% of the slave trade.
If I were asked to come up with a cogent argument to defend the practice of slavery, I could not. It was and is reprehensible - in this country, or any other. If I were asked to come up with a cogent argument to defend the practice of racism, I could not. It was and it reprehensible - in this country, or any other.
On the other hand, if I were asked to come up with a FAIR method of reparations, I could not. It is not possible. The only way to do reparations in this day of age, is reward some people who were not descendants of slaves, by taking money from other people, most of whom were not descendants of slave owners.
What I will offer to someone who is like a Alex Haley, who was a descendant of a slave named Kunta Kinte, is simply this - I am sorry this happened to your family. I really am. Of course, if Kunta Kinte had stayed in Africa, Alex Haley might never have been born. And without Alex Haley, we would have not had that great book and TV mini series called Roots.
There you have it. My take on reparations. Another day in Congress wasted, as this will go nowhere. Who is responsible today is not knowable; who can be made to pay is not doable. It is as simple as that.