Reparations: an idea whose time has come

ta-nehisi_coates

Recently a fellow called Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote an essay in which he called for reparations to African-Americans for the pains caused by slavery. The ebullient and insightful John Derbyshire penned an amusing response, so for critique of the article itself go there.

The topic introduced provides a good opportunity for not just finally talking about race in America honestly, but fixing a longstanding problem. As I recall, Africans in Africa sold war captives to Arab, Chinese, Jewish and European slave traders who then exported those slaves elsewhere to be “chattel” — owned like equipment, animals or other physical property — who were generally used for heavy manual labor.

Since that time, and doubly since the liberation of these slaves following America’s war with the greatest loss of life, race has dominated American discourse like an eagle perched above a colony of mice. We stab at the problem, conjecture about it, and yet never quite manage to solve it.

A reason exists for our inability to solve it: the problem is insoluble as we currently constitute “solutions.”

Societies need strong identities. These anchor their values, culture and heritage and use those to organize society from within, instead of imposing external order on it. Without these identities, societies become shopping malls driven by commerce and popularity and ruled over by inevitably increasingly authoritarian governments.

However, identity requires the triad — culture, heritage and values — and so is inherently nationalistic, meaning that it defines a nation not by ideology or economic system, but by genetic similarity. Race and ethnicity, in other words. Since WWII, when the Allied powers defeated the Axis powers who were nationalists, nationalism has been taboo.

But it’s worth reconsidering. Our society has declined proximately to its removal from nationalism. African-American fortunes, while somewhat improved for some, remain generally bad. We all feel bad about this. Even the most die-hard racists aren’t thrilled by the misery they see around them.

We can find a solution by granting both groups identity. This requires removing them from proximity to each other. Since the ancestral home of Africans is Africa, this seems like a good destination. But it also seems foolish to simply dust our hands of history and send them on their way. For this reason, reparations — with repatriation to Africa — make good sense.

In fact, we should consider this for all who are not from the founding American population of Western Europeans (English, German, Dutch, Scandi, some French). We are too different from them — Asians, Africans, and mixed populations — for us to have an identity together. As the years go on, each diverse moment we have is one in which we drift farther apart and closer to totalitarianism.

So let’s pay everyone to leave. We should shake hands, agree that this historical bend was a mistake, and send everyone home. But not empty-handed, in recognition not just for their suffering but their contributions. The money and time we will save in discrimination lawsuits, welfare, crime and chaos — all caused by lack of identity — will alone cover this outlay.

Right now, these words will be branded as heretical. But they are the opposite. True love is putting each thing in its place so that harmony can exist, not enforcing state-mandated diversity and when it fails, pounding harder on the square peg to cram it into that round hole. Let’s separate to stay friends, and help out our non-Western buddies while we’re at it.

41 Comments

  1. Great idea would be reparation AND separation.

    Give the Negroes plenty of money and their own country. They blow all the cash in no time but that isn’t our problem.

    1. If Afrika put men of powerful leadership and intellect like Thomas Sowell and Osiris Akkebala in charge it would become a rising force.

      1. Iron Gospel says:

        Not to derail the comments section, but what works would you recommend by Sowell?

        1. Most of what I’ve read from him is in the form of his semi-regular column which can be found here:

          http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/

          I haven’t made it to a full book yet but will report as that changes. I have read sections of several of his major works and would recommend any of those.

          http://www.tsowell.com/ethnicity_bk.htm

          http://www.tsowell.com/ideology_bk.htm

          1. Iron Gospel says:

            Thank you sir. Your time as always is much appreciated.

          2. Billy says:

            Brett, what about expatriating people of European descent back to Europe since this land was MOSTLY inhabited by Amerindians. Just because Europeans “founded” this land we call America doesn’t mean you can wipe away the bloodshed that was caused throughout history. Let’s return the Americas to it’s rightful owners and let the few Native Americans thrive and assure the safety of their people by removing all minorities (including whites) out of the Americas.

            1. crow says:

              Why stop there? Give it all back to the buffalo.

              1. Iron Gospel says:

                Why stop there crow? Why don’t we all just jump back into the primordial soup.

                Billy, I am all for the Native American right to self preservation and cultural exclusion in the present day however; I am growing tired of the demonic European narrative. People have always competed for the “right” to exist in a given space. This includes the Native tribes that were slaughtering each other long before ye ‘ole white devils cast their anchors and came ashore.

                Conflict is inherently a brutal thing. Bands of chimps kill other chimps for food and access to females, packs of wild dogs kill each other for the same. This is true across the whole of life. Bacteria, birds, snakes, badgers, even more enlightened beings like trees compete for existence.

                Nothing escapes this law of competition because life IS competition by its very design. One experiences life only at the expense of other life. It would be best to remember this and seek peace where possible, or otherwise accept it and proceed without hesitation. (Lest we be the ones seeking to demonize our conquerors.)

                1. crow says:

                  I thought it might be getting a bit silly, but OK then:
                  I am in favour of cloning dinosaurs from salvaged DNA and reinstating them on the continent. The English can go and live in wattle and daub huts, back home, the Irish in turf dugouts, the Germans in neolithic wienerschnitzels, and the rest, well who cares about where the rest live, anyway?
                  Retrograde progressivism. That’s the ticket.

                  1. Billy says:

                    “I am in favour of cloning dinosaurs from salvaged DNA and reinstating them on the continent.”

                    Crow, if you have the capabilities of turning the United States into Jurassic Park then by all means, go for it.

                  2. We will not be equal until we are all yeast.

                    1. Billy says:

                      You say yeast, Brett but Homer says, “Doh!”

                2. Billy says:

                  Gospel,

                  You said: “This includes the Native tribes that were slaughtering each other long before ye ‘ole white devils cast their anchors and came ashore.”

                  Regardless if they were slaughtering each other or not, does that give the right for Europeans to come and take their land? Yes and no.

                  “It would be best to remember this and seek peace where possible, or otherwise accept it and proceed without hesitation.”

                  So can we all agree that leaving America for the Indians would be a peaceful solution? I don’t think minorities would willingly leave unless people of European descent decide to leave as well.

                  1. Iron Gospel says:

                    “…..does that give the right for Europeans to come take their land?”

                    I don’t concern myself with “rights” as these, much like the Easter Bunny, don’t exist. As crow stated sometimes people end up dispossessed in the struggle to secure an existence for themselves and their progeny.

                    1. Billy says:

                      “I don’t concern myself with ‘rights’as these…”

                      Well, if you don’t concern yourself with rights as these then why should anyone else?

                      “As crow stated sometimes people end up dispossessed in the struggle to secure an existence for themselves and their progeny.”

                      Isn’t that what’s happening to Europeans? Who’s to say anyone should care?

                    2. crow says:

                      There’s a world of difference between being dispossessed, and having your own civilization voluntarily dispossess itself.

              2. Billy says:

                @crow

                Why stop? Because American Indians were slaughtered enough. They need their land back and they shouldn’t be isolated to reservations and casinos.

                1. crow says:

                  I’ve met a lot of indians, and have yet to meet any who were slaughtered. I’ve also met many who were in no way connected to reservations or casinos.
                  Personally, I like indians, and generally prefer their company to – ah – ‘my own people’.
                  But people are dispossessed all the time, all through history, and while that is a harsh reality, it is the way things are.
                  I see no reason at all to single out white people as the only ones who should not do the dispossessing.
                  That would be racist, wouldn’t it?

                  1. Billy says:

                    Crow, no one truly “owns” anything. But we’re not singling out white people as being the only ones who are dispossessing. If America removes the minorities, then Africans should remove the Boers of South Africa and the Arabs of North Africa as well. Same with Eastern Europe removing the Jewish influence and the thrill-chasing, white males from Asian countries. Remove every element of diversity all over the world and lets create homogenous countries instead. But we can’t allow white privilege when we do this. We must be systematic and thorough and not hung up on what’s been “established” by certain groups of people on other continents.

                  2. Billy says:

                    “I’ve met a lot of indians, and have yet to meet any who were slaughtered”

                    Are you centuries old, crow? Were you around for the American Indian Wars? Oh you’re not? Oh, you weren’t? Okay. So how you claim to know Indians were not slaughtered?

                    1. crow says:

                      If they had been slaughtered, how could I have met them? All the indians I have met have been live ones.
                      You seem to operate on a level I am not familiar with.

                  3. It’s likely also that the Indian migration from Siberia displaced whoever was in North America at the time. Amerinds show mostly Siberian ancestry but with touches of “other stuff,” most likely Solutrean and Polynesian, reflecting those they displaced. Some of our resident HBD experts will know more.

                    For me, the question is this: was it right to replace a dying civilization (Amerinds) with a vital one? Yes, it was. This isn’t a “might is right” argument — it’s a “better is right” argument. Amerinds specialized in internecine warfare, cannibalism, rape, murder and theft. There is a reason they could not unite and constantly provoked ire from the initially-friendly settlers. This isn’t a moral judgment; it’s a historical one, and the record is hard to argue with. It is most likely that Amerinds are the remnants of a once-great civilization that underwent internal collapse much as our civilization is now doing the same:

                    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/01/cahokia/hodges-text

                    1. Billy says:

                      “For me, the question is this: was it right to replace a dying civilization (Amerinds) with a vital one? Yes, it was. This isn’t a “might is right” argument — it’s a “better is right” argument. Amerinds specialized in internecine warfare, cannibalism, rape, murder and theft.”
                      There is a reason they could not unite and constantly provoked ire from the initially-friendly settlers. This isn’t a moral judgment; it’s a historical one, and the record is hard to argue with.”

                      Wait! You’re contradicting yourself there Brett. First you say that Amerindians specialized in cannibalism, rape, murder and theft and claim that your argument is a “better is right” argument… but say that it’s a non-moral judgment. Removing cannibalism, rape, murder, etc… Wouldn’t that be your aim at moralizing what you consider immoral?

                      I truly believe the Amerindians had a beautiful culture, even if it included rape, murder and cannibalism. There truly is no “better is right”. The only right is what’s natural. It’s what all indigenous groups practiced and considered their culture. The Amerindians and Africans had that wiped away by European colonialism. Now, descendants of Europeans want to cry wolf? Doesn’t seem justifiable.

                    2. Once we get into “right” outside of function we are talking morality, which is a branch of aesthetics. “Better is right” is saying that what works better should replace what doesn’t.

                  4. Billy says:

                    “There’s a world of difference between being dispossessed, and having your own civilization voluntarily dispossess itself.”

                    In the end, Western civilization will not dispossess themselves because more than likely, they will always remain the majority with majority rule.

                    1. The threat to the West comes from corruption from within. Bring in the corruption, let the half-breeds walk up the success ladder, destroy values, and even a majority transforms itself into a gray race.

            2. This is a moral argument, not a realist one.

              First, were the Indians rightful owners? No: they didn’t consider themselves owners, we’re told. They did not view the continent as unified, but identified patches of land as places where they roamed and lived. There was no unity between Amerind tribes. Further, as detailed above, they had displaced existing groups. Finally, they were in decline, a dying civilization devoting too much of its time to internal warfare and savagery to survive.

              Second, what’s the realist argument? Answer: give the land to those who made the most of it. This is clearly the Western Europeans, who took it from a wilderness and made it a paradise that the rest of the world now wants to partake of. Problem: that’s fatal to the paradise. Solution: export everyone else by removing mandatory opportunities for them, as has happened in the past, and they will depart.

              Reparations is just a way of doing this that also gives them some hope.

              Ultimately, humanity’s problem boils down to overpopulation. There are too many of us. Thus, clashes emerge.

              A better solution is to cease aid and welfare programs and to put smart people to work doing what they do best, and send everyone else home. Let the intelligent and noble own the largest chunk of the property and thus keep everyone else reined in.

              We need a real meritocracy, not this “he did well on the MULTIPLE CHOICE test, now he’s our PRESIDENT” scenario we’ve got now.

              1. Billy says:

                Brett, meritocracy is a thing of the past. It’s all about capitalism, cheeseburgers and anal sex. I know you wish it were not this way and yes, I agree, it is very detrimental to the West to support this type of system but merits can be bought today, not just earned.

                I applaud your conviction as you’ve been at this blog and anus.com for decades. However, how many of your followers actually have the ambition to make change? Not too many, right? You’ve opened minds I’m sure but in the end, you’re beating a dead horse and it’s starting to become useless rhetoric for both the hopefuls of your cause and the naysayers in the peanut gallery.

                Maybe it’s not your intent to expect change in your lifetime. Maybe you’re just leaving behind a chronicle for the future generations to learn from after the West has crumbled and fallen. I hope that’s the case and you’re not really expecting “change”. Weren’t we fooled by Obama with that?

                By the way, Ta-Nehisi Coates and any other negro imbecile who wants reparations should attempt to fly off a cliff.

                1. Our problem is a lack of direction. Yes, most people do nothing… but some do a lot. You’ll see many of them around here.

                  1. Billy says:

                    “Bring in the corruption, let the half-breeds walk up the success ladder, destroy values, and even a majority transforms itself into a gray race.”

                    So you’re saying Obama was a failure because he’s a half-breed?

                    1. crow says:

                      “So you’re saying Obama was a failure because he’s a half-breed?”

                      So you’re saying that a warped mind can make sense of things?
                      What are people saying when they say things? Golly, who knows? Surely what they are saying can’t possibly be present in what they have said? Hmmm. I wonder what I am saying in what I’ve said. What did I mean by what I said? Perhaps what I really am saying is that saying what I am saying means I am saying what I am saying because really I am saying something else.

                      There are very few sane minds around.
                      And that is that.

  2. NotTheDude says:

    I’ve never understood why many conservatives focus on ‘them pesky Blacks! They cain’t do nothing right!’ kind of thinking. Sure, they haven’t done the best job, even when given at least some of the means that we Euros have had to better their societies, but they could, given the time, method and means. If I think that a certain group is not to my taste, or I think that they fail, I may say so at times but it is counter productive to focus on life’s losers as we all know that there are winners and losers in Nature. I only disagree with some of the really fine points on this site, as most of it is fact not feeling, but one of the strongest points made is the will for Nationalism for all.

    1. one of the strongest points made is the will for Nationalism for all.

      This was part of the original concept of nationalism that seized my attention: pan-nationalism, or nationalism for all, in other words an end to racial conflict through both an end to diversity and an end to diaspora for the various tribes.

      Most people haven’t caught up yet and realized that it’s time to stop blaming black people, Jewish people, Mexican people, white people, etc. for the failure of diversity. Diversity is a bad architecture. It just doesn’t work, because of internal contradictions.

      1. Iron Gospel says:

        Diversity is the greatest threat to actual diversity. Nationalism preserves and perpetuates that which took thousands of years to craft and refine into a unique culture.

        1. Nationalism is also a step up from original tribalism, which had random small violent bands roaming the countryside in search of things to steal/kill. Nationalism united related tribes into groups with transcendent ideals. That’s the optimum — right in the middle of the civilization cycle — that avoids the extremes of the edges.

  3. Tony says:

    Great piece Brett.
    Dr. Albert Schweitzer : My African Notebook 1961

    The good doctor spent his entire life in Africa taking care of poor Africans.

    “They have neither the intellectual, mental or emotional abilities to equate or to share equally with white men in any function of our civilization. For whenever a white man seeks to live among them as their equals, they will either destroy him or devour him. And they will destroy all of his work.
    Americans must awaken to the fact that we are the great people, that we are willing to help and assist black people and brown people from every part of the planet, but we will not be conquered, we will not be shown disrespect by anyone and we will not be pushed any further by the tribe.
    We can respect and even love people of every color, of every creed and religion but their hatred and contempt of everything we stand for will no longer be tolerated.”

    Guess some missed the memo.

    1. If we’re going to show up as conquerors somewhere, it had better be as conquerors…

      Well-intentioned “aid programs” generate more resentment than they cure problems. The natives know that it’s the white man projecting his personal benevolence, and that’s a challenge that no one can back down from.

  4. Hans says:

    It didn’t work for Germany. Remember, the German government offered what amounts to a paycheck to Jews who left Germany. The German government inked deals with other nations to accept Jewish migration. What happened?

    As it turns out, many German Jews simply did not wish to leave. Nations such as Palestine, eventually backed out of the deal entirely. Of course where American History picks up on the subject is right where Jews began fleeing following well documented historical events.

    What this idea does not consider that American Blacks may actually see themselves as Americans, thus have little inclination to migrate from their homeland. Further, there is an assumption that being of African descent is enough for the American black population to fit back in with the many, many peoples and cultures of the sub-saharan region of the continent. You’re talking about near 300 years of separation between continents.

    What do you do with those who refuse to leave? What do you do with the “half-castes?” How do you deal with the cultural intermixing that dates back centuries once they are gone?

    1. The point is defense of the tribe as a whole. That means that what is foreign must leave, but not under unkind circumstances.

      1. Hans says:

        I understand. Where I’m going is that removal has been attempted under kind circumstances and failed which ultimately degenerated into very unkind circumstances.

  5. Anthony says:

    We should pay reparations. Then, we should garnish those reparations for the cost of rebuilding our cities, cultures, and social structure. Unfortunately, this will leave the “poor and downtrodden” with substantial debt. Maybe they can swipe their EBT’s and pay it off.

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