Reparations Discord on Capitol Hill

Reparations Discord on Capitol Hill

Reparations Discord on Capitol Hill

Democrats never back down from pandering to the black community for votes. So on Wednesday, members of a House subcommittee held a hearing to discuss H.R. 40, a proposal by Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee to discuss reparations for slavery. Never mind that no slaves are living today, nor any slaveholders. Somebody’s gotta pay, because an election is coming, dammit!

Some of the usual suspects showed up at the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties subcommittee hearing — people like Sen. Cory “Spartacus” Booker, who has introduced his own version of Lee’s bill to the Senate. He’s running for President in 2020, you know. And just so the people at the hearing would know that he’s someone special, Spartacus sat alone at a witness table.

He also wanted everyone to understand how “brokenhearted and angry” he is:

“This idea that it’s just about writing a check from one American to another falls far short of the importance of this conversation. I say that I am brokenhearted and angry right now, decades of living in a community when you see how deeply unfair this nation is still to so many people.”

No, it’s not about the Benjamins — well, yes it is. Did I tell you that Booker is running for President?

The actor and activist Danny Glover also appeared before the subcommittee. He’s an expert on the need for reparations because . . . well, because he’s an actor and can say stuff real good. Only it wasn’t the accomplished actor who showed up on Capitol Hill. Glover stumbled over the prepared testimony he read from a script. This was not his Jon Stewart moment.

The constantly aggrieved young journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates also testified before the committee. Five years ago, Coates had written an essay called “The Case for Reparations” at The Atlantic, and here he was again, shilling for his pet cause before a House Subcommittee. He also used his time to rip into Sen. Mitch McConnell, who had argued that living Americans should not have to pay for the sins of past slavery.

“Majority Leader McConnell cited civil-rights legislation yesterday, as well he should, because he was alive to witness the harassment, jailing, and betrayal of those responsible for that legislation by a government sworn to protect them. He was alive for the redlining of Chicago and the looting of black homeowners of some $4 billion. Victims of that plunder are very much alive today. I am sure they’d love a word with the majority leader.”

And on, and on, and on.

Still another young black man took the floor: Coleman Hughes, a writer for the website Quillette. But Coleman Hughes doesn’t buy into reparations; in fact, he called them a “moral and political mistake.” He also said they were an insult.

“Reparations by definition are only given to victims, so the moment you give me reparations, you’ve made me into a victim without my consent. Not just that, you’ve made 1/3 of black Americans who poll against reparations into victims without their consent, and black Americans have fought too long for the right to define themselves to be spoken for in such a condescending manner.”

Well, that didn’t go over well. Many in the crowd booed Hughes for being an uppity . . . um. . .young man who dared leave the plantation. Whereupon Chairman Steve Cohen had to bang the gavel and tell the surly crowd to “chill,” reminding them that while Hughes was “presumptive,” he still “has a right to speak.” Thanks, I guess.

Finally, former Oakland Raiders safety Burgess Owens appeared to speak out against reparations. And he didn’t just oppose the bill, he spanked the Democratic Party, too.

Not only did Owens speak with more passion than Danny Glover, he said stuff that no white Republican would dare say.


Credit: giphy.

But while Democrats hold these hearings on reparations, what they ignore is that most Americans don’t like the idea. In fact, a recent poll showed that 60 percent oppose paying cash for reparations to slave descendants, while only 32 percent support it. And another poll showed support to be even lower — at 21 percent of likely voters.

Ah, but with Democrats the picture looks different. Among them 54 percent of likely Democrat primary voters support reparations, while 33 percent oppose it.

This could be fun, however. Some of the Democratic candidates are still waffling on the hot button issue of reparations, and this hearing only turns the heat up higher. Bring it. Let’s watch them squirm.


Featured image: Daniel Lobo/flickr/cropped/public domain.


Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

  • Jim says:

    What is affirmative action but a form of reparations over the decades? As for Glover what’s his net worth? How many millions of dollars has he earned in his career? Or didn’t he earn it by right of his own honest labour? Was it, instead, purely charity from Hollywood progressives because he was black? If he could earn an honest wage, why not other black Americans? Here again is the victimology model of the socialists.

  • Dietrich says:

    Couple questions/requests for the Democratic Party:
    Please define who will be eligible for reparations for slavery. (Will Barack Hussein Obama be eligible as an African American? Caucasian mother, Kenyan father, no American slave ancestors.)
    Please define how eligibility will be determined.
    Please define who will pay the reparations.
    Please define how the payer will pay.
    Please define the scope of reparations, if reparations will be generational going forward.

  • Ralph R Jaeger says:

    Slavery in the U.S. was a Democrat Party institution. Let the Dems pay the reparations!

  • Ralph R Jaeger says:

    Mr. Burgess Owens hit the nail on the head.

  • DC says:

    Dear Mr. Glover
    Take a walk through a Civil War Cemetery, walk through Arlington and Gettysburg,
    and tell me those reparations weren’t paid in full with the lives of the men buried in those graves.

  • GWB says:

    I say that I am brokenhearted and angry right now, decades of…
    demagoguery and attempted extortion, and I am still a pathetic second tier racist, well behind Sharpton and Jackson!

    He’s an expert on the need for reparations because . . .
    He’s gettin’ too old for this sh*t.

    Ooh! There’s the word I was looking for!

    He was alive for the redlining of Chicago and the looting of black homeowners of some $4 billion.
    Oh! “Lying” was the other word. Thank you!
    And, even if that did happen (it didn’t), *I* don’t owe them ANYTHING and refuse to pay.

    How about the Democratic Party pay for all the misery brought to my race…

    But while Democrats hold these hearings on reparations, what they ignore is that most Americans don’t like the idea.
    No, the most important thing they refuse to acknowledge is that it would be a perversion of JUSTICE as well as the Common Law and Natural Rights.
    It would be a perversion of the very idea of America as a bastion of freedom and law.

  • Mickey says:

    My grandma use to tell me back in the ‘70s when I was a little girl, “They’ll never be happy until they’re white”.

  • Tallaman says:

    Under this plan, how do they decide who gets money? Do black immigrants from the Bahamas get reparations (they were never involved in American slavery)? How about mixed race people half black/ half white? Do black people pay taxes that go for reparations? How about white people whose family never owned or supported slaves or slavery? This very stupid idea has so many holes…

  • MortMain says:

    It’s all about the money. Cory Booker should put on a badge and a gun and go arrest the bad guys.

  • PaulB says:

    OK…slavery was legal in America for ~75 yrs (under our present Constitution). Prior to the Revolution, we were and English colony…The English were the ones who brought slavery here…Make them pay!

  • Sven says:

    My family didn’t arrive in the US until after slavery ended. So I dont have to pay, right?

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