There’s a lot of hoopla going on about reparations these days. It wasn’t too long ago on the boob tube that I saw Democrat politicians lining up like shoppers on Black Friday to kiss Al Sharpton’s ring and declare their feudal allegiance to the idea of taking money from white folk and giving it to the descendants of former slaves. How they are going to sort through that mess wasn’t mentioned but I am sure the good reverend will be there with an open hand to lend.
The reasoning is simple enough. White folk caused — and solely benefitted — from slavery (which isn’t true), and black folk solely suffered from it (which also isn’t true). But what the hell, these lies are the common narrative, so we will go with them for the moment. Four hundred years ago was when we started to shanghai unsuspecting Africans, binding them in chains and shipping them off to the New World.
Actually, the 15th Century Portuguese first began to kidnap people from the west coast of Africa to sell in Europe. That started the western slaving tradition. Well, that, and the 30,000 Irish slaves sold into bondage in the New World. But, hey, they were white, so let’s move on.
Spain, by the way, did their own thing at largely the same time, first enslaving Native Americans and Asians, later replacing those slaves with Africans. So, if we want to heal from slavery on the American continent using heritage as a guideline, we need to start getting checks from people of Hispanic descent. Maybe that should be a note of caution to the Central Americans clamoring to get in here.
Matter of fact, slavery started in ancient times with the Mesopotamians. It picked up steam again with the Portuguese and the Spaniards, who traded with the already well-established slave traders of North and West Africa. Slavery ended in the western world with the influence of the British and with the end of the American Civil War.
All this is to say that slavery was started by societies “of color” and only ended when non Hispanic white men put a stop to it. Even today, when you look across the globe at the few spots where slavery is still practiced, they all have a complete and quite noticeable absence of, uh, western white dudes.
Still, for now, let’s stick with the narrative that everyone is so keen to collect on.
Besides, it’s totally accurate to say that whites hurt blacks with slavery and later with the KKK, Jim Crow and a host of other forms of institutionalized bias against blacks. So now, as the Rolex-wearing Rev. Sharpton might say, white folk need to cough up the cash.
OK, so let’s say that I am in. Let’s take tax money away from schools, welfare programs, cancer research or wherever else we can and set it aside for designated victims du jour. Let’s hang all the gubbamint programs upside down and rattle change out of those deep, deep gubbamint pockets. Let’s distribute all that money to the descendants and alleged descendants of slaves (just the black ones, mind you).
Jumping on that bandwagon and endorsing the idea that yesterday’s wrongs means today’s winning lotto ticket, it only leaves me with one question.
Where’s my check?
As a white man, I reckon I have it coming to me. Call it reimbursement for the 600,000 plus white men who gave their lives ending the human travesty of slavery that men of color started. Call it a debt owed for the 402,000 American white men who died protecting our freedom to be stupid in World War II. And yes, black men died, too. All 708 of them.
And look, if you’re offended that I am divvying up the world by color here, take it up with Reverend Al. I am just following his line of thinking. And if you’re a proponent of reparations, I am following yours.
Personally, I’d rather regard those 708 African Americans who died in WWII as American heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. That’s what they were, after all. Nothing more, and damned sure nothing less. But that doesn’t fit the narrative any more than Irish slaves or black American slave owners.
And since we are all bound to the narrative, I want my freaking money.