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Abolishing America (contd.): Reparations As Power Grab
By the most curious of
coincidences, just as the United Nations' pompously
titled "World Conference on Racism, Racial
Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance"
was about to leap from the earth in Durban, South
Africa, the issue of "reparations for slavery"
enjoyed a renaissance in the United States. First, Newsweek
devoted a large portion of its Aug. 27 issue to an
reparations and then the Sunday
New York Times allowed historian David Brion Davis
all over its "Week in Review" section in
support of reparations.
articles are not especially noteworthy, except for the
revelation, probably inadvertent, of at least one of the
political agendas that lurks behind the racial guilt and
tear-jerkery in any and every discussion of reparations.
This particular agenda was disclosed by Manning Marable
(to e-mail him, click here),
head of "African-American Studies" at Columbia
"The fundamental problem of
American democracy in the 21st century," Professor
"is the problem of 'structural racism': the deep
patterns of socio-economic inequality and accumulated
disadvantage that are coded by race, and constantly
justified in public discourse by both racist stereotypes
and white indifference." Mr. Marable
fails to adduce a single morsel of evidence for his
generalization, but that sort of thing never stops
specialists in "African-American Studies"
What the prof's remarks do reveal,
however, is that the agenda behind reparations is in
part racial collectivism,
and he urges the establishment of a "reparations
trust fund" with "the goal of closing the
socioeconomic gap between blacks and whites." White
guilt over slavery therefore is useful to undermine any
white resistance to divvying up the national swag with
their black brethren. Lenin and Mao had to rely on
revolutionary violence and state terror to grab other
people's money, but the racial revolution that hides
behind reparations is starting off by manipulating
Guilt is exactly what David Brion
Davis, a distinguished historian of slavery, was selling
in his New York Times installment. "The United
States," he tells us, "is only now beginning
to recover from the Confederacy's ideological victory
following the Civil War." You might think that
means that Confederate ideological beliefs like states'
rights and agrarianism won, but no, all it means is that
the rest of the nation failed to sign on with the
radical determination to make all white Americans wallow
in guilt for slavery. The reason they didn't was that no
one except for a handful of radicals in the North had
any interest in slavery. From Lincoln
on down, most on the Union side were interested in
keeping the nation together. Abolishing slavery was
mainly an after-thought. Nor were most Americans
interested in revolutionizing the South or the rest of
the country for the sake of blacks. Maybe this was an
"ideological victory" for the Confederacy, but
maybe also it was just a common sense reaction to a
bloody and disastrous civil war.
But. Professor Davis' point is that
the reaction was intended to hide the real role of
slavery in American society, and most of his article
details the very large role slavery did in fact play. He
mentions, among others, "European investors in the
slave trade," major philosophers like John Locke
and Voltaire; "wealthy Virginian and Brazilian
middlemen," "New Englanders," and even
the mere "European and American consumers
of slave-produced goods." His point is to
make sure we know that we're all guilty of
slavery—Europeans and Americans, Northerners and
Southerners, slave traders and consumers, businessmen
and intellectuals, even Brazilians—and therefore we
all owe for reparations. Of course, Professor Davis
conveniently downplays the role of Africans themselves
in the slave trade.
His purpose also is to discredit
the whole body of Western and American civilization by
insisting that racial slavery was an integral and major
part of it (though of course one could also argue that
he legitimizes racial slavery by showing how important
it was in Western history). That's also what Professor
Marable tries to do with his "deep patterns"
of "structural racism." Here we reach the real
core of the reparations issue and the real reason it
keeps popping up—the delegitimization of the old,
white, European, and Eurocentric America and the
legitimization of a new, non-white, non-European, and
and anti-European America. The money for reparations
is largely just a teaser; the real pay-off is the racial
power that reparations and the acknowledgement of white
guilt and white illegitimacy would bring.
The reparations issue may go back underground for a while after the ill-advised Durban conference is over, but don't imagine it will go for good. What's behind reparations is not just a fad or a foolish conceit of a few eggheads, but a concerted grab for power by one race against another.
COPYRIGHT 2001 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
September 03, 2001