Every nation has stains on its history, the recollection of which should be reason for a bit of humility. Tragically, much of human history is a record of wars and violence. We’re reminded of this just by how quickly we recall the major wars of the past or periods of persecution whenever we take a look at history. It’s a very unpleasant, but no less real, part of who we are.
It is for this reason, that sincere work at making peace and fostering reconciliation among peoples is typically held in high regard. It might even have been part of the motivation for the creation of organizations such as the League of Nations and the UN, although both institutions have not only failed miserably at fostering peace, but the UN has been co-opted by those who would impose a one-world government, and turned into a monstrosity that should be abolished. That it has turned into a vehicle for bashing the US can be seen in its recent demand that the US government make reparation to those the UN alleges are the victims of “police lynchings.”
Slavery has been practiced by nations and cultures for millennia, and tragically became part of America until the mid 1860s. Equally sad is the fact that we still contented with the aftermath of slavery 150 years after its abolition. That healing is desirable should be obvious. But demanding reparations isn’t part of the solution despite the views of at least one Congressman as he once again introduces legislation relating to this.
It’s difficult to judge the motivations of people, especially elected officials who so often have motives for introducing legislation and making statements that are hidden. In each Congress for the past twenty years, Rep. John Conyers has introduced a bill to set up a commission to examine the possibility of reparations being paid to African-Americans for the slavery under which their ancestors suffered.
Here’s what we know about this:
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus and other Democrats this week re-introduced legislation that would set up a commission to consider whether reparations should be paid to black Americans for slavery.Advertisement - story continues below...
Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., has proposed the bill in each Congress for at least the last two decades.
A description of the bill said the legislation would set up a commission to both examine the possibility of reparations, but also an apology for the “racial and economic discrimination against African-Americans.”
While the entire text of this bill is not yet available, if similar to previous bills, its purpose would be to, “examine the entire history of slavery, and then make recommendations on whether the U.S. government should apologize for slavery, and whether reparation payments are warranted.”
This is terrible legislation for so many reasons. For one thing, it doesn’t solve anything at all, but simply creates a mechanism for rehearsing that terrible practice and making recommendations. Even if it were thought some sort of reparations were justified, how would the amount be determined? And what about African-Americans who are not descendants of former slaves? What about reparations to the relatives of Japanese-Americans who were interred in the US during WWII?
These sorts of questions would go on virtually forever. And that might be the purpose of the legislation since it attempts to accomplish the impossible.
The issue then becomes, what is the purpose of this legislation? It’s it really to compensate those who would be considered victims, or is it to foster an acrimonious debate for political gain? My we suggest that it’s the latter.
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