Social Question

Demosthenes's avatar

Are slavery reparations something the government should be pursuing?

Asked by Demosthenes (7109points) April 9th, 2019

A number of Democratic candidates, including most notably New Jersey senator Cory Booker, have presented the idea of reparations for descendants of slaves.

Booker has recently introduced a bill that he describes as “a way of addressing head-on the persistence of racism, white supremacy, and implicit racial bias in our country. It will bring together the best minds to study the issue and propose solutions that will finally begin to right the economic scales of past harms and make sure we are a country where all dignity and humanity is affirmed.”

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/booker-introduces-senate-bill-for-slavery-reparations?fbclid=IwAR1oaAOaznRlbBLmqefcBd0HTWQzz6yDS4XSrvlcNKyeoudyStTQdUXqHfw

This bill is to explore avenues of reparations and does not say specifically what reparations will entail.

Are reparations a good idea? If so, what form should they take?

I would love to hear opinions from black Americans, but I don’t know that we even have any here on Fluther.

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143 Answers

kritiper's avatar

That’s ridiculous! (Some people will say ANYTHING to get elected!)
What people need to do about the slavery that was, is to LET IT GO!

Yellowdog's avatar

I think we should pay reparations to children.

Children were once exploited by industries under terrible, unsafe conditions for extremely little pay. Many children died. This injustice went on for seventy years longer than the abolishment of slavery. Children were not even compensated for injuries.

We should pay children who are under 14 years of age compensation for what was done to their ancestors.

gorillapaws's avatar

I think we need to take a bold approach to creating a society based on equality of opportunity. Currently, the descendants of slaves still do not have the opportunities that other Americans have. The best way to right the wrongs of our past is to give every kid in America, access to a first-class education, to guarantee healthcare to everyone, to make public college tuition free, to eliminate the private prison industry so we’re not incentivized to create school-to-prison pipelines that enrich scumbags at the expense of ruining people’s lives. Along the same line, we need to end the war on drugs and stop locking up non-violent offenders.

We shouldn’t be funding schools based on property taxes—setting up zones of white, suburban school districts with fantastic public schools and run-down inner city schools just across the county line. We shouldn’t pretend that we have equality of opportunity when such disparities exist. All of those issues disproportionately affect the descendants of slaves and so fixing them (because it’s the right thing to do) will do so much more to improve the lives of the descendants of slaves than handing out checks ever will.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Repatriation to women too @Yellowdog.
Also, to those people of Dutch ancestry, such as my self, whose ancestors suffered horribly under Hitler’s hands because the US wouldn’t get involved for the longest time.

seawulf575's avatar

Reparations are a great idea…if you want to lose an election. What Booker proposed was not actual reparations, just another bloated government department with a sketchy goal and no time frame for accomplishing anything….just to look at the idea of reparations. But think about this for a minute. This whole thing is just another effort to divide the country. Let’s say you decide that to buy the votes, your new government department will come up with some idea of reparations. Who gets the reparations? Who pays them? How to decide? You can’t say “black people get it” because not all black people are descendants of slaves. Barack Obama, for example, was not. And it wasn’t just blacks that paid a horrible price for slavery. Many whites did not own slaves and fought and died in the Civil War. Should their descendants get reparations? If not, why not? And if you just say “white people” have to pay, why? Not all whites owned slaves nor were the ancestors of all white people in this country today here during the Civil War or before. What about white people that were captured and sold as slaves in Africa and the Middle East? Should their descendants qualify for reparations? If not, why not? And how about the Irish? Or the Chinese? Both groups were treated horribly…almost as slaves.
Reparations sounds like a really great idea to the dim-witted and it makes for a great campaign speech, if you are trying to divide the country.

hmmmmmm's avatar

Of course. Whether or not it is politically feasible to enact something today is not the issue here. The conversation needs to start now, however. We owe ADOS for unpaid wages and the effects of slavery on future generations.

And while @gorillapaws’ equality approach is necessary, it’s not necessarily sufficient. This isn’t an either-or situation.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Here is a copy of that very question addressed in the past few years and the arguements for and against. See link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reparations_for_slavery

But I agree that amends for this injustice should not be ignored.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Why would the descendants of slaves be entitled to respiration, but not the descendants of other mistreated groups @hmmmmmm ?

filmfann's avatar

I am against reparations to individuals in this .
However, I heard Booker suggest reparations in the form of helping poor neighborhoods.
That isn’t a bad idea.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@Dutchess_III: “Why would the descendants of slaves be entitled to respiration, but not the descendants of other mistreated groups @hmmmmmm ?”

Are you serious?

Also, when did I state that other “mistreated” groups are not entitled to reparations?

jca2's avatar

I agree with @seawulf575. How is it going to be determined who gets what, especially when many of the people on the paying side didn’t have relatives here when slavery existed.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@jca2 – All discussions about reparations for American descendants of slavery (ADOS) = American descendants of slaves are the recipients.

jca2's avatar

@hmmmmmm: Yes but that doesn’t address my question about who determines who pays, when many people didn’t have ancestors on American soil 150 years ago.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@jca2: “Yes but that doesn’t address my question about who determines who pays, when many people didn’t have ancestors on American soil 150 years ago.”

I’m not sure I understand your question. But again – I think calls to have this discussion (publicly and as a nation) are worthwhile. These are all questions that can and will be worked out.

jca2's avatar

@hmmmmmm: OK, let’s say half of the people here will be recipients and half of the people here will be paying. How could someone be made to pay when it’s very likely they had no ancestors living here in 1860? So why would they pay for something they were not responsible for and their ancestors were not responsible for?

gorillapaws's avatar

@hmmmmmm How should we price slavery? How much would you have to pay a little girl to agree to be sold and raped for the rest of her life with her children sold off to the highest bidders—only to suffer similar fates? Would anyone agree to that for any amount? How much do we price the value of someone’s labor who spent his entire life toiling in a field, with no freedom, and no family, only to die young from being overworked? Do we estimate the total value of the cotton he harvested and do an inflation-adjusted conversion plus interest, plus the value of wrongful death and false imprisonment according to modern day settlement rates?

The moral calculus required to tabulate the cost of slavery is unworkable. You’d easily be talking tens of trillions of dollars or more, not to mention the fact that the records are mostly non-existent.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@jca2 – It seems that you are imagining a system where individuals pay reparations. I have yet to hear such a proposal. What is often talked about is the concept that the US government pay reparations to ADOS.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@gorillapaws – I’m neither an ADOS or a scholar in this area. Yet, describing the reparations question as unworkable is unacceptable. There is plenty of research and estimates on this, and if we treat it as a necessary one of moral importance, we shouldn’t have to shrug our shoulders and declare “too difficult”. And of course true justice (as in going back in time to reverse events) isn’t possible – reparations is an attempt to correct (to some degree) the wrong.

The US economy was built with the help of free labor thanks to slavery. If there were a company or companies that were around today, we would likely talking about targeting these companies for stolen wages. But since there is not, the US government will need to compensate the descendants.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Where are the reparation $$$ coming from? Current taxpayers? That’s not remotely logical.

My family was thrown out of Germany in 1938. How does that make me liable for slavery in the 1860s in the US?

hmmmmmm's avatar

And just to be clear:

1. I support the concept of reparations, and believe it’s morally required.

2. I don’t think we are in any way ready to pay out reparations today or within the next couple of years.

3. I believe that we should be having serious discussions about how this will work, because it will take some effort.

4. I understand that the issue of reparations has been used as a cynical political tool over the past couple of years to hammer Bernie Sanders. Such efforts were not in good faith.

5. But there is a good case to be made for reparations that doesn’t involve hinging the 2020 election on it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Exactly what will be accomplished by such reparations?

gorillapaws's avatar

@hmmmmmm We have a statute of limitations for a reason. Someone could have stolen money from me 20 years ago, and that was unjust. Unjust things happen in this world. Unfortunately, if they’re not addressed within a reasonable time frame, I think the only rational approach is to recognize that something unjust occurred and move on. I really don’t believe any dollar amount could really make up for the horrors of slavery, and I honestly think that if given the choice, most slaves would have wanted their descendants to have a genuinely level playing field to earn a successful life for themselves, rather than a one-time symbolic payment that would almost certainly grossly undervalue the horror of their experiences.

kritiper's avatar

@hmmmmmm For how long into the future do you suggest these reparations continue?

KNOWITALL's avatar

It won’t fix past mistakes, but if we could move forward with less inequality, I’d be for it.

Here’s an interesting article on this subject:

https://www.americamagazine.org/arts-culture/2018/11/28/my-ancestor-owned-41-slaves-what-do-i-owe-their-descendants

For the 40 million Black slave descendants in the US today, the calculated reparation means that US white society owes each and every Black slave descendant a MINIMUM payment of $ 1.5 million, which is long overdue.

https://blackagendareport.com/content/calculating-reparations-15-million-each-slave-descendant-us

MrGrimm888's avatar

It’s a subject that I put a low priority on. I would not mind the government looking into reparations, but there are simply bigger fish to fry.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@gorillapaws: “and I honestly think that if given the choice, most slaves would have wanted their descendants to have a genuinely level playing field to earn a successful life for themselves, rather than a one-time symbolic payment that would almost certainly grossly undervalue the horror of their experiences.”

Not even sure what you’re saying here? “Level playing field”? The horrors of being owned property followed by injustice after injustice, intergenerational wealth, etc – what possible “level playing field” are you even talking about?

And as far as statute of limitations – that’s a complete copout. The best time to have addressed reparations was right after slavery. The second best time was the following year, and so on.

gorillapaws's avatar

@hmmmmmm “what possible ‘level playing field’ are you even talking about?”

A playing field where you could sample a random 100 students and not see any negatives statistically based on whether that student is a descendant of a slave or not (e.g. health, test scores, likelihood of a criminal record etc.).

You can label statue of limitations as a cop-out, but I think it exists for practical reasons. @KNOWITALL‘s article lists a total figure of nearly 60 Trillion dollars, and that was just the inflation-adjusted minimum wage value of the labor. When you factor in the pain/suffering/trauma etc. you’re easily talking $600 Trillion dollars. Since we’re crunching numbers, let’s also tack on the value of the genocide of the Native American populations, not to mention the total value of the land that was stolen from them, adjusted for inflation plus compounded interest, etc.

You’re probably looking at a dollar figure in the multiple quadrillions of dollars to truly account for all wrongs this country has committed (and that’s only to it own people). When you crunch the numbers it’s probably something like a cost of several hundred million dollars from each person who wasn’t a descendant of a Slave or Native American. It’s totally unworkable.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@gorillapaws: “When you crunch the numbers it’s probably something like a cost of several hundred million dollars from each person who wasn’t a descendant of a Slave or Native American. It’s totally unworkable.”

So, nothing is probably best.

Single payer “will never, ever come to pass”. – Hillary Clinton, 2016

Dutchess_III's avatar

What does something Hillary said about Bernie’s health care proposal in 2016 have to do with anything?

gorillapaws's avatar

@hmmmmmm “So, nothing is probably best.”

I NEVER said to do nothing. I said we need to commit to equality of opportunity in a bold way. We need to reach the point where there is no statistical difference between decedents of slaves and everyone else across a wide spectrum of metrics. I don’t think this can be achieved by writing checks to certain people. It requires a systemic overhaul and an investment in the people of the country, that will just so happen to disproportionately improve the lives of descendants of slaves.

hmmmmmm's avatar

^ Right. And we’re back to where we started. I agreed that this is a good start. But reparations talk goes beyond this, and we’ll likely not agree.

What I mean by “nothing” is that according to your calculation, reparations would cost around 999 zillion dollars, so it’s unworkable. But the few numbers that I have seen have ranged from $6 trillion to $14 trillion over a decade. Considering that the Trump tax cuts just cost us $3+ trillion, having a discussion about reparations is not completely unreasonable.

josie's avatar

Would that replace other efforts to establish social justice, such as the Civil Rights Act, Affirmative action, and the Aid to Dependent Children etc. all of which were directed to do something about racial bias in America’s institutions?

Would those or similar programs stop?

Would recipients of reparations have to reimburse taxpayers some calculated amount of the value of those other efforts?

Sounds like a good campaign speech, and a nightmare policy.

gorillapaws's avatar

@hmmmmmm “But the few numbers that I have seen have ranged from $6 trillion to $14 trillion over a decade”

Are you including Native Americans in that figure?

Slavery alone is probably at least 100 times the figure you quoted.

Demosthenes's avatar

@seawulf575 I do wonder why many Democratic candidates are expressing support for this idea. I guess this is the “woke” issue of the day. But it certainly will alienate many voters. It sometimes seems like the Democrats want Trump to win in 2020 in latching onto these esoteric issues that once again show their tone deafness with the electorate and their inability to understand why Trump won in 2016.

There are many issues that black Americans face that ultimately stem from the legacy of slavery, but I don’t think throwing money at the problem in this way will solve much of anything.

seawulf575's avatar

@jca2 I understand the idea of ADOS supposedly being the recipients of the reparations. But what about the whites that didn’t support slavery? What about the whites that fought and died to end it? How are they going to determine who is actually a ADOS? I mean, we don’t even want to push the need for an ID to vote, so how do you propose we determine who are actually ancestors? And how many generations? And what about the Irish and Chinese? If we stick with ADOS, how do we factor in the benefits the ADOS have accumulated for the past 150 years? Don’t those count for something? Especially when you compare it to the living conditions in the areas the ancestors were stolen from.
See, when all you want to do is pick out one group to say they deserve reparations for a wrong that was done 150 years ago, you set yourself up for a determination that will be impossible to make AND you stir racial hatred in this country again. Slavery was and is wrong. It was a situation that was acceptable at the time in most areas of the world, but we put a stop to it. It is time to look at that and accept it as a dark part of our history and learn from it.

jca2's avatar

I agree with you wholeheartedly, @seawulf575.

seawulf575's avatar

@Demosthenes I think what you are seeing with these suggestions for Reparations is desperation in the Democrat party. Trump has helped blacks in the 2 years of his administration despite the best efforts of the Dems. Many blacks are starting to wake up to the fact the Dems have never done anything for them. So in a desperate effort to regain the black vote, they are suggesting reparations. It’s the old “we’ll give you something for nothing!” campaign promise again.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@seawulf I tend to agree about the motivation. That being said, there are over 13,000 hits on a site about reperations. Up from like 300.

Some slave owning families are voluntarily joining together on reperations already. So somethings there that needs put to rest, imo.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@gorillapaws – Just to be clear – are you opposed to reparations, or do you support the concept but find it to be too expensive? There is a difference. If you support reparations conceptually, there is room for the conversations that people need. There should be a commission to determine how best to proceed. There are so many flavors of proposals, it makes little sense to discuss them all here. But if you are opposed to reparations – not just the cost – then that is something else. Honestly, I can’t tell where you stand.

gorillapaws's avatar

@hmmmmmm I think acknowledging the wrongs that have been committed and investing in the American people to achieve equality of opportunity IS a form of reparations (the most reasonable form that’s actually achievable).

Writing checks to individuals is not a good approach because either you (1) GROSSLY undervalue the wrongs of slavery (by several orders of magnitude) or (2) you basically destroy the economy and punish all taxpayers to an insane degree for the sins of people who lived hundreds of years ago. If we do a ballpark of $500 trillion, and apply an interest rate of just 2.5%, that means every man, woman and child in the US would need to pay ~$38k every single year just to keep up with the interest. If we exclude people under 18 and also all descendants of slaves, then that number will increase even more. And that’s ONLY the interest, and ONLY the descendants of slaves, we’re nowhere close to the value of land and human cost that was wrongly taken from Native Americans.

jca2's avatar

The average American can barely make ends meet, and if they have disposable income, they’re not going to want to give up their vacation or their mani-pedi or their night out in a restaurant in order to pay larger taxes so a small group can get reparations. Therefore, I think no politician will ever get elected who seriously is considering this. Just my opinion.

Pinguidchance's avatar

No “respiration” for the descendants of slaves and “repatriation” of women, seems somewhat unfair.

Darth_Algar's avatar

The time for monetary reparations passed generations ago. Let’s focus our energies on shaping a more fair and level playing field so that the descendants of slaves don’t face systemic inequalities.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I agree entirely with @Darth_Algar!
Boy is that a new trend!

Just proving ancestry would be a hum dinger.

Blackberry's avatar

Just like a lot of things, it’s a great idea but simply won’t happen.

We’re in the kindergarten stages of humanity. Some people will cover up or ignore their own children being abused.

On a macro scale, no one even cares enough about black people to think they “deserve” anything.

It’s “pull your bootstraps up” and thats it.

There are people suffering everywhere and nothing is going to change.

We’ll be dead and gone before any large societal shift is made.

josie's avatar

Would Rachel Dolezal be eligible?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh hey @Blackberry. Good to see you again.
Well, I, for one, do care. I’m just not sure what repartitions are supposed to accomplish.

JLeslie's avatar

@hmmmmmm If the US gives reparations, does the same amount go to each black persons? Or, what about very wealthy African Americans, should they forgo their share?

Yellowdog's avatar

@JLeslie White people, regardless of national origin, will receive a 40% increase in their taxes, and that money will go to reparations to African Americans.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Yellowdog Um no. I didnt do anything wrong so that is excessive. Lets be reasonable here.

JLeslie's avatar

@Yellowdog I’m not in favor of reparations. I’m in favor of equal opportunity for everyone.

I would focus on education, especially K-12, fixing neighborhoods so they are clean and safe, vocational education, guidance to navigate the college entry system, innovative ideas to create new jobs, and other things. Maybe more small business loans. We have to be careful, because best laid plans often backfire and have results not expected.

I would focus on the poor, and with that, a The percentage of black people who still are paying for the past get helped.

We have already done things to help African Americans. Affirmative Action, quotas, we have been doing things to try to even things up.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Lots of people have suffered so that their children could be US citizens; some more than others, some willing, some not.

So slaves were brought here against their will, and forced into servitude. Slavery was a hideously wrong thing to do.
There were people in various countries who sold their kids into servitude so those kids would be able to go to America. Ofttimes they too suffered cruel indignities.
It was a commonly accepted ordeal when this nation was younger.

Slave dependants actually benefitted a great deal from the harshness of their lives.
Quality education
Art
Sports
Entertainment
Politics
Inventors

Many many opportunities which they would not have in Africa if their ancestors had not been taken are available to them now.

I think reparations is a ridiculous notion.
I feel no guilt for being white. I know for certain that if I lived before the 1860s I would have run an underground railroad depot.
What should have been done was not, and now it is too late.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Oh good fucking Christ…

Yellowdog's avatar

Private individuals owned slaves—they were called Democrats.
Republicans did not own slaves.

So the only real justice would be that reparations should come from the DNC coffers.. They kept the oppression through the 1960s. They and the DNC benefitted the most.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s a vastly different party today than it was back then.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@Yellowdog Those slave owning people took their ideas with them when they transferred to the Republican party. It was the single largest and most abrupt mass exodus in the political history of this country.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Look some of the things members of the Republican party did and said just because Obama is black. “Ape in heels,” for example.

Patty_Melt's avatar

And there’s the derail

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s in social @Patty_Melt. And we’re still talking about slavery. It’s just evolving.

Patty_Melt's avatar

They were, your comment has nothing at all to do with slavery.
It doesn’t even have anything to do with history. It was a jab at republicans and nothing more.
And it is what you do on a very consistent basis.
Just because it is in social doesn’t mean anyone wants it to sail off into oblivion.

Dutchess_III's avatar

We were talking about black people too. Making reparations to black people. The descendants of the slaves.

You are the one derailing this thread with a petty complaint.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Obama is a little black, but not the descendant of any slave.

seawulf575's avatar

@stanleybmanly I know Dems love to say that the evil Dems are now the Repubs. But you cannot show a single example of where the Repubs swapped to being Dems or Dems to Repubs. As recently as the 70’s, the Dems were still fielding presidential candidates that fought against desegregation and preferred that blacks “stay in their place”. Yet you can’t really show this mass migration from Dem to Repub and vice versa…because if Dems all suddenly became Repubs, then the Repubs had to become Dems, or the entire country would be Republican or all Dem. It isn’t. So while I understand your reluctance to admit that the Dems have a deep dark history and are desperately trying to distance yourself from it, it plays EXACTLY into this discussion.
The Dems of today are calling for Reparations, yet their predecessors were the drivers for keeping slavery in this country. So if you are going to go back and say the ancestors of today’s blacks are entitled to reparations, you have to look to see who the slave owners were and who was fighting to keep slavery. That would be the Dems. So here’s a thought….why don’t we say the blacks are due reparations and that the Dems need to pay it! It makes just as much sense.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Patty_Melt

The derail began before @Dutchess_III made her comment, but I don’t see you chastising the derailer (probably, I suspect, because you agree with him and disagree with Dutchess).

Demosthenes's avatar

@seawulf575

During the 70s, the parties were in transition. This was a time when you could still find conservative Democrats (mainly in the South) and liberal Republicans. The “swap” hadn’t yet completed. It has largely completed by today. In the 60s, Southern Democrats began moving away from the Democratic party as the Democrats embraced Civil Rights, moving instead to the Republican Party, which was becoming increasingly conservative. The Democrats used to be the more conservative party, the Republicans used to be the more liberal party, and there was a transitional time during the mid-20th century when you’d find both liberals and conservatives in both parties (with the most conservative Democrats in the South). Are you implying that the anti-segregationist Democrats were left-wing liberals? You really think Teddy Roosevelt and his big government “Progressive Party” has anything to do with modern Republicans? The switch is well attested.

Patty_Melt's avatar

No, @Darth_Algar, it was still about slavery, and who maybe should be held financially responsible.

I actually agree with if private institutions with reliable paperwork want to, then go for it.

I just don’t think it makes sense, and a great many black Americans don’t know if they are descendants of slaves or not. There are white people who don’t know they are descendants of slaves.

jca2's avatar

Many slaves’ names were changed when they came here, and often listed under the owner’s possessions without a last name. It would be very hard to prove who was who without them at least having a first and last name.

Yellowdog's avatar

The Republican party was never very strong in the South until racism and segregation were a thing of the past, after 1980.

The idea that the Republican party have been racists at ANY point in history is a lie. The idea that the parties switched positions or had some kind of ‘The Great Switcheroo” is also a lie.

Demosthenes's avatar

@Yellowdog Wrong. The Republican party’s positions have changed greatly throughout history, as have those of the Democrats. The Republicans were once the “big government” party, particularly around the turn of the 20th century. That is obviously not true anymore. To say that they have not changed positions is willful ignorance.

Demosthenes's avatar

The Democrats were extremely unpopular following the Civil War due to their opposition to the war itself and Reconstruction, which was largely a Republican effort. The Democrats started to regain power when Grover Cleveland was elected. Cleveland and the Bourbon Democrats were known for their fiscal conservatism and pro-business policies. Cleveland and his administration also opposed expanding voting rights. Many conservatives of today claim alignment with classical liberalism and positions traditionally associated with classical liberal thought. Classical liberalism has never been more associated with any political party than it was with the Democrats of the late 19th century. Something like the Bourbon Democrats simply couldn’t exist today. It’s clear evidence that the Democratic party of today is far-removed from what it was in the late 19th century.

The progressive element of the Republican party was strongest in the early 20th century (Roosevelt being the most obvious examples), but there were others. They were pro-union, pro-regulation, pro-environment, and advocated for social reform. Their influence in the party waned as the 20th century went on, with it largely dying out by the middle of the century and nearly completely gone by the 1980s and the rise of Reagan. Barry Goldwater was a major figure in bringing the conservatives of the Republican party to the forefront, against the Lodge/Rockefeller liberals.

From the Wikipedia article:

“In 1948, Democrats alienated white Southerners in two ways. The Democratic National Convention adopted a strong civil rights plank, leading to a walkout by Southerners. Two weeks later, President Harry Truman signed Executive Order 9981 ending discrimination against Blacks in the armed forces”

“In addition to its white middle class base, Republicans attracted strong majorities from the evangelical Christian vote (including Southern pockets of traditionalist Roman Catholics as in South Louisiana), which had been nonpolitical before 1980.[93] The national Democratic Party’s support for liberal social stances such as abortion drove many white Southerners into a Republican Party that was embracing the conservative views on these issues. Conversely, liberal voters in the northeast began to join the Democratic Party.”

No, I am not arguing that there was one-to-one switch that all Democrats became Republicans and vice versa. The parties’ positions were much more varied and less ideological stratified in the late 19th and early 20th century than they are now. There were liberal Democrats, conservative Democrats, liberal Republicans, conservative Republicans, etc. The parties were much more diverse ideologically. The solidification along left/right lines largely began with the Civil Rights movement but was not complete until the “Reagan Revolution” and has only increased since then. But to behave like the parties haven’t changed at all is just flat-out wrong. I don’t know that any notable pre-1940 Democratic and Republican politicians would find they have much in common with the parties of today.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@seawulf575 You want some examples of straight up out and out CONFIRMED dixiecrats that dumped the Democratic party for the Republican brand. Read em and weep. Strom Thurmond, Mills Godwin, Jessie Helms. But rather than weep, why not dump that silly revisionist bullshit that causes you nothing but endless embarrassment here. Clearly you know neither the history of the country nor the Republican party as the onerous Southern strategy hit paydirt and every rabid segregationist from Helms through Trent Lott flooded the Republican rolls. And from where did you conjure up that slap buckle logic whereby segregationist defection from the Democratic party was impossible without Republican desertions to the Democrats?Regardless of where you are finding crap like that, you betray yourself as one bonafide fool for repeating it. The Republican party embraced the former segregationist wing of the Democratic party and the slew of forced Republican Senate & House resignations due to racial slurs more than bear out the truth of this. Learn something about the history of the country before you come here to spout that crackpot right wing blog bullshit!

seawulf575's avatar

So @stanleybmanly let me ask…when were blacks slaves? Answer: the beginnings of our nation until the Civil war ended in 1865. And which party was the primary one responsible for pushing the slave trade and tradition and fighting to keep it? Answer: The Democratic Party. The idea of reparations is to pay the descendants of those slaves for effectively pain and suffering. Doesn’t matter what the ancestors look like today, or anything. You are paying based on events from 150–250 years ago. So you should have to go to the source of the problem…the Democratic Party….to get the payments. It makes just as much sense as the idea of reparations. Are you starting to see the idiocy of this idea? And it is an idiotic idea put forth by the Democratic Party.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Hold on a minute. That “idea” was put forth by the descendants of those slaves, which renders it a great deal less idiotic than you pretend. At the close of the war, the slaves were actually PROMISED reparations by a Federal government that had tolerated and BEFITTED from slavery since the onset of the country. That promise was rescinded by Lincoln’s successor, an avowed racist with the vision of a spittoon. Once you claim those descendants have no case, you are squarely in bed with those proponents of slavery who STILL exist in this very day. You have yet to realize that I have not ONCE advocated for reparations on this site. But my reluctance in advocating such measures has nothing to do with the preposterous views and distortions you spread here with abandon. The contagion of your warped perceptions must be stomped on hard and quickly lest they infect the deluge of others who share your susceptibility to the vicissitudes of ignorance. Let’s begin this time with your answer above to your own question in order to understand the hole you have dug for yourself on this matter. The simplest and most effective method of leading you to my point is to ask YOU a question. Since slavery was here well before the founding of the country, which came first slavery or the Democratic party? I’ll leave you to ponder the implications in the answer to that question in your spare time, while I move on to the next question. Do you actually believe that an absolute racist can absolve himself from responsibility by simply embracing the party of Lincoln while openly espousing racist views? And let me comment on that stupidity of yours about the impossibility of racists flocking to the GOP, without their fellow Republicans turning in disgust to the Democrats. The Republicans embraced the racists because they need the numbers. Everybody knows it. It wasn’t the non racist Republicans that jumped ship. The indisputable proof of my narrative vs. your own is that it is the descendants of those slaves who abandoned you and the racist bastards you so admire! The Republican party traded its proclivity toward freedom and emancipation to maintain its dominance on matters of fiscal conservatism and as a result finds itself so degraded that racism is now considered a conservative trait. You folks get the nazis, the skinheads, the school shooters, AND the racists. Enjoy yourselves!

JLeslie's avatar

Why does anyone bother to argue about which party freed the slaves? Any Republican who has been told the history and thinks Republicans today were a part of the Republicans who were the party of equality and freedom when the slaves were freed obviously don’t give a crap about the truth.

Ask them if their grandparents were Republicans. Most will say no. Especially, if they were Southerners.

Edit: I don’t believe all Republicans today are racist, I’ve said that many times here, and I believe it. I just don’t like the twisting of history so a group can feel proud of something that they deserve zero credit for.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Well. That much is true. Presently, the Republican party is THE party of bigots, and racists. Between their blind hatred of Obama, and their embrace of Trump’s heavily racist agenda, the worst of our country are now bedfellows of all conservatives…

seawulf575's avatar

@stanleybmanly ” Since slavery was here well before the founding of the country, which came first slavery or the Democratic party?” Slavery obviously. Which side fought hardest to keep it? Oh yeah…the Democrats. Which side carried this fight into the 20th century? Oh yeah…the Democrats. Want to go back and look at some of my other considerations? Well, my ancestors are Irish and the Irish were treated like slaves as well. So why don’t I get reparations?
“Do you actually believe that an absolute racist can absolve himself from responsibility by simply embracing the party of Lincoln while openly espousing racist views?” Sorry hoss, it was Lincoln and the Repubs that ended slavery. So I believe what you are saying is that the Dems were fighting to keep slavery, that were the absolute racists and are the same ones you said are now different because they embraces the Republican ideology. See the contradiction in your arguments? You want to believe that the Repubs suddenly jumped into racism. Yet your arguments fail to show examples of that and are completely contradicted by the voting record of H.R. 7152, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in which an overwhelming majority of Repubs voted FOR the legislation and were entirely needed to pass it. Meanwhile almost 40% of the Dems (in the House) voted against it. 31% of the Senate Dems voted against it with an overwhelming majority of Repubs (82%) voted for it. Yeah…they sure did embrace racism.
“And let me comment on that stupidity of yours about the impossibility of racists flocking to the GOP, without their fellow Republicans turning in disgust to the Democrats. The Republicans embraced the racists because they need the numbers. Everybody knows it.” And in true @stanleybmanly fashion, you make bold claims that “everybody knows” yet you fail to show any proof at all….of ANYTHING you are stating. And as you can see…you leave yourself open to allow me to show how foolish your statements are.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The party that freed the slaves is NOT today’s Republican party. I know it. The descendants of those slaves know it. The skinheads know it.
Trump certainly knows it, and if THAT fool knows it, what does that say about you? And I’ve given PLENTY of examples of stridently racist Democrats who jumped into the welcoming arms of the GOP. I notice that you choose to ignore those names and continue with the asinine claim that I offer no evidence. The very fact that the black population of this country shuns the Republican party like the plague more than clinches my argument. Or is that too a myth that I supposedly invented? The longer you continue in this tiresome dance the more you reveal yourself for the stubbornly irrational misguided piece of work you surely are.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Now now, Mr. Harding calm down.

I don’t understand why every thread must be debate rather than discussion. And, really it goes beyond debate into spattering froth and vehement behavior.
Remember the sixties, when everybody had a dream? Make love, not war. SAVE THE WHALES! Wait, that’s another thread.

Please try this, we all get where you both stand on certain things. Let’s try picking one thing the other says which we can say, yeah, that makes sense.
Please?

JLeslie's avatar

@Patty_Melt I am usually the kumbaya girl, but it is incredibly frustrating that some Republicans today actually really think that their party was the voice of equality and freed the slaves. Give me a break. WHY oh WHY is that line so important to Republicans? Why does it matter which party did what 150 years ago? Let’s talk about now, that will stop the bickering over the past, but no, some conservative always needs to march out, like they are bragging, that their party was the equality party in the mid 1800’s. It’s ridiculous. Southerners overwhelmingly were in favor of slavery, should we consider all Southerners to still think that way? Just because Southerners thought that way 150 years ago? Or, has that group changed?

Patty_Melt's avatar

That is the exact opposite of what I asked for. I won’t respond to anything else on this thread which is unfriendly, from either side.
I saw a facebook page last night which was full of Arab posts cheering for the cathedral fire. I have had enough hate, and I won’t answer to anything unfriendly anymore.

JLeslie's avatar

@Patty_Melt it’s because @Yellowdog started the tangent, but you blamed @Dutchess_III, which to me means you actually agree the Republicans of today can take credit for the end of slavery. If you want to say you agree they don’t get the credit, then maybe that will calm things. Do you agree? Notice, I don’t write specifically Democrats get credit, I just say the Republicans don’t. The parties were different then.

Initially Lincoln’s main goal was keeping the US states united, ending slavery was not his top priority. It evolved. Some congressman in the parties abstained from voting on the amendment.

I agree with many things you said, like Obama should probably not qualify, because he is not a descendent of an American slave, probably some people in the extreme would say he still gets to qualify, so on the topic presented by the Q you and I aren’t too far apart on most of it actually, but I just can’t stand some of the conservative talking points.

Republicans freed the slaves.
Planned Parenthood was started by a eugenicist. That’s just two. Blah blah, drives me crazy.

I can stop talking about it for now if that’s what you want. I just wanted to point out it is the conservatives who always start this conversation.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I’m not going to argue. And I explained already, the conversation stayed on topic until Dutch popped in with Obama, who is barely black, and not a descendant of any slaves. Her comment made no sense at all. The thread is about slave descendants, not just anybody who happens to be kinda dark.
Plain enough yet?

Darth_Algar's avatar

“Barely black”

Yep. The “one drop” rule always applied until Obama came into office and Republicans started to use his mixed heritage in an effort to deny the man even his own racial/cultural identity.

stanleybmanly's avatar

As if American racists would cut him a break because he was not descended from slaves.

JLeslie's avatar

See, the thing is you can argue that slavery, segregation, and all the things that created inequities in the system regarding race even effect black people who are descendants of slaves in America. A racist man or biased employer does not see the black guy from Jamaica as much different than the black guy whose family has been in America since the early 1800’s. I’m not arguing it, I’m saying one could argue it. They would still qualify for affirmative action and quotas I would think.

I’m not sure what barely black means. Obama is half black. Many of our black people in America are half or quarter black, and they aren’t usually called barely black as far as I know. Does barely black refer to being only half? Or, to him being successful? Or, some sort of black culture thing? Or, just that his race doesn’t matter?

seawulf575's avatar

@stanleybmanly Since some of Obama’s ancestors owned slaves, would he have to pay reparations?

stanleybmanly's avatar

It is really difficult to deal with you because there are just too many things you either don’t know or don’t understand. In fact the extent and frequency of these blips leads me to believe that you cannot possibly be a product of this country. This discussion over reparations illustrates our difficulties on veritably any subject the 2 of us bat around. I want to give you the benefit of the doubt and deflect your misperceptions to flawed sourcing information on your part, but it’s deeper and more basic than that, and this latest question from you displays this in spades.

Where did you get the idea that proposals for reparations were about billing individuals or organizations for the injustices of slavery? You want to assign blame for slavery, but completely miss the point that it is the UNITED STATES that legalized, tolerated, reaped the benefits from and endorsed the institution. Slavery was a collective crime perpetrated under the full weight and majesty of law. And this in a land declaring to the world that “all men are created equal”. It doesn’t matter if Southern Democrats endorsed slavery or Obama’s ancestors owned slaves. It’s the country that gets the bill. When the plane flies into the mountain, it isn’t the pilot’s family which is expected to compensate the dependents of the casualties.

stanleybmanly's avatar

And about that question of yours. Judging from the range of skin tones among those slaves and their progeny, the majority of slaves descended from slave owners,

seawulf575's avatar

@stanleybmanly what you miss, I think, is that if the US pays the reparations, then, in fact, blacks would be paying themselves as well. Tax dollars don’t identify with skin tone. So I guess what you would believe is that the US would just pull the trillions of dollars out of the current taxes? No….that isn’t realistic. It would have to be an extra tax. But who to tax? Well, you shouldn’t tax blacks since many of them would be considered ADOS. It probably wouldn’t be a tax on Asians or Latinos since they either weren’t really in this country during that time or they were not slave owners at that time. So you would have to tax anyone that might have an ancestor that owned slaves somewhere. So it would only be white people and it wouldn’t go so far as to try finding those whose ancestors were actually in this country during the beginning century of this country AND owned slaves. I mean, isn’t that the point of reparations? Not only to make amends with the slaves but also to punish those that owned slaves?
I think where you and I fall apart on these pages is that I have already jumped ahead in my reasoning to how to pay for reparations. And when I get to the reasoning I just explained, then I go back and find Obama’s ancestor owned slaves. So would he then have to be one of those that was taxed extra? I think you get stuck on page 1 and I am on page 3.

stanleybmanly's avatar

You might have”jumped ahead” in your reasoning but you refuse to leave the page about which people are at fault and which are to pay. I am not in favor of reparations specifically due to the impossibility of compensating slaves and their dependents for the damage done them which continues while we discuss it. That impossibility by no means eliminates the fact that THE DEBT IS DUE, and even though it may never be paid, I cannot allow you to perpetuate an unchallenged argument here that the debt should be transferred to the Confederate states, Obama’s or my white slave holding ancestors, etc. It is the country collectively that
owes the debt. Honduran immigrants on their way here now who dream of US citizenship will assume that debt the second they take the oath. It’s EXACTLY the same argument as confronts the erection of the fool’s wall. Where’s the money to come from? Farmers, restaurants, others giving immigrants jobs? Will the fool attempt to pass the bill to the ACLU or sanctuary cities?

stanleybmanly's avatar

And no. Reparations are not about punishment. The country was punished enough by the Civil War, but the unspeakable penalties paid by those slaves and their descendants in the years since involve a staggering debt beyond calculation. And bear in mind, I’m not saying that it is just black folks who have been cheated and deprived of what should have been their destiny. Those allowed to achieve adulthood and think the way you do have led lives of deprivation, whether they know it or not.

seawulf575's avatar

My personal take is that yes, the country suffered through the Civil War and it was a long painful battle after that to drag the country into civil rights. But let’s be completely transparent…every single ASOD alive in this country today is better off than they would have been had their ancestors NOT been enslaved. In fact most wouldn’t exist today. That isn’t to say that slavery is okay or that it is a blessing. But there have been great benefits for those folks…reparations have already been paid over time.
If we are going to be stupid, we can’t go halfway. If you want to start talking about reparations, you need to go back and see what the supposed recipients were deprived of. In this case (with the blacks) the answer is…nothing.
Now if you want to look at the people that have been treated badly, we need to talk about the Native American Tribes. I was very much amused and supportive of the Republic of Lakotah proposal and felt it had some serious merit. Unfortunately the organizers of the movement didn’t get enough backing from the other Native Americans in that area and it seems to have died on the vine. I think the US made a lot of treaties with AmerInds and then basically reneged on most of them. But it isn’t the Native Americans that the Dems are focusing on with their foolish Reparations proposals.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Applauding enthusiastically

MrGrimm888's avatar

@seawulf575 . “every single ASOD in this country today is better off than they would have been had their ancestors NOT been enslaved.”

I find that assumption/theory ridiculous, and offensive, at best. There is NO way of even remotely supporting this idea. Especially considering that most problems in Africa can be traced to colonialism, and/or interaction between Africans, and Europeans/Westerners in the past couple hundred years…

I suppose the black people in America should be paying ancestors of slave owners, to show gratitude…~

stanleybmanly's avatar

Of course the Native Americans were screwed. The history of this country boils down to whose turn it is to be screwed. Native Americans were effectively eliminated from the melting pot through isolation land neglect. They too are a group for which there can be no just compensation. That argument about better off than they would have been is made by people whose faculties are restricted to rather narrow parameters. And the proof of this is in the failure of people like you and the dog to understand or admit that the persecutions leveled on black folks did not end with the civil war. And the both of you are actually so hollow as to believe that bigotry and racism are over in America. You sincerely think that modern day racial divides arise from transgressions on the part of those descendants of slaves. You have a LOT to learn.

seawulf575's avatar

@MrGrimm888 Actually, it is an opinion and is very easy to back up. Most of the black slaves were captured in western and central Africa. They were not civilized people. Their life expectancies were very short. Even today, the life expectancy in these areas is almost 20 years shorter than in the US.
Now, let’s also look at what fills that life. Education, housing, economic opportunities, health care…almost every aspect of life has been better for the ASODs than for their counterparts that stayed in Africa. AND the ASODs haven’t had to worry about the warlord next door coming and wiping them out. You are so inundated with the kool-aid that you make foolish statements like ” Especially considering that most problems in Africa can be traced to colonialism, and/or interaction between Africans, and Europeans/Westerners in the past couple hundred years…” You actually make my point even more. Given zero interaction with the outside world, the ASODs, if their ancestors had been left in Africa, would likely be still living in thatch covered huts, hauling untreated water for drinking, hygiene would be poor, medicine would have been covered by the medicine man, etc, etc, etc. Now compare that to the life and opportunities available to the ASODs in the US (or in Africa) today. Some are doctors or nurses, some are teachers, some are engineers, mechanics, plumbers, scientists and some are leading the country. Think I’m being to extreme with my view of what their life would be like without interaction with the outside world? I give you the Sentinelese as a perfect example. You remember them…the aboriginal tribe that has been protected by law from the outside world on an island in India’s territorial waters? The ones that killed John Chau? I’ll let you Google it. Basically, they are living exactly as I described.
As I said, slavery is not a good thing and is a blot on the history of just about every country in the world. Some more recent history than others. But this idea of reparations is moronic at best. So if you want to go stupid, you need to go all the way….can’t just go halfway. If you want to take reparations seriously, you need to look at more than one side of the equation. You need to look at the evil that was done, but you also need to see if there were any benefits. And in my opinion there have been HUGE benefits.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Thank gawd those poor Africans had their white saviors to come along and uplift them out of their near-animal existence. Yes, they were held in bondage, but at least they got slightly better huts and pig intestines to eat out of the exchange.

MrGrimm888's avatar

@seawulf575 .

Your logic, as usual, is severely flawed.

First off, you draw the conclusion that only a European/western lifestyle can be a good one. Although happiness is not tied to average age of death. You foolishly assume that happiness cannot be found in pre-modern civilizations. By this logic, no human had a decent existence until the last 70 years or so. Billions currently live without clean water, medicine, decent living conditions etc.

Secondly comparing a continent, to a island the size of Manhattan in almost any context, is extremely difficult. Especially if you consider that all we know of the Sentinelese, is what we’ve observed of their behavior towards outsiders on a beach. The vast majority of the island is covered by thick jungle canopy. So, we don’t even have satellite imagery of their way of life. Compare that keyhole of knowledge, with what we know about African history, and your analogy fails like a snowball on the Sun…

Thirdly your apparent understanding of African/Westerner relationships in the past is/present is uninformed, and biased towards western values. “The warlords next door ” you speak of, were likely armed by a western government so that weapons could be traded for natural resources and access to valuable minerals at a massive discount.
Dozens of assassinations, and coups, in Africa, were the work of western government’s intelligence communities (like the US’s CIA.)
There is absolutely NO evidence that African nations would not have thrived, without western manipulation. On the contrary, there is a pile of evidence that almost all conditions in Africa would be better, if not for colonialism, and western manipulation.

The single biggest hole in your logic is western culture itself. The western people came from the same past, and eventually advanced technologically. To assume that only westerners are capable of evolving culturally, or scientifically, is assuming that only white people are capable of such things. That’s wildly ignorant, and racist. Not a surprise, from a Trumper…

Your opinion is not “easy to back up.” For someone who claims to prefer facts to conjecture, you make huge assumptions based on a lack of facts, and/or your tenuous grasp of history…

Making your arguments even worse, is the fact that there are plenty of American people who are starving, malnourished, impoverished, homeless, sick, mentally ill, unemployed/underemployed, uneducated, imprisoned etc. Detroit doesn’t have clean water. Nor do scores of entire counties in the US.
Healthcare is only accessible to all, in an ER.
Education (public education) is substandard across the board.
Infrastructure is beyond substandard, across the board.
Drug overdoses, and suicides (preventable deaths) are up, across the board.
Violence (especially gun violence, ) is higher than in any other country on Earth.
I could go on, and on…

If ignorance is bliss, then you must truly be one blissful person…

jca2's avatar

It’s always amusing to hear people talk about people from other civilizations as “not civilized people” or “uncivilized.” It might not be YOUR civilization, but that doesn’t make it uncivilized. It might appear uncivilized to you, from a Western perspective, but that doesn’t make it uncivilized. The people might follow a religion that is not yours, they might follow a political structure that is not yours, and they might make art that is not from your culture, but that doesn’t make it uncivilized.

jca2's avatar

I’m betting a slave who had his leg amputated for trying to run away or his tongue cut out for some other “crime” and had his children sold away to someone else would be looking longingly toward Africa for the life he once had there, and not thinking of his present existence as better than the one he left behind.

seawulf575's avatar

@MrGrimm888 At no time did I say happiness cannot be found in any civilization. But what I did say…AND GAVE EVIDENCE OF PROOF…is that the benefits provided to the ASODs in this country far exceed those of their brethren in Africa where their ancestors came from.
Funny thing though…you make all sorts of “points” that sound amazingly like weak opinion that you back up with…well…nothing.
You think I was comparing a continent to an island. Again…you are grasping. I was using the Sentinelese as an example of a society that was untouched for thousands of years by outside influence. Because, after all, isn’t that what you were talking about? Outsiders impacting African societies? So if you take away that impact, you are left with a society that resembles the Sentinelese. You say I make the assumption that those societies cannot evolve as the western cultures did? No….I showed you an example that they don’t. At least not as rapidly. Funny that you can show no example to disprove that. Not a big surprise though, from a liberal.
As for the warlord next door, it might be true that many of the violent elements in today’s Africa have been armed by outsiders. But the violence and the push for power has been there. Look at our own Native Americans. They fought amongst themselves with raiding parties all the time. And that was before there were outsiders impacting them. You think that because someone from outside interacted with a native that they suddenly became rabid murderers? That is a foolish belief if it is what you think.
And you end your diatribe with some foolish “feeling” rant about the sick and homeless in this nation. If you think this is so bad, I suggest you go to Africa and live there for awhile. Then you can come back and tell me how wrong I am. I can show you world class doctors in this country. I can show you an abundance of food. I can show you one of the top economies in the world with opportunities for personal growth everywhere. All you have is a weak “there are bad things here too!” statement. Pitiful. For someone that wants to try tearing apart my facts and logic, you really do try to do it from a position of weakness. You didn’t bring a single fact, you didn’t show any real logic, you didn’t even really refute a single thing I said. You just tried saying “Nuh-uh!” in a long-winded way.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Yes. You were/are comparing Africa to a small, isolated island.

All I did, was point out your severely flawed logic. You are so busy pitching a fit over facts, that you don’t somehow realize that that was the sole reason for scrutinizing your thinking. You WITHOUT ANY FACTS opine that ASOD’s lives are better off than if they hadn’t been enslaved in America. YOU have nothing to base that on, other than what happened as the direct results of western colonialism. You are apparently unable to understand that history would have likely transpired quite differently, without western manipulation.

I’ll leave it at that. Your personal admonishment of my refuting your ideas is irrelevant to me. I’m fully aware that my rhetoric will never change a Trumper’s mind. But I will gladly call out ignorance, when I see it…

seawulf575's avatar

And, @MrGrimm888 I recognize that when a fact and logic hit you between the eyes, you cannot recognize them for what they are. And yes…your RHETORIC won’t change anyone’s mind. Because that’s all you have is rhetoric. But that’s a liberal for ya!

stanleybmanly's avatar

The fact is that virtually everyone everywhere is better off today than they were 200 years ago. But your argument is equivalent to starving a fat man, then demanding credit for saving his life. There are innumerable bogus arguments attempting to mollify the stark injustice of slavery. Everything from free room and board, through enforced sobriety. But the evils of slavery outdistance any and all imagined moderations. This fact is further exacerbated by the reality that so called emancipation was in reality confinement to an enforced under class, rigidly maintained with vestiges of intolerance persisting to the present day. The system of bias against black folks is so deeply ingrained in this society that even laws guaranteeing the contrary cannot resist the forces of conditioning thru tradition. And will you for the love of God stop your crowing, you silly ignorant man. You still don’t know the difference between a liberal and a hole in the ground. You have the logic of a tumbleweed.

Demosthenes's avatar

Seawulf’s position in a nutshell

Yes, this is a Family Guy clip. But I think it’s especially relevant. :)

stanleybmanly's avatar

There’s something not quite right. It’s like he’s discussing theses topics exclusively from reference books without living within them. There’s no nuance to his reasoning, regardless of the topic. And some basic ingredients are absent altogether, particularly empathy. It’s as if he regards slavery as evil because he’s been told to say so as a civil response. He then makes the classic mistake of right wing kooks in actually trying to list mitigating excuses for slavery. Then there’s the thing about kidnapping kids at the border, and the comeback “Obama did it”. I mean slapping desperate women and children around. It leaves you wondering “Is that the sort of behavior your mother taught you?” The guy’s a puzzle.

hmmmmmm's avatar

Discussions of reparations is always a blast. It tends to bring out so many things that people don’t usually say in public. You get to see the legacy of slavery in the culture that produces someone like @seawulf575.

seawulf575's avatar

Amazing. So much that I state is entirely lost. Here’s a clue….put it into context. I have stated the idea of reparations is moronic. I can’t make it any more clear than that. Yet so many mindless liberal drones on these pages make the comments like it’s our civic duty to support it. So I then go on to all the other aspects of our dark past that are ignored. And when I finally pull out facts and no one can really refute them, it becomes a personal attack. Do you all actually listen to yourselves?
@stanleybmanly let me help you understand. I discuss the same way as everyone else. You, yourself, are classic at voicing your opinion with no nuance to your reasoning, regardless of the topic. As for empathy, I find it funny. I do have empathy. But I suspect you and some of the others do not. Again…pick a topic. You all jump on the flavor of the day but avoid the negative of those ideas. Illegal immigration for example. You all focus on being empathetic with the illegal immigrants and want to make all sorts of accommodations for them. But when they bring drugs or crime to the streets and hurt US citizens, you purposely have no empathy for the victims. You, in fact, want to deny it really happens. You get wound up making wild accusations about Trump and picking out something he does, yet when you find out that Obama started doing it you avoid even discussing it. It’s like you cannot see that your hero might have made a mistake. For sure you cannot admit it. In this case…reparations. You are all prattling on about how wonderful it would be for us to make reparations to ASODs. Yet when I bring up all the aspects of reality that would impact, you don’t want to discuss those. Instead, you want to try attacking me. It looks like you don’t have to face reality if you do that. So yeah…if speaking from a realistic point of view, using facts and logic and pointing out the fallacies in the liberal ideas makes me the bad guy, then I am the bad guy.

Demosthenes's avatar

I think reparations are moronic too, but not because “slavery was good in the long run” or whatever. I just think it makes no sense to give free money to people generations-removed from slavery.

seawulf575's avatar

@Demosthenes I agree with you wholeheartedly. As I have said repeatedly (and which you and others purposely ignore), Slavery is horrible. It is a dark blot on our history. But as I have also stated repeatedly (which again, you all try to avoid) if you are going to go even semi-seriously discuss the idea of reparations, you can’t go half-way. You have to go all the way. Who would be the recipients? Who would pay? How would they pay? How MUCH would be paid? How much leads into the idea of what are the damages to the descendants? To determine that you have to consider what their lives would have been in relation to what they are. And that is where we have to get to if we are going to go stupid the whole way.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I believe the consensus here is
pretty much the same on whether or not reparations CAN or will be paid. The difference is in whether or not black folks have a case. I’m claiming you can’t argue your way around the fact that they do. There’s also agreement that this country cannot accept everyone that wants in. But the pile of shit excuse that the persecution of people at the border is about drug interdiction is so blatantly disingenuous that it’s laughable on its face.

seawulf575's avatar

@stanleybmanly see? That’s where you fall apart. “the persecution of people at the border…” You make the assumption that the people at the border are being persecuted. What you fail to actually admit is that they are attempting to enter our country illegally. There are laws for entering this country. Try entering any other country in the world illegally and see where it gets you. Even Canada is tougher on illegals than we are. Enforcing our laws is not persecution. Here’s a concept…if they didn’t swarm the border, they wouldn’t have to deal with border patrol. End of problem!
As for the things they stop at the border, again…you are burying your head in the sand. Drugs, human trafficking, disease…all of these things are happening at the border. And fools like you just want us to let everyone and everything in without any hassles. THAT is disingenuous and laughable. Or at least it would be if it weren’t so stupidly dangerous. Remember the discussion about empathy? Where is your empathy for the victims of human trafficking? Where is your empathy for the lives the drugs destroy? Where is your empathy for the neighborhoods that fall into violence because of those drugs or the criminals that are coming in? See? This is where you are the heartless automaton that does nothing but parrot the liberal rhetoric.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Are you telling me that it is only the drug trafficking children that were snatched from their parents and deliberately lost throughout the country? And all of those thousands turning themselves in at ports of entry—drug dealers and criminals? Are you actually convinced of anything as ridiculous as the proposition that this exodus is a drug driven conspiracy to import narcotics and crime into the United States? Is that really the best you can do? What percentage of these women and kids surrendering themselves and asking for asylum do you imagine wind up prosecuted for running drugs through the tactic of surrendering at the border? Doesn’t seeking asylum at a point of entry amount to following our laws to the letter? Aren’t drugs and most contraband smuggled here primarily in containers and trucks and with folks on planes? Were you a drug magnate, would you entrust your product to thousands of ragged and desperate peasants to trek 2000 miles then surrender at the border?

Patty_Melt's avatar

Mr. Harding, please be quiet.

seawulf575's avatar

@stanleybmanly Do you actually deny that human trafficking occurs across our southern border? You deny that drugs pour in across the border? That criminals come across the border into our country repeatedly and have committed atrocious acts on citizens here? You are actually denying all those things? Talk about being in a fantasy land!!

stanleybmanly's avatar

What I am denying is the ridiculous assertion from you and your fool that the crush at the border is driven by drug dealers and traffickers. It’s a lie and a stupid lie. It is neither drug dealers nor human traffickers walking up and turning themselves in to request asylum.

seawulf575's avatar

Where have I EVER said the push at the border is by drug dealers and traffickers? I have never said that and in fact I have never heard ANYONE say that. What we do say is that the drugs and the human trafficking does happen and not enforcing our borders amounts to supporting those things. There are many, many documented cases of criminals that have been apprehended in the US and deport that came back repeatedly and continued to commit crimes. Yet you fail to have even the empathy to even admit it happens. You are denying it so you are showing you don’t care what happens in this country to any of the citizens as long as your precious illegals can come and go as they like.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I do not deny it. But I deny absolutely the cowardly fool’s putting the tough to women and kids with a claim of drug interdiction as the motive, I also state that his implication that levels of drug running parallel the numbers seeking entry to the country is dishonest. The situation at the border IS a crisis, but it will be neither improved nor solved by lying about the realities driving it. The fool’s approach to the problem is a disgrace to us all. It’s one thing to turn people back, but quite another to abuse and terrorize them in the process. That’s not the America I signed up for. We’re better than that. The woman in the harbor says so, and you who throw that word hypocrisy around like nobody’s business should understand that the fool dishonors you, me and the statue itself with his criminal stupidity.

seawulf575's avatar

@stanleybmanly So women and children…who are the main victims of human trafficking…shouldn’t be detained to verify their safety? Drugs never get smuggled in by women and children? They shouldn’t be detained to verify? And how is detaining people trying to enter our country illegally abuse and terrorism? See? This is where you and I diverge greatly. You are willing to admit there are actually drugs coming across the border, that human trafficking is a problem, that criminals come across the border repeatedly (nice that you can actually admit facts might be true), but you don’t want to do a single thing about any of these problem. And your efforts (and the efforts of other like-minded fools) to show empathy for the people breaking our immigration laws shows your lack of concern for these other crimes and the victims of them. You’d rather allow millions of lives to be ruined rather than detain a few.

Patty_Melt's avatar

The lady in the harbor is a French patriot. Some housewife writes a poem about her, and somebody gets sentimental, and has those words brought out to be with her.
I am unimpressed by people using that poem to define their lives.
I am American born, and my ancestors hunted mammoth and camel here. I served my country in the military.
I feel more loyalty to the blood in my veins than to an elaborate birthday present offered to the nation which was always my home, long before I was born.
The words of the poem are sentiments written by one person, and has nothing to do with our laws, or the rights or privileges of people who desire to come here.

seawulf575's avatar

@Patty_Melt I have to argue a little. My understanding is that the most likely models for the lady in the harbor were either Bartholdi’s mother or his mistress. I think it is sort of a toss up. And either way, they weren’t chosen for being great patriots.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I stand corrected. My point stands, however.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Camel? LOL.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Well then if we must directly contradict the woman, we have no business advertising invitations we are dead set to contradict. THAT is the textbook definition of hypocrisy. Dynamite the thing and obliterate the possibility of others mistaking this place as “the land of opportunity.” (for them).

stanleybmanly's avatar

@Patty Melt You actually believe the sentiments inscribed on the monument to be bullshit? Clearly there was a time when they were closer to the truth. And in fact they are STILL closer to the truth for those having the good luck (or sense) to pass into the country within sight of the woman.

Patty_Melt's avatar

@Darth, yes, camel. Camels were living in north America before anywhere else, and irrefutable evidence shows that Clovis Man ate them. It may be the reason camels went extinct from this continent.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The horse originated here as well, but you are talking about loyalty to the land, not the country.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Patty_Melt

Yes, the camel’s ancestors lived and evolved on this continent millions of years ago. There’s no indication that the camel, as such, ever lived in North America (though closely related species do).

Patty_Melt's avatar

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/clovis-people-hunted-canadas-camels-123572738/

The Smithsonian agrees with me. Maybe you should call them and set them straight.

seawulf575's avatar

@Patty_Melt There you go…pulling facts out again;-)

seawulf575's avatar

@stanleybmanly You do know that even at the turn of the last century, when Ellis Island was bringing in all those immigrants, they had rules for doing so? Yeah, they followed those rules too. You know…immigration laws. And they turned many immigrants away for not being good enough. They had to have skills or enough means of support for a period of time, and they had to be healthy. There were holding cells for those that were getting shipped back.
Let’s recap: Entry through approved point, in accordance with the law, having to demonstrate usefulness and health. Amazing…just like what Conservatives say we should be doing today!

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Except what you “say,” doesn’t match the agenda you support. Or the way it’s being carried out.

If you want better border security, then find the money to pay for enough judges, and other government workers to properly vet asylum seekers. I never hear a peep from conservatives about Trump’s tax cut for the upper 1%. That money could have been used to help achieve your goals of tighter border security. Instead, it’s furthering the wealth of the elite. The exact same complaints that most conservatives have about Hillary… It’s clearly not an issue with Trump…

seawulf575's avatar

@MrGrimm888 If you actually ever listened to what I said instead of rewriting it in your brain, you would see I am consistent from start to finish. My “agenda” has always been that legal immigration is okay, illegal immigration is bad. I have always said that if the immigration process is onerous (which I believe it is), then congress needs to figure out how to make it more streamlined. But being onerous is no excuse for violating the law. I think we need to be selective in who we let into this country. I think that having some means of support or some skill is a good start (which is what we did at Ellis Island). My position has been rock solid.
I particularly love how you want to put the onus for finding money if I want our laws enforced. How about this….no illegals…period. Anyone found here illegally is immediately passed back over the nearest border to their homeland. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, you do not even get to schedule a hearing. If you are here on a visa and it is likely going to expire before you want to leave, you need to put in a request for an extension at least 3 months before it expires. THAT circumstance would be the only reason for allowing an illegal here. If you didn’t put a request in or put it in less than 3 months before your visa expires, it doesn’t count. Why should I have to come up with more money border security? If you really want me to find the money in the budget, I will. The Dept of Education would be gone. All that funding would go right into border security. But that would fund border defense, not extra staff to deal with trying to make illegals okay. I would also do a program by program audit of all entitlement programs to find waste, fraud, and abuse. I would institute a random urinalysis drug testing program for all federal employees (POTUS on down) as well as anyone accepting entitlements (except for Social Security for seniors). One positive test results in suspension of benefits for 1 month. A second positive test in a two year span would be suspension of benefits for 1 year. If people have enough money for drugs, then they have enough money for rent and food. I have all sorts of ideas. Do you really want me to find the money?
As for the Tax Reform, you have heard conservatives repeatedly speak about it. You just don’t like what you hear. I have spoken about it to you many times. The tax reform bill actually put more money in more people’s pockets that anything Obama did in 8 years. The left loves to try making it a rich/poor thing, but most people benefited from it.

Patty_Melt's avatar

The dept. of Education gone?

Yellowdog's avatar

EVERY class of people is prospering more now than they were in 2015.

Big industries, small businesses, the Middle Class, Blue Collar workers, African Americans, Hispanics, and women.

The Democrats have claimed to be all these things for over thirty years. Why were things so bad in 2015 that Obama said this was the new normal? Why was race baiting and anti-Law enforcement propaganda so enflamed and explosive in 2013 onwards?

Race has never been a factor in conservative or Republican politics. The Democrats, who have quite a history of racist politics and even current day racial classifications and stereotyping, often repeat the lie that conservatism has something to do with race, This has been a deliberate charge of the Left in order to influence or control the vote of minorities, and to procure the votes of illegal, undocumented persons or voter fraud—which they also say are racially motivated.

The Left wants their votes, and wants to control them.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Yellowdog – utter complete bullshit.

Race has been a factor in republican ./ conservative politics for the last 50 years. You live in Tennessee – can you not see the race-based legislative decision making in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina?

If you can’t, you are being wilfully blind..

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Yellowdog “EVERY class of people is prospering more now than they were in 2015. ”

Again I ask: what’s the weather like on the planet where you live?

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Patty_Melt

Ok. The long distant ancestors of your ancestors were snaking on a long extinct relative of the camel tens of thousands of years ago. Swell. What has that to do with more recent history?

Patty_Melt's avatar

Tens of thousands? Wrong again. Educated, professional estimates range from 10,000 to 13,500.
And, you were the one to make a big deal of it.
My point was that my loyalties don’t lie with some poem written a few decades ago, but with land and people which have loved being here a very long time. The hunting of mammoths and camels were incidental side issues to help illustrate that it goes further back than a few decades, and for things more significant than some poet romanticizing her personal feelings.
You can go on and on about it if you want, but as Stanley pointed out, my loyalties are more about the land, and ancestry, than a statue or poem which came along not only after the native people, but after immigration laws and sanctions were already in place. They are trinkets, like vacation postcards, something to like, but not what I base my life or beliefs on.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Yes, 10,000 – 13,000 is tens of thousands.

Patty_Melt's avatar

In what number system are you figuring the ten as being plural? Lol. The higher number is 13,000, which is well under reaching a second 10,000. It is thousands of years, sure, but a singular ten thousand.
By the way, they were also snaking (Ha Ha) on giant sloth. That tantalizes my imagination.
Gawd I wish the legends had not been so aggressively wiped out by the invaders.

Listen, Darth, if you are interested in knowing more, you ask and I will see if it falls within my limited knowledge. I did some ribbing here, but it isn’t really important that you believe me. What I know, I know, and what I don’t know I would love to learn. Obviously those things are less important to you. That actually makes my point you see. I would fight to the death against any enemy of my country, but to me this country is what’s left. The lands, and waters, and spirits which make up this country, are my real source. They are my home in a deeper way than just being born here and residing here. One woman’s poem just doesn’t stack up next to that.

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