Of all the aggravation the left has inflicted on the people of the United States, the demand for reparations is surely the most cynical and self-serving. The level of cynicism goes to new heights in California, a state that never had slaves.
Slavery was ended in 1865 by the Civil War, the only war in the history of the world where white people killed white people to set black people free. In the aftermath of that war, freed slaves used their liberty to start businesses of their own.
Black and white community leaders founded schools such as Hampton University, home of the Emancipation Oak. This magnificent tree was the site of a gathering of the Virginia Peninsula’s black community to hear the first reading in the South of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Kay C. James, former president of The Heritage Foundation, recognizes the great harm done to the black community by handouts, citing, in particular, the high illegitimacy rate and the broken homes fostered by the welfare system. The Urban Institute has found that in most states, more money is spent on black students than white students, yet blacks continue to score lower than whites on reading and math tests.
Clearly, more money is not a guarantee of a better life, but in California, of all places, there is a howl for people who never owned slaves to pay money to people who never were slaves. California joined the Union as a free, anti-slavery state in 1850.
Image: San Francisco the year after California joined the Union. Public domain.
However, California is cursed with a large and vocal share of liberals who are eager to give away other people’s money, particularly in San Francisco, where there is a current proposal to pay five million dollars to every eligible adult black living in the city. Since the money would have to come from taxpayers and the state of California simply does not have the cash, I have no fear that one penny will actually be paid to those who want to pick the pockets of hardworking Americans.
That does not mean the call for reparations is fruitless. Far from it. Those demanding money know that no money is going to be paid. They’re after votes. The call for reparations is nothing more than a tale of sound and fury, signifying nothing, and told to idiots who will vote for whoever is asking for free money.
Pandra Selivanov is the author of Future Slave, a story about a 21st-century black teenager who goes back in time and becomes a slave in the Old South.
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