The Democratic presidential candidates are parading in front of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, and the topic of the day is reparations:
Beto O’Rourke had just finished speaking about racial injustice to the National Action Network when the Rev. Al Sharpton, its president, pushed him to say a little more.
“Your fellow Texan, Sheila Jackson Lee, has proposed a commission to study reparations,” Sharpton said. “If that passes, and you are president of the United States, would you sign that bill?”
O’Rourke, who had spent 15 minutes talking about how white America left black America behind, didn’t hesitate. “Yes,” he said, to applause and a few surprised cheers.
O’Rourke is not alone.
By Friday afternoon, nearly every Democrat who has declared a presidential bid will have spoken at the conference. Those who spoke on Wednesday and Thursday walked through poverty and health statistics, promising to close the racial gaps — and then, they endorsed some form of reparations.
“There are many things that we need to do in this country that have been a long time in coming, and one of those is to move forward with reparations,” said Julián Castro, former secretary of Housing and Urban Development who spoke a few hours after O’Rourke. “Our country will never truly heal until we address the original sin of slavery.”
Because slavery has never been addressed, apparently. But what, exactly, does “reparations” mean?
The legislation introduced by Jackson Lee, which would create a commission to study the viability of reparations, doesn’t commit Democrats to cash payments — the concept that made “reparations” controversial when it was discussed 10 and 15 years ago.
But if reparations doesn’t mean that all descendants of (American) slaves get cash from the government, courtesy of the rest of us, it doesn’t mean anything. Eric Holder gets the point:
In an interview, former attorney general Eric Holder said that the term “conjures up a lot of images that allow for demagoguery”…
Opposition to people getting checks from the government based on the identity of their ancestors is “demagoguery.”
…but that “if you have communities that receive these reparations that are made better, the nation is therefore better.”
Likewise, if the government writes me a check, I am made better and the nation is therefore better. But I’m not holding my breath. The Post opines:
Still, the gap between activist awareness and public awareness of the issue is big enough to run a campaign bus through.
Actually, I think there is plenty of public awareness of the issue, and the public is right. Reparations would be an outrageous injustice, as pretty much everyone who won’t be cashing a check recognizes.
Which leaves one wondering, whatever are the Democrats thinking? Is Al Sharpton–a notorious extortionist, perpetrator of fraud, and anti-Semite who is complicit in murder–so powerful in the party that presidential candidates are forced to walk the plank by supporting an issue that will be a millstone around the neck of the eventual nominee? Or do they assume that after getting the nomination, the Democratic candidate will be able to tack furiously toward the center, with the collusion of the press, so that reparations never get mentioned after the Democratic convention?
I don’t know what they are thinking. All I know is, the more the Democrats talk about reparations, the better.