Closing the loop on reparations

There's sweet irony; there's delicious irony; and then there's irony that a spoonful of which would just make medicine go down.

As you may know, slavery reparations shakedown thugs have been beating their drum for quite some time now, but have thus far failed to achieve their ends through Congress or courts.  Undeterred, they've changed their tack and have decided to work from the ground up, pressuring localities to enact pro—reparations ordinances and targeting poltroonish CEO's who shudder at the prospect of placement in the Greenback Coalition pillory.

The coalition has already enjoyed successes in places like Philadelphia and Chicago, where ordinances have been enacted stating that any company that wishes to do business with the cities must disclose whether or not it profited from slavery.  Moreover, businesses like J.P. Morgan Chase Bank and Wachovia Corporation have already capitulated, agreeing to pay—off the Greenback Coalition to the tune of millions.

Licking his chops, interim president of the NAACP Dennis C. Hayes said, '... we will be pursuing reparations from companies that have historical ties to slavery and engaging all parties to come to the table.'  I have to wonder, though, if 'all parties' means there's place at that table for one Rev. Wayne Perryman.

You see, Rev. Perryman, a conservative minister from Seattle, Washington, has filed suit against the Democrat Party, charging 'that because of their racist past practices the Democratic Party should be required to pay African Americans Reparations.'

What an inspired idea.  This is the party of George Wallace, who blocked schoolhouse doors after an integration order and is famous for the campaign battle cry, 'Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!'  It's the party of the original Ku Klux Klan.  It's the party of slavery.  It's also the party occupied by virtually all the members of the Greenback Coalition.  Ah, no sweeter irony have lips ever tasted: those throwing the reparations stones are living in a most fragile glass house.  

The truth is that if the Greenback Coalition's thesis — namely, that entities whose former selves had a hand in or profited from slavery are today responsible for making amends — is valid, there's no reason why the Democrats should be omitted from the chain of responsibility.  Why, theirs is among the most prominent of places in the hierarchy of complicity.  After all, who bears greater responsibility: those in authority who create unjust laws or those subject to that authority who operate within the parameters of the law?  The Democrat southern governments abdicated their moral responsibility to afford basic human rights to all persons residing within their borders.  The rule of thumb here is that with responsibility comes authority and with authority comes responsibility. 

Another consideration is the fact that just like the hapless corporations that find themselves haunted by the ghosts of the distant past, the Democrat Party was a beneficiary of slavery.  For instance, by being a guarantor of the perpetuation of slavery the Democrats gained and retained power.  Given this fact, and in light of the Greenback Coalition's demand that corporations disclose whether or not they filled their coffers on the backs of slaves, there should be an investigation of the Democratic Party to determine the degree to which it benefited financially from slavery.  After all, we know that political parties tend to get donations from those who benefit from their policies.  So, let's find out how much money the Democrats received from plantation owners and other businesses that had a vested interest in the institution of slavery. 

This is a golden opportunity for the shakedown thugs to prove that, well . . . they're not thugs.  You see, some people could get the fanciful idea that the drive for reparations is animated by ignoble motivations like greed and the pursuit of political power.  Why, people get some crazy ideas, don't they?  Standing on principle and applying the same standard to all — including your political bedfellows — would serve well to dispel these notions.

And never has there been a better time for Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to rise to the fore.  C'mon, Reverends, being men of the cloth it's incumbent upon you to offer spiritual counsel.  Please tell your comrades that the first step toward renewal is getting your own house in order.  And don't forget the passage from Scripture that encapsulates this concept beautifully: 'Take the log out of your own eye before you worry about the speck in your brother's.'  

So I'm issuing a clarion call to all Democrats: contact your representatives and demand accountability.  Since we've been told that the time has come for the expiation of antebellum sins, let's start where a cleansing of souls is most necessary.

Selwyn Duke is a frequent contributor.

There's sweet irony; there's delicious irony; and then there's irony that a spoonful of which would just make medicine go down.

As you may know, slavery reparations shakedown thugs have been beating their drum for quite some time now, but have thus far failed to achieve their ends through Congress or courts.  Undeterred, they've changed their tack and have decided to work from the ground up, pressuring localities to enact pro—reparations ordinances and targeting poltroonish CEO's who shudder at the prospect of placement in the Greenback Coalition pillory.

The coalition has already enjoyed successes in places like Philadelphia and Chicago, where ordinances have been enacted stating that any company that wishes to do business with the cities must disclose whether or not it profited from slavery.  Moreover, businesses like J.P. Morgan Chase Bank and Wachovia Corporation have already capitulated, agreeing to pay—off the Greenback Coalition to the tune of millions.

Licking his chops, interim president of the NAACP Dennis C. Hayes said, '... we will be pursuing reparations from companies that have historical ties to slavery and engaging all parties to come to the table.'  I have to wonder, though, if 'all parties' means there's place at that table for one Rev. Wayne Perryman.

You see, Rev. Perryman, a conservative minister from Seattle, Washington, has filed suit against the Democrat Party, charging 'that because of their racist past practices the Democratic Party should be required to pay African Americans Reparations.'

What an inspired idea.  This is the party of George Wallace, who blocked schoolhouse doors after an integration order and is famous for the campaign battle cry, 'Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!'  It's the party of the original Ku Klux Klan.  It's the party of slavery.  It's also the party occupied by virtually all the members of the Greenback Coalition.  Ah, no sweeter irony have lips ever tasted: those throwing the reparations stones are living in a most fragile glass house.  

The truth is that if the Greenback Coalition's thesis — namely, that entities whose former selves had a hand in or profited from slavery are today responsible for making amends — is valid, there's no reason why the Democrats should be omitted from the chain of responsibility.  Why, theirs is among the most prominent of places in the hierarchy of complicity.  After all, who bears greater responsibility: those in authority who create unjust laws or those subject to that authority who operate within the parameters of the law?  The Democrat southern governments abdicated their moral responsibility to afford basic human rights to all persons residing within their borders.  The rule of thumb here is that with responsibility comes authority and with authority comes responsibility. 

Another consideration is the fact that just like the hapless corporations that find themselves haunted by the ghosts of the distant past, the Democrat Party was a beneficiary of slavery.  For instance, by being a guarantor of the perpetuation of slavery the Democrats gained and retained power.  Given this fact, and in light of the Greenback Coalition's demand that corporations disclose whether or not they filled their coffers on the backs of slaves, there should be an investigation of the Democratic Party to determine the degree to which it benefited financially from slavery.  After all, we know that political parties tend to get donations from those who benefit from their policies.  So, let's find out how much money the Democrats received from plantation owners and other businesses that had a vested interest in the institution of slavery. 

This is a golden opportunity for the shakedown thugs to prove that, well . . . they're not thugs.  You see, some people could get the fanciful idea that the drive for reparations is animated by ignoble motivations like greed and the pursuit of political power.  Why, people get some crazy ideas, don't they?  Standing on principle and applying the same standard to all — including your political bedfellows — would serve well to dispel these notions.

And never has there been a better time for Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to rise to the fore.  C'mon, Reverends, being men of the cloth it's incumbent upon you to offer spiritual counsel.  Please tell your comrades that the first step toward renewal is getting your own house in order.  And don't forget the passage from Scripture that encapsulates this concept beautifully: 'Take the log out of your own eye before you worry about the speck in your brother's.'  

So I'm issuing a clarion call to all Democrats: contact your representatives and demand accountability.  Since we've been told that the time has come for the expiation of antebellum sins, let's start where a cleansing of souls is most necessary.

Selwyn Duke is a frequent contributor.