Scott Adams has had a brilliant insight about the demand for reparations
Whenever Democrats push race to the forefront of the news, reparations pop up. The theory is that, because their forebears were kidnapped from Africa and enslaved in America, blacks will never catch up economically to whites. It doesn't matter that there are no slaves or slave-owners today; that most whites are not descended from slave-owners; or that racism impoverished, rather than enriched the South.
Scott Adams's brilliant insight cuts through all this: the comparison isn't between black wealth and white wealth in America. Instead, the comparison must be the difference between blacks' average net worth in America and blacks' average net worth in Africa. After all, the act of stealing blacks from Africa is the "but for cause" of all wrongs done to blacks.
Adams imagines a neutral space alien calculating reparations. He informs earthlings that black versus white net worth in America isn't the correct calculation:
"If I'm going to calculate the, let's say, the theft from the black community, if you were to measure the theft — let's say just theft — that this slavery was. In other words, you stole the productive part of their lives, etc., and you used it for yourself. So here's the number I need: I need how does the average economic situation for the average black person in this country and then, to compare it, I want to compare it to the average life of a black African."
And you say, "What?"
And the space alien says, "Yeah that's the comparison. So, you want to compare what would happen to the average black person if they had stayed unmolested in Africa and there had never been a slave trade. Because that's what you're comparing to. Because if the people who were brought to America as slaves, and then their descendants, are doing much worse than if they've never been brought with slavery, then that's the amount of reparations. That's how much they lost is all the money they would have made if they just stay in Africa.
You know what the problem is, right? They would owe money to white people.
Adams is correct. Keith Richburg's Out Of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa, about his job as the Washington Post's bureau chief in the 1990s, proves it. Richburg's painful realization as he witnessed the daily horrors of life in Africa, whether from nature's or man's cruelty, was how lucky he was that his ancestors were enslaved:
Sometime, maybe four hundred or so years ago, one of my ancestors was taken from his village, probably by a local chieftain. He was shackled in leg irons, kept in a holding pen or a dark pit, possibly at Goree Island off the coast of Senegal. And then he was put in the crowded, filthy cargo hold of a ship for the long and treacherous voyage across the Atlantic to the New World.
Many of the slaves died on that voyage. But not my ancestor. Maybe it was because he was strong, maybe just stubborn, or maybe he had an irrepressible will to live. But he survived, and ended up in forced slavery working on plantations in the Caribbean. Generations on down the line, one of his descendants was taken to South Carolina. Finally, a more recent descendant, my father, moved to Detroit to find a job in an auto plant during the Second World War.
And so it was that I came to be born in Detroit and that thirty-five years later, a black man born in white America, I was in Africa, birthplace of my ancestors, standing at the edge of a river not as an African but as an American journalist — a mere spectator — watching the bloated bodies of black Africans cascading over a waterfall. And that's when I thought about how, if things had been different, I might have been one of them — or might have met some similarly anonymous fate in one of the countless ongoing civil wars or tribal clashes on this brutal continent. And so I thank God my ancestor survived that voyage.
Does that sound shocking? Does it sound almost like a justification for the terrible crime of slavery? Does it sound like this black man has forgotten his African roots? Of course it does, all that and more. And that is precisely why I have tried to keep this emotion buried so deep for so long, and why it pains me so now to put these words in print, for all the world to see. But I'm writing this so you will understand better what I'm trying to say.
It might have been easier for me to just keep all of these emotions bottled up inside. Maybe I should have just written a standard book on Africa that would have talked broadly about the politics, the possibilities, the prospects for change.
But I'm tired of lying. And I'm tired of all the ignorance and hypocrisy and the double standards I hear and read about Africa, much of it from people who've never been there, let alone spent three years walking around amid the corpses. Talk to me about Africa and my black roots and my kinship with my African brothers and I'll throw it back in your face, and then I'll rub your nose in the images of the rotting flesh.
Here's more information about life in Africa. And here's the world Black Lives Matter wants, one without functional police (warning: graphic violence):
UPDATE: It turns out that others with less prominence than Scott Adams have been thinking along the same lines. Back in 2015, Blue Collar Perspective already suggested that the comparison should always be between people's ancestral lands and their lives in America. It strikes me as very American for lots of independent thinkers to arrive at similar out-of-the-box solutions. This is another reason to reject Big Government, statism, and other collectivism: They force everyone's thoughts down the same funnel, preventing new ideas.