Riot reparations

I live in a suburb of Los Angeles in the golden state of California.  Like other states, the place I call home has been hit hard by the Wuhan Flu.  Unemployment is high, businesses are closing, and our state's budget is in free fall.  If that weren't enough, California has accrued millions of dollars in damages from the George Floyd riots.  Now, I'm all for doing my part to help my state recover from this current economic crisis.  But paying for riot repairs?  Not so much.  As a homeschooling mom who walked away from a lucrative career in high tech to raise and educate my children, I'm not down for this costly revolution.  Instead of cheerfully contributing my husband's hard-earned wages to the payment of National Guard troops and cleanup crews, I demand reparations.

I suppose I should be a good socialist and simply pay my taxes to help cover the costs of the "mostly peaceful protests."  After all, it's really a small price to pay to usher in the California Republic of Wokeness.  Who am I to complain?  As a taxpaying citizen, I could just take the money that my family spends to help care for my elderly mom (who has dementia) and put it into the public coffers.  Or I could take the money out of my homeschooling budget.  Why buy books for my children when I could do my part to usher in Utopia?  Of course, there's always our family's philanthropy budget.  So far, we have spent many hours and dollars raising a guide dog for the blind and for hosting orphans from Eastern Europe.  In total, we have hosted seven orphans — one from Ukraine, four from Kyrgyzstan, and two from Latvia — over Christmas and summer breaks.  We have sacrificed to spend thousands of dollars flying orphans to America to give them the opportunity to spend time in a family away from their third-world orphanages.  But why spend money on philanthropy when we could contribute to the rebuilding of looted shops and burned down buildings?

I'm not sure what they teach in public school these days, but I can tell you that my homeschooled children have been taught that when you make a mess, you clean it up.  In fact, my kids have spent whole school days scrubbing down walls, tidying up rooms, and pulling weeds as part of their home education endeavors.  After all, civilized children learn in a clean and orderly environment — one that should be as lovely as their penmanship.  I assume it's the same for government-educated children.  Therefore, as part of reparations, I ask the rioters to pick up a scrub brush in one hand and a bucket in the other and get on with the business of cleaning up their messes.  It seems to me to be the reasonable thing to do.  And while they're at it, I request that they restore the toppled statues to their proper places so that children — homeschooled or otherwise — might enjoy field trips to memorials where they can learn more about their history and forebears.

My children have also learned that — unlike the Stone Age men of old who drew on the walls of caves — civilized persons write on paper.  For the rioters who wish to relive the glory days of yesteryear, I ask that you find a cave in the nearby woods where you can give vent to your primitivism.  In the meantime, please clean up the graffiti that you left behind in our cities.  And while you're at it, please consider purchasing a dictionary so that you might become more aware of the beauty and complexity of the English language.  There really are so many more words than f---!  And there are such things as complete sentences.  My children know this.  In fact, they know that even their text messages must be grammatically correct.  Otherwise, they might face another one of Mom's lectures about the precariousness of civilization and be reminded again (!) about the Visigoths and Huns sitting outside the walls of Rome, eager to tear down civilization at the first available opportunity. 

Yes, I know that regarding Rome, Jesus tells us to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's.  Frankly, I'd prefer my taxes to go toward the building of safe streets and a strong infrastructure rather than toward the rebuilding of cities marred by lawless mobs.  Thus, I ask that the repairs come from reparations payments made by those who caused the damages — and not from my taxes.

(Mike Shaheen)

I live in a suburb of Los Angeles in the golden state of California.  Like other states, the place I call home has been hit hard by the Wuhan Flu.  Unemployment is high, businesses are closing, and our state's budget is in free fall.  If that weren't enough, California has accrued millions of dollars in damages from the George Floyd riots.  Now, I'm all for doing my part to help my state recover from this current economic crisis.  But paying for riot repairs?  Not so much.  As a homeschooling mom who walked away from a lucrative career in high tech to raise and educate my children, I'm not down for this costly revolution.  Instead of cheerfully contributing my husband's hard-earned wages to the payment of National Guard troops and cleanup crews, I demand reparations.

I suppose I should be a good socialist and simply pay my taxes to help cover the costs of the "mostly peaceful protests."  After all, it's really a small price to pay to usher in the California Republic of Wokeness.  Who am I to complain?  As a taxpaying citizen, I could just take the money that my family spends to help care for my elderly mom (who has dementia) and put it into the public coffers.  Or I could take the money out of my homeschooling budget.  Why buy books for my children when I could do my part to usher in Utopia?  Of course, there's always our family's philanthropy budget.  So far, we have spent many hours and dollars raising a guide dog for the blind and for hosting orphans from Eastern Europe.  In total, we have hosted seven orphans — one from Ukraine, four from Kyrgyzstan, and two from Latvia — over Christmas and summer breaks.  We have sacrificed to spend thousands of dollars flying orphans to America to give them the opportunity to spend time in a family away from their third-world orphanages.  But why spend money on philanthropy when we could contribute to the rebuilding of looted shops and burned down buildings?

I'm not sure what they teach in public school these days, but I can tell you that my homeschooled children have been taught that when you make a mess, you clean it up.  In fact, my kids have spent whole school days scrubbing down walls, tidying up rooms, and pulling weeds as part of their home education endeavors.  After all, civilized children learn in a clean and orderly environment — one that should be as lovely as their penmanship.  I assume it's the same for government-educated children.  Therefore, as part of reparations, I ask the rioters to pick up a scrub brush in one hand and a bucket in the other and get on with the business of cleaning up their messes.  It seems to me to be the reasonable thing to do.  And while they're at it, I request that they restore the toppled statues to their proper places so that children — homeschooled or otherwise — might enjoy field trips to memorials where they can learn more about their history and forebears.

My children have also learned that — unlike the Stone Age men of old who drew on the walls of caves — civilized persons write on paper.  For the rioters who wish to relive the glory days of yesteryear, I ask that you find a cave in the nearby woods where you can give vent to your primitivism.  In the meantime, please clean up the graffiti that you left behind in our cities.  And while you're at it, please consider purchasing a dictionary so that you might become more aware of the beauty and complexity of the English language.  There really are so many more words than f---!  And there are such things as complete sentences.  My children know this.  In fact, they know that even their text messages must be grammatically correct.  Otherwise, they might face another one of Mom's lectures about the precariousness of civilization and be reminded again (!) about the Visigoths and Huns sitting outside the walls of Rome, eager to tear down civilization at the first available opportunity. 

Yes, I know that regarding Rome, Jesus tells us to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's.  Frankly, I'd prefer my taxes to go toward the building of safe streets and a strong infrastructure rather than toward the rebuilding of cities marred by lawless mobs.  Thus, I ask that the repairs come from reparations payments made by those who caused the damages — and not from my taxes.

(Mike Shaheen)