Ben Stein on Reparations- He’s Going To Get Pig-Piled By the Left

American Spectator-

It’s a beguiling idea. Slavery was so hideous a crime and caused so much pain and suffering that something should be done about it. But we face a lot of problems in the concept of reparations. For one thing, there were a fair number of black people who emancipated themselves through superhumanly hard work, then used their savings to buy slaves. How do we assess their liability?

For another, the conditions of slaves varied wildly. Some were house servants and lived halfway decent lives. Others worked like myrmidons in sugar cane fields and were literally whipped to death if they faltered. How do we account for this kind of difference in degree of suffering?

For yet another, some moved north immediately and led barely normal lives as did their children and grandchildren. Others stayed in the deep south and were subject to every kind of humiliation. How do we compare how much these two different groups are owed? If a black person voluntarily stayed in a horrible Jim Crow environment, what should be his progeny’s measure of damages as compared with that of the offspring of black people who moved to Des Moines?

Also, there is a chain of causation in many cases. One black tribe attacked and captured others then the captors sold their slaves to Arab slave traders who then sold the slaves to New England slave brokers.

How do we break down the chain of causation such that each group of exploiters pays its fair share? How would this even remotely be possible in 17th, 18th, and 19th century Africa, Arabia, and America? Where would the records be?

Also, who would be taxed for the reparations? The great majority of white Americans never owned any slaves. Why should they be taxed? The present population of America is by a wide margin the scions of Poles and Czechs and Italians and Chinese and Jews who never owned any slaves at all. Why should they be taxed at all for reparations?

Next, since we cannot establish culpability for something that was in any event not a legally recognized crime at the time of slavery, wouldn’t a law establishing a penalty for something an ancestor did that was not a crime at the time be a Bill of Attainder, outlawed by the Constitution?

Further, there is considerable evidence that the blacks in America often — not always at all — live far better lives than the progeny of blacks who remained in Africa. There is just no comparison. So how do we measure the degree of payment to people whose ancestors’ enslavement — as dreadfully horrible as it was — led to a far better life for their children in Compton or Anacostia?

39 Comments on Ben Stein on Reparations- He’s Going To Get Pig-Piled By the Left

  1. African Americans were not the only people enslaved. Many American Indians were also enslaved. I don’t know of any ancestor in my family who may have owned a slave. Why would/should people like me have to pay?? Its an absolute 100% dumb idea that people should pay someone who may or may not be an ancestor or a slave or someone with zero connections to slavery. America has gone off the rails with this idea. Besides who’s going to pay all the tax slaves we have today???

  2. “Others stayed in the deep south and were subject to every kind of humiliation.”

    And other stayed in the Deep South and became just another part of the dirt poor communities there. Among the white sharecroppers, the Irish/Scotts that were treated the same as they had been, just not black. Produce or starve was a common theme of the day.

    Lot of places the people writing the chronicles of the history of the time didn’t go. No hotels, no restaurants, no rail service. Which meant, invisible. Which was about 75% of the Deep South at the time.

    I really tire hearing the history of where I grew up written by Yankee historians that gained their insights from newspaper articles written in Connecticut and Illinois.

    Then again, their side won the war, and to the victor go the spoils. Including writing the history.

    Do you trust the media today? What makes you think (people not having changed one smidgen since) the media was anymore accurate then?

  3. Fortunately, at least until 2024, the point is moot.
    These whack ass dems are throwing candy to children in order to get elected President. A futile proposition.

    Trump may well win in a 50 state landslide thanks to
    A) his success
    B) his opponents are vastly inferior to him.

  4. Amendment XIV, Section 4:

    The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations, and claims shall be held illegal and void.

  5. My white ancestors in Scotland were enslaved long before America was even discovered.

    Get over it.

  6. Don’t forget the Native Americans who enslaved blacks and whites, as well as other Native Americans. Their ancestors need to be factored into the reparations folly.

  7. I never owned any slaves. My family came from Europe well after the Civil War. No blacks living today picked any cotton unless by choice. I will not pay reparations, to anyone, ever. Piss off.

  8. blacks who remained in Africa

    Exactly. Part of the basis for reparations is having been forcefully uprooted from a home country. Should reparations be collected, it should also be funded with a one-way mandatory trip back to place of origin without option of return. It could also include 40 acres and a mule in the middle of some shithole desert that needs to be claimed on arrival, to show we aren’t kicking them out without an established place to call home. They would live like kings and queens.

    I wouldn’t have any problems whatsoever voting for that, or paying “my fair share” for it. And all the slaves in this country get exactly what they want with an added bonus of being away from one of the worst countries in the world (their words, not mine).

  9. No living White person ever had a Black slave in the United States. No living Black person ever was a slave in the United States. In the United States, the debt dies with the debtor. Bills of Attainder are unconstitutional.

    Get over it. You are owed nothing.

  10. …if you REALLY want to insist on reparations, bear in mind that no Republican ever owned a slave. Your beef is with the Democrats.

    Go get ’em.

  11. …I can show you the grave marker of a relative that died fighting against slavery. Do Southern Democrats owe HIM anything?

  12. ..I want to see “Obama’s” Black half take it out of “Obama’s” White half’s ass.

    Go on, Barry, we’re waiting….

  13. Since the entire concept is a pile of shit it’s probably fair to point out that every african slave who was shipped here very likely had his own slaves. So, who do the african American slaves pay… their neighbors, friends, wives, and sons?

    Pound sand.

  14. …Moslems were…AND ARE…the biggest slave traders of them ALL.

    Go see that Somali chick and that Palestinian chick on the Hill about your reparations, THEY owe more than ANYONE because, Mohammad said slavery is OK…

  15. How about all the trillions of dollars transferred from the white population to blacks from 1965 to the present via taxes converted to welfare payments, food stamps, WIC, affirmative action, scholorships, urban renewal, midnight basketball, school lunches, etc, etc, etc? Will we get to deduct THAT from the reparations bill?

  16. The Black population was between 10% and 15% all through the 20th century. Instead of asking for reparations, maybe it’s time to thank a White man for a land of opportunity available to minorities like no where else on the planet!

  17. My ancestors owned slaves. All the colors of the rainbow. Some people should be slaves. Slavery provides much needed discipline. It’s free room and board with a full health and dental plan.

    Think of all the homeless people and non violent offenders we could get off the streets and into one of those fashionable tiny houses so popular today.

    Yes friends, slavery. It’s not just for black people anymore.

  18. We already did and continue to do reparations: affirmative action and special dispensations in government contracts.

    Meanwhile… The Muslims in east Africa started the slave trade. Remember the “Barbary Pirates”? We’ve romanticized “pirates”, unfortunately, but they put 1.5 million Europeans into slavery long before they started capturing and selling west and south Africans to Europe and the Americas. Google “white slave trade”.

  19. Fine. $50K for every adult, 10 K for every child.
    $0.02 for every intersection traveled through with a traffic light
    $0.05 for every safety cap removed prior to consumption of a product
    $0.03 for every time a USDA inspected product is consumed
    $1.07 for every week of US funded education per child
    $0.01 for every safe dispensing of gasoline

  20. When the Hispanics finish making the blacks
    a diminimous minority no one except the blacks will
    care. The money will have been stolen/spent to buy
    the more numerous and important ‘spanic votes.
    And “a plague on both their (greedy) houses.”

  21. If any compensation is made at all, it should consist of free transportation back to any place in Africa the aggrieved chooses. The aggrieved will be given ten times whatever wealth he or she possessed at the time of their capture. Their welfare payments will continue for a period of one year so that the aggrieved can assimilate into whatever culture exists in the place of their choosing. Failure to accept this generous deal voids any future claim for compensation of any sort and the declining party must STFU.

  22. Any politician running on delivering “reparations” should be kidnapped, brought out into the desert, trussed up, shot up the bung hole with a .22 short, and then tossed in a ditch to die in agony over the course of days.

    That is how evil is the idea of punishing people for a crime they didn’t commit to reward other people for a crime they never suffered. Blacks languishing in Loserville today don’t do so because of slavery. They do so because they’re worthless, imbecilic, useless fucking assholes. End of story.

  23. Millions of Italians and Greeks whose ancestors were slaves in Rome will get on board with their own reparations demands to the Roman Republic and Roman Empire.

  24. i think paying politicians a “pension” is theft and they should be sold into slavery to pay it off.

  25. I was in school the day I learned about indentured servants. It was after forced segregation, offered a fair education and the willingness to learn other than blaming/hating whitey,,,
    Indentured Servitude began long before blacks came to the US.
    Still not addressed on MLK day.
    Money for nothing, and the I deserve everything else for free.
    Dire Straits

  26. I am blond with blue eyes. 4 of my ancestors came over from England as SLAVES . the PC term for white slaves was “indentured servants”. Half the Pilgrims died in 1621 All the masters of my kin died. My kin became “freemen”!
    BTW all my kin lived! We are hard!

    It would be a century before Mass would outlaw white slaves. Should I demand Mass pay me? Of curse not! the majority of folk there now were not related to the folk owning white slaves400 years ago! Same is true for America in General.
    this only makes sense if you are a bigot! Lookin right at you Obama~!

  27. I think that whoever wants to pay reparations should be able to out of their own pocket. I’d be willing to bet that if the democrats had to pay for this with their own money out of their own pocket the idea would fade away pretty quickly

  28. But lets us’s nots forgets
    that Al Sharpstons’s-es’s and
    Jessies’s-es’s Jacksons’s-es’s
    have determineds’s that all


    Must pay for all injustices’s-es’s
    against thesselves and any one else
    they will dole the money to
    OR EXCLUDE !!!

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