Voting Rights. The voting rights issue is a microcosm of our problems as a nation. To me the issue has two straightforward major factors: 1. every step should be taken to enable eligible voters to vote and 2. every step should be taken to assure no illegal votes are cast. Rather than cooperation to address both issues, the Left is focused on the legal voting factor and the Right is focused on the illegal voting factor. We need both to be addressed in a fair and thorough manner.

Reparations. One of the readers of this blog, and a good friend asked “What do you think about reparations?”

My answer is – I support reparations under specific conditions.

Dawn. Let me be very clear, our family benefitted greatly from reparations. Our daughter was killed when the driver of a trash truck ran a stop sign in fog. The payment of reparations from the subsequent lawsuit was financially significant.

Some people might argue her lawsuit was not a reparation, but I believe it was. The definition of reparation is — “the making of amends for a wrong one has done, by paying money to or otherwise helping those who have been wronged.”

Dawn’s death was ruled as negligence and a company paid a lot of money to our family because of the wrong that was done. Clearly, we benefitted from reparations and I support them.

General Reparations. I do not favor a general payment of reparations. I do favor specific reparations for specific wrongs.

I do not support a general cash payment to all people of color for several reasons.  For one, the idea of a general reparation fee would be an administrative nightmare. Untangling heritage would be very difficult.

For example, Barrack Obama is not the descendent of slaves. His mother and family are white from my hometown of Wichita Kansas. His father was a student not a descendent of slaves. In fact, it is possible his American heritage was that of slave owners. If true. he would owe reparations not be entitled to them. I do not give this example to disparage the former president but because I think it clearly gives a hint of the administrative nightmare.

Another reason is, in my opinion, we have a system however flawed designed for helping disenfranchised people. Affirmative action is a form of reparations. When Pell grants, food stamps, affordable housing programs, Medicaid and other programs disproportionately assist descendants of formerly enslaved people, the programs in a clear sense are reparations. I support those programs rather than a general cash payment.

Photo shows the aftermath, at east corner of Greenwood Avenue and East Archer Street, of the Tulsa Race Massacre, during which mobs of white residents attacked black residents and businesses of the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma, US, June 1921. (Photo by Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)

Specific Reparations. In addition, I do support amends for specific wrongs. Some institutions that used slave labor to build are paying reparations to descendants of those slaves. I support that action. I would also support reparations for wrongs such as the descendants of lynched people and events such as the Tulsa Massacre. I would like the people who pay to be the communities who perpetrated the wrongs and not the federal government.

The federal government has a big enough problem repaying the huge debt owed First Nation Tribes. The broken treaties, broken promises by the Federal Government to Native American tribes are wrong and deserve reparations. Many reparations have been promised but not delivered.

Peace

Jerry


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