Why Reparations Are Generally A Bad Idea
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By etrigan - Last updated: Friday, August 22, 2003 - Save & Share - 6 Comments

I am a bleeding heart at heart, but the whole idea of reparations for historical events pains me. Slavery and the Holocaust were absolute bottomless pits of pure evil in humanity’s history, but most of the people alive today were not partakers and are certainly not supportive of the events that took place.

It is clear that everyone has a beef against someone else and it won’t take people long to wise-up to the fact that we could all be owed some amount of repayment for some evil done to our ancestors. A prime example pops up in the The Middle East Meida Research Institute’s article today about Egyptians “seeking reparations”:http://www.memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP55603 for loss of income due to the Exodus of the Israelites. I am sure they got the idea from the Nazi gold in Switerland being distributed to Jewish descnedants of Holocaust victims, or maybe by Africans “seeking reparations”:http://www.guardian.co.uk/southafrica/story/0,13262,997585,00.html from the U.S. for Apartheid.

When South Africa has a justice system modern and absurd enough to support it, will descendants of one tribe be suing descendants of another for their conflicts? Will the southern states of the U.S. start suing the northern states for financial losses during and after the American Civil War? Will the Beav sue Eddie Haskill for emotional distress? It’s all gone too far for things that were so long ago.

Let’s continue to punish people who are directly responsible for evil in the modern world. War crimes tribunals are a good thing and serve to punish people who deserve it, but reparations are a poorly written joke.

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6 Responses to “Why Reparations Are Generally A Bad Idea”

Comment from jank
Time August 22, 2003 at 11:51 am

See Jonah Goldberg on The Corner:

The average, say, Jewish accountant or surgeon, makes a very nice living these days. Lets say, for the sake of argument, $100,000 a year. Multiply that times the number of Hebrews forced to make bricks from straw, times the number of generations in bondage, including overtime and paid vacation plus night work compounded over 5,758 years and were not talking baklahvah either. Plus, what about the Jews cut of Egypts tourism industry? Since the Jews built a lot of that stuff without compensation shouldnt they get a cut of all that too?

Not nearly so un-offensive as Johno’s look at it, but if you dig back, everyone would have a claim at someone else’s cash.

Comment from K-PHO
Time August 22, 2003 at 12:22 pm

Baklava? Finally something I can comment on with authority.

I’m with you fellers. Under the reparation line of thought, the Greeks, who were enslaved under Turkish rule for 400 years, are also due some serious payback. It would seem ridiculous to hold the current Turkish government responsible for something like that.

Comment from cynsmith
Time August 22, 2003 at 2:18 pm

I don’t think that the Nazi gold is the same as slavery reparations. I mean, this is the actual money earned by the actual work of actual people in the camps. Who else should it go to?

But the other examples I agree with. Dumb idea.

Comment from Genuine Welsher
Time September 5, 2003 at 7:57 pm

As a white person living in an integrated neighborhood in Brooklyn, I am among many whites who are fed up with blacks; I have been victimized several times. Not that I don’t have sympathy for racism and it’s burdens, but blacks cling to a victim mentality while ignoring that most white people in America struggle with powerlessness of our own…..having to pay for racism is like the straw that would break the camel’s back…..nothing good ever comes from imposing guilt on another person….I think a national apology for slavery with a memorial and study center would be appropriate…..progress against racism may be slow, but progress is being made………..most of us are worried about the future of all mankind, not just one group, GW

Comment from etrigan
Time September 8, 2003 at 11:40 am

As a white person who went to forced integrated schools in the south and has witnessed a drastic change in the racial attitudes of whites and blacks over the last couple decades, I know that laziness is endimic to all races. (and hatred, too, but that’s another blog.)

I was lucky enough in my high school to be exposed to a wealth of forward thinking African Americans. They were a drastic contrast to some of the Caucasians I had to live near as a kid growing up in the woods of North Louisiana. My reason for rejecting reparations (and predicting the eventual end of affirmative action — another blog, again) is because of the positive influence of my high school compatriots. They owe as much of their lack of mobility to slavery as I share the blame for it.

Comment from etrigan
Time September 8, 2003 at 11:46 am

As a white person who went to forced integrated schools in the south and has witnessed a drastic change in the racial attitudes of whites and blacks over the last couple decades, I know that laziness is endimic to all races. (and hatred, too, but that’s another blog.)

I was lucky enough in my high school to be exposed to a wealth of forward thinking African Americans. They were a drastic contrast to some of the Caucasians I had to live near as a kid growing up in the woods of North Louisiana. My reason for rejecting reparations (and predicting the eventual end of affirmative action — another blog, again) is because of the positive influence of my high school compatriots. They owe as much of their lack of mobility to slavery as I share the blame for it.

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