18th century Scottish Judge and Historian, Alexander Fraser Tytler, once said, “A democracy… can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.” We are approaching that point in our political system in the United States.
The State of California has commissioned a committee to determine how much reparation money is owed to descendants of African slaves. They believe that reparations are owed to black Americans because there is a disparity between the wealth in white America and black America. Obviously, this is a ploy by California politicians to completely lock down the black vote for the Democrat Party in California. This is no different than Joe Biden, prior to the 2022 midterm elections, signing an executive order that forgave student loan debt of tens of millions of voters. The reparations commission came back with a price tag of $350,000 per person, and only those Californians who are actually descendants of black Americans from the 19th century will be eligible. Not to be outdone, the city of San Francisco assembled its own reparations committee which proposed $5 million award and total debt forgiveness to each black resident of the city.
Max Fennell, a reparations activist said, “It’s a debt that’s owed, we worked for free. We’re not asking, we’re telling you.” Max Fennell was never a slave. He never worked for free. So, when he says, “we worked for free,” he was using his skin color to align himself with a group of people who actually worked for free so he could appropriate the fruits their labor. That’s called stolen valor. And didn’t the slave owners also appropriate the fruits of the same group of people’s labor that Max Fennell and millions of black people are also trying to appropriate? The issues that most black people struggle with on a daily basis is not legacy of slavery or oppression from systemic racism.
The biggest oppressors of black people in America today are other black people. Over 70% of black children are born out of wedlock, which is oppressive for the child growing up without a father. Systemic racism did not force the black father to abandon his child. The school systems in the black communities which are run primarily by black administrators are failing black students, even though there is just as much, and even more money given per student to schools in black communities as the schools in white communities. Black communities are riddled with black gangs, black drug dealers and black on black crime, that oppresses the people living in those communities, ensnaring them in crime, drugs and death. Black gangs kill more black people in one year than the Ku Klux Klan has killed in its entire existence. The black gangs are doing the work of the Ku Klux Klan.
California has 2.3 million citizens of African descent, so the price tag of the reparations program comes out to over $800 billion. And yet, reparations do not address the most fundamental problems plaguing black America. Wouldn’t it be better to spend the $800 billion improving their public schools, taking on crime, drugs and gangs, and supporting the two-parent family which would provide kids the proper foundation in life. At some point, the blame should also lie with the black people themselves because they vote overwhelmingly for Democrat politicians who have failed to address any of these problems in a substantial way.
Reparations will not create the generational wealth they claim. Many will squander the money on lavish lifestyles, or on shady financial advisers, or the money will end up being stolen, spent on drugs, or misspent, which is a problem for people of all races who come into a lot of money. 70% of lottery winners squander away their prize money within a few years after winning the big prize. 78% of NFL players are broke within 5 years of their retirement. One, big time payday rarely fixes the fundamental problems. So, the $350,000 of reparations will be spend and gone in short order but the problems that are destroying black America will continue on, and our government’s resources to deal with those problems will have been depleted through reparations, so the disparity between the races will continue.
This $350,000 payment will just be the beginning. Do you think that the recipients of the reparations will stop with this round of payments? Will they say thank you, all is forgiven, we have been fairly compensated? No. They will continue to claim that the legacy of slavery and racism is holding them back as long as there is a disparity in life outcomes between the races. So, once the money is spent, they will continue to ask for more and more and more, and never be satisfied because handing people money never solves the problems.
Reparations teaches people that the best way to get rewarded, to get money is to be aggrieved, to be a victim. It doesn’t teach people to earn the money that they receive. It creates a mindset that the world owes them something, and people with that mindset rarely achieve in life. We are rewarding the aggrieved not the achiever. The best thing we can do for any group of people that is struggling, is create a society where hard work, diligence, intelligence and ability are rewarded, because those things empower people. Sadly, reparations do the exact opposite. They will disempower the struggling. And nowadays, the very things that will help those who are lagging behind – hard work, diligence, intelligence and ability – are now considered racist because they create the disparities in life outcomes that are being used to justify the reparations themselves.
Judd Garrett is a graduate from Princeton University, and a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He has been a contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.