I wanted to comment in full about some of the sillier implications of Ta Nehisi Coates statements about the pipe dream of reparations but twitter's character limit makes that impossible. Until then here's a long winded rebuttal (also in Pic form) that explains the problems in under 600 words I hope. Yes I'm African American and I'm a proud Bernie supporter, who I think is the closest I'll get to FDR in my lifetime.
This is a handy rebuttal to this article:
One: Demanding reparations for black people is political suicide. One of the reasons we have a tough time expanding New Deal/Great Society programs is that the GOP has essentially blackfaced decent social programs or Reagan's welfare queen myth still lives large. Imagine what would happen if a white presidential candidate openly supported"giving away" things to black folks, even it was justified and I've read your work and I think it is. Politically, though, its not feasible and isn't a standard applied to black presidents or any other white candidate in the race. We would lose all white working class votes.
Two: The short term goal of African Americans should be retaking both the house and senate. The GOP is our biggest enemy. The GOP is as an openly racist, even openly fascist party. They have to be defeated everywhere not just for black folks but for everyone. The best programs for Blacks came with the New Deal/Great Society programs that help every older African American I know, for example: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. These bills were only passed when Democrats had all the three branches: house, senate and executive. Bernie Sanders is the only person who has openly embraced the winning 50 state strategy and retaking the house, which will be really hard because of very effective GOP gerrymandering. It needs to be pointed out that Hillary's weaker proposals won't pass either through a republican house. Also, you can't get to two if you embrace race dividing reparations.
Three: Class trumps race when you're a minority. When you're a minority and you remember that -- losing three presidential elections in a row reminds you -- class is the only way to go. Let's raise the min wage for everyone. 2 to 4 trillion in infrastructure jobs for everyone. A public healthcare option for everyone. Free post secondary education for everyone, etc. These are all winners politically and this is why Bernie is surging. Or what would you prefer to be discussed if Bernie were to win the presidency and take back both chambers? Basic income for everyone that would meet basic needs or reparations? Both would help black people quite a bit but only one is politically feasible. I would go with Basic Income proposals. Better to win with class than lose on race. Hey maybe the citizens of Wakanda can do that, if they ever get to vote for their benevolent Saudi Arabia like Black Panther kings. Please keep your policy proposals limited to comics....
Four: You've missed the point of superior European living standards. Yes, since you've been to
I can only assume that bigotry
exists in France Europe. However, I can also assume that
its nothing like where black towns are poisoned by lead or there's a whole
prison industrial complex dedicated to putting people of color in jail or where black people are killed every other
day by the cops under questionable circumstances and a whole list of other
terrible things that you've written in depth about. I assume that blacks in (all four of them) get the six
week mandatory vacations and the guaranteed one year parental leave as well.
Must be awful for them. We can live that badly too but only if we stress class
remedies not racially specific ones. If Bernie got us to half of the living
standards of Norway Western
then that would benefit black people as much or more than reparations,
especially if it included basic income. These aren't bandages. These are
A Philip Shropshire Meme PIC