We at ROC HQ fully support diversity. We are stronger because of our parts, not because of our whole. We are all for supporting our fellow Americans to reach their potential as long as it doesn't come at the expense of others.
Time and time again I have said that I support social programs that are there to provide people a hand-up, not a hand-out. Safety nets that the American Tax Payers contribute to in an effort to lift up those among us that are struggling. The bleeding heart liberal within screams at the fiscal conservative ideologies that I fully support. My heart trips over itself on its way to my pocketbook. Yet, I always find myself erring on the side that , if someone is able to support themselves without government handouts then they should lace up their bootstraps and get after it.
At times, I find myself at a crossroads when it comes to throwing tax-payer dollars at a population of people for simply existing. This is one of them Nation.
First, let me put some context out there for people that may have forgotten their histories: 250 years of slavery, 90 years of Jim Crow, 60 years of separate but equal, 35 years of racist housing policies. These things are undeniable and can be found just about anywhere you choose to look. The systemic oppression against our own was disgusting, deplorable, and straight up insidious.
But! you may say. Nobody alive today was around for most of that. Nobody alive today was ever a slave. Current laws mandate diversity, inclusion, and equity. Affirmative Action is a real thing. There are more black mayors in metro areas then ever before, Hell, we even had a black President. And guess what Nation, you'd be wrong. Sure, the opportunities for blacks in America has never been better, but not more than 50 years ago, Jim Crow and institutional racism was still very much a thing. And people alive then are still alive today, and still remember those things. And, shocker, a writ of freedom does not make one free when the freedoms entitled are different then those shared by white brothers. I digress...
How does any of that have to do with reparations you might ask? Well, you have to understand what reparations are intended to do.
A verse from our favorite book if you will:
12 “If your brother, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you, he shall serve you six years, and in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you. 13 And when you let him go free from you, you shall not let him go empty-handed. 14 You shall furnish him liberally out of your flock, out of your threshing floor, and out of your winepress. As the Lord your God has blessed you, you shall give to him. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today.
In essence, in the case of black Americans, reparations are intended to give someone exiting slavery an opportunity to stand on his (or her or beep or boop or them or they or whatever they identify as) own two feet. This isn't just money or fixins, this is opportunity as well.
We, as a Nation, have made MASSIVE SHIFTS when it comes to opportunity equity for black America. As stated above, DI&E policy, Affirmative Action, Black Caucasus, the Black political landscape, ACLU, NAACP, the list goes on... ensures that, not only black, but Americans of color have every opportunity that other Americans have.
Yes, it took decades for this to happen. Yes, these decades the black population spent being oppressed allowed other groups to build legacy wealth and inheritance. Yes, there are white-owned businesses that have been in the family for hundreds of years whereas most black owned businesses are less than a few generations old. Again, one could argue that today there are as many opportunities for blacks as there are for anyone else. The argument is that they are on their first step whereas other peer groups are well into the marathon. I have a hard time denying this fact, and I challenge you to change my mind.
OK, we are squared away on the opportunity side, but what of the money and fixins the Good Lord hinted at? This is where the waters get muddy.
For decades a subset of the political landscape has hinted at 'throwing money at the problem' that is impoverished primarily black neighborhoods. That infusing these neighborhoods with LOTS of money will somehow lift them out of poverty. That providing individuals with tens of thousands of dollars will somehow 'level the proverbial playing field' between these historically poor neighborhoods and those neighborhoods that don't burn themselves down when they get offended. That by giving people twenty-five thousand greenbacks, maybe they will stop slanging dope and banging, and maybe start a small business or by a home. Maybe, just maybe, if they give them enough money, they will continue to vote for the same ole song and dance that for so long has broken promises and fiscally wrecked their economies while systemically oppressing those they swear to uplift.
Case in point: Chicago suburb of Evanston approves reparations for black residents.
This is said to be the first of many cities around the Nation that repay a particular pigmented population of society for the hardships of their ancestors but giving them sums of cash. Before we get into it, let me give you a little clue: Evanston nears 90% support for Democrat presidential candidates.
Now that we have stated the most obvious of assumptions (ahem identity politics), lets look at the story.
"The Program is a step towards revitalizing, preserving, and stabilizing Black/African-American owner-occupied homes in Evanston, increasing homeownership and building the wealth of Black/African-American residents, building intergenerational equity amongst Black/African-American residents, and improving the retention rate of Black/African-American homeowners in the City of Evanston," reads a draft of the resolution.
The program, which was approved by the City Council 8-1, will grant qualifying households up to $25,000 for down payments or home repairs, according to the city, and is the first initiative of a city reparations fund that was established in 2019.
The only real cause for qualification of the reparations is that black residents must either have lived in Evanston between 1919 and 1969 or be a direct descendant of someone who did. I wonder how many of the Alderman on the city council stand to gain from this act.
Now, of course the program has the endorsement of national racial justice organizations that advocate for reparations, including the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America and the National African American Reparations Commission.
In a nutshell Nation, the City has decided to provide any black person in Evanston that has been, or is a descendent of, a resident of Evanston during the 50 year span of 1919-1969. The money (initially) can be used to build, buy, or fix a house.
The kicker for me is the time delta between 1969 and today. 50 years y'all. I just can't reason out how this is fair in a modern society. I guess the narrative here is, let's marginalize a group today that marginalized people back then. Let's segregate a group today that segregated a group back then. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. If whites can go unpunished for 250 years of slavery, 90 years of Jim Crow, 60 years of separate but equal, 35 years of racist housing policies, we can finally punish them because they aren't black enough to qualify for a $25,000 stimmy. We'll pull the black....I mean reparations card and no one can argue against us. Then we will preserve the Democrat base that kept us in office all through the 1919-1969 years and into today. Sounds pretty win/win to me, right?
WRONG! This is one more domino in a massive push to alienate, segregate, divide, disrupt, anger, and pit one group against another. This is another page in the book that is critical race theory. This is the same old story with a new title. This is identity politics, paying for votes, political pandering, and just flat out dumb.
So @realmikebell, how else can we level the playing field? How else can we jumpstart the impoverished black communities? How else can we start to build generational wealth in the black communities? Well, stay tuned for another episode of ROC Exclusive to find out. You can sign up now and its free for a week! See you there Nation.