Reparations

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 18, 2008 12:03 AM GMT

    Ok guys. I'd like to start this topic off with a neutral tone. The topic idea came to mind this week on a business trip in Europe. Somone ask me if I thought reparations (compensation) should be paid to any group who had been disadvantaged by the U.S. Government.

    I make no assumption that anyone has been disadvantaged. That's your call. I'd like to hear all opinions across the broad range of the topic.

    Furthermore, if you feel reparations should be made to someone, how do you think that should be implemented.

    Guys, please let's ot make this a political argument for or against any political candidate.


    Ted
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    Oct 18, 2008 12:09 AM GMT
    ATLTED said
    Ok guys. I'd like to start this topic off with a neutral tone. The topic idea came to mind this week on a business trip in Europe. Somone ask me if I thought reparations (compensation) should be paid to any group who had been disadvantaged by the U.S. Government.


    Didn't they give any examples of who these groups might be? And what the nature of their disadvantage would be?

    Seems to me an impossible question to answer, since nothing is defined.
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    Oct 18, 2008 12:18 AM GMT
    Well meaning idea, but considering the US government's finances these days, not very likely to happen.

    Canada gave formal compensation to the Japanese who were interned during World War II, but that was many years after the fact.
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    Oct 18, 2008 12:38 AM GMT
    Ok. I'll wade a little deeper into this. They specifically mentioned African-Americans and Native-Americans.
  • Barricade

    Posts: 457

    Oct 18, 2008 1:17 AM GMT
    ATLTED said
    Ok guys. I'd like to start this topic off with a neutral tone. The topic idea came to mind this week on a business trip in Europe. Somone ask me if I thought reparations (compensation) should be paid to any group who had been disadvantaged by the U.S. Government.



    Well, you could break it down by race or whatever, but doesn't all of middle america qualify for this right now? We pay taxes that go towards a huge bailout for companies that in turn go on spa trips and vegas get aways? What do we get out of it?
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    Oct 18, 2008 1:21 AM GMT
    Ummm, isn't that what Affirmative Action is all about?

    You can argue about whether it works or not, but giving preferential treatment in hiring for decades on end has to be better than just forking over a buttload of money to people who have done absolutely nothing to deserve it. Being a descendant of someone who was treated badly does not mean you deserve free money.
  • Aquanerd

    Posts: 845

    Oct 18, 2008 1:48 AM GMT
    ATLTED said
    Ok guys. I'd like to start this topic off with a neutral tone. The topic idea came to mind this week on a business trip in Europe. Somone ask me if I thought reparations (compensation) should be paid to any group who had been disadvantaged by the U.S. Government.

    I make no assumption that anyone has been disadvantaged. That's your call. I'd like to hear all opinions across the broad range of the topic.

    Furthermore, if you feel reparations should be made to someone, how do you think that should be implemented.

    Guys, please let's ot make this a political argument for or against any political candidate.


    Ted


    I think that we throw in back in Europe's Court. The area that is the US was under control of various European Counties when the Slavery and the Genocide of Native Americans started. When Great Britain, The Netherlands, Spain, and France pony up, then the US will talk. And Canada, Mexico and Cuba, can jump on board too.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    Oct 18, 2008 1:55 AM GMT
    I think the whole concept of reparations is wrong. Absolutely NOT! I am sure ancestors of mine somewhere down the line were mistreated too, anyone want to cut ME a check? I didn't THINK so. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Oct 18, 2008 1:58 AM GMT
    Actually, there is a decent case to be made for reparations -- and there are other ways to offer reparations without "writing a check." But it'll never fly, not in this country, not even in this thread. Which is why I won't even try to explain further.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Oct 18, 2008 2:00 AM GMT
    I think it really depends on the specific cases you're talking about. The reparations made to the Japanese who were effectively placed in internment camps during WWII I fully support--they're payments to people who were personally and directly harmed by our government. Slavery reparations, on the other hand, I view as different. Slavery ended many generations ago. Not only did no living citizen participate in it, but so few of us can even be said to have benefitted from it through our families, because so many of our families either immigrated after slavery ended, or else didn't own slaves even if they were present while it was in practice. I just don't see the justice involved in a transfer of wealth to one group from another who have one non-exclusive characteristic in common with the historical group which persecuted the ancestors of the group receiving the transfer. In a secular nation, the sins of the father are not transferred to the son.
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    Oct 18, 2008 2:23 AM GMT
    Well, in some cases I feel that reparations are justified. The Japanese Americans who were interned during WWII. Maybe even for slavery. Now, I am part Native American, and frankly my political and social leanings favor my fellow Indians pretty much all the time. That's why I am very glad that many of the indian tribes have done so well in the last couple of decades with gaming and tourism. Many of the tribes who allow gaming have become fairly wealthy, and as a result, they have created their own version of The American Dream: they've created for themselves an economic niche and have used it to their advantage.
    There are also many Native Americans who already are paid governmnet benefits if they can prove tribal affiliations. I have no problem with this either. So, in that respect, it seems to me that those ribes who are able to take advantage of these programs or these industries are already doing quite well without further reparations. There are some, however, who are still being cheated on agreements and treaties made with the U.S. government, and I feel that they are fully justified in seeking some form of redress or compensation.

    While we're on this idea, what if Obama becomes President, and legalizes Gay marriage in this country? Could not a fair argument be made for us Gays to be given reparations for what has been, arguably, unjust treatment for the last 100 years? Same thing for patients who have been approved by their doctor for use of medical marijuana in states that have compassionate use laws, only to be arrested by federal agents and denyed life-saving (or life-quality enhancing) marijuana and incarcerated until they were severly ill or dead, as a result of such mistreatment? I think a case for reparations exists there as well.
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    Oct 18, 2008 2:36 AM GMT
    MSUBioNerd saidNot only did no living citizen participate in it, but so few of us can even be said to have benefitted from it through our families, because so many of our families either immigrated after slavery ended, or else didn't own slaves even if they were present while it was in practice.


    Well, the argument goes something like this (agree with it or not, your choice):

    Slavery, and a century of Jim Crow laws, did in fact give an enormous relative advantage to white folks, even non-slave-owning ones. Consumers benefited from the low prices that substandard wages subsidized; many marginally-qualified students attended schools and universities they may not have been admitted to had their not been segregation and de facto quotas; the list goes on and on. Slavery, seen by itself, did not cause the creation of the black underclass--arguably, it was the abrupt ending of Reconstruction and the century of relentless legal restriction that made black families unstable, and to some degree that pathology continues to this day. Many black families have imprisoned fathers, or absent ones, in a cycle that began nearly two hundred years ago.

    As to what form of reparation would be sensible, I agree that cash payments would never be enough, and would be beside the point anyway. What's needed is some form of catch-up, and that was the idea behind affirmative action.
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    Oct 18, 2008 2:50 AM GMT
    MSUBioNerd saidI think it really depends on the specific cases you're talking about. The reparations made to the Japanese who were effectively placed in internment camps during WWII I fully support--they're payments to people who were personally and directly harmed by our government. Slavery reparations, on the other hand, I view as different. Slavery ended many generations ago. Not only did no living citizen participate in it, but so few of us can even be said to have benefitted from it through our families, because so many of our families either immigrated after slavery ended, or else didn't own slaves even if they were present while it was in practice. I just don't see the justice involved in a transfer of wealth to one group from another who have one non-exclusive characteristic in common with the historical group which persecuted the ancestors of the group receiving the transfer. In a secular nation, the sins of the father are not transferred to the son.


    I do not agree with the idea of providing reparations either. However, I also disagree with your argument as to why specific groups should not receive a monetary sum. While it is true slavery did end a while ago, the Civil Rights movement lasted through the 60's. And while it may be argued that such groups were no longer bound to serve the majority, their quality of life and opportunities for social mobility were actively limited; therefore, the actions of the majority were still a significant detriment to minorities. And based on that one establish a rebuttal against your argument in support for reparations.

    however, I do not think we should adopt such a policy beyond those that already exist...and even those should be modified to reflect the fact that the relationship between socioeconomic status and race are no longer (as) black and white (i.e. need an alteration in specific facets of affirmative action policies)
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    Oct 18, 2008 2:51 AM GMT
    jprichva said
    MSUBioNerd saidNot only did no living citizen participate in it, but so few of us can even be said to have benefitted from it through our families, because so many of our families either immigrated after slavery ended, or else didn't own slaves even if they were present while it was in practice.


    Well, the argument goes something like this (agree with it or not, your choice):

    Slavery, and a century of Jim Crow laws, did in fact give an enormous relative advantage to white folks, even non-slave-owning ones. Consumers benefited from the low prices that substandard wages subsidized; many marginally-qualified students attended schools and universities they may not have been admitted to had their not been segregation and de facto quotas; the list goes on and on. Slavery, seen by itself, did not cause the creation of the black underclass--arguably, it was the abrupt ending of Reconstruction and the century of relentless legal restriction that made black families unstable, and to some degree that pathology continues to this day. Many black families have imprisoned fathers, or absent ones, in a cycle that began nearly two hundred years ago.

    As to what form of reparation would be sensible, I agree that cash payments would never be enough, and would be beside the point anyway. What's needed is some form of catch-up, and that was the idea behind affirmative action.


    whoops...i guess I should have read the entire thread before posting
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Oct 18, 2008 3:06 AM GMT
    Oh, I understand that's one of the major arguments in favor of affirmative action. I just don't happen to agree with it. One of my biggest problems with most such programs is that they take place in a zero-sum game setting. Every point you give to one group in school admissions, for example, is mathematically equivalent to removing a point from everyone else. It's not possible in such a circumstance to boost someone's chances without harming someone else's chances. The other big problem, as alluded to, is that it fails to take into account economic status. I'm much more supportive of economically-based affirmative action programs than I am of race or gender based ones. With such programs, you don't have kids of wealthy parents who have gone to great schools themselves being judged as disadvantages compared to poor kids from trailer parks, merely because the color of the respective students' skins are opposite what might have been assumed.
  • Aquanerd

    Posts: 845

    Oct 18, 2008 3:12 AM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidI think the whole concept of reparations is wrong. Absolutely NOT! I am sure ancestors of mine somewhere down the line were mistreated too, anyone want to cut ME a check? I didn't THINK so. icon_rolleyes.gif


    You are probably right.

    I have ancestors that worked side by side with black slaves in South Carolina.
    [url]
    http://www.electricscotland.com/history/other/white_slavery.htm[/url]

    I am also part Lumbee.
    [url]
    http://www.lumbeetribe.com/[/url]

    PLus some people on this site say me things about me.

    I looks like I should be getting something too. icon_cool.gif
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    Oct 18, 2008 3:45 AM GMT
    ATLTED said
    Ok guys. I'd like to start this topic off with a neutral tone. The topic idea came to mind this week on a business trip in Europe. Somone ask me if I thought reparations (compensation) should be paid to any group who had been disadvantaged by the U.S. Government.

    I make no assumption that anyone has been disadvantaged. That's your call. I'd like to hear all opinions across the broad range of the topic.

    Furthermore, if you feel reparations should be made to someone, how do you think that should be implemented.

    Guys, please let's ot make this a political argument for or against any political candidate.


    Ted


    While numerous internal (in the US) groups have deserved reparations at some point in history, I don't think that is the case right now. I do believe that external groups deserve reparations - good luck!!! I think the only reparation any internal group can expect is a proper Human Rights bill in congress.
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    Oct 18, 2008 4:46 AM GMT
    The problem with reparations is that if you are favoring a certain group, then at the same time you're putting another group down. Then these people pay for the crime of their ancestors, which I find unfair.

    Take for example the case of affirmative action for purposes of admissions to colleges. I don't think affirmative action based on race is effective, and I think one based on economic status would work much better. Also, trying to make up for a group's disadvantges at the university level comes too late in the process to work. If you don't have strong academic foundations, how are you supposed to catch up with the other students?
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    Oct 18, 2008 5:08 AM GMT
    MSUBioNerd saidOh, I understand that's one of the major arguments in favor of affirmative action. I just don't happen to agree with it. One of my biggest problems with most such programs is that they take place in a zero-sum game setting. Every point you give to one group in school admissions, for example, is mathematically equivalent to removing a point from everyone else. It's not possible in such a circumstance to boost someone's chances without harming someone else's chances. The other big problem, as alluded to, is that it fails to take into account economic status. I'm much more supportive of economically-based affirmative action programs than I am of race or gender based ones. With such programs, you don't have kids of wealthy parents who have gone to great schools themselves being judged as disadvantages compared to poor kids from trailer parks, merely because the color of the respective students' skins are opposite what might have been assumed.


    I agree: Such policies should be altered to focus on economic status...that's what I said...at least I agree with that ideology when it comes to undergraduate education...certain professional schools utilize a.a. policies in a slightly different manner...and they should b/c of proven data that supports their reasons for implementing such policies.

    In terms of the whole zero-sum game argument: You are assuming everyone starts out on an equal playing field. A white male who attended Harvard-Westlake, Pilgrim, Brentwood, Andover, Exeter, Deerfield, etc...will most likely have had received a much higher quality education and had access to a greater number of opportunities than a white male who attends a public school in either a poor or even middle class neighborhood. So in essence that kid from the former group could be considered to already be one up. And lets not get into the whole argument about grandfathering/preferential admissions for students from elite families, elite high schools being feeder schools for Ivy League type schools (Gossip Girl is good for something...LOL...what happens in that TV show is exactly what happens to students...even the dumb ones...at these elite schools), etc...
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    Oct 18, 2008 5:09 AM GMT
    dowal saidThe problem with reparations is that if you are favoring a certain group, then at the same time you're putting another group down. Then these people pay for the crime of their ancestors, which I find unfair.

    Take for example the case of affirmative action for purposes of admissions to colleges. I don't think affirmative action based on race is effective, and I think one based on economic status would work much better. Also, trying to make up for a group's disadvantges at the university level comes too late in the process to work. If you don't have strong academic foundations, how are you supposed to catch up with the other students?


    And that is what is inherently wrong with the entire system...and that would be the case even if such policies were predicated on economic status rather than race
  • reliable1

    Posts: 65

    Oct 18, 2008 12:19 PM GMT
    The U.S. Civil Liberties Act of 1988 resulted in a limited amount of reparations for those directly involved in japanese internment in the 1940's. So, it has been done.

    Think when done in a timely manner, it can be the decent thing to do. After several generations though, feel things become more murky.

    Personally feel it would be more worthwhile to improve things from where they are now with regard to the two groups mentioned. How about improving comparable incarceration rates when comparing African-Americans and same crime done by other race groups? How about about addressing religious freedom issues for Native American prisoners (religious restrictions for general population weren't lifted until 1970's?)?

    Somebody smarter than i would have to come up with a cranked up mathematical model to be able to figure out was was close to legally fair for specific groups here.
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    Oct 18, 2008 1:02 PM GMT
    I don't think you'll ever see reparations for african americans. However, I can possibly see it happening for Native American tribes. This is because the US government over the years signed numerous treaties with these tribes, didn't honor them, and then forced the tribes onto reservations. Because of legal issues with not honoring these treaties, I would not be surprised if one day the gov't is forced by the Supreme Court or decides on its own to give some sort of reparations to these groups.
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    Oct 18, 2008 1:18 PM GMT
    Couldnt everybody make a case for being in some group deserving reparation...except maybe straight, white males?

    Should reparations only go to individuals directly affected by the gov't action, not the descendants of the victims?
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    Oct 18, 2008 1:31 PM GMT
    This buys into just what I've been saying on other threads. There are "Leaders of the African-American Community" who make a nice living off of preaching victimization. "Reparations" is a new and creative way to stir up the idea of resentment and victimization.
    These people milk the African American community and are trying to get even more from the rest of us.

    Leaders of the African-American Community have had some amazing success. Their campaign against "Racial Profiling" has done wonders for illegal narcotics dealers and assistant attorney general Jamie Gorlick used it as a basis for protecting the 9/11 terrorists from the FBI during the Clinton administration.

    They may just pull off this reparations scam.


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    Oct 18, 2008 4:31 PM GMT
    Hey, John, are you and Joe the Bullshit Pumber lovers? Because the more you post, the more you sound like a McCain plant.