Reparations: The Dick Cheney & Tiger Woods Problem

The Senate’s conclusion about slavery? We’re sorry, but you’re not getting money. Still, there are those who want to quantify it:

Charles Ogletree, the Harvard law professor who has championed restitution, was consulted on the Senate’s resolution and supports it, but he said it is not a substitute for reparations. “That battle will be prolonged,” he said.

Randall Robinson, author of “The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks,” said he sees the Senate’s apology as a “confession” that should lead to a next step of reparations. “Much is owed, and it is very quantifiable,” he said. “It is owed as one would owe for any labor that one has not paid for, and until steps are taken in that direction we haven’t accomplished anything.”

Cohen said he and Harkin worked closely with the NAACP and other civil rights groups on language that would not endorse or preclude any future claims to reparations. “It will not harm reparations but won’t give any standing to it,” Cohen said.

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Can you imagine a bigger mess than trying to make reparations happen? For many, electing President Obama meant that, finally, once and for all the past racial problems are a distant memory. We are now a colorblind society. As. If. But whatever, I do believe that many Obama voters hoped that his presidency would create a post-racial America.

Too many people benefit by keeping race front and center, though. So I expect this kind of talk to increase.

The main problem with reparations is that America is a big melting pot. People who look white have more black DNA, however that’s measured, than some people who look black but have more white DNA. Is Dick Cheney more black than Barack Obama? Do we need to know this?

We don’t need to know, although, it would be fun to find out. Part of me perversely wants this pursued. Wouldn’t it be great to have all these white-looking people getting huge payouts because they’re “more black” than, say, Oprah? Good times.

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