100 Year Old Riot Reparations?

Up the road a ways, here in my beloved home state of North Carolina, a state-appointed commission is urging North Carolina to pay reparations for riots that happened more than a hundred years ago. Of course, that’s a completely idiotic idea, but let’s take a look at what the hand-out commission came up with anyway:

A state-appointed commission is urging North Carolina to provide reparations for the 1898 racial violence that sparked an exodus of more than 2,000 black residents from Wilmington.

The 500-page report that was produced after six years of study also said the violence, which killed as many as 60 people, was not a spontaneous riot but rather the nation’s only recorded coup d’etat.

“There is no amount of money that can repair what happened years ago and compensate for the loss of lives and the loss of property,” said vice chairman Irving Joyner, a professor at N.C. Central School of Law.

The commission did not provide any cost estimates, although compensation advocate Larry Thomas of Chapel Hill estimated that the economic losses calculated today are “probably in the billions of dollars.”

Along with compensation to victims’ descendants, the commission also recommended incentives for minority small businesses and help for minority home ownership. It also recommended that the history of the incident be taught in public schools.

The 1898 violence began when white vigilantes, resentful after years of black and Republican political rule during Reconstruction, burned the printing press of a black newspaper publisher, Alexander Manly.

Violence spread, resulting in an exodus of 2,100 blacks, the commission concluded. Then the largest city in the state, Wilmington flipped from a black majority to a white majority in the months that followed.

Before the violence, which led to a Democratic takeover from Republicans and Populists, black men in North Carolina had been able to vote for about three decades. But Democrats quickly passed voter literacy tests and a grandfather clause, which disenfranchised black voters until the civil rights movement of the 1960s.”

So, a bunch of Democratic racists drove a lot of black people out of town and then changed the rules to keep black people from voting for the GOP. Yet, I don’t see any suggestion that Republicans should get any reparations. Could they be fairly said to be specific targets of this violence which occurred 108 years ago?

Moreover, do we really want to starting handing out money for things that happened more than a century ago? Is every riot in America’s history just another excuse to start doling out cash? If so, when do the participants in the LA riots or Watts riots start paying back their communities for the damage they inflicted? Heck, maybe we need to see if we can find the relatives of the people who were harmed during Shay’s Rebellion back in 1786 so we can hand them some money….how preposterous!

In any case, whether this is about finding more “victims” for liberals to wring their hands over or just another way to hornswoggle more money from the taxpayers, this is a bad idea and it deserves every bit of mockery and scorn that it will no doubt receive here in North Carolina.

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