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Good morning:

Sorry for my absence. I have been swamped trying to play catch up since I got back to the states.

I wanted to respond to a couple of outstanding questions that clearly have some import with regards to my standing in the ongoing conversation.

First one asked by Nate:
quote:

"They benefited, now [it's] our turn"

[1] What do you mean by that?
[2] You seem to be drawing some paralell between the way white people benefitted from slave labor and how Black people will benefit from reparations. Please expand on that.


Nate: I never once made the connection between black reparations and white priviledge. You did that... very early on, I might add. My comment was never about the contrasting of white advantage versus that of black condition.

And it was admittedly unfair of me to allow you to continue down a dark road of your own making just so I could have fun poking you with a stick. I knew that you were mis-reading the statement, even after I provided you with one of your own direct quotes to clarify it, and I was in no real hurry to lift the fog from your view.

My original point was that you used historical reparations as not only a model but a point of justification (unless I am missreading your comments) and I would submit that it's a road that leads to a flawed conclusion and dangerous intellectual precipice.

When you introduce a model for justification that states...

A. Japanese (or any of the other groups you mentioned) received reparations for unjust acts at the hands of the US Government.
B. Blacks have been treated unjustly at the hands of the US Government.
...thus...
C. Blacks deserve reparations

...you open up a flank on your position that didn't need to be there. Now, you are not only caught defending your central point: that reparations are a just method of 'leveling' the historic and institutional disparity between blacks and whites... but you are now are forced to defend the adherence to the model itself. And every deviation from the existing model becomes a weakness in your overall argument.

My point, to make it loud and clear, was that slavery was a unique experience in America. The resulting institutional racism, rape and murder that paralleled it were too unique. If you are going to call for reparations, and I still personally have my doubts, then one shouldn't ever (in my estimation) introduce exisiting historic models into the conversation. The argument must be made and carried on unique grounds that no model yet exists to cover.

Even alluding to "they got their's and now we want our's" arguments or positions trivializes the enormity of the impact of slavery.

In my humble opinion. :-)

Second one by EbonyRose:
quote:
Native Alien ... I have a question for you!

Do you not believe it is necessary and/or possible and/or would be advantageous for us to both receive governmental reparations and establish a movement which works to uplift ourselves?

Right now, we have neither one ... but would it not/could it not be more beneficiary to use the available resources of one to supplement the success of the other? Or do you believe that the twain should not meet? That there should be only one way by which we accomplish our goal?


I am not certain it would help, EbonyRose. Asians, for instance, come over here and establish economic cooperatives within their communities without the help of government. These are informal community lending clubs that start with a bunch of folks with little and grow to having something for all. While I know this occurs in the black community in pockets, Asians have proven extremely successful in community-based self-reliance. It is but one reason I don't see that the governement's money is only or even the best way to proceed.

I have worked with a number of programs that not only assist the economically disadvantaged (of all colors) in gaining access to opportunity but also work to help those people interacting with the poor, in business and education, understand and navigate the culture of poverty successfully.

I say that to say this: there is a reason that many of the lottery winners you read about find themselves months or years later in the same financial shape they were in before they won. Money is not the only variable missing in those who are economically disadvantaged. I would submit that it isn't even the most important variable. There is a culture of poverty that impacts worldview, speech, class, gender relationships, etc. It is a quantitative culture with specific rules, limits, and roles. And it is powerful.

Figuring out how to break through that powerful and palatable culture is what those interested in helping the disavantaged should be talking about, again.. in my humble opinion. Until then it doesn't matter because being poor has it's own rules and introducing abstract concepts like "a movement" fails to resonate for the poor looking to survive in America and exist in a culture which in many ways breeds characteristics that sabotage the poor's attempts at survival.

In the final analysis, EbonyRose, I guess I see reparations as another band-aid on a gushing wound. It is nice to talk about. It certainly gives blacks something to beat each other about (in proving their level of blackness), but in the end... there will always be poor people living lives less than imagined. There are dirt poor white people living in the Appalachians right now. They are not there because of slavery and reparations will not help them escape their condition.

If we can break through the culture of poverty we can help all of those in need, regardless of skin color. I guess my compassion extends beyond simply poor blacks (but is certainly inclusive of them) but also is concerned with making lives better for everyone living the kind of life I used to live.

Finally, any conversation about reparations that excludes how the majority (whites) would accept the message -- and now I'm talking about marketing -- solely because those advancing the point are afraid of seeming like they are kowtowing to whites or are a mouthpiece for "the man" is doomed to failure. Unless someone has a plan to clone Sen. Barak Obama the last I looked the Senate has one brotha. Any plan must take into consideration the marketing of said plan to the majority of the country. Any consideration less than that is both naive and Quixotic.

Thanx for your question and please let me know if I answered it to your satisfaction.

Chuck
quote:
I am not certain it would help, EbonyRose. Asians, for instance, come over here and establish economic cooperatives within their communities without the help of government. These are informal community lending clubs that start with a bunch of folks with little and grow to having something for all. While I know this occurs in the black community in pockets, Asians have proven extremely successful in community-based self-reliance. It is but one reason I don't see that the governement's money is only or even the best way to proceed.


NativeAlien, have you read Constructive Feedback's posts? You two share the opinion that people should continue to pay taxes to the government (and expect nothing much in return) and shell out money in private community-based efforts (to meet needs). For every Asian involved in an "economic cooperative," (i.e. restaurant, dollar store, nail salon) there are 10 more at Ivy-League colleges and in Corporate America going about "getting theirs" the old-fashioned way.

The only way for everyone to step outside of the "culture of poverty/materialism/consumerism" is to get rid of capitalism. Otherwise, there will always be someone on the bottom rung and others "above" them who have a vested interest in seeing them remain there.

I don't think reparations is about creating an equal society or putting Black people "on par" with white folks. It's payment for services, an overdue bill. What Black people choose to do with that money/land/etc is up for debate, but that shouldn't really have an effect on whether it's given in the first place.
N-Alien,

That was NOT an answer to the question as FRENCHY posed it to you and you asked that question with the clear connections explicit in it.

quote:
"They benefited, now [it's] our turn"

[1] What do you mean by that?
[2] You seem to be drawing some paralell between the way white people benefitted from slave labor and how Black people will benefit from reparations. Please expand on that.
Again, that's how FRENCHY posed the question to you. Now, unless you have some BULLSHIT to pull up about her position on Reparations as a cover for and a diversion from you NOT honestly explaining the reasoning behind the shit you said as YOU said it (you said "THEY BENEFITTED")... then save the rest of that BS for someone who is fooled by someone getting OFF-THE-TOPIC and making non-answers.

Now, I'll await your honest explanation as to why you said that shit. And, you said that in a broad and general fashion as to refer to more than what may have been your thoughts on my position. And even with that, NONE OF WHAT YOU SAID explains the basis for why you said what you did.

"They benefited, now [it's] our turn"

Be it Japanese or whomever... You still have not laid the basis for how such an idea is "emotional" in nature. And considering how FRENCHY also was lead to believe "THEY" were White people as well, and how you took so very long time to respond to repeated questions that really just asked you to explain what you thought you were talking about and your basis for it (which, by definition, would have had you explain and define who "THEY" were/are)... and how you've shown so much concern for how White people would view Black people, etc. Let's just say there was a huge miscommunication problem ON YOUR PART.

Also, there is precious little in the original thread where you listed your comments, IN THE CONTEXT OF THE THREAD, that supports or give rise to what you said and your spin on it now.

That is to say, there was NO such argument made that said "Japanese" got paid, "why not us". None by me there anyway, though I referenced them. It is not Intellectual Honest to say you made a statement about something using a vague article like "THEY" and then, after-the-fact, say "I wasn't talking about them" when you never said who you were talking about in the first place.

But go ahead... Explain why FRENCHY "made that connection" too. And please reference her arguments...

IN THE ORIGINAL THREAD... this was the CONTEXT:


quote:
quote:
GOOD BROTHER said:

Of course there were crimes against humanity, but people paying for them now who are not even personally responsible for slavery is ridiculous.
NMAG said:

And really... ummm The National Debt and other clear reparations/restitution cases amount to things were Living People pay for things that were at least in part, if not totally created by people who are NOW... DEAD!!!

What is your excuse with your DEFENSE for supposed White INDIVIDUALS Living Today when this is a well established practice in this country? What makes REPARATIONS TO AFRICAN-AMERICANS the exception to the rule... on this ERRONEOUS basis?

Note: Me nor my parents were alive during WWII when Japanese Americans where INTERNED. We (at least my parents if not me) PAID for Japanese Reparations.
So please explain the basis of your question.

You will note that my posts are all on page 1 of that thread until I responded to your post made at the bottom of page three of that thread. Something is awfully wrong with this claim you're trying to make. The logic of which makes absolutely no sense. The very highlighting of HYPOCRISY is a staple in the age old struggle for "Civil Rights".

Please find better excuses and argumentation...
Now, on to speaking to FRENCHY and any one else you claimed you would much rather talk to. You can start by addressing HER QUESTIONS as she posed to you. You know, like in an honesty and timely manner.
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The argument must be made and carried on unique grounds that no model yet exists to cover.---Native Alien

I submit that the model that matters does indeed exist e.g. work for no pay is a wrong that can be made right using existing mathematical models.

There does not need to be any consideration of 'pain and suffereing'.

Reparation is a just demand.

Not supporting reparations because a belief that the receivers won't know how to manage the money sounds elitist.

The model for that rationale is rooted in slavery.

I reject it.


PEACE

Jim Chester
Frenchy said:
quote:
NativeAlien, have you read Constructive Feedback's posts? You two share the opinion that people should continue to pay taxes to the government (and expect nothing much in return) and shell out money in private community-based efforts (to meet needs). For every Asian involved in an "economic cooperative," (i.e. restaurant, dollar store, nail salon) there are 10 more at Ivy-League colleges and in Corporate America going about "getting theirs" the old-fashioned way.


I don't recall reading his specific posts, Frenchy. I will try to review some though as you seem to think there exists some communion of our views. Although, contray to your opinion, I do demand a lot of my government.

I agree with you that nail salons are the not the answer (if I am reading your point correctly), but I would submit that it and the mindset that accompanies it, and cooperative businesses like it, are a part of the solution. It all becomes steps towards breaking the poverty mindset... an escape from the culture. Not a geographic escape, mind you, but a mental and emotional one.

Regarding, your comment about always having poor (or at least poorer) people and those who want to keep them there... I agree. There will always be disadvantaged people in a capitalist society: white, black, brown and yellow. We, you and I, are not smart enough or convincing enough to create a plan and get it implemented that would solve that. So, I don't think we are trying to do that here.

I am still listening to those who are speaking without obscenities and an over-active sense of bravado on this topic. I think this is an amazingly complex topic that requires multiple avenues of discussion and that one solution simply will not solve the morass of complex issues at play. Unlike some, I am not unwilling to listen to ideas that contradict my own.

That you for your comment, Frenchy. What are your thoughts around reparations? What should they be used for? Who would have access to them? For how long would they have access? Lastly, do you really think that white people... politicians, Bobby Jo over in middle America, the NRA/GOP/NASCAR folk will ever REALLY consider, let alone pass, a slavery reparations bill?

If so, under what conditions?
If not, then don't they have us spinning our wheels wasting time on this when we could be talking about other tangible approaches?

I am curious about your thoughts.
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James -- I hear what your saying. If my dad passed away tomorrow I would expect to pick up the check he earned for the month.

But, let's take a closer look at that (and this isn't a criticism of the logic, only probing for understanding):

If my great grandfather died while working in 1920 would his employer, ownership of which by now has changed hands 5-6 times, be expected to pay me for wages he didn't pick up? For the sake of argument, let's assume that no one picked up that check back then.

What if I wasn't a blood relative but claimed a connection based on the fact that we had the same last name? Would you, as the new owner, demand some proof of blood connection?

What if I claimed that not only were his wages due to me but they had now grown to include an adjustment for inflation and pain and suffering? Would you be interested in paying that too?

What if not only you were required to pay me this expanded fee but your in-laws had to chip in too because in 1920 they owned a business on the same street as your business, even though my Great Grandfather never worked for them?

Again, I am probing for understanding and admit that the analogy is flawed but the main premise of what some might see as just is similar.

Also, I am not against reparations because I think people would mis-spend the loot. I mentioned money only to the extent that it is not the most important variable we need to address in moving people from the culture of poverty, in my humble opinion.

What are your thoughts, James? I await what I anticipate will be your well-reasoned point-by-point rebuttal. Be gentle. :-)
quote:
That you for your comment, Frenchy. What are your thoughts around reparations? What should they be used for? Who would have access to them? For how long would they have access?


Regarding the specifics of what they should be used for, I'm not sure. However, I feel very strongly that whatever form(s) they come in, it should all be pooled together. I think that side-steps the sticky area of exactly who in the Black community deserves reparations and what kind of proof one might have to offer up in order to claim their portion or determine how big of a portion they may get.

quote:
Lastly, do you really think that white people... politicians, Bobby Jo over in middle America, the NRA/GOP/NASCAR folk will ever REALLY consider, let alone pass, a slavery reparations bill? If so, under what conditions?
If not, then don't they have us spinning our wheels wasting time on this when we could be talking about other tangible approaches?


No. Not right now. Doing so would require white America to take responsibility for its racist past and present and IMO they are largely unwilling to do that. That want to leave "well enough" alone. But that's not necessarily something that should bring the entire Reparations discussion to a halt. Perhaps it should not be left up to a vote. Perhaps the racial climate will change. Perhaps someone will think of a more palatable way to frame the argument for white America. I do agree with you that this particular concern deserves some attention. I think it was earlier in this thread that I posted a portion of an article about getting the funds for Reparations from intergenerational wealth taxes. I think that's something middle America and the rural poor may go for. Has there ever been a poll of how people would vote on a Reparations bill? For all we know, white America is not as opposed to the idea as we think. I have been surprised by them before.
quote:
Originally posted by NativeAlien:
James -- I hear what your saying. If my dad passed away tomorrow I would expect to pick up the check he earned for the month.

But, let's take a closer look at that (and this isn't a criticism of the logic, only probing for understanding):

If my great grandfather died while working in 1920 would his employer, ownership of which by now has changed hands 5-6 times, be expected to pay me for wages he didn't pick up? For the sake of argument, let's assume that no one picked up that check back then.

What if I wasn't a blood relative but claimed a connection based on the fact that we had the same last name? Would you, as the new owner, demand some proof of blood connection?

What if I claimed that not only were his wages due to me but they had now grown to include an adjustment for inflation and pain and suffering? Would you be interested in paying that too?

What if not only you were required to pay me this expanded fee but your in-laws had to chip in too because in 1920 they owned a business on the same street as your business, even though my Great Grandfather never worked for them?

Again, I am probing for understanding and admit that the analogy is flawed but the main premise of what some might see as just is similar.

In this instance, we don't need to prove a blood-line. Society has declared it too exist, society has established practices within the set parameters, AND all agencies, institutions, and sovereign States know and subscribe to that construction.

We know who we are, but most importantly the United States knows who we are.

The United States defines us in its laws, AND delineates us in the Constitution.

There is no mystery here.

Often those who oppose any accountability for slavery, and Jim Crow choose to pursue the avenue of individual involvement.

The ultimate thrust of that tact is the irrefutable claim of 'I didn't do it, and neither did they.'

And, of course, the equally irrefutable 'You were not 'wronged' either, because you were not there. That's true in the case of slavery, of course. It is not true in the case of Jim Crow, the healthy offspring of chattel slavery.

Obviously, it is a 'red-herring' argument.

African America's charge for slavery and Jim Crow is against the United States for its role in endorsing, sustaining, profiting from both.


Also, I am not against reparations because I think people would mis-spend the loot. I mentioned money only to the extent that it is not the most important variable we need to address in moving people from the culture of poverty, in my humble opinion.

I agree the money is not the most important attribute of slavery and Jim Crow. Money is, however, measurable, and trackable.

What are your thoughts, James? I await what I anticipate will be your well-reasoned point-by-point rebuttal. Be gentle. :-)


What ever your position, on reparations, it is your choice.

To advocate that there is no basis is subversive, if you are an American of unknown African ancestry.

Clearly, you are intelligent.

PEACE

Jim Chester

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