The reparations scam is back, and Democratic presidential candidates are falling for it

QHMQR5JL7NHKNCURB4K7ZKCSQUThe Reverend Al Sharpton greets 2020 Presidential candidate, Beto O’Rourke at the 28th Annual National Action Network Conference in Manhattan NY on April 3, 2019. (Andrew Schwartz/for New York Daily News)

 

I have lived long enough to be embarrassed for politicians and others who don’t know history. Such ignorance is especially galling when presidential hopefuls go to kiss the ring of the ignominious Al Sharpton to seek either his blessing or neutrality as they pursue their party’s nomination at the top of its 2020 ticket.

So my civil rights bones rattled when major figures — such as Beto O’Rourke, Julian Castro, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker — went to Sharpton’s “House of Justice” and expressed their support for or signaled interest in federal legislation that would consider reparations for the descendants of African-American slaves.

Where have these dolts been for the past several decades? As recently as 1992, Sharpton backed a “Million Youth March” in Harlem that revived the idea of reparations. That March was scantily attended — it having been convened by a “black leader” even more wretched and discredited than Sharpton, Khalid Muhammad, an unrepentant anti-Semite and black separatist. The march fizzled, as did the demand for slavery reparations.

Indeed, historically all the sound and fury about reparations for the descendants of African-American slaves has been just that — noise and racial rhetoric.

But now, against the backdrop of a 2020 presidential race, mainstream Democrats are giving lip service to considering — er, “studying” the ways of providing “reparations” that, if serious and honestly pursued, would run in the trillions, go into the pockets of people many generations removed from slavery and make a mockery of actual attempts to repair moral damage done.

27DNDLULFRCYFGPAPIKQS3BCFE2020 Presidential candidate, Julian Castro speaks at the 28th Annual National Action Network Conference in Manhattan NY on April 3,2019. (Andrew Schwartz/for New York Daily News)

Inflationary times have already overtaken the meager $500 million cost of reparations that black activist James Forman demanded of white churches and synagogues in the form of his Black Manifesto, delivered at Riverside Church circa 1969. That helped birth a bill offered by Rep. John Conyers to have Congress spend millions to form a “study commission” on methods and means to “remedy” the scourge of slavery on the African-American population. It languished in Congress for decades — only to be recently revived by black Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.

But the more one thinks about the idea, the less sense it makes.

Who would get them and why? Would someone with two slaves in his or her family three get half of what someone with four slaves in his or her family tree receives? Would middle-class and poor blacks get the same? Would reparations be in lieu of affirmative-action programs, which also purport to right historic injustices, or in addition to them?

Those are just the start of the questions, but unlike in past decades, many if not most “civil rights” and black nationalist groups have joined forces to make “reparations” a legitimate item on the racial progress agenda. Gone are the luminaries among black intellectuals and leaders who voiced their disgust and distrust of “fake reparations” as either an “apology” for slavery or as a sop to black charities and “rights” organizations that thirst for bounty from a reparations pot.

Dead and buried are such big black voices as Bayard Rustin’s — who in the 1960s and 1970s lashed out at reparations for slavery as a scam, an insult, and a “handout.” The NAACP’s leader, Roy Wilkins, had done likewise. The entire NAACP in those heady years rejected reparations as a “preposterous idea.”

Sorely missing in this current national conversation is the sagacious guidance of black newspaper columnist and public citizen Carl Rowan who as recently as 1997 had dismissed reparations as “a profitless diversion.” “Just give today’s black man genuine hope,” he said, “then a fair chance at learning and training, and then a proud way to make an honest dollar to sustain a loving family, and he will not dwell on slavery or any other of yesteryear’s injustices.”

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Presidential candidate Cory Booker introduces Senate bill on slavery reparations

GETTY-cory-booker_1554747033858_7077715_ver1.0_640_360U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) speaks to guests during a campaign stop at the Van G, Miller Adult Learning Center on February 08, 2019 in Waterloo, Iowa. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

 

Sen. Cory Booker on Monday introduced a bill that would study the possibility of reparations for descendants of slaves, embracing a push that has recently has caught the interest of fellow 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.

The senator from New Jersey said Monday that “this bill is a way of addressing head-on the persistence of racism, white supremacy, and implicit racial bias in our country. It will bring together the best minds to study the issue and propose solutions that will finally begin to right the economic scales of past harms and make sure we are a country where all dignity and humanity is affirmed.”

The measure is a Senate companion to a bill introduced in the House of Representatives in January by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, which if passed into law would set up a commission to study the impact of slavery and continued discrimination against black Americans and make recommendations on reparation proposals for the descendants of slaves. The legislation was first introduced 30 years ago by then-Rep. John Conyers of Michigan.

“Since slavery in this country, we have had overt policies fueled by white supremacy and racism that have oppressed African-Americans economically for generations,” Booker added. “Many of our bedrock domestic policies that have ushered millions of Americans into the middle class have systematically excluded blacks through practices like GI Bill discrimination and redlining.

Besides Booker, the idea of slavery reparations for black Americans is at least partially backed by at least eight other Democratic presidential contenders. They are Sen. Kamala Harris of California; Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont; former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who served as housing secretary under President Barack Obama; South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg; former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas; Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii; and businessman and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

Several of them were asked specifically about Jackson Lee’s reparations bill during a conference last week of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.

The push by the Democratic White House hopefuls points to the further importance of race and identity issues within the party. Yet while supporters say reparations are needed to address slavery and racist aspects of American history, critics claim such a move could cost several trillion dollars without solving the issue of racism.

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Dem. Presidential Candidate Calls for $100B in Slavery Reparations

“We need a moral and spiritual awakening in the country.”

Obama-Lincoln-slavery

Marianne Williamson, a best-selling author. spiritual teacher and activist, announced her bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination on Monday. On Thursday, she sat down on CNN’s New Day, where she said the United States needs to pay African-Americans reparations for slavery.

“We need a moral and spiritual awakening in the country,” the candidate stated. “Nothing short of that is adequate to really fundamentally change the patterns of our political dysfunction.”

Her platform includes proposal for free public college, universal health care, Medicare for all, a green new deal and $10 billion per year for slavery reparations to be paid over the course of a decade.

“I believe $100 billion given to a council to apply this money to economic projects and educational projects of renewal for that population is simply a debt to be paid,” Williamson said.

Watch the full interview below to hear what she believes to be the “deeper truths” about what has failed the American people.

Jeanine Pirro off air at Fox News one week after making controversial comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar

Did Fox News fire network host Jeanine Pirro?

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Did Fox News fire network host Jeanine Pirro?

That’s the question many of Pirro’s fans were likely left asking themselves after tuning into Fox News at 9 p.m. Saturday evening — the typical time Pirro hosts her weekly show — only to find that Fox News was airing a re-run of the documentary “Scandalous.”

What’s going on with Pirro?

According to CNN, all indications suggest that Fox News has suspended Pirro. However, if Fox News suspended Pirro, they are not publicly admitting as much, telling CNN, “we are not commenting on internal scheduling matters.”

Pirro has not tweeted since last weekend, nor did she announce a vacation.

Pirro’s absence comes one week after she controversially questioned the patriotism of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). While mocking Omar for wearing a hijab, the traditional Islamic head-covering, Pirro suggested that Omar’s Muslim faith is responsible for her anti-Semitic sentiments.

“Think about it: Omar wears a hijab,” Pirro said on her show. “Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?”

In response, Fox News publicly condemned Pirro.

“We strongly condemn Jeanine Pirro’s comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar. They do not reflect those of the network and we have addressed the matter with her directly,” the network said.

Has Fox fired Pirro?

While the circumstances suggest she has been suspended, there is no indication that she has been fired. After all, Pirro is one of the highest-rated weekend cable news hosts on TV.

It is unclear when Pirro will return to air.

 

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FRAUDS EXPOSED: @AOC found thru Casting Call! 5 Dems recruited-Political equivalent of Spice Girls!!!

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That’s right #AlexandriaOccasionalCortex is a fraud! She was found like a Hollywood Casting Call. And the other Radicals were recruited precisely because of their ethnicity and skin color. And they say Republicans are racist? I expose the evil group behind these MANUFACTURED CANDIDATES… #IlhanOmar #RashidaTliab #JoshBernsteinShow

 

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AOC threatens to put moderate Democrats ‘on a list’ to be unseated

1-aoc.w700.h467.2xPelosi and AOC both want Dems to fall in line, but used different tactics. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

 

Earlier this week the Democrats now running the House of Representatives strutted their stuff with passage of a bill aiming at the ancient liberal target of the gun background check “loophole” for private sales. It was passed by a 240-190 margin on what was basically a party-line vote. But before that vote, Republicans offered an unexpected “motion to recommit” the bill to add language instructing law enforcement officials to notify ICE if an “illegal immigrant” attempted to buy a gun. Twenty-six Democrats voted with Republicans in favor of that motion, and embarrassed House leaders added the language as an amendment to keep the bill from dying then and there.

Subsequently House Democrats met to discuss the incident (the second successful MTR maneuver by Republicans in the brief period since Nancy Pelosi took the gavel), amid some talk of amending the House rules either to eliminate MTRs or provide members with more time to consider them. But according to the Washington Post, recriminations broke out between members angry at the defections on the ICE vote, and defectors angry that Democrats from safer districts weren’t sufficiently sensitive to their political needs.

In a closed-door session, a frustrated Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) lashed out at about two dozen moderates and pressured them to get on board. “We are either a team or we’re not, and we have to make that decision,” Pelosi said, according to two people present but not authorized to discuss the remarks publicly.

Pelosi, according to the Post, focused much of her frustration on congressional veterans. But interestingly enough, the conflict was exemplified by an unhappy exchange between two House freshman from very different political environments:

[Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the unquestioned media superstar of the freshman class, upped the ante, admonishing the moderates and indicating she would help liberal activists unseat them in the 2020 election.

Corbin Trent, a spokesman for Ocasio-Cortez, said she told her colleagues that Democrats who side with Republicans “are putting themselves on a list.”

… Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (N.M.) — reacted sharply to Ocasio-Cortez’s comments and rose to urge her colleagues to respect the political reality of representing a swing district, according to multiple people present.

Ocasio-Cortez, of course, unseated a top member of the House Democratic leadership in a primary; her district is not competitive in general elections. Torres Small won one of the closest general election contests in the country.

But this wasn’t just a standard-brand left-versus-center ideological clash. AOC made a rather important counterpoint about the quandary the Republican amendment placed her and like-minded Democrats in, according to her spokesman Corbin Trent:

“She said that when activists ask her why she had to vote for a gun safety bill that also further empowers an agency that forcibly injects kids with psychotropic drugs, they’re going to want a list of names and she’s going to give it to them,” Trent said, referring to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The Post interpreted this reference to a “list” as a threat to support primary challenges to the moderates. Whether or not that’s what AOC intended, there’s no question some of her House colleagues fear that she’ll help do to them what she did to Joe Crowley in her own insurgent primary challenge last year. And it infuriates those in swing districts that they might have to fight a two-front war to win reelection.

These tensions create some serious problems for Nancy Pelosi, who must cater to every faction in her caucus. One option for her is simply to impose party discipline and insist moderates bite the bullet on cleverly designed Republican poison-pill amendments. As she and others pointed out in the caucus meeting, Republicans managed to vote down similar Democratic gambits routinely when they controlled the House, adopting a “just say no” party line on all procedural motions from the other side of the aisle.

Alternatively, Pelosi may have to rethink how much value there really is for her caucus and party in “messaging” bills like the gun measure, which is about as likely to be considered in the Republican-controlled Senate as a bill to double Planned Parenthood’s funding. A symbolic gesture toward an important if presently unachievable goal like better gun regulation is a lot more effective if Democrats can agree in advance not to let themselves get distracted by Republican hijinks. The last thing they need is a public “struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party,” with media hounds eagerly feeding on every morsel of conflict.

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Bernie Sanders Appears Irritated After Being Pressed About Reparations!

Sen. Bernie Sanders Introduces Medicare For All Act Of 2017U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) (C) speaks on health care as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (2nd L) listens during an event September 13, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

 

When Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was asked whether he endorsed reparations for the descendants of slaves in the U.S. during a CNN town hall earlier this week, he responded with another question: “What does that mean?”

The Democratic presidential hopeful wasn’t soliciting moderator Wolf Blitzer for a quick dictionary break—although the Associated Press notes that the Democratic candidates have been trying to “embrace a new meaning” of the word.

“I’m not sure anyone’s very clear,” Sanders, who didn’t support reparations during his unsuccessful 2016 presidential bid, continued.

While several other 2020 Democratic hopefuls, including Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, have recently voiced support slavery reparations, what form those reparations would take is unclear.

Should reparations involve the literal payment of damages to the families of slaves? Or should those reparations be made, not through direct monetary compensation, but through policies that benefit black Americans to close opportunity gaps?

It depends on who you ask.

“‘Race-conscious policies’ are not a substitute for reparations, because they treat a symptom without acknowledging the cause,” Democratic hopeful Marianne Williamson—lesser known in the political realm, although well-known as a best-selling author and as a spiritual adviser to Oprah—tells Fortune. “As a consequence they don’t have the kind of psychological or emotional force that fundamentally impacts a culture. In fact, they can actually increase the problem if Americans don’t have a deep understanding of why the policies are appropriate.”

Thus far, Williamson is the only official 2020 candidate to openly support giving direct monetary compensation to the descendants of slaves. Naming reparations a key issue on her campaign website, she suggests dispersing $200 billion to $500 billion to the ancestors of slaves over the course of 20 years.

“It’s not enough to just say there’s an economic gap between black and white America and we need to treat it; we have to acknowledge why there is a gap,” Williamson says. Although she acknowledged that progress has been made in years since the Civil War, in spite of recent setbacks in voter suppression, she says, “What was never done, and what remains to be done, is economic restitution.”

Although fellow candidate Julián Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio and Obama administration official, hasn’t gone so far as to state he would definitively endorse monetary reparations, he has said that they should be considered a viable option and promised to create a task force that would analyze how reparations could be made.

“It is interesting to me that, under our Constitution and otherwise, that we compensate people if we take their property,” Castro told Hardball on Wednesday. “Shouldn’t we compensate people if they were property, sanctioned by the state?”

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Hardball

@hardball

“It is interesting to me that under our Constitution and otherwise, that we compensate people if we take their property. Shouldn’t we compensate people if they were property sanctioned by the state?” @juliancastro on reparations.

The American government has previously paid reparations to descendants of Japanese-Americans who were interned during World War II, as well as to victims of state-mandated sterilizations and of the Public Health Service’s 1932 Tuskegee experiment that purposely infected, and failed to treat, black men with syphilis.

Despite these precedents, Hardball reported that 68% of Americans are opposed to reparations for the descendants of slaves. In fact, reparations have been outright dismissed by otherwise progressive politicians—President Barack Obama didn’t endorse them—or have been “redefined” to mean policies that lower the opportunity gap.

Although Senator Harris and Senator Warren told the New York Times that they “support” slavery reparations, they declined to give specific details about what they meant.

After giving her statement of support to the Times, Harris told the Grio that she would address reparations in economic policies including tax breaks for low- to middle-class Americans, which includes black families who had been negatively impacted by slavery.

But when reporter Natasha Alfred directly asked if Harris had a “particular policy for African-Americans that [she] would explore”—rather than policies that would “by default affect black families”—the California Democrat said that she didn’t.

“I’m not going to sit here and say I’m going to do something that’s only going to benefit black people. No,” Harris said. “Because whatever benefits that black family will benefit that community and society as a whole and the country.”

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Natasha S. Alford 🇺🇸+🇵🇷✊🏾👩🏾‍💻🎥

@NatashaSAlford

I had just a few seconds left before my interview with Sen. Kamala Harris was about to wrap, so I asked about reparations for Black Americans (the context of the interview was her proposed policy agenda for Black America).

🎥 @theGrio