Thursday, May 22, 2014

Prof. John McWhorter - The Case Against Racial Reparations

America Is Coming to Terms with Its Racial Past—Let’s Look Ahead Instead We don’t need a “national conversation.” We have that every day. We need reading programs, no War on Drugs, and other concrete solutions.

There was a time when reparations for slavery was a hot issue in race discussions in America. Randall Robinson’s The Debt was widely read, and there were endless forums on the issue nationwide. However, 9/11 broke the flow, and before long, Hurricane Katrina and then a certain senator from Illinois basically rendered reparations yesterday’s news.

However, in this month’s Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates revives the issue. There is little point in rehashing the rather easy arguments against the old-school notion of reparations in the form of cash payments to black people. Coates chronicles and pays his respects to this kind of proposal but seems to feel that they would be mere genuflection. He wants “more than a handout, a payoff, hush money, or a reluctant bribe.”

Read more: