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My father can beat up your father...

...but he'd better not, because if he does, your grandkids will probably try to collect money from my grandkids. Or maybe, as the reparations movement would have it, your grandkids' cousins' friends will try to collect from a stranger whose astrological sign is close to that of my grandkids. The reparations movement had a rally in Washington yesterday, the so-called Millions for Reparations march. The New York Times conveniently omits the detail of how many people showed up, which means you can be certain it wasn't "millions." (If they're going to make up numbers anyway, why not just call it Zillions For Reparations?) The Washington Post reports that "thousands" of people attended -- which, given the size of the black population of the D.C. area, should probably be seen as an overwhelming rejection of the movement.

But that doesn't stop both papers (though the Post is more skeptical) of giving the rally a respectful hearing, including ludicrous comments from supporters:

With the U.S. Capitol as his backdrop, Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), who has introduced legislation in Congress for 13 years to create a commission to study reparations, urged people to contact their congressional representatives as soon as they arrived home.

"We will get [reparations] by contacting every single member of the House of Representatives, every single member of the Senate," he said, adding that blacks have been dealt a "historical injustice that can only be corrected" in Congress.

So the role of Congress is to correct "historical injustices?" And only Congress can do this? And this can only be done by taking money from people who never owned slaves, and giving it to people who never were slaves?
Manotti Jenkins of Chicago heard about the march on the Internet and flew to Washington with his wife and two daughters, ages 6 years and 6 months.

"Regardless of how much money I make as a corporate attorney, the impact of slavery is still here," he said. "We don't have the dignity and the respect we deserve as humans."

The impact of slavery? He wasn't a slave. Slavery ended 140 years ago. And I'm pretty sure the movement is about cash, not "dignity and respect." It's not called "Millions for psychotherapy," after all. Though, come to think of it, that would be an acceptable compromise, from my point of view: Congress will resolve the reparations issue by offering to send all its supporters to therapy. And in exchange, those people will stop assuming that their ancestors are the only people in history who ever suffered.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 18, 2002 4:25 PM.

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