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Good for only one thing

Brown University has established a panel to "examine" its "debt" to slavery. The panel is supposed to determine whether Brown should pay reparations to blacks.

Or, rather, it is supposed to determine that Brown should pay reparations to blacks, because, as Brown president Ruth Simmons explains:

Dr. Simmons said she would not reveal her opinion on reparations so as not to influence the committee.

``Here's the one thing I'll say,'' she said. ``If the committee comes back and says, `Oh it's been lovely and we've learned a lot,' but there's nothing in particular that they think Brown can do or should do, I will be very disappointed.''

Hint, hint, hint.

Oh, and reducting identity politics to the absurdum, Simmons added:

"I don't think there can be a person with a better background for dealing with this issue than me,'' she said. "If I have something to teach our students, if I have something to offer Brown, it's the fact that I am a descendant of slaves."
You'd think someone would be embarrassed to argue that she can't contribute anything, that someone who has multiple degrees from Harvard and a three decade career in academia is nothing more than what happened to people who have been dead for a century. But I guess in the modern era of skin color determining destiny, that's not even a remarkable statement. Unfortunately.


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