Now that the US Congress, in its infinite wisdom and cowering cowardice, has apologized for slavery, the ugly head of reparations is appearing on the horizon again. Many hyphenated-Americans of color, being spurred on by the likes of Revs Sharpton and Jackson smell more free money.
As the descendent of an Italian family who emigrated here in 1915 and a taxpayer, I say you’re going to have to fight me to the death to get a nickel out of me. Like every American alive today, neither I, nor my family had a thing to do with the enslavement of anyone or anything. We did not own slaves; we did not sell slaves. We did not transport them into or out of this or any other country. My grandparents never even knew what a slave was.
So those hyphenated-Americans of color with their hands out might want to consider something: their ancestors were sold into slavery by their own countrymen. That’s right folks; Africans hunted down and sold other Africans into slavery. What a shock huh? Black on black crime was happening long before there were ghettos in America.
Americans did not bring the slaves here. The Brits, the Spaniards and French did it all by themselves.
Let me go out on a limb here. I’m going to suggest that those hyphenated-Americans of color look to Africa, England, Spain and France for their reparations. Seems fair to me. Maybe Somalia could kick in a few bucks in between readings of the Koran and killing Christians.
Let me go out on an even bigger limb. Every hyphenated-American of color ought to get down on their knees every morning and thank God (yes, I actually used the word God) that their ancestors made their way to America. Even if they were forced to come here.
As evil as slavery was (and still is as practiced by those peace-loving Islamists), descendents of those subjected to slavery here have had more opportunity to succeed than any minority anywhere in the world. Just think what their lives would have been like if there was no slavery. They could be living a palatial existence in Darfur or Ethiopia, huddled under a mud bed, in a mud hut hoping that some crazed band of roaming madmen, armed with machetes, doesn’t come into their humble abode and cut their arms off. Yeah, that’s sounds like a good alternative to living in America watching your big-screen HDTV.
The American taxpayer has, and should have made every attempt to level the playing field. We owe it to EVERY American, no matter their color, the chance to pursue their dream. But it’s not up to us to guarantee that their dream comes true. We’ve made reparations many times over. Since the 1960s, we’ve had The Great Society, Affirmative Action, welfare, food stamps, and an untold number of government programs, loans and grants that have more than made up for this country’s part in slavery more than a century and a half ago. Even though these programs have been abject failures and fostered generations of new slaves dependent on a benevolent government, at least we tried.
It’s time those hyphenated-Americans of color take responsibility for their own destiny and stop laying blame on the shoulders of others who bear no responsibility for their success or failure. You want to know who is to blame for your condition? Look in the mirror.
Except for a miniscule number of truly disadvantaged; that born with physical or mental defects, each of us comes into this world with the same tools. What we do with those tools depends on us.
Not all of us are Einstein, but we all have the capacity to learn. We all have the capability to succeed if we rely on ourselves and not others. The government has not, and never will end poverty. It only exacerbates the problem. You only need to look no further than New Orleans. The hyphenated-Americans of color have been mired in poverty for over a century in spite of government handouts designed to pull them out.
Thomas Jefferson once said, “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”
It’s a shame that the only Jefferson many Americans know is George.