how to make Johnnie Cochran a billionaire
know, not too long ago I was thinking to myself, "Boy,
there just aren't enough things to divide the races in this
country," and along comes the new crusade for slavery reparations
to fill that void.
It's been well over a hundred years since slavery existed in legal
form in this country. Through time and the hard work of several civil
rights pioneers, our country is finally reaching a period in which
black Americans can reach levels previously un-thought of. There are
black business owners, millionaire black athletes, a growing black
middle class, and blacks in prominent positions in an incoming
President's administration. You may even actually find a black person
saying, "Hey, this American dream thing isn't just a kooky,
antiquated notion, it's possible." What a great time to reopen
some wounds and rehash some century old slavery issues.
One of the odd things about the reparations movement is that it
couldn't find it's feet under eight years of Clinton/Gore. Bill
Clinton has long been considered the President that had the best
relationship with black Americans, so why didn't they call in the
favor and ask him to address it? Because reparations is a silly idea
that should never see the light of day, that's why. No President would
(or should) seriously address this issue, and Clinton knew that.
But now, with an impending Bush administration, it is not only
receiving press, it has recruited the nation's most famous lawyer,
Johnnie Cochran, to lead the charge. This is just the issue the black
establishment types needed to beat up George Bush with. Let's see him
try and come off looking good on this issue with black Americans. Bush
can nominate all the blacks and minorities for Cabinet posts that he
wants, but the poverty pimp trio of Jackson, Sharpton and the NAACP
are still going to make black America hate him. There is no better way
to paint this new administration as a bunch of hick racists, than to
force them to deny American blacks their "40 acres and a
Charles Ogletree, leader of the Reparations Assessment Group stated:
"We will be seeking more than just monetary compensation. We want
a change in America. We want full recognition, and a remedy, of how
slavery stigmatized, raped, murdered and exploited millions of
Africans through no fault of their own.”
I doubt that any American (worthy of the term) can deny that slavery
was one of the darkest chapters of American History. Remember that
civil war thing? (I think Abe Lincoln was involved, I'll double check
on that) We all learned in grade school how wrong it was. We are
reminded how wrong it was every February during Black History Month.
We are pummeled with it in endless detail everytime Jesse Jackson and
company feel that a black person was wronged somewhere in this
country. I can feel comfortable saying that the wrongs of slavery are
fully recognized by the majority of Americans.
In Congress, the reparations movement has been carried by Rep. John
Conyers (D-MI). Mr. Conyers has been attempting to introduce
legislation in the House on slavery reparations for over 11 years.
With the new push Mr. Conyers states: “There is a lot more happening
around this issue now than ever, this used to be talked about only in
isolated, black nationalist meetings. That is not the case anymore.”
(We now know where Mr. Conyers spends his weekends)
So what will be accomplished? It's tough to imagine that a long debate
over the perils of slavery will make this country feel good about
itself. Average, civil minded, non-racist white people would have a
hard time holding their tongue over the taboo discussions of race and
reparations. They will have a hard time justifying losing school and
infrastructure funding so a certain percentage of the population would
receive damages for crimes they were not the victims of.
A national settlement would not prevent any further racism (actually
it would probably cause more, a very probable result of entitlement
envy). It would not prevent any black person from crying out
"Racist!" anytime a white person does something they do not
like. I am absolutely sure that Jesse Jackson would not retire as a
result of this settlement. It would probably result in the rehashing
of many century old wrongs. (can I sue the Roosevelt's for prolonging
the depression and keeping my family from regaining the wealth they
once had? I may have to wait until 2045 to keep the timeline correct)
So who gains?
If you think American blacks will gain, you would be wrong. A lot of
black people may be thinking that, if a settlement was reached, they
would see some large amount of money coming their way. There won't be.
The lawyers, however, would gain lots.
The total amount that is often bandied about for reparations is one
trillion dollars. For arguments sake, let's say that the full amount
is granted in a settlement.(I know that's a huge sum of cash, but we
are talking about healing wounds here folks, so bear with me.) Since
the total money (tax revenues, etc.) the Fed receives each year is
almost the same as this settlement, any payout would have to be issued
out over, let's say, 20 years. The fine lawyers representing black
Americans would get 1/3rd of the settlement. This means they will
share about $16 billion per year for these 20 years.
The remainder, if divided among the 35.5 million blacks in America,
equals about $9100 per person. This would be $455 per year.
So, Mr. Cochran and associates add to their wealth considerably.
Meanwhile, black people will add a measly sum to their yearly income.
Broken down that would be an extra $1.25 per day, just enough for (dig
the irony here, people) one Diet Coke.
Diet Cokes aside, there are not a whole lot of things one can buy with
$455. You can't buy a car. You can't afford a new roof for the house.
You can't put your kids through private school. $455 is not enough to
do anything really worth while for your future.
It would, however, be enough to purchase one mule.
We'll have to settle up on the 40 acres at later date. Let's say, 100
years from now?
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© The Cynic, 2000
Dorothy Anne Seese
knows who the liberals will blame this one on
needs our help!
View expressed are
those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Political