Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Reparations For Slavery

Sarcasm, irony, and satire--three of my favorite genres of writing. Having said that I direct you to this American Enterprise article about reparations for slavery, which begins thusly:

An Address to the Chicago City Council

Members of the City Council, I stand before you today to offer you my congratulations for your diligent efforts in ferreting out the past support of slavery by the Wachovia Corporation, the Aetna Insurance Company, and other financial institutions. It is a grim irony that, even today, such corporate entities should still be reaping the benefits from what is without doubt the sorriest chapter of our nation’s history. Not only do your efforts help in setting the historical record straight. They also offer the possibility – through the concept of joint-and-several liability and many other doctrines developed by our nation’s great trial lawyers – that these institutions will at long last be made to pay monetary damages for their past acts.

I would like to direct your attention, however, to an institution with far greater financial resources whose historical role in abetting slavery and resisting its abolition is manifestly clear, yet which, even today, continues to reap benefits from this nefarious record. I speak, of course, of the Democratic Party.


Update, 7/5/05 5:31 pm: Corrected the lack of a link!

10 comments:

NYgirl said...

LOL. Ironic isn't it, it was the Dems, the party of Robert Byrd, that supported slavery & segregation?

Interestingly, have you noticed that no one mentions the role of the Arabs in the slave trade as well as the fact that some Native American tribes owned slaves?

Darren said...

Oh yes, I've noticed.

Joshua Sasmor said...

A link, a link, my kingdom for a link... :)

Leeroy Jenkins said...

Darren only likes racist Dixiecrats when they bash the Democratic party (Zell Miller) or switch parties (Strom Thurmond).

As far as I'm concerned, the Democratic party paid for their sins against minorities in 1964.

Darren said...

I'm not a fan of racists at all. Where do you come off with a statement like that? What specifically have I said that could cause any reasonable person to believe that I would be?

Keep digging, Leeroy.

Darren said...

I'll add more. One book I really enjoyed, despite its author being a lefty, is Lies My Teacher Told Me. Here are some interesting tidbits.

From Chapter 5:
"Issues of black-white relations propelled the Whig Party to collapse, prompted the formation of the Republican Party, and caused the Democratic Party to label itself the 'white man's party' for almost a century. The first time Congress ever overrode a presidential veto was for the 1866 Civil Rights Act, passed by Republicans over the wishes of Andrew Johnson."
"From the Civil War to the end of the century, not a single Democrat in Congress, representing the North or the South, ever voted in favor of any civil rights legislation."

And if by 1964 you're referring to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, you need to refresh your history about who voted for it and who voted against it, and exactly what Johnson meant when he said, upon signing the legislation, that he'd just handed the black vote to the Republicans for a generation.

Delete this said...

As a history professor at a local college I am happy to see a discussion on this topic. However, I find it interesting that the blogger and many blogees incorrectly identify the modern republican party with the party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt or the modern democrats with those of the 19th century. Also, it is also interesting the blogger would use a book from a self-proclaimed Marxist to justify his right-wing stance.

Truth be told there have been many heroes affliated with all sorts of political parties who decided to fight against the atrocities of racism in the U.S. Indeed, the GOP could cite with telling effect a long train of heroes in the fight against racism--beginning with William Lloyd Garrison. Democrats can look to Martin Luther King, Jr. himself. But why would King affliate himself with a party that many see as supporting slavery? Why had the African-American community, in general, abandon its support of the party of Lincoln, the emancipator? It is because the Republicans of the 19th century were the most progressive party of the time and most resmbling the democratic party of the modern era. The loyalties and policies of the "Lefties" switched with FDR, who many GOP nuts accuse of as being a socialist commie whose scial policies were un-American--though his policies, no matter how you argue it or spin it, saved the capitalist system of America.

The fact of Lincoln is that he did not fight slavery because of race equality but for the protection of jobs for whites in northern territoies competing with souhtern slave labor in the move westward. The Northern business elite could not comete with the free labor expenses of slavery and southern businesses. So as America moved westward a fight over free versus slave state flourished and Lincoln, with many of his supporters, wanted free states not for racial equality, but for safeguards toward business endeavors. Finally, Lincoln actually supported a Back to Africa plan--aplan he discussed with Frederick Douglas. Is this the hero you want to put on a pedestal? Yet, there are many GOP heroes in the past, despite those republicans more resmenbling of democrats today. I'd even suggest that JFK woould be a Republican today! The fact is that the parties have evolved too much over time to compare the modern to the past. Can you compare Bonds to Ruth?

Darren said...

The truth comes out. A history professor. Need I say more?

I agree that Kennedy would be a Republican today--military aggressiveness (Bay of Pigs, naval blockade) and tax cuts!

FDR's Alphabet Soup didn't save capitalist system of America. World War II did.

And why are you surprised that I'd use Loewen's book as a reference? I read from a wide spectrum of viewpoints. Do you dispute his facts and/or assertions? As for the reasons for the free state/slave state movement westward, is it not enough that they supported free states at all? Or that there were free states? Judging from the standards of the times, those were pretty "progressive" moves.

Back to Africa--should Lincoln not have considered it? Again, judging from the standards of the times, would it not seem logical to repatriate a people who had been forcibly removed from their homes, if both sides so desired?

I don't understand lefties like you, Progressive Pete. What is it you want? What's your grand view of society?

Delete this said...

That you get facts right, don't manipulate history, and understand what you are taliking about.

FDR's system did pull America out of the worst parts of the Depression that his Republican successors had thrown us into. Please reread your history text. World War II, heck yeah it threw us into a superpower nation, know one is denying that.

Lincoln considering the Back to Africa is just tell-tale signs he was not the racial peacemaker we all want him to be, his motives were economic.

Why do you ignore that MLK and other great black leaders were Democrat while people like Trent Lott and Strom Thrgood were Republicans in the modern era? You ask if it is enough that they supported free states, sure! You are right to ascertain it was better than nothing, but again it was not for the lofty celevrated resaons you mention. Also, the republicans of that day still had more in common with modern Deomcrats that the GOP. Deal with it!

I do dispute some of Lowen's assertations, but agree with many more. I love a good historical Marxist reading as the next guy.

Its hard to listen to "lefties" like me yet alone understand me when logic and history back my arguement.

Please don't teach your students this, I promise not to teach mine multiplication.

Darren said...

No one claims Lincoln was a racial peacemaker. Remember his comment about saving the union and not freeing any slaves, if he could do it. But he freed the slaves anyway. I never attributed lofty reasons to their actions.

There's a difference between lefties and those of us on the right--I only care about his actions, not his motivations.

I teach in an upscale neighborhood. My students, for the most part, enjoy my pontifications--they and their parents share them. Interestingly, many of my student readers of this blog are my left-of-center ones, which I appreciate. Sorry to intrude on your political correctness, but history and its interpretation doesn't belong only to college professors, thankfully.

BTW, what party is Kleagle Byrd a member of???