The Monday Morning Teaser

I’m not sure how much attention it’s getting in the country at large, but the current Atlantic cover article “The Case for Reparations” hit the blogosphere like a bomb. Reparations for the systematic oppression of blacks is one of those topics that produces knee-jerk reactions from whites, even before they consider exactly what is being proposed or why. Most whites don’t know the history of white supremacy in America — it goes way beyond slavery — and a lot don’t want to know.

It’s rare for a major writer to confront this denial as directly or as well as Ta-Nehisi Coates has in this article. You can agree or disagree, but you can’t keep treating reparations as if the idea were unthinkable. What ought to be unthinkable is the absurd notion that the wealth gap between whites and blacks is some kind of accident, or that it has been caused primarily by some deficiency in black DNA or culture. That gap is the natural result of centuries of policy that prevented black families from building wealth. Any discussion of black poverty needs to recognize that fact.

So the featured article today will be “Ta-Nehisi Coates Goes There: Reparations”. I’ll summarize and elaborate on what he said, plus discuss how it applies to me personally. I still need to look up some historical quotes I only vaguely remember, which takes an amount of time that is hard to predict. So I’m not sure when I’ll post.

Later on, the weekly summary will discuss yet another mass shooting, the VA, Mark Cuban, and a bunch of other stuff.

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  • Carol Wheeler  On May 26, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Just last night I was discussing this with a woman who had not read the Atlantic article. I brought it up because we had been discussing Holocaust reparations paid by Germany. She agreed that it was the only decent thing to do–to pay African-Americans for what was done to them. Thanks for giving this issue more reach.

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