- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 4, 2019

House legislators have brought forward a bill to form a new commission tasked with looking at the feasibility of paying black Americans for slavery — for actually putting to law a reparations measure.

Must be campaign season. You always know it’s campaign time when Democrats start to turn oh-so-concerned eyes toward their black constituency again.

Where conservatives look to provide blacks with the bootstraps to boost themselves — by say, bolstering job opportunities and curbing regulations that restrict economic growth, as this Republican administration has done — liberals like to go the route of dependency. Liberals like to wave magic sticks of taxpayer gifts to win the votes of freebie-loving constituents.

Thus, all the reparations talk from Democratic presidential hopefuls and now, from House Dems.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas has introduced a measure to form the reparations’ study group, and now, some big Democratic names have boarded the bill’s bandwagon.

Congressional Black Caucus chief Karen Bass, a lawmaker from California, said the bill is certain to move forward.

“I’m sure we’re going to get there,” she said, The Hill reported.

And former Rep. Beto O’Rourke vowed, “Absolutely, I would sign that into law.” That was after he previously opposed reparations.

Meanwhile, Sens. Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren, as well as Rep. Tulsi Gabbard — all Democratic contenders for president — have already said they’d support reparations for blacks.

Reparations’ bills have been brought into Congress for consideration on numerous previous occasions. But they went nowhere. The difference now is the level of interest.

“I do think it has traction,” Jackson Lee said to The Hill. “People are not hesitating to openly support it and push for it.”

Yes, indeed. It’s sort of like Hillary Clinton and her broach of a socialized health care plan. She failed. But look where we are now. What was once whispered and mocked has now gone near-mainstream.

That could be reparations.

And why it matters is two-fold: Reparations are divisive and needlessly expensive. If blacks win pay-backs for slavery, well then, what about Native Americans, Mexicans, Japanese — why, even women could claim a suffrage case of discrimination, and put a dollar figure on its effects. Let the floodgates open wide.

Fact is, America has an imperfect past. Slavery was an is an abomination. But there is not a better government on earth that offers all a chance to succeed, all an opportunity to thrive.

Democrats demanding reparations should drop the easy-peasy political promises of pay-outs and instead focus on the inspiring truths of America as the land of opportunity, the shining light on the hill.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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