- - Wednesday, March 24, 2021

“Can’t buy me love,” the Beatles sang in an earlier and wiser age. The melody may still resonate but the message evidently does not. Democrats are unwavering in their belief that Black America is still owed an immense debt as redemption for the hate-filled sins of long ago. Reparations for slavery, the immoral abuse of a fellow race, would be more a means of revenge than redemption, though. They are likely to result in fresh cycles of racial enmity.

With the passage of a massive $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, President Biden and his congressional allies believe they have mastered the art of monetizing compassion. It makes little difference to point out that the more money the Federal Reserve creates out of thin air, the less valuable each dollar becomes. Undeterred, Washington’s spendthrifts now ruminate, why not add some extra zeroes to generate trillions for reparations?

As prelude, a bill has been introduced in the House “to establish a commission to study and consider a national apology and proposal for reparations for the institution of slavery.” The measure is backed by both Mr. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. It is also boosted by cultural upheaval driven by the death of George Floyd and “white privilege” re-educational curricula finding favor in public institutions and private businesses from coast to coast. The never-ending conversation over race is reaching a deafening crescendo.

Next comes calculation of the dollars to be paid to the descendants of slaves as recompense for historical wrongs. The coronavirus relief law includes a form of proto-reparations, earmarking money for the nation’s “disadvantaged” Black farmers that computes to about $289,000 each.

If the 44 million Black Americans were each to be awarded a similar fortune, the price tag would add up to around $13.2 trillion. By comparison, the entire 2020 U.S. gross domestic product was $20.9 trillion.

Does that sound fair? A majority of Americans don’t think so. A Rasmussen Poll conducted recently found 58% of respondents oppose cash awards for today’s African-Americans as compensation for a wrong that was righted 156 years ago. Favoring the idea were 31%.

Religious and ethical norms contend there would be something unjust about forcing citizens who never owned slaves to indemnify contemporaries who were never enslaved. As Hoover Institution scholar Thomas Sowell puts it in his exhaustive book, “Race and Culture”: “Tempting as it may be to glide from the uncompensated sufferings in the past to reparations to descendants in the present, the heritability of guilt is a principle without foundation and dangerously divisive in any society.”

Hypersensitivity to skin color, which President Obama sadly rekindled, is a throwback mentality that steadily crushes the dream of a colorblind society that Martin Luther King Jr. championed and Americans have embraced — until now.

Money can buy neither love nor racial accord, but they can be earned with acts of good will that demonstrate a caring heart.

Sign up for Daily Opinion Newsletter

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide