The Case for Reparations: An Intellectual Autopsy

Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic, May 22, 2014

The best thing about writing a blog is the presence of a live and dynamic journal of one’s own thinking. Some portion of the reporter’s notebook is out there for you to scrutinize and think about as the longer article develops. For me, this current article–an argument in support of reparations–began four years ago when I opposed reparations. A lot has happened since then. I’ve read a lot, talked to a lot of people, and spent a lot of time in Chicago where the history, somehow, feels especially present. I think I owe you a walk-through on how my thinking evolved.

When I wrote opposing reparations I was about halfway through my deep-dive into the Civil War. I roughly understood then that the Civil War–the most lethal conflict in American history–boiled down to the right to raise an empire based on slaveholding and white supremacy. What had not yet clicked for me was precisely how essential enslavement was to America, that its foundational nature explained the Civil War’s body count.  The sheer value of enslaved African-Americans is just astounding. And looking at this recent piece by Chris Hayes, I’m wondering if my numbers are short (emphasis added):

In order to get a true sense of how much wealth the South held in bondage, it makes far more sense to look at slavery in terms of the percentage of total economic value it represented at the time. And by that metric, it was colossal. In 1860, slaves represented about 16 percent of the total household assets–that is, all the wealth–in the entire country, which in today’s terms is a stunning $10 trillion.

Ten trillion dollars is already a number much too large to comprehend, but remember that wealth was intensely geographically focused. According to calculations made by economic historian Gavin Wright, slaves represented nearly half the total wealth of the South on the eve of secession. “In 1860, slaves as property were worth more than all the banks, factories and railroads in the country put together,” civil war historian Eric Foner tells me. “Think what would happen if you liquidated the banks, factories and railroads with no compensation.”

As with any economic institution of that size, enslavement grew from simply a question of money to a question of societal, even theological, importance.

{snip}

[Editor’s Note: This very long article is the cover story of The Atlantic this month. The full article is available here.]

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  • I take this to mean that people like T-N Coates have given up on the idea that Obama is going to bring about leftist-black utopia.

  • Evette Coutier

    How about reparations for victims of black on white violence.

    • Tarczan

      There should be reparations for subjecting us to this nonsense. Another load of doubletalk.

    • John R

      As John Wayne said in that epic film, The Searchers, “That’ll be the day!”

    • AndrewInterrupted

      Yes, he’s performing the standard liberal stunt of controlling the narrative–cherry picking which points to include/exclude to suit his anti-white agenda.

      • JSS

        I noticed he didn’t mention the blood of over a million union soldiers. Pretty tacky to demand money on top of that. But that’s diversity for you. Just not worth freeing them.

        • AndrewInterrupted

          White America also offered them a free trip home to Liberia. That was an early round of reparations. They declined.

      • rowingfool

        “In 1860, slaves represented about 16 percent of the total household assets–that is, all the wealth–in the entire country, which in today’s terms is a stunning $10 trillion.”

        What an idiot!

        Ta nehisi coates doesn’t get it.

        Slaves were only worth that much for as long as slavery was legal.

        Once slavery was outlawed, then negroes became a net economic liability–as they have remained to this day.

        • AndrewInterrupted

          He’s very selective in his fact cherry-picking. For example, 95% (if not more) of the European-Americans alive in America today have no black slavery lineage. And most have ancestors who were enslaved, depending on which era you reference. I have no obligation to minorities. My ancestors suffered just as much.

          • Sick of it

            Our ancestors were treated much more harshly under the Romans, even more so under various ancient states.

          • RonanTheLibtardian

            And the flipside of your argument is just as annoying. People with no ancestral connection to American slavery, like Barack Obama, step up and feed at the entitlement trough. People from India, China, Southeast Asia, and-on-and-on–all entitled. Why? I can’t count the number of moochers who show up from the Caribbean and are automatically entitled–people like Eric Holder. His parents are from Barbados. What do we owe that anti-white turd, Eric Holder? You could probably make the same 95% argument for those phonies claiming to have a place in the “reparations” line.

        • rowingfool

          And in fact, Lincoln knew this. In his speeches running up to the presidential election of 1860, Lincoln took pains to reassure the Southern plantation owners that as president he would make no attempt to liberate the slaves. As a constitutional scholar, he knew that there was no precedent which would have allowed the federal government to seize property from owners–and slaves were considered property. He knew also that the government had no funds with which to remunerate slave holders for the prevailing market value of their property.

          Nevertheless, Coates is wrong. If he wants reparations to the tune of the market value of blacks as slaves, then he must consent to their being restored to slavery. And I don’t think that that’s what he’s angling for.

          • Dr. DA

            Ta-Nehisi Coates, go a web search and find out who and what a Ta-Nehisi is, picture and all and see where this creature is coming from.

          • rowingfool

            But it’s so typical of the adult Black mind–that of an eleven year old white child–to imagine a state of human affairs wherein if someone could have just waved a magic wand then things would have been different. They ignore the inertia of cultural precedent that would have stood in the way of abolishment of slavery just as they remain ignorant of and indifferent to the existence of cultural institutions and the law today. They judge the past from the perspective of today’s faddish manners and morals. That the once-respectable Atlantic magazine should lend itself to this type of culturally-shallow, instant-gratification type thinking is depressing.

          • Phyllis

            What is of value to many African Americans would be a discussion on reparations and why so many of the viewpoints posted here are so caustic and negative. I am distressed by how some comments here are completey unable to view African Americans individually. This is an issue. I don’t have an encounter with someone and then globally judge an entire ethnic group by the behavior of a few.

        • Alucard_the_last

          They lived better than the Asian and Irish immigrants. The ‘slaves’ had off all winter long esp in places like Virginia which can get really cold in the winter. They sat around all day jumping up and down to homemade drums and getting drunk by stealing booze. They had free housing, clothing, healthcare and food. The immigrants had none of this. The facts are that negroes are very lazy and would rather eat feces than to work for a hamburger.

        • SentryattheGate

          Good points! They were about 12% of 1860 US population (4 million); how could they have been worth $10 trillion or $2.5 million each (in today’s $)? And besides, the cotton gin and other machinations were replacing slave labor. Also, for a time, almost as many slaves were whites; orphans, debt prisoners, drunks, & criminals were shipped over from the British Isles and sold. (So much for “white priviledge”!) “NAACP” stands for “National Association of the Always Complaining People”.

    • saul7

      Yes whites should sue the fed for freeing the slaves and setting them upon civilized white society…we sue people who dont chain or fence vicious dogs…

    • Alexandra1973

      I’d like to see them pay for the damage they’ve done to our cities (property damage and the like) as well.

      • Evette Coutier

        I’d settle for them just leaving.

    • AndrewInterrupted

      Yes, it’s time to start the “AA refund” narrative. I’m thinking those damages you speak of probably equate to $30 or $40 trillion, when adjusted for inflation.

  • Tarczan

    I knew with an author named Ta-Nehisi some heavy thinkin’ was required to get through this article.

    • Oil Can Harry

      Here am be de intellectual case fo’ reparations:

      “Gibsmedat moolah you devils! I needs new bling!

      Dey also has a new fish sandwich at KFC I wants.”

  • TruthBeTold

    In order to get a true sense of how much wealth the South held in
    bondage, it makes far more sense to look at slavery in terms of the
    percentage of total economic value it represented at the time. And by
    that metric, it was colossal. In 1860, slaves represented about
    16 percent of the total household assets–that is, all the wealth–in the
    entire country, which in today’s terms is a stunning $10 trillion.

    Note the use of the word ‘bondage’ to describe the wealth of the south. If something is in bondage, it must be made free.

    Whatever wealth the south accumulated through slavery or their own hard work, the fact remains when the war was over that wealth was gone.

    The south had literally paid for it’s ‘sins’ (so to speak).

    • me

      Fact:

  • connorhus

    He might have a point about the total value of slaves even though I think they are highballing the numbers considerably.

    But the more relevant number would be what percentage of the GDP were former slaves valued at? Did they continue to produce the same percentage of GDP output after being freed? If not then any claim of gross value during slavery would be pointless because it would have been inflated due to management/owners (who were not all White I know).

    After that figure is totaled then hand em the bill for the war and all welfare since.

    • John R

      More to the point: If the slaves, i.e. the blacks-let’s understand what we are talking about-really contributed that much to the economy then, how come the poorest and most backward, areas of the country have consistently been the areas where black people lived? Ditto for the cities, like Detroit, where they migrated?

      • ViktorNN

        Apparently they’re only productive when they’re enslaved?

        Because otherwise your point is a good one – they haven’t produced anything on their own that even approximates what their supposed productive value as slaves suggests they should.

  • jane johnson

    The first sentence nearly made me stop reading due to its blatant narcissism, but afronomics are always good for a laugh. Ha ha ha.

    • Katherine McChesney

      The comments are also laughable. Whites talking about their so-called ‘white privilege’.

      • Kenner

        They made my white skin crawl.

        • Kenner

          And, they appear to be deleting all but the wimpiest of critical responses.

      • Ike Eichenberg

        White privilege is not having a room temperature IQ.

      • Dr. DA

        To claim that there is “white privilege ” is like saying the earth is flat. Its a propaganda tool to create a idea that is a lie.

  • JohnEngelman

    The only people who benefited from slavery were the fairly small minority of whites who owned slaves. In the South whites who did not own slaves had difficulty competing with whites who did. They usually earned less money than their skills would have won for them in free states.

    Most European immigrants moved to free states, because there were more economic opportunities there.

    Blacks in the United States are better off than blacks in Africa.

    If the slave trade had never existed, whites in the United States would be better off. The crime rate would be much lower. The criminal justice and welfare systems would not be as expensive as they are. The centers of our once proud cities would be centers of civilization. They would not be no go asphalt jungles.

    • John Smith

      You forgot to mention a certain tribe you are so fond of benefiting from slavery since they owned over 80% of the slave ships that brought them into RI where a contingent of them just happened to live.

      Sorry, but slavery wasn’t just rednecks & neanderthals rampaging into advanced africa bulging with scientists, engineers, architects…oh and innovation & achievement.

      Nope, m easterners and a certain tribe you are fond of also played a huge role…getting out their wallets and peacefully paying for slaves that had already been horribly mistreated.

      • Memin Pinguin

        Well said John Smith. You beat me to the punch. I’m still waiting for Spielberg to make an accurate version of Amistad with Jewish slave traders.

        • AndrewInterrupted

          “…Your shackles!?—My sciatica!–Oy!…”

      • JohnEngelman

        Historians now consider Jewish involvement in the Atlantic slave trade to be minuscule, especially in comparison to their non-Jewish neighbors.[13]

        13 The Columbia History of Jews and Judaism in America, p. 43, by Rabbi Marc Lee Raphael, (Columbia University Press, February 12, 2008); ISBN 978-0231132220. “During the 1990s, allegations that Jews financed, dominated, and controlled the slave trade captured wide attention and were widely accepted in the African American community (on the latter point, see Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s “Black Demagogues and Pseudo-Scholars”, New York Times, July 20, 1992, p A15). Subsequent extensive research demonstrated this was not the case, see David Brion Davis, “Jews in the Slave Trade”,Culturefront (Fall 1992): 42-45
        * Seymour Drescher, “The Role of Jews in the Transatlantic Slave Trade”, Immigrants and Minorities 12 (1993): 113-25
        Eli Faber, Jews, Slaves, and the Slave Trade: Setting the Record Straight (New York, 1998)
        Saul S. Friedman, Jews and the American Slave Trade(New Brunswick, NJ, 1998).
        For numerical data demonstrating the minute role played by mainland colonial Jews in the importation of slaves from Africa and the Caribbean and their marginal role as slave sellers, see Faber, Jews, Slaves, and the Slave Trade, pp 131-42″; retrieved from Google Books on January 28, 2013.

        • MrMagog

          לסתום את הפה ולשבת

        • Juggernaut3000

          You are wrong, and profoundly so.

          http //davidduke com/jewish-involvement-transatlantic-slave-trade-canard/

          http //davidduke com/if-the-white-race-is-to-be-condemned-in-the-liberal-press-why-are-not-the-jewish-people-condemned-the-worlds-leading-role-in-the-slave-trade-over-the-last-2000-years/

          • JohnEngelman

            David Duke is not a credible authority on the time of day.

          • Juggernaut3000

            I defy you to refute one single word of what he wrote.

        • John Smith

          Ah yes, your selective list of mainly jewish historians telling us what’s up, huh?

          Here are the jewish owned slave ships that brought a majority of the 500k black slaves for the 200 plus years of slavery:

          -Abigail (Caracoa Aaron Lopez, Moses Levy, Jacob Franks)
          -Crown (Issac Levy, Nathan Simpson
          -Nassau (Moses Levy)
          -Four Sisters (Moses Levy)
          -Anne & Eliza (Justus Bosch, John Abrams)
          -Prudent Betty (Henry Cruger, Jacob Phoenix)
          -Hester (David & Mordecai Gomez)
          -Betsy (William De Woolf)
          -Elizabeth (Mordecai & David Gomez)
          -Antigua (Nathan Marston, Abram Lyell)
          -Polly (James De Woolf)
          -White Horse (Jan de Sweevts)
          -Expedition (John & Jacob Roosevelt)
          -Charlotte (Moses & Sam Levy, Jacob Franks)
          -Caracoa (Moses & Sam Levy)

          Since you somehow claim that jewish involvement was “minuscule”, I have no doubt you will promptly show us the list of ships owned by evil southern rednecks that should dwarf my above list…since you are such a fan of producing references & stats in your posts…zzzzz

          I also notice you didn’t even touch my other major point – that blacks had already enslaved and horribly mistreated their own before peacefully selling them to jews & m easterners – in addition to Europeans.

          • AndrewInterrupted

            Perhaps the Israelite owners of those slave ships would have invoked ‘The Nuremburg Defense’? If they hadn’t hauled those slaves across the Atlantic some lowly gentiles would have.

          • Juggernaut3000

            http //www iamthewitness com/books/Walter White/Who Brought the Slaves to America htm

            http //www rense com/general81/d3ss htm

            “The staggering amounts of money acquired by the Jew ship owners and slavery dealers is better illustrated when we emphasize the many years in which this sale and purchase of human flesh was practiced. Prior to 1661, all of the Colonies had laws prohibiting slavery. It was in that year that the Jews had become powerful enough to bring about the repeal of these laws, and slavery began in earnest.”

            — Walter White Jr., author of Who Brought Slaves to America, member of the NAACP, investigated lynchings and worked to end segregation. He was the organization’s executive secretary from 1931 to 1955.

        • Juggernaut3000

          You are wrong, like you are about so many things. Jews absolutely controlled the slave trade in the New World; White Christians put an end to it.

          Jewish attorney and historian Seymour B. Liebman has written: “They came with ships carrying African blacks to be sold as slaves. The traffic in slaves was a royal monopoly, and the Jews were often appointed as agents for the Crown in their sale….[They] were the largest ship chandlers in the entire Caribbean region, where the shipping business was mainly a Jewish enterprise….The ships were not only owned by Jews, but were manned by Jewish crews and sailed under the command of Jewish captains.”

          Essentially, the infamous “Middle Passage” was largely a Jewish racket. The Jews owned the ships and Liebman notwithstanding, it was assorted Gentiles sailed in them and took all the risks from storms, African tribesmen, slave revolts on board, and the terrible fevers of the disease-ridden West African tropics. The Jews handled the sale once the negroes had arrived in the Americas, usually the West Indies or Cuba or Surinam or Brazil. (The actual importation of blacks right off the boat from Africa into the thirteen British colonies was comparatively rare; most American slaves came from Cuba or the West Indies and had already been slaves for several generations when they arrived here. Importation of foreign slaves into the United States was outlawed by Congress in 1808.)

          — New World Jewry 1493-1825: Requiem for the Forgotten (KTAV, New York, 1982), pp. 170, 183.]

        • Sick of it

          You’re using only Jewish sources to dispute something done by Jews?

        • HamletsGhost

          Wow. A bunch of Jews say that Jews had no major role in the slave trade. What are the odds? /sarc

        • r j p

          All the articles seem to be written by TWMNBN.
          TWMNBN have never lied to anyone, ever.
          So what they write must be true.

          • Juggernaut3000

            With all due respect, I have no idea what that means.

    • Dr. DA

      You forgot the hardships the white factory workers endured, hardships of exploitation that surpassed slavery.

      • JohnEngelman

        I neither mentioned them, nor did I forget them.

      • There was also railroad work. Out west here it was Irish and Italians. In California it was Chinese. In 1860 a healthy, young black guy cost a thousand dollars, which was real money at the time. Nobody considered using slaves to build railroads, as the work was too dangerous and “massa” was out his considerable investment if a slave was crippled. Predictably, the free labor states were more productive at building railroads. According to the chart on page 223 of The Times Atlas of World History (ISBN 0-8437-1125-6), in 1861 the Union possessed 2.4 times the railroad track mileage of the Confederacy.

        Slaves weren’t much use for mining, either – too dangerous again – so predictably coal production favored the Union 38 to 1 and iron production 15 to 1.

    • kikz2

      bull… owners were not the ONLY who were financial beneficiaries…….traders/shippers (who may or may not have been owners) made fortunes….. Rhode Island Jews, for one example.

  • John Smith

    The idea of reparations is f****** ridiculous.

    For CENTURIES, blacks VIOLENTLY enslaved MILLIONS of their own, then PEACEFULLY sold them to jews, m easterners & europeans.

    Only a tiny % of US whites centuries ago were slave owners. Many whites have moved here since. Likewise, many blacks have moved here since (to be around the “racists” I guess)

    SO WHO PAYS ….. AND WHO GETS PAID?

    Do mongrelized blacks (with more white ancestry) pay or get paid?

    Do blacks with slaveowner ancestors get paid by whites with non slaveowner ancestors?

    Nope, it will be a “class action” racket where millions of guiltless whites transfer wealth to millions of undeserving blacks (with the jewish lawyers talking their 40% of course)

    • AndrewInterrupted

      “The idea of reparations is ridiculous”.

      It is textbook liberal projection.

      • RonanTheLibtardian

        The power of advertising.

  • Nancy Thomas

    They’ve already been given billions, perhaps trillions, and it was all wasted.

  • IA_Adam

    So… What happens when Reparations occur, and the lives of many blacks are still screwed up and they’re still blaming white people and still tossing the race card? You guessed it. They’ll just be calls for more reparations because the first time wasn’t enough.

    • John R

      It’s part of a psychological racket. “Framing the debate” as I said before. They really owe us, not we owe them. But while we are busy defending what we shouldn’t have to defend, in our own country, we forget our just grievances against them, and are open to “compromise” which means blacks get to take more and more unjust benefits because of their skin color and our manufactured guilt.

    • ViktorNN

      Y’know, I might actually be willing to give them reparations, but on ONE condition:

      They all go back to Africa, and a constitutional amendment is passed which forbids immigration from Africa.

      • Pro_Whitey

        I hope it is implied that they give up their U.S. citizenship, too. Last thing we need is a bunch of people claiming U.S. protection because they are citizens.

  • fgbrunner3

    At the risk of creating a knock out game riot, allow to ask this question: Any one want to go back to Africa?

    • Juggernaut3000

      Blacks ain’t goin’ nowhere. They’ve got a good deal here and they know it. They have it better here than 99% of blacks in Africa and should be grateful instead of impudent and demanding like little children.

      The black racist who wrote this incomprehensible screed knows that no one, nowwhere else on earth would pay him six figures to spew his venomous vile.

      • John R

        AMEN!

  • Memin Pinguin

    40 acres and a mule in Liberia or Nigeria or Niger or Kenya (you get the picture). Surely the funding could be taken from welfare payouts and the savings would begin to mount up almost immediately. ROOTS! Hakuna Matata!

    • Alexandra1973

      Forty acres and a hooptie. Get with the times. 🙂

      One-way ticket to sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Ike Eichenberg

    There are around 40 million blacks in the US and at least 400 million blacks in the mother land who would be thrilled to trade places.

    Your reparations are the opportunity you have here that you do not have in Africa.
    Don’t like it, move to Zimbabwe.

  • Juggernaut3000

    “In fact, there’s not much new there, except for historical hysterical anecdotes s… with which reparations activists black racists charge the country.”

    “The gap in wealth, achievement, and a wide range of health and wellbeing outcomes between black and white Americans is the result of deliberate policy decisions.”

    HaHaHAHA!

    Blacks have already got their reparation in the form of LBJs War on Poverty and Affirmative Action.

    You want a race war, Tahini? Bring it.

  • Ahnenerbe ᛟ

    Considering hundreds of thousands of White soldiers died in the Civil War for these black primates to be free, I do believe they owe Whites instead.

    • John R

      Yeah, and if our teachers-paid by us taxpayers, btw-would remind them of this from time to time, we could be through with this ridiculous debate.

      • FransSusan

        Our teachers should be teaching the real history surrounding the Civil War. It was not about slavery and freeing slaves.

        • saul7

          Good lord lady…southereners are so damn dumb…just read the ordinance of secession the south expressly says..we are seceding because you want to end slavery…

        • Har_De_Tor_Har

          Get the textbooks changed first. Get Howard Zinn’s historical cliché ridden history out of the history textbooks. Start there before no other history is allowed, as in so many European countries now.

        • John R

          So, blacks have nothing to feel grateful about? Please. Point is, were it not for Northern hostility to the institution of slavery, the South never would have taken the drastic step of secession. Southerners knew-instinctively-that ending slavery meant next a multiracial democracy. That was something that has never worked in the world. Our present troubles have proven them right.

          • FransSusan

            Blacks have much for which to thank whites, but that’s not the point. The Civil War was not fought to free slaves.

      • kikz2

        my kids’ teachers always hated that mine could refute the propaganda, especially during class discussions. (evil grin).

        • John R

          Yeah, and worse, better not use facts and logical reasoning against a teacher, or they’ll get sent to sensitivity training!

    • Jesse_from_Sweden

      Not to mention the fact that slavery only enriched the south, where slavery existed.

      And that the riches of the south were thoroughly devastated by the war by actions like Sherman’s March to the Sea and the like.

    • FransSusan

      That’s not true. The Civil War wasn’t about freeing slaves.

      • Ahnenerbe ᛟ

        States rights, the main right of emphasis was holding chattel. You could make the case it was the right of States to leave the Union, which the Constitution did not forbid

        • FransSusan

          The economic issues surrounding the war began long before the actual battles ever began. There was far more involved than whether or not to end slavery. I’ll never believe that anyone in the south fought to maintain slavery—after all it wasn’t the rich slave-owners who fought in the war—or that anyone in the north fought to end slavery and free negroes. Even if I hadn’t done a lot of research on this topic, it’s just too much to fathom that that many citizens (almost a million lost their lives) would be willing to give their lives so a few negroes could live free or not. That defies human nature, if nothing else!

          • saul7

            You forget that southerners are fools who believe whatever they are told…the volunteers of tenn. didnt need a reason to fight mexico..korea,vietnam,iraq…?…its all about propaganda. .,

          • Ahnenerbe ᛟ

            It was a revolution against the gov’t, civil wars are usually a group of people who want to take over the existing gov’t, the southern states wanted independence.

          • Har_De_Tor_Har

            Correct.That’s why “War Between the States” is a more accurate term than Civil War. The South was not trying to take over the U.S. government, they were trying to break away from the U.S. government, big difference.

          • kikz2

            it is a fallacy that too many believe… simple as that.

            tariffs from 1820’s on up to secession, being illegally spent NOT in the geographical region where collected was the impetus, that and outright invasion.

          • Hallie Eva

            Frans, when Lincoln declared emancipation, Union soldiers deserted in droves, unwilling to fight for blacks’ freedom.

          • saxonsun

            Agreed, and I also don’t buy that Northern soldiers cared enough about blacks to die for them.

        • Har_De_Tor_Har

          Abraham Lincoln jailed those who brought up the Constitution, challenged his illegal war mongering against the South and pointed out the fact that the Constitution allows states to leave the union – jailed in complete violation of that same US Constitution.

        • kikz2

          when yankees tried it, no one called them traitors, OR openly called for their annihilation/extermination as a people, then, much less 150 years later.

          http://waltercoffey.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/the-northern-secession/

  • Memin Pinguin

    Oh I wish I was in Dixie
    Away, away
    In Dixie land I’ll make my stand
    To live and die in Dixie
    Away, away
    Away down South in Dixie

    • Andy

      Advance the flag of Dixie –
      Hurrah! Hurrah!
      In Dixie’s land I’ll make my stand
      And live or die for Dixie –
      To arms! To arms!
      And conquer peace for Dixie!

  • Tom Thumb

    civil war historian Eric Foner tells me
    ______________________________
    Foner and his ilk are nothing but revisionist historians trying to rewrite
    the history of the civil War and it’s immediate aftermath, “Reconstruction” – 1865-1876.

  • TL2014

    Maybe they feel that whitey’s sympathy and patience are wearing thin…so they are trying to remind us that this “issue” still deserves prime attention. Sort of like Oprah with her comments, 12 years a Slave etc…sooner or later it’s going to burst and there will be a mass revolt, I hope.

    • John R

      Of course.

    • Har_De_Tor_Har

      They are trying to make any challenges to their biased historical narrative illegal through hate speech laws.

      One of these days they’re going to win; they’ve already won in Canada, most of Europe and even recently in Russia.

      One more SCOTUS appointment is all it’ll take.

  • John R

    I don’t know where to begin, I could write on and on about this. (Don’t worry, fellow posters, I’ll confine my comments to one point) The article mentions the value of the slaves to the Southern economy. Okay. But what about the value of slavery to black people? Were it not for slavery, we as a nation would not even have a sizable black population! End of story. Our immigration laws, until 1965, were designed to limit the number of immigrants who were not Northern Europeans. Even such people as Italians faced restrictions. And Chinese were excluded entirely. So, why not discuss how American blacks benefitted from the institution of slavery? Unless American blacks would prefer life in Africa, which I seriously doubt.

    • AndrewInterrupted

      “Even such people as Italians faced restrictions”.

      Sicilians mostly. Something like 4 million Sicilians immigrated between 1880 and 1920, through Ellis Island. Johnson-Reed Act slowed that Sicilian migration to a trickle. They have since assimilated.

      Exactly the same thing should be done to stem the greaseritos. There should be an immigration moratorium, until such time as we get an accurate unemployment number–and illegal number.

      • John R

        AMEN! But, obviously Democrats don’t want to do that. And Republicans are afraid to do it. But the Republicans had BETTER do it, or they will die out as a party. We need an explicitly pro-White party. Mere “conservatism” will not do anymore.

      • kikz2

        we can only dream…..

    • kikz2

      i wish he would’ve mentioned what they were worth, open market in their own country at that time since there was no such market for brute labor other than as export…. and also how slave descendants should seek reparations from their original captors/transporters, Africans, Arabs, Portuguese, Jews, among others…… since the freakin dawn of recorded history….

  • WR_the_realist

    Can we please have somebody do a proper accounting, adding up the trillions of dollars of ruined neighborhoods, destroyed school systems, and brutal attacks on whites when they do this reparations arithmetic?

  • Reverend Bacon

    Too bad they closed comments. It’s interesting that he puts the reparations bill at $10 trillion, then calls it “a number too staggering to comprehend” or some such crap. Frankly, that would be cheap. By just direct calculations, I have come up with about twice that number in what we’ve already paid since 1965. Add in the losses from crime: property; lost income from injuries to people and property; pain and suffering; lowered property values from blacks committing crimes; higher insurance payments due to the expectation of more black crime in the future; etc. Now add in other costs: cost of incarceration; costs in terms of intellectual capital from classrooms dumbed down for blacks; costs of their social diseases; education costs to non-blacks because of all the political correctness infrastructure that must be installed in universities; loss of education due to affirmative action; and I’m just getting started, I think.

    Still, $10 trillion to send them all away would be a bargain. WIth our gas consumption of about 1/3 billion per day, we could raise this much with a $2/gallon gas tax (much less than Europe still) in 5,000 days, or about 13 years. Every time I’d fill up, I’d smile.

    • Har_De_Tor_Har

      Blacks will be dealt with when Whites are a minority in America. No one but the white race are forced to tolerate black crime, pay for their failures, their whining and their destruction of our cities.

      I cannot imagine Chinese or Mexicans paying for blacks’ food, housing, education or putting up with their constant victim status or allowing them to live around their children and elderly.

      Maybe they can go to Israel with those who have been their biggest cheerleaders, champions and defenders. They brought them here, gave them “rights” they didn’t deserve over whites, covered up their vast criminal activity and therefore should be 100% responsible for them.

      • Israel doesn’t want blacks, has been expelling illegal African aliens, and has built a strong, well-patrolled border fence to keep them out. Links to articles on these issues occasionally turn up on this site.

  • IstvanIN

    Wouldn’t the descendents of the people who were illegally deprived of their property be the one’s owed reparations????

  • kjh64

    Blacks have already been paid reparations far exceeding a trillion dollars in the forms of all kinds of assistance be it , the war on poverty, section 8, food stamps, Medicaid, education, etc. despite the fact that the Black recipients of these programs were never slaves. Only a very small percent of Whites, about 5-10 percent, owned slaves as you had to be wealthy. To the other 90-95% of Whites, slavery was very harmful. It resulted in a huge civil war, lower wages due to cheap Black labor and the spending of billions on dysfunctional Blacks. Today, we are still paying for it. America would be so much better off if we’d never had slavery.

    • AndrewInterrupted

      So true. Controlling the honest narrative–truth be told–it’s time for whites to start demanding refunds!

      • RonanTheLibtardian

        Advertising and Marxism.
        “Accuse others of what you do”. –Karl Marx.
        As long as you’re denying the “reparations” word you’re not busy pushing the proper word “refunds”. Distract & Redirect–and control the narrative. My Aunt Rachel’s bread & butter.

  • MBlanc46

    He’s a professional Negro. It’s getting increasingly difficult for a professional Negro to oppose gibsmedat (I mean, reparations).

    • Dr. DA

      Ta-Nehisi Coates, the name Ta-Nehsis tells all.
      He’s probably called TAAAAAA!!

    • Har_De_Tor_Har

      Wait until the dollar collapses and THEN see how difficult it will be to be a professional negro.

  • Jimbo Jones

    Any reparations must be conditional on blacks leaving America and never returning.

  • AndrewInterrupted

    And my ancestors were used as lamp fuel to light the road to Rome. Who will pay me those reparations?

    • Dr. DA

      Who sold the Black slaves to the Arab slave traders?
      Answer, Black war lords who captured these people in tribal wars.
      What if there was no slavery in America , what would these Blacks who are living here be doing?
      No one would now who they are.

      • AndrewInterrupted

        That’s why they refused the FREE one-way ticket back to Liberia. They aren’t nation-makers, and they know it. Look at Liberia now.

        • Dr. DA

          What about South Africa and Rhodesia.?

        • kikz2

          I hear, Haiti is nice as well…..

          • AndrewInterrupted

            Maybe we should make a list of failed western nation-making attempts by the Bantu Tribesmen:

            Liberia
            South Africa
            Rhodesia
            Haiti
            The United States of America

          • kikz2

            S. Africa….

      • saxonsun

        You are right. A book I read on the subject quotes an African chief as stating that he and the others make a fortune selling their own to the Arabs.

  • AndrewInterrupted

    The constant ‘reparations’ drone is just blacks admitting they’re inferior and can’t stand on their own two feet. My ancestors died of exposure under the English boot during the 1842 potato famine, but I consider the Englishman living today my friends. I won’t demand reparations from the English because I’m an honorable American who proudly stands on his own two feet.

    • PesachPatriot

      You know AndrewInterrupted….I feel the same way about a german or german american young person of around my age…..he or she would have been born at least a decade or two after the second global unpleasantness…..I almost never hear armenians demanding reparations from turkey and they had it ten times as bad as american slaves ever did and american indians don’t threaten to riot and burn down cities when a member of their demographic gets arrested for drunk driving…..I also don’t think I’ve ever head of white southerners demanding reparations from white northerners because of stuff that happened 150 years ago…..

      • AndrewInterrupted

        My uncle was killed in action fighting the Germans in 1944. He was with the 84th Division, 334th Infantry Regiment while attacking the Siegfried Line. I also do not demand reparations from Germans living today, as I also consider them my friends.

        Suck it up you African b!tches!

        • Alexandra1973

          I had a granduncle (maternal grandmother’s brother) who was killed in Kasserine Pass in 1943…they were fighting Rommel’s guys.

          I have German ancestry myself…so I guess I break even….

      • Har_De_Tor_Har

        My friend, the Armenians absolutely demand reparations from Turkey. They also demand that “their” holocaust/genocide be taught alongside and equally as that of the Jewish Holocaust.

        Even Wikipedia has an article about the demands: http //en wikipedia org/wiki/Armenian_Genocide_reparations

        Both of these “genocides” that happened decades ago and thousands of miles away from America should not be the entire focus of American or World history or usurp all other historical events, as is the case now.

        For White Americans, putting a stop to the the current, ongoing genocide of the White race that is taking place in each and every White country is a FAR more pressing and immediate concern than the Jewish or Armenian genocide. They say “never again” but then look the other way when it’s happening to US.

    • Dr. DA

      Lincoln wanted to repatriate the blacks to Africa. He said that they will never be happy here.
      The Blacks will always have the hate in their system, but not enough sense to go to Africa. Look at south Africa and Rhodesia , nations they did not build but took over.
      Blacks have shown no ability to build, create or design… just destroy.

      • Har_De_Tor_Har

        Those countries were wrested away from the Whites that built them and handed over to violent blacks.

      • cherrie greenbaum123

        Alas, something blacks are good at: destruction.

  • bubo

    We’ve been dumping billions into the black hole so to speak for decades and nothing, literally nothing has improved. Money, opportunity, education, all of the magic bullet theories have come up empty.

    There just isn’t anything to be done.

  • willbest

    Slaves sold for an average of $22,000 (current) and there were about 3.2 million of them. The total value of slavery as an asset is 70 billion, which is nowhere near 10 trillion. The number 10 trillion is a switch, because that is roughly 16% of today’s US, which is 10 times more populous, with a 10 fold increase in gdp per capita. Reparations then work out to about $1800 a black person assuming we don’t want to bother with formalities such as if
    1) They actually descend from slaves
    2) Discounting based on % of white blood, owing to the need to attone for those ancestors
    3) How much needs based transfer payments they have received as those programs require you to deplete your assets before acquiring benefits
    4) Any restitution owed for any felony committed

  • Sheik Yerbouti

    This article is intentionally very long. You have to read the whole thing or it sounds like yet another whine for money. I think this is a strategy designed to artificially draw out people on the fence. When you read the entire article it’s obvious this author has no clue about an actual solution. Even cash payments to the undeserving is side-stepped.
    The whole thing is yet another “we need to have a discussion about race” sort of articles. Only the smartest and most patient blacks will read the whole thing. But that can be said of plenty of whites as well. This is a nicely baited trap designed to stir up racial tensions among the most easily stirred.

    The Atlantic does most Americans a favor by being so left. It gives a voice to these kinds of preposterous ideas. The people blacks hate are all dead. The fact they heap their hatred onto people for being white is the biggest example of racism on display for the world to see. But when I visit the middle east, people there think we still keep blacks in ghettos and that most white American men are “the gays” or have been beaten down by women. They see no strength when they watch anyone who wants to simply walk in and steal from Americans.

    American children will be going hungry to feed the children of illegal border jumpers. And the black American children will feel it first. Yet another trap being baited.

    • cherrie greenbaum123

      And the blacks are much too stupid to realize that. The Mestizos are practically ripping the pork chops out of the picannies’ mouths.

  • Dr. DA

    Ta-Nehisi Coates, is the writer of this article. Is a black with a cleaver name of tribal chief.

  • T-N Coates writes:

    In 1860, slaves represented about 16 percent of the total household assets–that is, all the wealth–in the entire country, which in today’s terms is a stunning $10 trillion.

    And:

    In 1860, slaves as property were worth more than all the banks, factories and railroads in the country put together,” civil war historian Eric Foner tells me. “Think what would happen if you liquidated the banks, factories and railroads with no compensation.

    I respond:

    There’s a huge problem with this mentality. It’s apples and broccoli to compare an antebellum economy that was still significantly more agricultural/cash-crop than industrial, to today’s economy that was industrial, or rather, post-industrial. When your economy is largely agricultural, draws most of its value added GDP from labor intensive work, and slavery is permitted, of course a big chunk of aggregate household assets are going to be in those self same slaves. And of course the slaves were worth more than the total worth of all the heavy industries in what was at the time an industrial economy sector still in its infancy. But there is no way the industrial sector would have boomed and become the ultra-dominant sector of the economy while the agricultural-slavery-low tariff triangle dominated the country’s politics.

    Sure, you can do simple math to come up with $10 trillion as the answer to 16% x (Total household assets) for the present time, but you’re looking at total household assets in an economy that would have never gotten as massive or as sophisticated as it is without ditching slavery.

  • jayvbellis

    The Atlantic Magazine was very good in the mid 1990s – including well written articles about mass immigration, Blacks vs Hispanics in Southern California.

    The Atlantic still allows non PC comments, provided they are well written. The exception is this young Black guy Ta – Nehisi Coates.

    He censors anything and everything. He was huge into the Trayvon Martin hoax.

    When Blacks can some idea fixed in their brains, there is no trying to use reason with them

    Ta – Nehisi Coates like Tim Wise hates White people who do not bow down to BRA.

  • CelestiaQuesta

    When you’re a former black panther militant and the rising black power fist is hitting only air and you’re one of the few blacks speaking proper English you learned by Afirmative Action, why stop the gravey train of black grievance causes when you can now demand Reperations for an event 150 years ago.
    Blacks want their 40 acres and a mule…..
    I want my money back from the slaves my ancestors paid top dollar for who were freed.
    I want 10,000 acres and 100 horses.

  • ViktorNN

    Ta-Nehisi Coates (hahaha) is a classic case of a black male affirmative action case. He mugs for the camera and writes long screeds that appear to be serious essays with serious observations and arguments… but it’s all skin deep, so to speak.

    If you bother to trudge through the article is chock full of assertions which are just flat out wrong, all to make a weak argument that barely makes any sense (i.e. I’m not sure if I really believe there should be reparations but there does need to be a “conversation” about reparations).

    Another example of an unqualified, intellectually challenged black taking up a slot that would be better used by a white person.

  • MBlanc46

    If I actually thought reparations would turn them into civilized human beings, I might very well support them. But it would just be wasted on Escalades, Remy Martin, fake diamonds, weed, and crack.

    • r j p

      You got malt liquor, nasty finger nails, even nastier glue in hair, and dinner from the finest chicken shack..

      Love the “fake diamonds”, or maybe they aren’t fake, maybe they are “dymens”.
      One think they a high percentage of couldn’t buy is the ability to speak proper English.

      • cherrie greenbaum123

        True story: My brother sent me a floral arrangement for my birthday a few days ago. For some unknown reason, they tried to deliver it to the wrong address. The message on my voicemail was obviously a black man. I replayed it several times and due to the garbled, ebonic “English”, never did understand what the problem was until I called them back. My apartment is A 3. The black delivery guy was looking for a number “3” apartment and was confused by the letters that precede the numbers. You can’t fix stupid.

        • r j p

          My apartment is 3B. All the utilities know it as 3R or 3 Rear.
          Two apartments per floor, an A or B, or in utility world, a F or R.
          It confounds them.

        • Whenever I get one of those on the telephone at a government agency, I just hang up and re-dial.

    • dusa1957

      It is impossible, regardless of any amount of money spent, to turn them into civilized human beings. Their IQ is 15 to 20 points less, they have the emotional maturity of an 8 year old, and their culture values violence and instant gratification.

    • Laura Dilworth

      we’ve given reparations in welfare, housing, education, medical care…

  • model1911

    Old but true ‘should have picked our own cotton’.

    • FransSusan

      We did pick our own cotton. That phrase is over-used & very misleading. It leads one to think that everyone in the south owned slaves that did their work for them. That is SO not true. Most whites did not own slaves and did, indeed, pick their own cotton—peas, beans, corn, fruit, etc. etc. etc. Negroes should most assuredly NOT have been brought to America, but only a small % of whites owned slaves. Most of us had a very tough life, much worse than the life-style of most slaves who had everything they needed provided for them.

      • model1911

        Humor. I am a Son of the South.

        • FransSusan

          And I’m a daughter of the south. Yes, I understand that the phrase is supposed to be funny, but it never is funny to me because of the connotation of whites too lazy to pick their own cotton. It goes along with the prevalent image of the south as a slovenly, lazy bunch of ignernt hicks who beat up on innocent, hardworking, hearts-of-gold negroes. So not true and I guess I just can’t stand to joke about it.

          • IstvanIN

            It wasn’t a case of White Southerners being too lazy to pick their own cotton it was imply a case of using the technology that was available at the time. Today’s large farms use giant harvesting and processing machines, that is the technology we have today that was not available back then. Slavery would have died a natural death due to the combination of mechanization and not being able to import slaves. The reason we have a huge illegal aline problem is because we have not stopped illegals from coming in and therefore there is no incentive to mechanize the crops we haven’t thus far.

          • FransSusan

            I know all that. The point I’m making is that the phrase makes it sound as thought whites were too lazy and needed slaves to pick cotton.

          • IstvanIN

            I was defending your point. Sorry.

          • FransSusan

            Oh, OK. I misunderstood.

          • Chasmania

            An excellent read in ” Everything you were taught about the Civil War is wrong ” by Lochlain Seabrook.

          • FransSusan

            Thanks. I’ll look for it in the local library. I always appreciate book suggestions.

          • kikz2

            yes, and at around 2-5K per head, you damn sure didn’t beat/starve them to death in number.. wtf kind of business model is that, and what of its longevity?

          • Sounds like a reliable way to quickly go bankrupt. Successful businessmen are careful with their capital investments.

          • kikz2

            Exactly.

      • dusa1957

        It’s also useful to remind everyone that among slaveholders were Negroes that owned other Negroes as slaves. And, of course, slavery didn’t start in the USA, it was rampant in Africa both before US slavery and after US slavery ended. In fact, the only nations that have slavery today out in the open are black nations such as Haiti.

      • benvad

        We can thank John Wilkes Booth for his contribution to the decline of America. An actor screwed up America, where have I heard this before?

  • Alucard_the_last

    I support reparations for slavery and the best reparation is to send them back to Africa so they can finally be happy. After all, they are soooo superior to have built the pyramids so they do it again.

  • FransSusan

    We have paid reparations over and over and over again: trillions of $$ on more than 70 welfare programs for the parasite class for the past 60 years. What more do they want? That’s what I want to know. What else is there for whitey to sacrifice for these perpetually whining and blaming ne’r-do-wells? Nothing works. They’ve been given every.thing. They are still dysfunctional and always will be. There is no amount of money, acres, or mules that will change a 75 IQ into a functional one.

  • guest

    I strongly support reparations. The author is basically saying black built America and should get something for it. How about, we pick a few geographically contiguous states, and give them to blacks? “Here you go, all yours, have fun with it! We’re outta here, do what you want.” Or we buy out their US citizenships. “You’re right, we owe you 100k. Here’s your ATM card, please sign here to renounce US citizenship, and there is the plane waiting to take you home to Africa.”

    • benvad

      They’re not that stupid.

    • benvad

      The only way to get rid of them is Libya style. Did you see the pogroms they committed on Blacks as soon as Gaddafi was toppled?

      When things are going bad that’s when they understand.

  • Rainer

    By the phrase “The Civil War .. boiled down to the right to build an empire based on slave holding ..” he proves he doesn’t know history. He’s gotta go back to school.
    The South fought for self-determination of each state while the anti-slavery North fought for an empire.
    How about reparations for white Southerners for how they were railroaded by the North in the Civil War.

    • dusa1957

      The South wanted to freely trade their agricultural products with Europe as well as the North. But the North wanted to keep the South as a captive, exploiting it’s resources at below market. This was really all about freedom and economics. The North’s population outweighed the South, so in the democracy and South was kept as prisoners. The same thing happens today with the votes of the populous urban centers, with all their welfare and entitlement receivers, outweighing the vote of the rural, small town and Southern states.

  • Chasmania

    Slaves so called ‘worth’ while held as slaves is being over estimated IMO. Slaves could easily be compared to the tulip during it’s hey day. If the freed slaves had any value, what happened to it when they were released ? Surely all this value they somehow retained could have easily been parlayed into good working careers and betterment of their station in life, if indeed they HAD value.
    Only case I would support reparations for would be renouncing their citizenship and immediate deporting back to Africa.

    • r j p

      They had no value unless they were compelled to work at their leisurely pace.
      “Sea Island Experiment”. Former slaves given very valuable land.
      They planted a few garden subsistence crops and sat on the porch of their shack.
      Government ended up taking the property back and returning to original owners.
      negroes are generally worthless.

    • Slaves tended to be used for production of items, which aside from cotton tended to be high-value luxury crops, such as tobacco and sugar. Once the war was underway and southern exports could not reach Europe in the face of the Union naval blockade, cotton production for the British textile industry quickly shifted to Egypt and India. Even today, India and Pakistan combined – they were not separate until the 1948 partition – produce more than twice as much cotton as the USA; India and Bangladesh (formerly also a part of the British Raj) are in addition by far the largest producers of jute, another economically important natural fiber.

  • dusa1957

    Slaves only had value as brute labor, and had about zero value once machines took over their function in agriculture in the later part of the 19th century. And I saw no where amid all this talk of their value what their COST was. The cost to house, clothe and feed them was immense. The truth is that those “slave” were the luckiest Negroes in Africa, their descendants got a free ticket to a 1st world nation where they now live with a standard of living multiple times what African Negroes get.
    Now, let’s talk about another cost of their descendants. What about the over $10 trillion the USA has spent on prisons and welfare for their descendants? How do I as a white taxpayer get my reparations for that?

    • cherrie greenbaum123

      You know what? Keep the reparations! As a white, I don’t want them. Just stop bothering me with all of this “white priblege” non-sense. Can we just say no to EBT and welfare now that we’re all “equal”? No? I didn’t think so. At any rate, the blacks will be singing a very different tune once the dollar goes belly up and EBT no longer works (which means they will have to). It will be bad times to be a lazy colored person, which is about 9/10s of them.

      • r j p

        cherrie you twitter?

      • AndrewInterrupted

        Are you “white” on some occasions and “Jewish” on others?

  • kikz2

    i think that publication should just go ahead and change its name to “The Black Nation”.

  • FransSusan

    Yes. Good books.

  • blight14

    “Free labor” has turned out to be the most expensive mistake in our great nations history.

    • dusa1957

      Correct. I hate that slavery occurred in this nation because it left us with a permanent Negro population. We will be paying for that permanent Negro underclass FOREVER. They are parasites on civilization. They have cost trillions in prison and welfare costs so far, a cost that never ends and in fact grows larger with each passing year.

  • If many very large American businesses and corporations that exist today got their start in doing some slave(ry)-related business, then it stands to reason that once slavery ended, those businesses would have gone out of business.

    Really, all these reparationist arguments are stupid, but stupid isn’t the point. The people making those arguments don’t care they’re stupid. It’s just a fact of life and human nature: When you think that you have a chance to get a handout, something for free, a giveaway, you’ll make any stupid argument you think you have to make in order to get it. If you think you have to get naked and walk on your hands down your town’s main drag during the middle of the day, you’ll do it.

    Nobody would be making these stupid arguments if there wasn’t a semi-serious sociopolitical verve to hand out slavery reparations and opposition to the concept at the same time.

  • Bill E. BOBB

    reparations? repatriation!

  • benvad

    Gedaliah Braun explains in his book Racism, Guilt & self-hatred, that the african has a great sense to see weakness and to exploit it at a moments notice.

    Electing Obama and putting him through was that straw that broke the camel’s back. They sense the guilt of whites and will rush to get whatever they can.

  • benvad

    Is it really worth it being swamped by these savages?

  • RonanTheLibtardian

    Ann rocks. Maybe white America will be p!ssed-off just enough by 2016 to draft Ann for President. She’s the only one speaking the truth these days. Most woman, liberal or conservative, just want to vote vagina. Ann can win the bulk of the female vote if Hillary is too old and sick to run.

    • AndrewInterrupted

      God I hope so. That sick Hillary rumor does resurface a lot. Regard-less, Hillary and Mitt have both slid past the age window.

      That same invisible age requirement window probably cost McCain several % points, if not the election.