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OPINION

Deranged Democrats Want $14 Trillion in Reparations

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File

On May 17, Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), flanked by several members of the socialist Squad, held a press conference berating current Americans for the sins of slavery, which was abolished several generations ago, and calling for $14 trillion in reparations.

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According to Bush, “The United States has a moral and legal obligation to provide reparations for the enslavement of Africans and its lasting harm on the lives of millions of Black people.”

“America must provide reparations if we desire a prosperous future for all,” Bush added.

Before moving forward, it should be noted that the overwhelming majority of today’s white American families did not own slaves. And, the vast majority of today’s black Americans are not direct descendants of slaves.

For instance, my mom was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States after World War II. My father’s father and his family came from Norway in the late nineteenth century, well after the Civil War was fought and slavery was outlawed.

Therefore, should I (and my brother and sisters) be on the hook for reparations even though our family did not even live in the United States until well after slavery was abolished? Moreover, should one of my sisters, who was adopted from China, foot the bill for reparations?

Or, consider the other side of the reparations equation. According to Bush and company, all black Americans should receive generous reparations checks from Uncle Sam. So, under their half-baked plan, Lebron James, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, and Jay-Z, who are all billionaires, would receive compensation for slavery.

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But, the ridiculousness does not end there. How would the $14 trillion be raised? Would Congress have to levy a “reparations tax” that only applies to white Americans? Because if there was not a special race-based tax in place, that would mean that black Americans, the very people who would exclusively benefit from such a plan, would have to partially fund their own reparations.

And what about Hispanic Americans? Would they pay the reparations tax? What about mixed-race Americans? For example, does Barack Obama, whose mother was white and father was black, receive a check? Or does he fund the program? Or does he receive half of a payment?

Yet, it gets even more absurd.

According to Rep. Jamal Bowman (D-NY), reparations are necessary because “trauma lives in the black body.”

“Research has shown this from generation to generation trauma lives in the body and lives in the blood vessels and lives in the DNA and the cells and the mind. So when we talk about disproportion impact of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and so on, stress, when we talk about that, it's directly connected to our historical oppression in this country,” Bowman claims.

And guess what the antidote to this “trauma” that jumps from generation to generation in the bloodstream of black Americans? Reparations.

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During the press conference, these unhinged lunatics cited several other “reasons” for reparations, including their coup de grace: the wealth gap that exists between whites and blacks.

So, how do they explain the wealth gap that exists between whites and Asian Americans? Were whites oppressed by Asian Americans?

As of this writing, Asian Americans, not white Americans, have the highest median income in the United States. But, what is most incredible is that in 1970, Asian Americans were at the bottom rung of the economic ladder, far behind whites, blacks, and Hispanics.

In less than half of a century, Asian Americans have leapfrogged all other racial groups; they now sit at the top of the income ladder. How did they do this? Not through government handouts, that is for sure.

In short, Asian Americans shot to the top of the income ladder by focusing on education and the family. Asian Americans have the lowest rate among all American racial groups when it comes to having children born out of wedlock, at just 11 percent. For black Americans, the rate has increased to more than 69 percent.

So, if Bush and her fellow misguided socialists really want to address the wealth gap, they would be clamoring for two things: universal school choice, so that black families who are stuck in failing government-run schools could have a shot at achieving solid educations, which is fundamental to their future success. And, they would be raising alarm bells over the breakdown of the black family.

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However, those things do little to increase the power of politicians like Bush, who constantly decry victimhood and tout more government programs and goodies as the solution to all problems.

If Bush’s plan were to come to fruition, it would make the situation for black Americans decidedly worse, not better, especially over the long-term.

Chris Talgo (ctalgo@heartland.org) is editorial director at The Heartland Institute.

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