Reparations Are Not the Answer - TribPapers

Reparations Are Not the Answer

Photo by Jurien Huggins.

Asheville – What is it about reparations that seems to create so much confusion, love, or downright hostility? It’s a topic that shuns debate because it is founded on gut feelings and emotion, with very little rational thought underpinning it. Rational thought has no home here.

As Elon Musk said, “It is easy to fool people, but it is almost impossible to convince them that they have been fooled.”

For many years now, self-appointed black leaders have fooled many Americans. They’ve fooled them into believing that the economic, health, and educational disparities plaguing our community are the result of racial injustices, white privilege, and systemic racism. For this crowd, reparations are yet another effort to obscure the real ailments impacting blacks while siphoning off billions of dollars toward themselves and a never-ending class of government-dependent families.

Rather than demand reparations, black Americans should seek to undo those who, along with their allies in the media and academia, helped destroy the black family while producing a culture of pervasive victimhood. “Because despite their very real consequences, the biggest cause of black inequality isn’t slavery, redlining, or Jim Crow-ites our community’s dependency on social welfare programs and the fatherless families they continue to subsidize.”

The “Great Society” programs paved the way for the dissolution of the traditional black family.

In 1965, the 24% unmarried birth rate in the black community was said to be a crisis. Today, in 2023, approximately 80% of black families are led by a single parent, almost always a mother. This has been enabled by welfare and other massive handouts, all of which have resulted in low academic scores, high crime rates with resultant high incarceration rates, and high unemployment that simply confirm the massive negative impact these so-called great society policies have had.

Reparations cannot and will not fix it until and unless fathers are once again able to lead black families. Reparations are simply another form of foolish handout meant to wallpaper over the real problem and to suck in well-intentioned voters. Reparations cannot possibly undo the damage wrought by fatherlessness, and that keeps getting worse and worse due to weak leadership where it matters.

Today, while our leaders in city and county councils are busy proclaiming their good deeds and tearing down monuments, black youth are falling further and further behind. Are reparations supposed to be a method of simply paying them off? In Chicago, only 14% of black students were proficient in reading. In Asheville, only 11.1% of black students were reading at proficient levels in the 8th grade at the middle school.

High-performing private and charter schools are an excellent solution to these challenges, but school choice continues to be blocked and delayed by entrenched groups and teachers’ unions. Yet, here is a solution that has proven to work.

It’s time to stop all the lying and pretending; it’s time to try to face the problem and do something about it. We do have people who understand the problem.

And so school systems turn out semi-literate, underemployed, angry young people trapped at the lowest levels of society, unsure of whom to blame for putting them there. No wonder reparations sound so tempting.