The Yahoo headline was great news for racial grievance mongers and melatonin freeloaders everywhere: "California Releases Groundbreaking Reparations Report Urging 'Comprehensive' Compensation for Black Americans."
We think former senior columnist for Mediaite, John Ziegler, had a more accurate take on the report, "Leftists Advise That Stealing Other People’s Money, To Give To Their Voters, To Correct Harms Not Done By Their State Or To Anyone Currently Alive, Is A Great Idea . . . "
As we proceed farther into the story, you’ll see just how right Ziegler is.
We can start with the conclusion of the report as summarized by Yahoo, "California’s first-in-the-nation task force on reparations released an extensive report on Wednesday detailing the state’s role in 170 years of discrimination toward Black Americans, outlining how the lasting effects of slavery have produced "innumerable harms" that no level of government has addressed to date."
There are a number of problems with this predetermined conclusion.
First California was admitted to the Union as a Free State.
It was illegal to own a slave in California.
When the Civil War broke out, California sent 17,000 volunteers to the Union, while only about 200 men went south to fight with the Confederacy.
California gold also played a crucial role in the war to end slavery.
The gold reserves and the prospect of finding more gold buoyed confidence in the financial system; that allowed the United States to borrow money to finance the war at a favorable rate.
That’s why we remain unconvinced there were any "lasting effects of slavery" in a state that never legalized slavery in the first place.
Secondly, California was not one of the Jim Crow states where discrimination against Blacks was baked into the legal code. The Jim Crow states were all former Confederate states, the same states California sent 17,000 men to fight.
That’s why the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was marching in Birmingham, Alabama — and not Sacramento, California.
The commission is so proud of its work they "claim this is the first government-commissioned study on harm against Black Americans since the 1968 Kerner Commission report, which was ordered by then-President Lyndon Johnson."
This is a telling point, but not for the reasons they think.
The Kerner Commission was drafted when the real harm to the Black community produced by Lyndon Johnson’s War or Poverty was just beginning to be felt.
Lyndon Johnson’s pet project to "help" Blacks instead produced an almost permanent underclass of Blacks dependent on the government for their standard of living and crippled by an equally permanent sense of victimhood.
As Dr. Ben Carson pointed out, the family incomes of Blacks who immigrated to the U.S. from Africa and the Caribbean show almost no difference from the family incomes of whites. In many instances their educational attainment is superior to the so-called white oppressors.
If the U.S. were systematically racist then the immigrant’s income and education would track that of stateside Blacks, but it doesn’t.
The difference is the immigrant families don’t have a government–induced sense of victimhood and their families are intact with mothers and fathers in the home.
Stateside Blacks have not been damaged by the legacy of slaveholders long dead.
They’ve been damaged by the good intentions and bad ideas of white leftists. If anyone owes reparations, it should be the Ivy League schools that produced both the leftists and the bad ideas.
This report is just the first step in what will no doubt prove to be a raid on the California treasury. "The report . . . urges the creation of a new statewide office that would provide a pathway for financial reparations for Black Americans, and pushes for expanded voter registration and the improvement of Black neighborhoods, among other recommendations."
We’ll close with a statement from a task force member to USA Today, "We are evaluating racism beginning in 1619 and going all the way to the present . . . and connecting (past) injustices to injustice that we are seeing today."
1619? California wasn’t even a U.S. territory then. Good luck getting money from Spain.
Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker's bureau. Read Michael Reagan's Reports — More Here.
Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher for the League of American Voters, and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian's Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)" Read Michael Shannon's Reports — More Here.