Editor’s Note: Because the internet is filled with foolish and utterly dishonest people, the editors of The Daily Wire wish to note that this column utilizes a literary device called sarcasm.
Yesterday, House Democrats held a hearing to discuss reparations. Actually, it was a hearing to discuss forming a commission to conduct a study to examine reparations. We may be far away from anything like a reparations system actually being enacted in this country, but we’re closer than we were even a few years ago, when the leader of the Democratic Party, Barack Obama, came out against the idea. Now, most mainstream Democrats, including presidential candidates like Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), favor it. As a noted progressive myself, I, too, support the policy. And I think I know how to make it work.
At the most basic level, reparations would involve the payment of a certain sum of cash to people whose ancestors six generations ago were slaves. It seems most reasonable to take this money from those whose ancestors six generations ago were slaveholders. Wealthy Hollywood actor Danny Glover was at the hearing because his great-great-great-grandmother was a slave. The fact that Glover is worth $40 million, and that most of the slaveholder descendants today are likely quite a bit poorer than him, does not matter. As it turns out, sometimes it’s okay to take from the poor and give to the rich.
Now, a few questions must be addressed: Namely, how do we know who is descended from slaves and who is descended from slaveholders? Surely, a black person whose family arrived on these shores in 1970 can’t claim any historical entitlement to slavery reparations. And a white person whose family came here after abolition — perhaps as Irish indentured servants — cannot be said to carry any guilt for North American slavery in his blood. It seems odd to think that anyone could carry the guilt for slavery in their blood, but that is the premise we must accept in order to get this ball rolling.
How can we sort this all out? Well, it seems that we would need mandatory DNA testing. Perhaps Ancestry.com can be contracted by the government to help in the effort. We simply need to force 327 million people to send in samples of their DNA so that we can trace their bloodlines and figure out who owes and who receives. This would probably be unconstitutional, but never mind that.
What about non-whites who owned slaves? There were a few black slaveholders. There were also Native American slaveholders. Obviously they would need to pay, rather than receive, reparations. But then what if someone is descended from both slaveholders and slaveowners? Consider a Native American whose family was enslaved 300 years ago but owned slaves 200 years ago. Or consider a person whose great-great-great-great-grandfather was a slave owner and great-great-great-great-grandmother a slave. What to do about them? We’ll come back to that.
It seems that if we are rectifying historical wrongs, we should not limit ourselves to the borders of this country — borders that, we must recall, are arbitrary and meaningless. Besides, if we’re reaching back 150 years anyway, to a time when everyone who was alive is long dead, then why not expand our search even more? It would be absurd to expect a Jewish person whose grandparents were murdered in the Holocaust to pay reparations. Indeed, they are owed reparations from anyone of German descent. Indigenous people in our hemisphere practiced slavery (and human sacrifice) on a massive scale. They were also enslaved by Europeans. They owe but are also owed. North Africans enslaved whites on the Barbary coast. There are many people alive today descended from those who were persecuted by the Japanese. And there are many Japanese alive today descended from those who were persecuted because they were Japanese. What about the descendants of Genghis Kahn (all 16 million of them)? Surely they must pay for the suffering visited upon the innocent by their great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, who likely kidnapped and raped their great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother. But who pays who here? We’ll circle back.
The Romans subjugated and enslaved many people. So did the Ottomans and the Chinese and the Egyptians and the Mayans and every other empire you can name. The descendants of these oppressors should finally pay the piper so that the distant relatives of their victims can be made whole. And we haven’t yet dealt with those black people who are descended from the African tribal chieftains who sold other Africans to white slave traders. Clearly, they must answer for their ancestors’ roles in this evil. The only problem is that there are probably a lot of people descended from both slaves and slavers.
If we we look at this on a global scale, we discover that everyone in the world is the progeny of the persecutors and the persecuted. Everyone carries guilt and victimhood in their blood. Once you open this can of worms, you find that there are a whole lot more worms than you ever expected. Is this a reason to give up on the whole enterprise? Not at all.
Here’s what we should do: All of the people in every town and city in America should, on the appointed day, meet at a designated location. We will then form giant circles so that everyone in the circle has someone standing to the left and right of them. Next, we will all pull 100 dollars out of our pockets and hand it to the person to our left. Thus we have all paid for the sins of our ancestors and have also been paid for the suffering of our ancestors. Everything is put into balance. All accounts are settled. Utopia awaits.