Some Things Upsetting Me

A couple of things cropping up have caused me some upset. California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed on for a commission to explore granting reparations for black slavery. Also, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi warned the U.S. executive branch against adopting U.K. trial results to approve a COVID-19 vaccine to release it here. I find both troubling. In this post and the next post, I’ll tackle these.

The idea of reparations for black people is a bad idea, much like Marxism that refuses to go away. The notion is we can hold people monetarily liable to others they haven’t personally wronged. This goes against our entire legal history. Yet, here we are again.

Most of those supporting reparations ground their claim in civil war General William Tecumseh Sherman’s order granting 40 acres and a mule to some freed slaves. The land was confiscated tidal land in Georgia and South Carolina. Sherman’s ruling was later reversed by President Johnson. While some blacks have claimed this was a pledge to every ex-slave, Generals don’t make laws for the nation.

Even though this was never a general government commitment, I have written this could be used as a jumping-off point. Just not in the way those claiming reparations envisioned. This is a good time for an update. The monetary value of the acres and mule has gone up due to inflation. The best estimate I can find is the average cost of an acre of farmland in the U.S. is approximately $4,721 and a good mule up to $5,000. This comes to about $200,000. The proponents of reparations say blacks are owed this to compensate for “institutional racism.” It may be compensation, but if there really is institutional racism holding black people back, reparations money won’t change it. 

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