The Reparations Pipe
Dream and the Tax Cut Reality
by Kevin Martin
A New Visions Commentary
paper published June 2003 by The National Center for Public Policy
Research, 501 Capitol Ct., N.E., Washington, DC 20002, 202/543-4110,
Fax 202-543-5975, E-Mail Project21@nationalcenter.org,
Reprints permitted provided source is credited.
Just when I think I finally have our
black "leaders" all figured out, they throw me another
In the Chicago Sun Times, Jesse Jackson
recently railed against the Bush Administration's tax cut, repeating
the worn-out liberal mantra that tax cuts only benefit the wealthy.
He warned that Medicaid, Medicare and funding for public schools
is in danger. It's kinda funny to hear this argument from a rich
man such as Jackson who sent his kids to private school.
But I'm left completely stupefied. If
billions of dollars in tax cuts spread out over years endanger
all types of social programs and create deficits, then why does
Jackson support what might end up totaling trillions of dollars
to pay "reparations" to the descendents of slaves?
You'd be a fool to fall for the reparations
scam. I'm sure Jackson, the NAACP, Congressman John Conyers and
the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N'COBRA)
know that neither political party would actually try to enact
this political hot potato. When Senator Hillary Clinton appeared
on CNBC host Chris Matthew's Hardball "College Tour"
from Albany, New York, she shocked a young black student who
asked her if she supported the concept of reparations. Senator
Clinton - a liberal superstar - replied with a flat-out "no."
In my opinion, reparations are meant
to "entertain" black America. It keeps us occupied
by and beholden to the old guard black leaders. Since slavery
is a common bond and so many of us can trace our ancestors to
that era, these leaders can claim they are still fighting for
When the United Nations sponsored its
so-called Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa nearly
two years ago, every left-wing black activist in America seemed
to jump at the chance to push reparations to the forefront of
The UN's racism conference, however,
was doomed from the start. Black activists watched in horror
as Yasser Arafat and other radical Arabs turned it into a soapbox
to bash Israel. The Bush Administration, of course, was criticized
for not sending Secretary of State Colin Powell. But, while pro-reparations
activists blamed Powell's absence in part for the conference's
failure, they remained silent about the departure of congressional
liberals when things got uncomfortable.
Dejected Congressional Black Caucus members
and reparation activists tried to put the best spin possible
on the conference, even remaining to the end to make the claim
that they were still fighting for what black Americans are owed
by the United States. I contend they are just fighting to keep
us on the plantation, bowing at the feet of their liberal big
If we're to accept the notion that cash
can heal the wounds that slavery inflicted, I believe it's then
valid to say that President Bush has done more to help black
Americans than all of the blustering of the pro-reparations crowd.
How? By giving us that tax cut that has Jesse Jackson so flustered.
One of N'CORBA's reparations demands
is "immediate tax relief" for all black Americans.
The current round of tax cuts could be seen as reparations for
the months we slave to meet our tax obligations. In 2003, "Tax
Freedom Day" - the day we stop working solely to pay Uncle
Sam - fell on April 19 (109 days!). When an estimated 16 million
black Americans receive tax relief, this date will retreat.
Our so-called leaders can keep their
reparations pipe dream. I'll take my tax cut and invest it in
the future and my family. The past is behind me. I can't change
(Kevin Martin is a member of
Project 21 who owns an environmental contracting firm in the
Washington, DC area. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Note: New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author,
and not necessarily those of Project 21.