Ross Douthat’s Racial Bargain

Ross Douthat offers a racial bargain in the latest installment of his unrealistic ideas series:

“LAST week I promised a series of columns making deliberately unrealistic policy proposals, on the theory that the Trump era has overturned a lot of basic political assumptions (my own included), making it a reasonable time to entertain unusual ideas. …

Instead of reparations as an addition to our current affirmative-action regime, then, maybe they should be considered as an alternative — one that directly addresses a unique government-sanctioned crime against part of the American people, without requiring a preference regime that makes lower-class white Americans feel like victims of a multicultural version of The Man.

So, this week’s immodest proposal: Abolish racial preferences in college admissions, phase out preferences in government hiring and contracting, eliminate the disparate-impact standard in the private sector, and allow state-sanctioned discrimination only on the basis of socioeconomic status, if at all. Then at the same time, create a reparations program — the Frederick Douglass Fund, let’s call it — that pays out exclusively, directly and one time only to the proven descendants of American slaves. …

But right now, giving every single African-American $10,000, perhaps in a specially-designed annuity, would cost about $370 billion, modest relative to supply-side tax plans and single-payer schemes alike. …”

Rolls eyes.

1.) First, the average African-American has already received $10,000 in transfer benefits from White taxpayers many times over since the Civil Rights Movement. The system we have in place now works to their advantage. The tax burden falls on Whites while spending disproportionately benefits blacks.

2.) Second, if blacks have already received $10,000 in transfer benefits many times over, it follows that a “Frederick Douglass Fund” would be ineffective and change nothing. The money would be squandered in a few years and we would be back to where we started with black grievance politics.

3.) Third, as we move further away from slavery and segregation, it seems like blacks have become even angrier about these issues. It has been 157 years since the demise of slavery. It has been 52 years since the end of Jim Crow. The anger is really due to the unrealistic notion that blacks are capable of creating and sustaining a European-style civilization and reaching parity with Whites.

4.) Fourth, dismantling the affirmative action regime in government and the private sector would inflict a devastating blow on the black middle class. The illusion of racial progress we have today is itself a creation of the way blacks have been favored in government and the private sector.

5.) Finally, the racial bargain would lead us back to the same unrest that got us affirmative action in the first place, nothing would be solved and we would be stuck with the same festering problem.

37 Comments

  1. Here’s a more realistic long-term idea. Attack and kill off transfer payment programs to the point where surviving off them is no longer viable, then work with Liberia and other African countries to receive American blacks. Offer American blacks 30-50 years of living payments if they emigrate to those countries, with the payments based on cost of living in those countries plus a little extra. Upon moving, their US citizenship ends and their US passport is terminated. They would all accept it because they are short-sighted.

  2. Here’s an idea: wait till Ruth Bader Ginsberg finally croaks, replace her with a judge closer to Scalia’s mold, and then find a way to elevate a case to the SC arguing that anti-segregation laws violate the constitutional right to freedom of association.

  3. Well, now, if reparations are justified for slavery, does that mean everyone else involved in the slave trade should be so billed? What of African slave kingdoms like Dahomey and Kanem-Bornu? Arab slave raiders who decimated much of central Africa? What of American Indians who had their own version of slavery? How about the descendants of the African Barbary Pirates who raided European and American shipping for slaves.

    I assume they will all be billed for reparations.

    …one that directly addresses a unique government-sanctioned crime against part of the American people…

    I presume he means “slavery.” Question: was slavery a crime in 1788 when the Constitution was ratified? And if not, he is advocating an ex post facto law (blatantly unconstitutional). This does not mean slavery might not be an “injustice,” but that Douthat has no legal foundation on which to base his assertion of “crime.”

    Third, as we move further away from slavery and segregation, it seems like blacks have become even angrier about these issues.

    They sense weakness on the part of Whites. So they demand ever more. Look at South Africa where Whites gave blacks one-man-one-vote back in 1994. The result? As noted in another article on OD, the black-majority-rule government is demanding White farms and businesses be handed over to them. It’s an acceleration of the same processes happening here in the USA.

    A much more viable response must be for Whites to stand up to blacks and tell them: “No!” No more affirmative action, no more black history months, no more diversity hires, no more safe spaces to destroy, no more Academy Awards for mediocre movies, in a word: “NO!”

  4. I propose Freedom instead. Freedom from the left and their pet groups. When we get Freedom from Them, they can make all the racial deals they like.

  5. You can’t make blacks un-black. Blacks in the West have better health, better education and better nutrition…..but is doesn’t make them any less black. If they where returned to Africa they would just be like other Africans. Africa would still be a third world cesspit and they just be the spear throwing cavemen they really are. Translated- we need to stop pretending all races are equal.
    Wherever they are, blacks are who they are. They just aren’t like us. They are not equal, not smart, not industrial and not compatible.

    • I think if our coloreds were shipped back to Africa they would become the ruling elite of that continent. They have a lot of White DNA swimming around inside of them, so their avg IQ is around 85, while their all-black jungle bunny counterparts have an IQ of about 70 (generally considered to be the threshold of mental retardation).

      • The most intelligent species in Africa? Tigers, giraffes, monkeys and elephants. Currently under threat by poachers as they provide some sort of useless potion in Chinese medicine.

        • Africa ought to be made hominid free. The megafauna there are more interesting than the Dindu there.

  6. Is there anything more pathetic than a NYT token conservative? -I guess the only thing I can credit Douthat with is that he is slightly less of a cuck than George Will.

  7. No amount of surrender will ever appease these monsters. They’ll always want more. Why should they make any concession at all while our numbers are steadily shrinking. Moreover, how do you enforce such an agreement. Even considering something this idiotic is insane.

  8. Actually, there’s really just one fundamental problem: the Left would never keep their end of the bargain. That’s just not how they roll.

    The point of these calls for reparations for slavery is not to actually get reparations. It’s to keep the gravy train rolling…

    • Any hostility she’s experiencing from other people is 100% about fear of crime. Thats just how it is. As to her husband’s experience with police, who hasn’t had an unpleasant experience with police? We all avoid the police. Cops tend to socialize with each other; they get it that non-cops are uncomfortable around them.

  9. Douche-hat made some kind of stupid, inflammatory remark about Trump last year in one of his worthless articles. I think he accused Trump of being a coward who would use a baby to protect himself from being shot in an assassination attempt?

  10. I cannot bring myself to believe that Ross Douthat is so stupid or obtuse to actually believe his own idea.

    Who could have witnessed the past 25 years and convince themselves that blacks, or minorities generally, would ever stop making more demands?

    We currently have — effectively — affirmative action for an entire range of racial, ethnic and identity groups that were never slaves and not only have no legitimate grievance but should, on the contrary, feel gratitude for their good fortune in being in the US. Yet their demands and expressions of dissatisfaction and ingratitude increase by the day.

    And Douthet thinks “Cut them a check. Problem solved!” C’mon. This is mental masturbation at its worst.

  11. Newsflash= famine in Somalia with potential to kill millions. Boohoo. Too many are being born. As they’re an equal race to us, I’m sure they have the capacity to work it out. They’re an advanced nation that can weather this storm….

  12. I prefer the Judge Elihu Smails program: You’ll get nothing, and you’ll like it!

    They get to live in America, rather than Guinea or Cameroon. That is reparations enough.

  13. Also why does this particular batch of blacks in 2017 deserve the money, yet those to be born in the future (who will also live in typical black squalor) won’t get the check to spend on Netflix and Chill?

  14. I think he takes seriously the fact that White Trump voters are really pissed off about their declining status and he proposes this as an appeasement strategy: A one time $370 billion bribe. It will only whet their appetite for more and they will never give up affirmative action policies anyway.

  15. Free plane rides back to AAfrica (Affirmative Africa).

    That’s all they deserve. Let blacks ‘enrich’ their own continent…

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