In 1860 slaves were 13% of the US population, and in 2020 blacks made up 13% of the population. In 1860, 90% of blacks were slaves, most owned by whites (Native Americans and free blacks owned slaves as well). With of lots of close contact, genetically, the average US black is 74% African, 22% white, and 1% Native American [blackdemographics.com].
In a 1996 Federal random sample of 12,381 adults [NHSDA], were asked if they had ‘missed work in the last 30 days’ because of ‘illness’ or ‘just didn’t want to go’ (the question was asked from January through December, so results weren’t affected by time of year). White husbands were the least apt to report missing work, black lesbians the most. But irrespective of category, the married reported showing up more frequently than the unmarried, whites than blacks, and straights than gays. This is a reasonably fair index of ‘commitment to work.’ No matter how good your performance, if you’re not at work, you can’t shine.
In July 2020, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture denigrated the traits hard work, self-reliance, delayed gratification, being on time, & politeness as being part of “white culture.” But these traits pay off in a capitalist society, and those obsessive about getting to work generally earn more: Thus, the Census Bureau lists Asians per capita income as $34,400, whites’ as $32,900, Latinos’ as $20,300, and blacks’ as $16,600.
If elected President, Biden says he is open to some sort of reparation payment to blacks (a July 2020 ABC news poll reported 63% of adults opposed, but 82% of blacks and 18% of whites in favor). Taking from Asians, whites, and Latinos to give to blacks – for something that none of them has done to any black hardly seems ‘just.’
Alas, the notion of ‘equality’ driving repatriations doesn’t stop with money. What does ‘equality’ mean to the ‘woke?’ The front page of the Denver Post July 19, 2020 explicates: “About two in five of the defendants in Colorado are Black or Latino. The state’s population is 4% Black and 20% Latino. Black Judges, meanwhile, account for 2.5% of the 196 district court judges in Colorado, Latino judges hold 7.6% of the positions.” Are ‘the number of criminals and judges ought to be made equal-by-race?’ Are more whites to be induced to criminality and more Latinos made judges? [In Poland, the Soviets noticed some resided in nice houses and others not-so-nice. So, they exchanged the doors and windows of the nice homes with those of the not-so-nice. Now no need to envy, no one lived in a nicer home].
The racial order of income – Asian, white, Latino, black – appears across many categories of society. Thus, average SAT scores (Asians 598, whites 534, Hispanics 457, blacks 428), and the same order obtains with marriage rates, educational attainment, wealth, etc. The order is reversed for ‘bad things” as divorce rate, murder rate, robbery rate, rape rate, early age of sexual debut, amount of TV viewing, etc. If ‘reparations’ are to be made, what should they accomplish?
What needs to be corrected: For the last 55 years the US government has discriminated against children and marriage – particularly affecting blacks. The Supreme Court led this effort, legislating marital sex as legally ‘the same as’ unmarried or homosexual varieties. Going way beyond its duties, it also legitimatized contraception and abortion as fundamental rights. These actions contributed to depressing US marriage and birth rates as well as increasing homosexual activity. In 2020 the Court legislated that those who ‘feel/declare’ they are the opposite sex ’are’ the opposite sex [Bostock] because when Congress protected ‘sex’ in 1964, it thereby protected sexual preference and transsexualism. Judge Alito dissented with: ““the Court makes the jaw-dropping statement that its decision exemplifies “judicial humility.” Is it humble to maintain, not only that Congress did not understand the terms it enacted in 1964, but that all the Circuit Judges on all the pre-2017 cases [on this very issue] could not see what the phrase discrimination “because of sex” really means? If today’s decision is humble, it is sobering to imagine what the Court might do if it decided to be bold.” The ‘bold’ decision happened within the fortnight – SCOTUS gave half of Oklahoma to some Indians [McGirt]!
In the mid-1960s, legislation (e.g., Aid to Dependent Children) incentivized unmarried parenting. Young women were provided support for having babies instead of getting married. Blacks disproportionately took these incentives. FRI agrees with Rev. Bill Owens, president of the Coalition of African-American Pastors that: We’ve seen decades of policies that helped destroy the black family.”
The government – which implemented injurious policies to destroy families (especially black families) – ought to implement policies to rebuild families.
Blacks would be especially helped by a reparation scheme incentivizing marriage with children. Being a spouse and a parent tends to work toward acquiring the Smithsonian’s ‘white’ traits of “hard work, self-reliance, delayed gratification, being on time, & politeness.” And economic success is highly correlated with the adoption of these capitalist-friendly traits.
So what reparations would benefit creation of families – especially black ones?
Reparations: An Honor Roll and Family Lottery
The names of married parents living with (or who lived with) their children (biological or adopted) through age 19 should be honored on an official government website “Guarantors of the United States Future” – an Honor Roll with the names of all family members. Public Service announcements lauding those on this Honor Roll would be made on a regular basis and the achievements of each couple and their children should also be listed (as length of marriage, promotions, educational successes, etc.).
Family Lottery: Each month, 10 eligible couples would be randomly drawn from “Guarantors of the United States Future” in each Congressional District and awarded $20,000, tax-free (when their last child reached 19, married parents [or widows/widowers] would be eligible for the award, but their chances of winning would be reduced by half). This would cost about a billion dollars per year (well, with the government doing it, perhaps two billion).
News releases about the winning couples – including how they intend to spend their prize and how the prize affected them and their children – would be regularly released to the press so that families get ‘face time’ in the media. Wins would be memorialized (including the media accounts) on their slot on the Honor Roll website as a record of the family’s history. Unlike social media claims, these records will be official and permanent – which anyone can look up.
Jobs: The US government has millions of jobs. Those on the Honor Roll should be helped by decreeing that if two applicants had essentially the same qualifications, the one on the Honor Roll would automatically get the job – that even if the other applicant was slightly more qualified, the Honor Roll applicant would still get hired.
If the Family Lottery is ‘talked up’ by government officials (e.g., the President, various officials) and taught in schools, soon it will make its way into the ‘regular discussion’ of citizens. On ‘slow days’ the media will have something to talk about and people to interview, and all kinds of newsworthy things will happen (e.g., the same family will win twice; the win will cause a divorce). Children will come to anticipate getting married, have children, and participate in the excitement. Our society, as most, needs children. Children change the mentality and traits of parents, making them better people and better citizens. And, of course, children give us a future.
Can this work? Millions of Pakistanis and Afghanis live by the notion that ‘boys are for pleasure, women are for children.” US legislation created the Federal Reserve, and it is now the fourth branch of government. Legislation created ‘civil rights.’ Today, with rare exception, the ‘civil rights Constitution’ trumps the original (e.g., the ‘civil rights Constitution’ sharply limits freedom of association and freedom of speech supposedly guaranteed by the first Constitution).
Will this scheme make blacks happier and wealthier?
While there are always unforeseen consequences mucking up ‘best laid plans,’ these reparations would be beneficial for blacks and non-blacks. While not a ‘cure all,’ marriage with children makes spouses work harder, as well as making them happier, healthier and longer lived.
Whether white or black, children without fathers present at home are much more apt to engage in criminality. Similarly, children without fathers living at home are less apt to do well in school.
Since just about all parents want the same things for their kids. If they are home with them, parents will encourage their kids to do better in school – and their kids will also be less likely to use drugs, lose their virginity early, or engage in crime.
Married fathers are considerably more apt to be good solid employees, and capitalist societies as ours, financially reward good employees.
Raising children alone is much more difficult (and less apt to result in success) than raising them with their other parent. Black kids, especially, would benefit from more intact, married parent families (most black inmates had no father in their childhood home).
If these reparations nudge more to marriage and more parents to live with their children, we will have somewhat happier adults. We’ll also get less juvenile crime, and kids who are happier and more productive.
As Rev. Bill Owens noted, from God’s perspective, blacks are headed in the wrong direction. These reparations would be a step in the right one – and not just for blacks!© Paul Cameron
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