In an appearance on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show on Friday, a former American Civil Liberties Union leader referred to calls for reparations for slavery as “a scam” and “racial idiocy.”
The appearance came after the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network held its conference in New York City in which plenty of 2020 presidential candidates attended. Almost all of them supported a proposal for Congress to study the idea of reparations.
To Michael Meyers, however, it was just another sign of what he called the “blame whitey movement.”
“It’s sheer racial rhetoric,” said Meyers, a former member of the ACLU’s executive committee and current president and executive director of the New York Civil Rights Coalition.
“And that’s what you get at the Al Sharpton so-called house of justice,” he said. “You have buffoonery. You have diversion. You have distraction. You have this notion of farce.
“So at that house of so-called justice, you have either a horror picture show showing or you have a farce. Either way, it is not to be taken seriously. I cannot understand how serious presidential contenders can give legitimacy to a racial blowhard.”
Meyers went on to say that “anybody who thinks that white Americans are going to take the blame, or going to feel guilty, or give their land and property away in some sort of reparations pot because they feel responsibility for the sins of their forbears — they’re not.”
Speaking about Sharpton’s criticism of the wealth gap between African-Americans and whites — where he dismissed gains made by African-Americans under Trump — Meyers said that “the whole racial movement is anti-intellectual. It’s unintelligent.”
As for 2020 candidates “kissing (Sharpton’s) ring,” Meyers didn’t think much of them either.
“I just don’t get it,” he said. “If they want to be serious, they should take Al Sharpton and say, ‘No, there’s not going to be any reparations, there’s not going to be any study of reparations.’ Where is this reparations pot coming from?”
Meyers went on to recount the tale of James Forman, the black civil rights activist who commandeered the pulpit at Riverside Church in New York City back in 1969 and delivered a radical manifesto that asked for $500 million from white churches. (He didn’t get it.)
Meyers noted that reparations money wouldn’t have been going “black people” or the “descendants of African slaves” as a payment of a moral debt. If it had ever been delivered, he said, it would be into the hands of individuals “who are hustlers, who are pimps.”
“I resent it,” he said. “And I think it’s shameless and it’s racial idiocy and people who have sense, who are intelligent, must address this as such.”
Well, you’re talking about the 2020 Democrat field here, Mr. Meyers. Don’t get your hopes up.
This is, however, how reparations are going to go over for most Americans who aren’t Democrat primary voters.
They’re not going to see the idea as a workable component of a party platform, and for good reason: It can’t be.
Beyond the moral issues inherent in asking people who have never owned slaves and may not even be descended from slave owners to pay money to people who have never been slaves or even descended from them, has anyone come up with a practical way this would work?
How the money would be distributed?
Who would be eligible? Who would pay?
There’s a reason Sharpton asked the men and women of the 2020 Democrat field whether they would sign onto a bill to study the idea of reparations as opposed to reparations themselves.
Both a sharpster like Sharpton and the candidates know it can’t be done, and they’re fine with that.
In Sharpton’s case, it keeps the issue kicking around to whip up crowds and keep fundraising coming in. As for the candidates, they could claim they did their best.
It’s victories all around, unless you’re looking for common sense.
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