Talk of reparations ignites a proud man's indignation

July 05, 2000|By Gregory Kane

JEROME GOLDER considers himself a proud African-American. So proud, in fact, that he'll have no truck with the current "reparations" movement.

If you haven't heard about it by now, the reparations movement was started by blacks who say the government should pay an as yet undetermined amount of money to blacks in the year 2000 for the slavery suffered by blacks in the past. Other groups have gotten it, they claim. Why do we think so little of ourselves that we don't demand reparations?

Golder has a different view. He sent a letter. It goes like this:

"This gray-haired, 60-year-old colored-Negro-black-African-American is seething with anger at some of the so-called African-American elite and their minions who are demanding an apology for slavery and asking for reparations.

"This is a sad commentary on what some of us have become. A bunch of whining, begging, pathetic people who drive around in their fine cars and live in their fine homes, but can't deal with the pigmentation of their skin."

Boy, do you like this guy already? Excellent point, no? How in the wide, wide world of sports can you drive around in a Lexus or a Benz or (insert name of expensive car here)and demand "reparations" from anybody?

In fact, the car doesn't have to be expensive. If you're black and driving around in any kind of car, you still have it better off than most of your ancestors did.

Golder continued:

"They complain about the injustice of `the man.' They cast their hate on those who disapprove of their tribal views and if given the opportunity will put a burning tire around the necks of a Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell and others who have an opposing view."

Thomas and Sowell are prominent black conservatives. Golder is right. I have heard more than one black, on more than one occasion, wish death on Thomas. Funny, isn't it, how many of those same blacks oppose the death penalty for convicted murderers, but want Thomas - whose only crime is having a mind of his own - dead?

Golder wasn't nearly done.

"They wallow in the pigsty of their political party, which pats them on their heads and says `This is what we are going to give you.' They gave us welfare and destroyed a generation, while they bow before their altar of greed.

"Some of us have embraced some of the worst among us - murderers, thieves and liars [who] celebrate the fact that they have defeated the system.

"Getting back to the apology and reparations: The fact that some of us are willing to take 30 pieces of silver, money, loot for our ancestors' struggle is insulting to say the least. We should take the utmost pride in the struggle of our ancestors who went through the horrors of being taken from their homeland, those who survived the crossing and the unknown numbers who died.

"They ran the gantlet of slavery, Jim Crow, lynchings and inhumane treatment that no people should have endured, and they overcame."

Now here Golder has cut to the meat of the argument for those of us who have reservations about this whole "reparations" business.

The way we see it, our ancestors suffered the horror of the Bitter Passage - euphemistically referred to as "the Middle Passage" - and slavery, lynching and Jim Crow. The blacks who have suffered most are either dead or are now probably too old to benefit from any reparations. The ones who benefit are the baby-boomer blacks - who came along just as the worst abuses of racism were ending - and Generation X blacks who, compared to their forebears, have had a relatively easy time.

And - here's the hilarious irony of the call for reparations - with the way blacks spend money, any dough we get will be back in nonblack hands within a week.

"Thank God for the help of some among those who enslaved them and those inspiring members of our ancestors who fought the good fight," Golder continued. "A fight that, with the help of God, has led me to sit in front of the keyboard of this computer to vehemently oppose those who want to sell our heritage for a price. It is a heritage paid in blood, sweat and tears. The very thought that some people would stoop so low, hoping to grease their black hands with money for reparations is shameful. There should be a pox on all of them.

"I am saying it loud - `I am black and I am proud!' And I thank my ancestors every day. It has been their struggle over the years that has brought my family this far. There isn't enough money in the universe to pay for that and no apology."

Amen to that, Brother Golder. A big amen.

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