Cultural Revolutions

A Species of Reparations

Massachusetts State Senator William Owens, who represents an inner-city Boston district, has filed legislation to require the Commonwealth to pay reparations for slavery.

Senate Bill 1621 mandates payment to "people of African descent born in the United States . . . for malfeasance and culpable nonfeasance of the Commonwealth, its agents, employees and citizens with regard to the institution of African slavery, the African slave trade and invidious discrimination against descendants of Africans. . . . " The amount of said compensation is to be negotiated with "legitimate representation of African descendants," which is to say ghetto hustlers of the Jesse Jackson/Steve Cokely/Al Sharpton stripe.

The proposal has its prominent supporters, including Professor David Hall, chairman of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Conference of Black Lawyers, who decries opposition to the bill as "strong evidence of how deeply racism still flows within the veins of this society."

Over one thousand delegates to the African-American Summit, convened in New Orleans in late April, endorsed the reparations concept, and included it in their preliminary agenda.

That such a lunatic measure could be adopted even in progressive Massachusetts is beyond the realm of imagining. Yet the proposal merits consideration, if only for the light it sheds on the essential character of the racial numbers...

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