Mr. Coates responds on the issue of reparations:
No, of course he didn’t respond to me; he responded to someone writing at National Review. Interestingly, some of the same points came up that I mentioned, such as the fact that race is a fluid concept, and hierarchy is not natural.
There is such a thing as a natural hierarchy, but to the extent it is natural, it doesn’t need to be created and supported by appeals to a pre-existing government power. In particular, a natural hierarchy doesn’t need to rely on fake designations of authority that implicitly grant power to weak-minded, undisciplined, brutal, immoral men. Yet, that is exactly what happens in every patriarchy, including the much-loved patriarchy of the antebellum American South, and every other patriarchy. Because testicles do not confer magical spiritual maturity pixie dust on men; but patriarchy makes every man a king, with the arbitrary power of life and death over everyone in his household, regardless of how stupid and vicious he is.
In his reply, Coates counters several claims, but then inexplicably grants certain of his interlocutor’s points. Then he kind of fades away, murmuring some smarmy liberal notions of injustice, which actually undermines his pose as a deep-throated advocate for real-life slavery reparations.
Europeans did not purchase enslaved Africans because they disliked the cut of their jib. They did it because they had taken a great deal of land and needed bonded labor to extract resources from it. Africans—aliens to society, existing beyond the protections of the crown—fit the bill.
This is kind of self-evident. The slave-owners were not “racist” in the modern sense; they just needed slave labor, and they could get away with it by using Africans. Most societies need an underclass in order to have a functioning economy. Later, the underclass status calcified into a blanket generalization that might qualify as “racist.”
“The people to whom reparations were owed,” Williamson concludes. “Are long dead.” Only because we need them to be. Mr. Clyde Ross is very much alive—as are many of the victims of redlining. And it is not hard to identify them. We know where redlining took place and where it didn’t. We have the maps. We know who lived there and who didn’t.
So, here Coates concedes his argument for reparations by noting that his plaintiffs are modern victims of discriminatory practices, not slavery. And he wants something for them that has nothing to do with slavery or reparations. Except for the continuity of government:
This was American policy. We have never accounted for it, and it is unlikely that we ever will. That is not because of any African-American’s life-span but because of a powerful desire to run out the clock. Reparations claims were made within the natural lifetimes of emancipated African-Americans. They were unsuccessful. They were not unsuccessful because they lacked merit. They were unsuccessful because their country lacked the courage to dispense with creationism.
So it goes.
The government has to dispense with creationism, apparently, and then it can atone for its past crimes, in some kind of mystical ancestor-spirit-summoning-and-peacemaking ceremony from a horror movie about Indian burial grounds.
What is this “creationism”? Coates uses this term for the theory of fixed race. So, somehow the Bible is underlying all this as well. Is that because evolutionary theorists never proposed a natural hierarchy based on differential rates and extent of evolution? No, the differential evolutionary arguments are still alive, but liberals like Coates don’t want to admit any connection between their evolutionary idol and evolutionary stupidity. He’d rather invoke the curse of Ham, as it were. And then just sigh in resignation at the intransigence of the benighted Whites.
It’s obvious that Coates was just trying to stir people up, since he actually does not have a serious economic argument for slavery reparations. He also denies that granting some kind of “reparations” for race-based discrimination would have to grant victim status in perpetuity, even while implying that Whites will be racist in perpetuity.
Both designations, the Black victim and the White persecutor, would be permanent as soon as a law is passed granting special compensation to everyone who ever could fantasize about blaming all his problems on slavery from 150 years ago. And the claims will never run out, because there will always be some White guy thinking impure thoughts and some Black guy suffering some injustice in the world; and since it would be written in the law that Whites must always compensate Blacks for every injustice they suffer, then all of a sudden every African ancestor will pop out of the woodwork.
I have a different view of race. I think it is a constantly shifting set of classifications. Yes, there are generalizations we can make in the present, which could form the basis of law and policy in an explicitly totalitarian state that takes everyone’s genetic profile in detail, then predicts in detail everything they will succeed at and everything they will fail at, then structures a perfect Utopia based on everyone fitting into their predesignated role. Short of that, it is nothing but material for anecdotes and ethnic jokes.
Since race is a shifting set of categories, identification is determined by cultural history and personal choice. Stupid Black people can choose to align their interests with the worst kind of Black culture, which has nothing to do with African ancestry or slavery or anything like that, but has a lot to do with Black propaganda that tells them they are worthless unless they choose the stupidest, most vicious and profane jackass to model their behavior on. In one article, Coates even admitted that his upbringing tempted him to do that, but he chose otherwise.
But wait. I’ve got no more love for a redneck White thug who struts around boasting about his White heritage in his country-boy fake Southern accent with his putrid Confederate flag license plate. He also chose the worst part of his culture to play up and emulate, because a jackass always finds a rationalization for his brutality.