As you will recall, Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
is the Harvard professor who was
arrested by Cambridge
few weeks or so ago.
Fred Reed was
a police reporter for one of the large Washington newspapers.
He now writes a column which can be
googled ~ "Fred on Everything."
Fred published a weekly
online column in which he got to say the things his
editors would never,
ever have let him write in the paper. His stuff is
iconoclastic and various articles have probably offended
regardless of political orientation. So,
with the warning that "This is
politically correct," here comes Fred.....
following is an essay regarding the failings of a system and a
Please note that he
elegantly describes the mood of many Americans and he does so
Reparations ..........by Fred
On the Web I find that
Henry Louis Gates Jr., the chairman of Afro-American
Studies at Harvard,
is demanding that whites pay reparations to blacks.
slavery, see. He is joined in this endeavor by a gaggle of
blacks. I guess he'll send me a bill, huh?
I feel like
saying, "Let me get this straight, Hank. I'm slow.
You want free money because of slavery,
right? I don't blame you." I'd like
free money too. Tell
you what. I believe in justice. I'll give you
dollars for every slave
I own, and another million for every year you were
slave. Fair enough? But tell me, how
many slaves do you suppose I have?
In round numbers,
I mean...say to the nearest dozen. And how long were
Oh. In other words, I owe you reparations for
something that I didn't do and
didn't happen to you.
That makes sense. Like lug nuts on a birthday
Personally, I think you owe me reparations for
things you didn't do and
never happened to
me. I've never been coated in Dutch chocolate and
thrown from the Eiffel Tower . I'll bet
you've never done it to anyone. I want
of silly, isn't it?
But if we're going to
talk about reparations, that's a street that runs in
You want money from me for what some other whites did
to some other blacks in
How about you guys paying whites
reparations for current expenses caused
by blacks? Not
long ago blacks burned down half of Los Angeles , a city in
Cities are expensive, Hank. Build one sometime and you'll
mean Whites had to pay taxes to repair Los Angeles for you. You can
Now, yes, I know you burned LA because you
didn't like the verdict in the
trial of those police
officers. Well, I didn't like the verdict in the Simpson
But I didn't burn my house and loot
Korean grocers, or burn down a city.
Over the years blacks
have burned a lot of American cities: Newark ,
Detroit , Watts, on and on. Now
add in the fantastic cost over the years of
in all its forms, the cost of all of those police calls people
had to make,
cells and jails and security systems in department
I can't live in the capital city of my own
country because of crime
committed by blacks.
Toss in the cultural cost of lowering standards in
everything for the
benefit of blacks. See what I mean?
Now, I'd view
things differently if you said to me, "Fred, blacks can't
anywhere in a
modern country without education. We know that. We
better schools, smarter teachers, harder courses,
books with smaller pictures
and bigger words.
Can you help us?"
I'd say, "Hallelujah! Hoo-ahh!
Not just yes, but hell yes. Let's sell an
aircraft carrier and
get these folks some real schools and get them into the
I'd say It partly because it would be the right
to do, and
partly because I'd like to add you guys to the tax
The current custodial state is expensive.
I'd just love for blacks to study
and learn to compete
and stop burning places. But is it going to happen?
You may not believe it, but I, and most whites,
don't like seeing blacks as
miserable and screwed
up as they are.
I spend a fair amount of time in
the projects. Those places are ugly. It's
no fun watching
perfectly good kids turn into semi-literate dope dealers
who barely speak English. It just plain ain't
right. But, Hank, what am I
supposed to do about
it? I can't do your children's homework. At some
point, people have to do things for themselves, or
they don't get done.
I'll tell you what I see out in the world, Hank..
I think blacks are too
accustomed to getting
anything they want by just demanding it. True, it
has worked for over
half a century. Get a few hundred people in the street,
implicitly threaten to
loot and burn, holler about slavery, and sadly
the Great White Cash
Spigot turns on.
Thing is, whites don't much buy it
any longer. Most recognize that what once
was a civil-rights
movement has become a shakedown game. Few people
still feel responsible
for the failings and inadequacies of blacks.
correctness keeps the
lid on -- but everyone knows the score. Which scares me,
On one hand, blacks hate whites and incline toward
looting and burning.
(The whites you hate
are the ones who marched in the civil-rights
Ever think about
On the other hand, whites quietly grow wearier
and wearier of it. Not good,
third hand (allow me three hands, for rhetorical
keep demanding things. As
I write, you demand reparations for slavery.
Blacks in Oklahoma (I think it was) want
money for some ancient race riot.
Other blacks reject
the Declaration of Independence. Blacks in New York
hint broadly at burning
and looting over a trial, yet more demand the
elimination of the
Confederate flag, and the federal equal opportunity
apparatus, which means
blacks want to sue
Silicon Valley for not
black engineers. That's a lot of demanding for one
What happens if whites ever say,
Now, how about you? You've got a cushy job
up there at Harvard, and you
can hoot and holler
about what swine and bandits whites are. I guess
lots of fun,
and you get a salary for it to boot. But don't you think
blacks more good if you told them to complain less and study
For example, if you want blacks to work in Silicon
Gulch, the best approach
might be to find some
really smart black guys, and get them to study digital
design ~ not Black
Studies (as you teach). That's how everybody else does
it. It works. Then blacks
wouldn't feel left out, and racial tensions would
like a plan?
Just out of curiosity, how many hours
a week do professors of Afro-American
Studies spend in the
projects, encouraging poor black kids to study real-