Saturday, May 01, 2021

Calls for reparations for systemic racism become more personal in tone


Tenderloin, San Francisco, 2018

There is a Twitter thread “Justice for Black communities needs to include reparations: Here’s how America can pay up.”

It eventually gives a link in Business Insider, “How white and non-black people can pay reparations”/

First, some rather obvious concerns.  Asians and Latinos have their own (somewhat distinct) discrimination issues, so the “non-black” seems odd.  Maybe “non people of color”??

Secondly, the idea of ordering people how to behave according to the race they belong to seems abhorrent today, but the practice happens throughout world history.

Idaho, recently, passed a law more or less banning indoctrination with “critical race theory” in its public schools, and maintained students should not be taught they must be held personally responsible for what ancestors in their “groups” did, however reprehensive that behavior was in the past.  That’s an interesting proposition in a state influenced by LDS, where the idea of ancestry is so important religiously and psychologically.

But then we see Business Insider (Tiffany Lashai Curtis) making paying reparations “personal”, as in this article.

My own practice is usually to frequent the businesses that offer what I want to consume.  Since I am a gay CIS male, yes, gay bars and discos have gotten preference in the past, but not for identarian reasons,  In Washington DC, there is a popular restaurant on U-street called Ben’s Chili Bowl.  Obama used to eat there.  I believe it is black owned.  But I frequented it simply because I liked the place and it was convenient, not to make a reparative statement.

I can’t get into charitable contributions or what I support here, but they are generally related to the activities of my own life.  Most of them will benefit POC more or less in proportion to population naturally. 

There is something else, to.  I wouldn’t want a special benefit merely for belonging to a group.  There simply are too many individual exceptions in both directions.

But I must add that I don’t have the personal engagement with many people socially that would encourage some of the ideas in the article.

I don’t know what is meant by “free or sliding scale offerings” to black people (of what?) .  Also, stopping gentrification by not moving into black neighborhoods (if white).  But that’s a two-way street.  In larger cities, POC can be given the opportunity to benefit from improved housing in place or after moving. 

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