Top SJW spokesman wants to know why Bernie Sanders doesn’t favor reparations for slavery

posted at 4:01 pm on January 20, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

We’ve spoken about Ta-nehisi Coates a few times previously. Widely considered to be the voice of the Social Justice Warriors, the author of Between the World and Me seems to be the go-to philosopher of everyone from the Black Lives Matter movement to the most hard core liberal enclaves of the media. Given how poorly Bernie Sanders has been doing with black voters in recent polls, it’s no shock that Coates might be rushing to the defense of Hillary Clinton as she struggles to stay to the left of the Vermont socialist. And true to form, he seems to be doing just that this week. But what will he hit Sanders on? Gun control? The lack of racial diversity in Vermont?

Nope. Slavery reparations. (Yahoo News)

Last week Bernie Sanders was asked whether he was in favor of “reparations for slavery.” It is worth considering Sanders’s response in full:

No, I don’t think so. First of all, its likelihood of getting through Congress is nil. Second of all, I think it would be very divisive. The real issue is when we look at the poverty rate among the African American community, when we look at the high unemployment rate within the African American community, we have a lot of work to do.

Does the answer Sanders gave sound even remotely crazy? It’s not that strongly held ideals aren’t worth pursuing even when the outcome is uncertain, but leaders have to prioritize the expenditure of their political capital. And if you click through and read the rest of Bernie’s answer, the layman might think it sounds pretty reasonable for a liberal (or socialist) audience. He’s talking about jobs, and healthcare and equality of opportunity, education and a raft of issues which one might suspect are of interest to minority voters.

Not good enough for Coates, though.

Sanders is a lot of things, many of them good. But he is not the candidate of moderation and unification, so much as the candidate of partisanship and radicalism. There is neither insult nor accolade in this. John Brown was radical and divisive. So was Eric Robert Rudolph. Our current sprawling megapolis of prisons was a bipartisan achievement. Obamacare was not. Sometimes the moral course lies within the politically possible, and sometimes the moral course lies outside of the politically possible. One of the great functions of radical candidates is to war against equivocators and opportunists who conflate these two things. Radicals expand the political imagination and, hopefully, prevent incrementalism from becoming a virtue.

That’s one impressive bowl of word salad, but the bottom line seems to be that Sanders isn’t willing to stand up to the man even when the odds seem long. Fair enough, I suppose, assuming that’s one of your top five agenda items. But has anyone bothered to ask Hillary Clinton where she stands on the subject? I don’t mean what she would say if you asked her today, because when she’s trailing Bernie in New Hampshire by nearly 30 points she’ll probably agree to just about anything to try to lock up the black vote. I mean, what has she said in the past? For example, what did she say when she was asked this exact question during her 2000 Senate bid?

Q: Will you support reparations for African-Americans?

CLINTON: We have mental, emotional and psychological reparations to pay first. We have to admit that we haven’t always treated people in our own country fairly. We have some issues that we have to address when it comes to racial justice right now. I’m willing to work hard to be a strong advocate for Civil Rights and human rights here at home and around the world. I want to do everything I can to make sure that the programs and policies that have helped generations of African-Americans have a better life in this country continue. I think we should be focused on the present and on the future. We owe an apology to African-Americans for hundreds of years of slavery.

It’s worth keeping in mind that this interview was done while she was running against Rick Lazio. It was a race she couldn’t possibly lose, so she was feeling pretty free and easy, able to toss out some answers with at least some degree of honesty without worrying about any electoral repercussions. And her answer was as close to a clear and unequivocal “no” as you’ll ever get from a politician. In fact, she was talking about pretty much the same things that Bernie Sanders is going on about today.

I wonder if Mr. Coates will ask these same questions of Hillary Clinton before the voting begins? Just between you, me and the barn door, I’m not holding my breath.

TanehisiCoates


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I’ve seen FAR too many families of color desperate for their children to have the opportunities at the types of education that is offered in predominantly white, more affluent zip codes to view your statement—and the driving sentiment behind it—with anything other than disgust and sadness.

CivilDiscourse on January 21, 2016 at 12:19 AM

You’re a liar. There are universities falling all over themselves to enroll blacks, if there is even a small chance they can perform. This is why this will all end badly. We give you everything we would want, and yet you deny we even have, so why bother.

DFCtomm on January 21, 2016 at 4:34 AM

but it’s not to blacks. They don’t want opportunity, they want something tangible.

DFCtomm on January 20, 2016 at 7:20 PM

I’m not even gonna joke around about the racism quota on this comment. This comment makes makes sad for you, if you truly think that. You must not understand that individual human beings do not behave, do not think as your generalities call for.

I’ve seen FAR too many families of color desperate for their children to have the opportunities at the types of education that is offered in predominantly white, more affluent zip codes to view your statement—and the driving sentiment behind it—with anything other than disgust and sadness.

CivilDiscourse on January 21, 2016 at 12:19 AM

I agree with you that “black” families – like everyone else – want the best educational opportunities for their children.

But you (and or those you know) are wrong that good education is some byproduct of affluent zip codes. It’s primarily a byproduct of family life and with some 80% of black homes without a father this is difficult. As to the quality of education offered – affluence is also not a factor. There are many good schools that are not expensive or lavishly funded and there are horrible schools that are well funded. Public sector unions are huge barrier to quality as well as the attitude that white people in the suburbs have taken away opportunity from others.

gwelf on January 21, 2016 at 9:22 AM

Hey, here’s a related quesiton – Does the BLACK president support reparations ?

Since he’s been in office for 7+ years and I’ve never heard a peep from him about reparations, I’m going to guess the “official” answer is no, regardless of his secret opinion, spoken only in Bill Ayers’ living room.

So if the black president doesn’t officially support reparations, how out-of-your-mind insane is the notion that Hillary and and Bernie Sanders would come out and officially support reparations ?

Coates is an unhinged racist moron. Simple as that. There will NEVER be reparations. The actual support for that idea is razor thin.

I am so tired of listening to these jackass SJWs.

deadrody on January 21, 2016 at 10:45 AM

Does Obama and Hillary favor reparations for slavery?

Ta-nehisi Coates is asking the tough questions? Not really.

Evi L. Bloggerlady on January 21, 2016 at 11:30 AM

I’ve seen FAR too many families of color desperate for their children to have the opportunities at the types of education that is offered in predominantly white, more affluent zip codes to view your statement—and the driving sentiment behind it—with anything other than disgust and sadness.

CivilDiscourse on January 21, 2016 at 12:19 AM

Why did Obama and the Democrats end the hugely successful charter school system in DC?

Why is Comrade de Blasio so intolerant of charter schools that he had to be overruled by Gov Cuomo after 18,000 minority parents and students marched across the Brooklyn Bridge?

‘Don’t Steal Possible’ — 18,000 parents, kids, and charter school advocates rally for better NYC schools in poor neighborhoods

Lime in the Coconut on January 21, 2016 at 11:31 AM

There are 356 NBA players earning more than $1,000,000 per year. Why don’t you go get some reparations from them first? Then maybe I’ll consider listening to your whining.

Nutstuyu on January 21, 2016 at 11:44 AM

I’ve seen FAR too many families of color desperate for their children to have the opportunities at the types of education that is offered in predominantly white, more affluent zip codes to view your statement—and the driving sentiment behind it—with anything other than disgust and sadness.

CivilDiscourse on January 21, 2016 at 12:19 AM

You’re a liar. There are universities falling all over themselves to enroll blacks, if there is even a small chance they can perform. This is why this will all end badly. We give you everything we would want, and yet you deny we even have, so why bother.

DFCtomm on January 21, 2016 at 4:34 AM

DFC, I do often agree with your comments, which is why I’m disappointed to see you take such an irrational turn on this topic. I’m not sure what your blind spot is here. I simply can’t imagine what leads one to make such a blanket statement—do you really believe it?—that blacks don’t want better opportunities for their children. I mean, I’m (nearly) dumbstruck by it.

And then follow it up with some non sequitur about affirmative action. Let me guess—you believe that all black students at the most elite schools don’t deserve to be there, and they’re all really just stupid people who have their places in class because they’re black?

Is that where you are on this topic?

CivilDiscourse on January 21, 2016 at 12:25 PM

But you (and or those you know) are wrong that good education is some byproduct of affluent zip codes. It’s primarily a byproduct of family life and with some 80% of black homes without a father this is difficult. As to the quality of education offered – affluence is also not a factor. There are many good schools that are not expensive or lavishly funded and there are horrible schools that are well funded. Public sector unions are huge barrier to quality as well as the attitude that white people in the suburbs have taken away opportunity from others.

gwelf on January 21, 2016 at 9:22 AM

Family and community are indeed essential components to successful education. I’m not saying they’re not. But that fact doesn’t negate the disparity in resources among geographical location along—yes, wealth—of schools.

When some of the best charter school networks (CMOs) in the country decide where to open new schools, they have formulae for prospective locations that are primarily driven by affluence by zip code before drilling down to other factors, like distance from a rival school, etc. Kind of like when Whole Foods decides to open a new store. The primary factor is affluence by zip code.

If your position was correct, why would the CMOs do this?

Wealth and socioeconomic status affects everything about education. It’s not the only thing, of course—education is a complex issue. But I’m surprised that you would deny that wealth and socioeconomic status play any role in education at all.

CivilDiscourse on January 21, 2016 at 12:41 PM

I’ve seen FAR too many families of color desperate for their children to have the opportunities at the types of education that is offered in predominantly white, more affluent zip codes to view your statement—and the driving sentiment behind it—with anything other than disgust and sadness.

CivilDiscourse on January 21, 2016 at 12:19 AM

Why did Obama and the Democrats end the hugely successful charter school system in DC?

Why is Comrade de Blasio so intolerant of charter schools that he had to be overruled by Gov Cuomo after 18,000 minority parents and students marched across the Brooklyn Bridge?

‘Don’t Steal Possible’ — 18,000 parents, kids, and charter school advocates rally for better NYC schools in poor neighborhoods

Lime in the Coconut on January 21, 2016 at 11:31 AM

This is a whole, huge issue—and one that I’d love to see a HA post on—but it doesn’t really speak to my comments to DFC. If anything, the fact that you highlight 18,000 minority parents and students rallying for better schools confirm my point that of course families of color want better opportunities for their kids. DFC is saying they don’t.

The argument against charters is as varied as the arguments for. In many of these instances, one argument against is precisely what I bring up in the comment to gwelf. Most charters aren’t interested in equal access, and don’t end up effectively serving those students who would most benefit from them in any case. It’s what happens when you base placement of schools by affluent zip code, for example.

That’s not to say they’re all bad, but it’s a very problematic issue. One I happen to know quite a bit about, so I welcome the discussion.

CivilDiscourse on January 21, 2016 at 1:33 PM

DFC, I do often agree with your comments, which is why I’m disappointed to see you take such an irrational turn on this topic.

I am sure he will be crushed by your disappointment that he doesn’t think exactly as you do.

And [sic] then follow it up with some non sequitur about affirmative action. Let me guess—you believe that all black students at the most elite schools don’t deserve to be there, and they’re all really just stupid people who have their places in class because they’re black?

You might want to look the definition of non sequitur as what he said isn’t. However, I hope you didn’t strain anything twisting his words to say something he didn’t.

F X Muldoon on January 21, 2016 at 1:35 PM

My great-great-grandfather payed my family’s “reparations” by serving in the Grand Army of the Republic, putting his life on the line to, among other things, free the slaves.

Oh, and I have other ancestors who were prominent northern Abolitionists.

Oh, and black people collected slaves from Africa for sale.

Oh, and many of the blacks in America today came from island nations and ancestors who were never slaves.

Nice try, though, race hustlers!

FishingwFredo on January 21, 2016 at 2:02 PM

Family and community are indeed essential components to successful education. I’m not saying they’re not. But that fact doesn’t negate the disparity in resources among geographical location along—yes, wealth—of schools.

When some of the best charter school networks (CMOs) in the country decide where to open new schools, they have formulae for prospective locations that are primarily driven by affluence by zip code before drilling down to other factors, like distance from a rival school, etc. Kind of like when Whole Foods decides to open a new store. The primary factor is affluence by zip code.

If your position was correct, why would the CMOs do this?

Wealth and socioeconomic status affects everything about education. It’s not the only thing, of course—education is a complex issue. But I’m surprised that you would deny that wealth and socioeconomic status play any role in education at all.

CivilDiscourse on January 21, 2016 at 12:41 PM

The analysis of the data I’ve read point out very clearly that there is absolutely no correlation between money spent and educational outcomes.

gwelf on January 21, 2016 at 2:24 PM

And then follow it up with some non sequitur about affirmative action. Let me guess—you believe that all black students at the most elite schools don’t deserve to be there, and they’re all really just stupid people who have their places in class because they’re black?

Is that where you are on this topic?

CivilDiscourse on January 21, 2016 at 12:25 PM

You’re finely tuned racism detector is producing another false positive.

What has been known for a long time is that affirmative action actually harms black students because it does in fact push students into institutions where they are not prepared and will not thrive when they’d do just fine in other universities.

Of course there are black students that can cut it at Harvard but affirmative action does in fact result in black students who can’t cut it being accepted and then failing.

gwelf on January 21, 2016 at 2:26 PM

The argument against charters is as varied as the arguments for. In many of these instances, one argument against is precisely what I bring up in the comment to gwelf. Most charters aren’t interested in equal access, and don’t end up effectively serving those students who would most benefit from them in any case. It’s what happens when you base placement of schools by affluent zip code, for example.

That’s not to say they’re all bad, but it’s a very problematic issue. One I happen to know quite a bit about, so I welcome the discussion.

CivilDiscourse on January 21, 2016 at 1:33 PM

The charter schools aren’t interested in “equal access”?
No, they want to go where they are welcome and as Lime pointed out they find a lot of political and union opposition in the areas you claim they don’t want anything to do with.

It’s curious that you readily condemn the shady motives of charter schools, yet you don’t say a peep about public sector unions and all the various interest groups and their horrid effect on education.

gwelf on January 21, 2016 at 2:35 PM

absolutely no correlation between money spent and educational outcomes.

gwelf on January 21, 2016 at 2:24 PM

Money spent on what, exactly—would like to see the data and analysis you’re reading. Are you talking per-pupil funding from the state? Are you talking inclusive of family and auxiliary investment in the school and resources?

they find a lot of political and union opposition in the areas you claim they don’t want anything to do with.

These are deeply unionized areas, obviously. So yeah, there’s opposition. Move the ground to AZ, for example, which has the friendliest legislation toward charters of anywhere in the nation. The charter movement practically started here.

And in AZ you see the access problems I’m talking about. The for-profit arms of the biggest CMOs choose to build their schools in the wealthiest areas, and receive the largest returns on their investments. Smaller, resource-poor start-ups in poor areas fail regularly. The state with the friendliest laws toward charters—since the early 90s—has some of the worst disparity in achievement gaps between wealthy and poor students.

It’s curious that you readily condemn the shady motives of charter schools, yet you don’t say a peep about public sector unions and all the various interest groups and their horrid effect on education.

Oh yeah, it’s horrifying. I’d never want to be affiliated with straight-up district schools because of it. So, how does that clarify charter motivation for you?

I’m actually a fan of much of the charter model, including their agility in policy and not being weighed down by the burden of bureaucracy in total as district schools are. But with that agility and freedom, they haven’t yet really made a dent into educational disparity here in AZ.

CivilDiscourse on January 21, 2016 at 2:49 PM

Reparations? heck YEA I’m all for it!
(as long as the math is 100% honest)

take the basic value of 40 acres and a mule – apply inflation to that value from 1864 up through today’s date……..multiply by the number of bums, beggars, ne’er do wells……..er……uh….I mean applicants

THEN

take the TOTAL COSTS of the Civil War and apply that EXACT same inflation rate from 1864 through today’s date

subtract the cost of the war from the value of the proposed “gimme’ and divide by the number of bums, beggars, ne’er do wells……..er……uh….I mean applicants

I’d wager each MIGHT net a 40 oz. Schlitz malt liquor if they’re lucky…………….

Katfish on January 21, 2016 at 2:49 PM

You’re finely tuned racism detector is producing another false positive.

gwelf on January 21, 2016 at 2:26 PM

The only thing I’m really calling out as grossly racist in DCFs comments is the absurd statement that “blacks” aren’t interested in better opportunities for their children.

The thought and sentiment behind that statement is so off-the-charts racist in its assumptions and generalities that the detector needle is stuck in the red zone.

CivilDiscourse on January 21, 2016 at 2:54 PM

yet you don’t say a peep about public sector unions and all the various interest groups

gwelf

Just in case it’s not clear to you, I’m no defender of the current state of public district schools nor the current union system. It may be that you want everything to be strictly left/right and neatly divided to be able to denounce an opponent’s opinion that has a clear bright line of definition, but rarely do I find that the contours of thought are so neatly shaped when it comes to an issue as complex as education and education reform.

CivilDiscourse on January 21, 2016 at 2:58 PM

DFC, I do often agree with your comments, which is why I’m disappointed to see you take such an irrational turn on this topic. I’m not sure what your blind spot is here. I simply can’t imagine what leads one to make such a blanket statement—do you really believe it?—that blacks don’t want better opportunities for their children. I mean, I’m (nearly) dumbstruck by it.

And then follow it up with some non sequitur about affirmative action. Let me guess—you believe that all black students at the most elite schools don’t deserve to be there, and they’re all really just stupid people who have their places in class because they’re black?

Is that where you are on this topic?

CivilDiscourse on January 21, 2016 at 12:25 PM

That is not what I said. We’re discussing the concept of reparations, and not whether blacks want their children to succeed, and of course they do. My point is that most whites feel as if they’ve paid reparations, but most blacks don’t agree. You certainly don’t seem to agree that anything has been done, and why is that? The only reason I can come up with is because we simply have different values, and that’s where my post came from.

I have read your replies and see that we’ve been talking about two different things. Which does seem to be a theme on this subject. I’ve been talking about higher education and you’ve been talking about secondary education, and you are right there is a problem there, and I don’t know how to fix it, but it’s not necessarily racism since schools that you speak of are well funded in places like Chicago. The problem lies somewhere else.

DFCtomm on January 21, 2016 at 3:53 PM

DCF, I actually like you as a commenter, which is why I said what I did. And I’m willing to hear you out on it. We may be talking about different levels of education, I suppose, but what you said was this:

We think the opportunity to go to high end schools and achieve something with your life is a big Fing deal, but it’s not to blacks. They don’t want opportunity

I’m really having a hard time squaring that with rational thought.

CivilDiscourse on January 21, 2016 at 4:03 PM

DCF, I actually like you as a commenter, which is why I said what I did. And I’m willing to hear you out on it. We may be talking about different levels of education, I suppose, but what you said was this:

We think the opportunity to go to high end schools and achieve something with your life is a big Fing deal, but it’s not to blacks. They don’t want opportunity

I’m really having a hard time squaring that with rational thought.

CivilDiscourse on January 21, 2016 at 4:03 PM

That was harsher than I meant for it to be, and I can see it detracted from the point I eventually reached, once I had thought about it for a bit. The reparations thing is a huge issue for white people, it feels like a slap in the face, but after I thought about it I realized that many blacks have a point.

Nothing we’ve done has benefited them at all. If you are just an average black male, who doesn’t want to move for a job, can’t get welfare because you’re not a single mother, doesn’t really want/can’t go to college, then what good has any of the social programs,affirmative action, or welfare been for you? We’ve spent tons of money and it’s been administered in a very lopsided manner. Maybe a simple check to EVERY black person, equally, would have been a better choice.

DFCtomm on January 21, 2016 at 5:11 PM

It’s the folks who just can’t help themselves but to focus on some prejudicial aspect of another race’s color or culture rather than speak to the point. It’s actually kind of fun to play spot the racism. See if you can play along:

You mean like pretty much the entire Democrat Party, from its inception right up to the present day?

How many Democrats voted for Obama at least partly because “the first black President”? Or are you assuming that favoritism because of skin color isn’t just the reverse side of the exact same coin? How many Democrats support Hillary because of “first woman President”? Same thing.

that evergreen premise of reverse racism.

CivilDiscourse on January 20, 2016 at 4:48 PM

What evidence do you have against that premise?

The only thing I’m really calling out as grossly racist in DCFs comments is the absurd statement that “blacks” aren’t interested in better opportunities for their children.

The thought and sentiment behind that statement is so off-the-charts racist in its assumptions and generalities that the detector needle is stuck in the red zone.

CivilDiscourse on January 21, 2016 at 2:54 PM

That’s exactly as absurd, for exactly the same reasons, as the evergreen “America is racist against blacks” meme that has dominated Democrat politics since LBJ. The left has used poverty as evidence that blacks were discriminated against since I was a kid, while doing everything they could to make their poverty comfortable and eternal.

Now you concede that the driver is really economic, not racial, while ignoring the fact that no form of “Affirmative Action” allows some poor white redneck kid from the wilds of West Virginia or Oklahoma or somewhere to compete with Jesse Jackson’s kids. And you have the nerve to call out DFC’s “racism” because he worked within the premise the Democrats have insisted upon for decades in order to have any discussion at all?

I’m no defender of the current state of public district schools nor the current union system.

CivilDiscourse on January 21, 2016 at 2:58 PM

Well yeah, you are, whether you like it or not. As long as you support Democrats, “defense of the current state of public district schools and the current union system” is precisely what happens with the money you donate, the hours you put in, and the authority you delegate to them with your vote. That’s the backbone of who and what they are.

Don’t take my word for it, check their donor lists.

GrumpyOldFart on January 22, 2016 at 11:40 AM

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