Tiptoeing along the edge of caricature, Sen. Elizabeth Warren says: Native Americans should be “at the table” with African Americans for a “robust discussion” about making some Americans pay reparations to other Americans to atone for misdeeds by still other Americans. The enumeration of the misdeeds, and the assignment of guilt for them, will presumably come later. What is, however, already clear is that the Massachusetts Democrat is going to need a large table.
If reparations are owed to the descendants of all members of minority groups that experienced protracted discrimination, the Irish can apply, citing the widespread practice of employers posting admonitions that “Irish need not apply.” Italians, too: An 1895 advertisement seeking labor to build a New York reservoir said whites would be paid $1.30 to $1.50 per day, “colored” workers $1.25 to $1.40 and Italians $1.15 to $1.25. Asians on the West Coast were subject to severe discrimination and violence. And Jews were restricted from acquiring the momentum that elite universities impart on the path to wealth.