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Tags Jim Crow , redlining , reparations , segregation

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Old 13th September 2022, 09:40 PM   #1
Brainster
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Reparations for Segregation, Redlining, Steering Etc.

I have mentioned my support for this in several threads and it was suggested that the topic deserved its own thread, so here we go.

I'm not a big fan of reparations for slavery. It's far too long ago; nobody living today was a slave, nobody living today's parent was a slave. There may be some grandchildren of slaves living today but for the most part Blacks in America are 6-8 or more generations removed from America's original sin.

On the other hand, there are definitely Blacks (and others) who were deprived of housing opportunities open to Whites in America who are still alive today. In many places it was de jure segregation, in others it was de facto, as realtors know which areas would not accept Black families.

There are studies out there that can establish monetary harm; suburban Blacks did much better after 1980 than urban Blacks although their relative progress had been similar up until then. Those who were shut out of the suburbs by the earlier official segregation and the later, unofficial kind lost out.

Of course there are minor trivial details to be ironed out, such as who pays and who receives, but I think the concept is worthy of discussion.
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Old 13th September 2022, 09:57 PM   #2
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this might sound like a derail, but please bear with me:

the bane of any program aimed to support a defined group is Means Testing: the effort it takes, both on the government and would-recpients to determine who should get the aid, and the litigation that comes from receiving or not receiving it always leads to massive delays, wasted resources and many, mand people who ought to have received aid but don't.

Because of this, any Reparations for Segregation, Redlining, Steering are unlikely to actually do what people in favor of such policies would actually want them to do.

It would be far better to identify the harms caused be the systematic racism of the past, and then enact policies to undo that harm regardless of who, exactly, would benefit from that or not.

Education is of course the central one, where schools in poor neighborhoods should get massive funding and the best teachers (pay very well) to undo the harm done by the insane policy of paying for schools through property taxes.
But that should apply to a school in a majority black part of a city as well as a most white trailer park.

We will help undo the harms Racism the best if we just help those who have been prevented from accumulating wealth and education.
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Old 13th September 2022, 10:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Brainster
Of course there are minor trivial details to be ironed out, such as who pays and who receives, but I think the concept is worthy of discussion.

The whole "let's send Joe Smith a check to undo the perceived wrongs of the past" thing...it just isn't going to work. But sure, I'm ok if we spend some money on studies...this should keep people quiet for a bit. Until the next election cycle when these things get trotted out.

After all, it is really just a political tool in the end.
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Old 13th September 2022, 10:51 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
this might sound like a derail, but please bear with me:

the bane of any program aimed to support a defined group is Means Testing: the effort it takes, both on the government and would-recpients to determine who should get the aid, and the litigation that comes from receiving or not receiving it always leads to massive delays, wasted resources and many, mand people who ought to have received aid but don't.

Because of this, any Reparations for Segregation, Redlining, Steering are unlikely to actually do what people in favor of such policies would actually want them to do.

It would be far better to identify the harms caused be the systematic racism of the past, and then enact policies to undo that harm regardless of who, exactly, would benefit from that or not.

Education is of course the central one, where schools in poor neighborhoods should get massive funding and the best teachers (pay very well) to undo the harm done by the insane policy of paying for schools through property taxes.
But that should apply to a school in a majority black part of a city as well as a most white trailer park.

We will help undo the harms Racism the best if we just help those who have been prevented from accumulating wealth and education.
I agree. There is just no way it could ever be figured out to almost anyone's satisfaction just who should get what, etc. Millions or billion spent on it and it would be a waste of time. Far better to put money into rectifying what we can now in the way of better schools, etc. Look forward, not back.
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Old 14th September 2022, 09:10 AM   #5
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People have been talking about reparations for decades.

One can argue that if we had done what needed to be done (another discussion) years ago we wouldn't be having this discussion.
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Old 14th September 2022, 09:25 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
this might sound like a derail, but please bear with me:

the bane of any program aimed to support a defined group is Means Testing: the effort it takes, both on the government and would-recpients to determine who should get the aid, and the litigation that comes from receiving or not receiving it always leads to massive delays, wasted resources and many, mand people who ought to have received aid but don't.

Because of this, any Reparations for Segregation, Redlining, Steering are unlikely to actually do what people in favor of such policies would actually want them to do.

It would be far better to identify the harms caused be the systematic racism of the past, and then enact policies to undo that harm regardless of who, exactly, would benefit from that or not.

Education is of course the central one, where schools in poor neighborhoods should get massive funding and the best teachers (pay very well) to undo the harm done by the insane policy of paying for schools through property taxes.
But that should apply to a school in a majority black part of a city as well as a most white trailer park.

We will help undo the harms Racism the best if we just help those who have been prevented from accumulating wealth and education.
There's a lot of different ways to poke at this same point, but this does the job better than I was going to.

Yeah, means testing would be a huge problem, and an intractable one as far as I can tell. So as much as I think reparations for segregation, etc. are owed, actually implementing them is a non-starter, or would be disastrous if started.

---

Or maybe not.

It's possible there could be some sort of "truth and reconciliation" process, that reached an agreement across all segments of society, about a meaningful gesture that could end the grudge.

Something that, while not perfect, was good, and in the right spirit.

But it would have to be accepted by the aggrieved parties. And it would have to be a one-time deal. None of this "not enough, we need more" rabbit hole that often plagues progressive reforms. (Substantially solve hunger? Doesn't count; we still have "food insecurity" and "food deserts".)

And even then, TGZ's point about systemic reforms is very good. A one-time "truth and reconciliation" reparation would be worthless, if a generation from now the system is still producing an underclass without hope of a better tomorrow.
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Old 14th September 2022, 09:26 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
The whole "let's send Joe Smith a check to undo the perceived wrongs of the past" thing...it just isn't going to work.
Truth and reconciliation worked for South Africa. It's worked elsewhere. You can make any problem look unsolvable if you oversimplify it for that purpose.
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Old 14th September 2022, 09:33 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by arayder View Post
People have been talking about reparations for decades.

One can argue that if we had done what needed to be done (another discussion) years ago we wouldn't be having this discussion.
That is indeed my argument. It wasn't slavery that kept African-Americans in a ghettoized underclass for generations. It was the de jure and de facto discrimination and segregation that persisted for generations after the war was over.

Yeah, the white people won their war. The Union was preserved. The white bad guys even got a free pass to just go back to being regular Americans doing regular American stuff. They even got a free pass to keep flying their traitor flags and celebrating their traitor war heroes.

But what did black people win? Not much. The North's victory didn't even abolish slavery! That came later, as northern carpetbaggers entered into southern politics and implemented new policies wherever they were elected.

But segregation persisted. Discrimination persisted. Black people were never given the same chance as white people, to participate in the reconstruction and ongoing economic growth of the nation. That's the legacy. That's why reparations are morally necessary. Even if they are practically nigh-impossible to implement.
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Old 14th September 2022, 09:33 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
You can make any problem look unsolvable if you oversimplify it for that purpose.


You can also make it unsolvable if you're simply not willing to accept any solutions. The big problem is, there's a lot of people out there who simply don't care about solving the problems, or, even worse, are actively opposed to solving them.
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Old 14th September 2022, 09:38 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
You can also make it unsolvable if you're simply not willing to accept any solutions. The big problem is, there's a lot of people out there who simply don't care about solving the problems, or, even worse, are actively opposed to solving them.
After decades of our society's active efforts to a make it harder for black people to accumulate wealth it seems a little shallow to me to pass reparations off as just writing a check.
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Old 14th September 2022, 10:35 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
I have mentioned my support for this in several threads and it was suggested that the topic deserved its own thread, so here we go.
I'm sure there will be many references to accomplished scholars. Particularly those with expertise in African American history.

Quote:
I'm not a big fan of reparations for slavery. It's far too long ago;
So was the ratification of the Constitution. Do you still think we should adhere to that?

Quote:
nobody living today was a slave, nobody living today's parent was a slave.
Unless they have been incarcerated. Who is it that makes up a disproportionate amount of the prison population again, despite committing crimes at the same rate as white people?

Or, unless they were debtors. Debt peonage was happening until the 1940s in the US. Guess who was the majority of debtors.

Quote:
There may be some grandchildren of slaves living today but for the most part Blacks in America are 6-8 or more generations removed from America's original sin.
People are still enjoying the fruits of said sin. Why must the pain be discounted? Tom Cotton's (holy hell what a perfect name) whole life has been paved by the fortune his ancestors made with slaves. It's kind of hard to take seriously the argument of "it was too long ago" when there are still people benefitting from it.

Unless you are advocating a big raise in the inheritance tax.

Quote:
On the other hand, there are definitely Blacks (and others) who were deprived of housing opportunities open to Whites in America who are still alive today. In many places it was de jure segregation, in others it was de facto, as realtors know which areas would not accept Black families.
You're asserting these had nothing to do with the legacy of slavery. I would argue they were simply a continuation by other means.

Quote:
There are studies out there that can establish monetary harm; suburban Blacks did much better after 1980 than urban Blacks although their relative progress had been similar up until then. Those who were shut out of the suburbs by the earlier official segregation and the later, unofficial kind lost out.
Yes, there is stratification in any demographic Compare those black suburbanites to their white counterparts. You've already acknowedged how black people in America have been harmed by missing out on generational wealth, why discount the effect slavery had on that?

Quote:
Of course, there are minor trivial details to be ironed out, such as who pays and who receives, but I think the concept is worthy of discussion.
it is but you're discounting a huge factor in it.
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Old 14th September 2022, 11:38 AM   #12
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See my location? 77.1% black. I think reparations could be meaningfully paid to cities like Detroit, and to other towns and counties with large black populations. The maps I've looked at show majority black counties (or "county equivalents," which somebody more energetic than me should look up) clustering in the south, especially the lower Mississippi Valley. Surprise!

What's a large black population? Anything much over 13.4%, the national black percentage? Adjusted for poverty levels, disenfranchisement, representation in local government, other factors? Hell I don't know. I'd be blithe to read anybody's considered opinions on that.

Reparations to individuals is too fraught a proposition to consider, IMHO. And how much good would it do for cities, counties, states? But grant money for the poor old beaten-up and beaten-down places where most blacks and Latinos live could improve many things, and do so visibly.

And black polities that qualified for a Reparations Grant could damn well compete for it by submitting proposals. Repeatedly, if necessary, allsame university researchers applying to NSF, DOD, PHS, AFOSR, the Geological Survey (oldest granting agency in the USA), and a whole lot more of the alphabet. I spent my life in academia reading and budgeting proposals, and I consider it THE way to go.
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Old 14th September 2022, 11:58 AM   #13
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Many people made money off of slavery, and many of them left that money to their descendants.

You know what would be funny? Maybe some of those descendants bought property with that money, and now they are charging rent to descendants of the slaves.

Ha, ha, ha ... ugh ...
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Old 14th September 2022, 12:03 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
The whole "let's send Joe Smith a check to undo the perceived wrongs of the past" thing...it just isn't going to work. But sure, I'm ok if we spend some money on studies...this should keep people quiet for a bit. Until the next election cycle when these things get trotted out.

After all, it is really just a political tool in the end.
I won't poo poo this if I were you, Warp.

If it happened you might be able to parley it into a check for everyone whose mother was scared by a liberal while she was carrying them.
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Old 14th September 2022, 12:15 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Olmstead View Post
Many people made money off of slavery, and many of them left that money to their descendants.

You know what would be funny? Maybe some of those descendants bought property with that money, and now they are charging rent to descendants of the slaves.

Ha, ha, ha ... ugh ...
Better yet, they used that family fortune to become shareholders and board members of a private prison company.
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Old 14th September 2022, 10:17 PM   #16
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At this point, the US needs at least half a dozen of Truth & Reconciliation commissions.
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Old 15th September 2022, 06:36 AM   #17
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We currently have a major party that is advocating book burning over teaching the real history of the United States. They want to preserve their own precious little fee fees rather than let future generations know the truth and work towards improving things.
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Old 15th September 2022, 07:31 AM   #18
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Can you

Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
At this point, the US needs at least half a dozen of Truth & Reconciliation commissions.
suggest as many as 6?
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Old 15th September 2022, 07:59 AM   #19
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I have no good ideas on how this might be implemented, but I think the idea has some merit. There are issues of equity but little concern for equity was shown for the hundreds of years when discrimination was broad and entrenched.

As an example, recent studies of the health effects from recent heat waves and droughts have noted the disparate effects on urban neighborhoods which were defined and developed (or not developed) under segregation and red-lining. Addressing this abiding social issue might not require determining what individuals suffered what degree of damage in the past, but it would likely require an understanding of the long-term effects of bias which are so often condemned these days as irrelevant by those who seem to believe that after centuries of wrong, you can just stop it and tell the victims the issue is solved, so shut up and go home.

But I have a feeling any idea of reparation will die unborn among the leaders to whom anything smacking of true history and its true consequences will be slammed as the dreaded Critical Race Theory, and forbidden to be taught or discussed in any meaningful way.

e.t.a. Just noticed this one....https://apnews.com/article/biden-ala...ign=position_7
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Old 16th September 2022, 06:42 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post

And even then, TGZ's point about systemic reforms is very good. A one-time "truth and reconciliation" reparation would be worthless, if a generation from now the system is still producing an underclass without hope of a better tomorrow.
Pretty much it. There are plenty of massive systemic changes that would put things on the right track. It would touch almost every aspect of society. How this has lead to certain law enforcement problems, etc. The problem is that all of this probably ends up very similar to the DSA platform and well... yeah.

It's gonna be wholesale changes in education, hiring practices, law enforcement, availability of medical care, and a stronger social safety net. These would have to be universal rather than based on racial or economic status because any selectiveness will be, as it is now, be a source of racial grievance. However....

We still have people out there blaming the subprime crisis on not rampant speculation but on regulations meant to reduce racial discrimination in real estate so not holding my breath.
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Old 16th September 2022, 07:34 AM   #21
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Reparations for Jim Crow, that ended in the 70s? Absolutely.

The income, education, housing opportunities lost to black people because of this system is incalculable. In many ways it was WORSE than slavery as it was imposed by the govt, meanwhile the govt. never forced anyone to own slaves.
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Old 16th September 2022, 08:16 AM   #22
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Does it really matter if the boot on your neck comes from the feds, the state, the county, or your landlord? You'll find a lot of overlap between those groups.
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Old 16th September 2022, 09:17 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Hercules56 View Post
Reparations for Jim Crow, that ended in the 70s? Absolutely.

The income, education, housing opportunities lost to black people because of this system is incalculable. In many ways it was WORSE than slavery as it was imposed by the govt, meanwhile the govt. never forced anyone to own slaves.
Trying to separate Jim Crow from slavery amounts to petty semantics. It's a continuous story.

The idea that slavery ended with the civil war is historically naive. Post-reconstruction it hummed along nicely in much of the south via legal fictions, often using criminal laws as a pretext. Much of Jim Crow was to assist that. There are, of course, areas of non-overlap, but the overall theme is one of racial exploitation.

One way to put it is that we need Reconstruction 2.0.
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Old 16th September 2022, 03:37 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Hercules56 View Post
Reparations for Jim Crow, that ended in the 70s? Absolutely.

The income, education, housing opportunities lost to black people because of this system is incalculable. In many ways it was WORSE than slavery as it was imposed by the govt, meanwhile the govt. never forced anyone to own slaves.
No, but the government accepted slavery, and first in the Constitution and then more strongly in 1850 attempted to force everyone to abet it by re-enslaving those who fled. This is not to say there was anything about Jim Crow that was not bad, if not worse, but it seems worth mentioning.

I think there is a continuity, but would worry a little about people perceiving it as too long ago, too big a problem, too vague, and, as so often happens, when it's all or nothing, nothing has a good chance.
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