May 23, 2014

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Reparations and a Reprise: Sins of the father [Darleen Click]

William Jacobson reads Ta-Nehisi Coates’ 15,000 word salad in The Atlantic, “The Case for Reparations” so you don’t have to.

It’s looooong, which gives it a perceived weight which just is not there.

In fact, there’s not much new there, except for historical anecdotes shedding detail but not light on what we already knew to be the history of slavery, segregation and discrimination […]

And that’s ultimately the problem with reparations arguments that are not based upon the people causing the harm paying the people directly harmed by specific conduct soon after the conduct is remedied.

If you can’t answer the question of why a Vietnamese boat person has to pay reparations for the conduct of white plantation owners more than a century earlier, then you can’t make the argument.

If you can’t answer the question of why two successful black doctors living in a fashionable suburb should get reparations paid for by the white children of Appalachia, then you can’t make the argument.

If you can’t answer the question of why the adult black recent immigrant from Paris should be pay or be paid reparations based on the color of his skin for crimes committed in a land he did not grow up in, then you can’t make the argument.

And what about the increasing number of children of mixed race?

And I could go on and on.

Ultimately, Coates’ argument is a dead end.

And he seems to recognize that. He wants a permanent inquisition, a guilt commission

Black supremacists and their demands for money and power burble along just under wide notice, coming to the surface as something *NEW! IMPROVED! ZOUNDS!* every few years. So what I wrote in 2006 is just as valid today as it was then:


Here’s a family picture, circa early 1900’s
In the front, from left to right, George Click, Anna Haywood Click (my great-great grandmother) Norris Click, Linsey Click (my great-great grandfather). Back, Ulysses Samuel Click (my great grandfather) and Robert Greenville Click.

Not exactly a rich group of folk. Hardworking, but far from rich.

Clicks were brought to the New World, through England, in 1697 as bond slaves. They were sold to work on a Virginia plantation. Being a bond slave was not much different than a chattel slave except that bond slaves could “work off” the bond and earn their freedom.

It took approximately sixty years for my family to do so.

By the time of the first 1780 census, Clicks were living in Kentucky — rural farmers, sawmill operators, coal miners and an occasional teacher (James Kenton Ellis). A good deal of the family still lives in Kentucky today.

Who knows where any of the descendents would be if the first bond slaves weren’t brought and sold in the New World? Certainly some died in bondage, other descendents have had a hardscrapple life, from serving the Union in the Civil War through the Great Depression and all the vagaries that decades of time bring.
Click sawmill at the mouth of Arkansas Creek

But there comes a time when family history is but just an interesting, anecdotal look at a country’s history, with no direct effect on an individual in 2006. It is an interesting tidbit that William Jennings Bryan wrote a “thank you letter” to James Bartley Click thanking him for riding his mule six miles to vote for him in the presidential election of 1896 when James was 106 years old, but my daughter’s grades in college are entirely of her making.

So I have yet to understand the continued popularity of the so-called “slave reparations” movement, in the news yet again.

CHICAGO – Lawyers for slave descendants asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to revive a landmark reparations case that demands 17 of the nation’s insurers and banks publicize and pay for their roles in the country’s slave trade.

The case, which names Wall Street behemoths JP Morgan Chase & Co., Aetna Inc., Bank of America, Lehman Brothers and others, says the companies’ predecessors issued loans to slave owners and, in some cases, owned, insured and transported slaves — all at a financial profit that helped ensure their success today.

“We were left in poverty. My family’s hardship and free labor was not in vain,” said Antoinette Harrell, a genealogist from Kentwood, La. who clutched raw cotton as she spoke inside federal court Wednesday.

No, Antoinette, you were not left in poverty, anymore than I was by our families’ shared past as non-citizens. Slavery was pernicious and an admittedly permanent blot on our nations history. However, the institution of slavery was ubiquitous in all of human history from about the time humans formed rival tribes and raided each other for captives. Leave aside the fact that the institutions that are being targeted for “reparations” were engaged in an activity fully legal at the time, there is something unseemly about the demand from individuals who are free agents in American society calculating …

…the current day “market value” of the company-owned slaves would be at least $850 million.

This less looks like mere acknowledgement of historical ties and more a case of unbridled greed (in the true meaning of the word “greed”… ie coveting the wealth of others).

And the “reparations” movement had better come to grips that, in accordance with their template, there are a lot of others in this country with as many family claims to wealth as theirs.

As a descendent of bond slaves and Union Civil War soldiers, I’d be happy to serve a lawsuit on the “reparations” movement to share their ill-gotten gains with me.


Coates, like Leftists of all shades of melanin, eschews individual autonomy and seeks power for the collective. The use of any random identifier will do, as long as it gives power to the whining and demands made in its name.

Liberty, like talent and ambition, is not collective. Coates is just another thug, albeit costumed in mind-numbing rhetoric.


Posted by Darleen @ 11:14am

Tags: , ,

Comments (40)

  1. Will thee also be gansta and mafia reparations? How about La familia reparations? Biker reparations? Union Reparations? Progressive reparations? ZPG reparations? Socialist and Communist revolutionary reparations? Green Reparations? How long will they last?

  2. We can pretty easily imagine the demands when the Social Security system finally collapses.

  3. I know where and to whom my ancestor was indentured in Virginia in the 1650s. He may not have been held as long as the Clicks, but he was a political deportee — a deportee of conscience, one might say.


  4. Hell, I’m still waiting for the Frogs to pay off for 1066. But that won’t happen until the Frogs and the Danes work out their respective culpability.

  5. My Pictish ancestors want reparations from my Scottish and Irish ancestors.

    My Scottish ancestors want reparations from my English ancestors.

    My Anglo-Saxon ancestors demand reparations from my Norman ancestors and my French ancestors demand reparations from my English (for Agincourt) and German (for pretty much everything else) ancestors.

    My Dutch ancestors demand reparations from EVERYBODY for that last Austin Powers movie.


  6. What really distinguishes those with African ancestry from everyone else is the former’s lack of Neanderthal DNA.

    So what they’re really complaining about when they speak of “white privilege” is Neanderthal privilege.

    Let’s see them try to sell that one.

  7. My family got it’s start in America when two brothers were pressed into service with the British Army to fight Yankee rebels in the Revolutionary War. Fortunately, as soon as they landed in the colonies, they promptly deserted and hid out in the hinterlands of “Kaintuck” and started their families. So, apparently I come from a long line of malcontents, scofflaws, and poor white trash. I guess reparations for me aren’t likely.

  8. Perhaps we should offer reparations. Specifically, financial assistance with relocation back to their land from which they were unfairly taken from.

    Or should I just denounce myself now?

  9. My great,great,great,great, great grandfather was an illegal immigrant from Scandinavia who snuck in NJ via London and hightailed it to Appalachians when they were still wild. He was buried in his dugout, Viking Style. I want all the freebies other illegals and their families get. Oh wait. His descendants earned them… Lucky me.

  10. What really distinguishes those with African ancestry from everyone else is the former’s lack of Neanderthal DNA.

    So what they’re really complaining about when they speak of “white privilege” is Neanderthal privilege.

    You just wait. Somewhere, there’s a Homo-erectus in the woodpile!

  11. have they ever thought of suing the demonrat party?

  12. Gaia would still be pristine if only Homo habilis hadn’t started making tools. Do you know how big Stanley®’s carbon footprint is!?

  13. Hawaii can go if it wants, as far as I’m concerned. Giving us Obama is reason enough to kick them out.

  14. As far as I’m concerned, I’m not responsible for my DNA, nor the actions of any who might share it.

  15. I want all my land back, you bunch of palefaces. Unlike Fauxcahontas, I can actually prove my Native American ancestry.

  16. I’ve got a birth certificate showing I’m native born the U.S. (unlike our President, allegedly), so Molon Labe injun.

  17. Hey, I have every bit as much Injun blood as Senator Walking Eagless.

  18. comanche don’t believe in this injun stuff

  19. comanche fight la raza

  20. “Slavery was pernicious and an admittedly permanent blot on our nations history.”

    Pernicious in retrospect, yes, but I don’t grant the blot on history, unless you just blot everyone, in which case it’s a wash.

    In any event, it was the European powers that colonized what was to become the U.S., who built the slave system here.

    Repugnance to the whole thing grew rather swiftly, but after the U.S. went rogue (1776), the Euro originators of the slave trade had little trouble in distancing themselves from the practice that no longer directly benefited them.

    The U.S., with the slave trade built into its economy, took only a few years longer to institutionalize the ethics that a majority of its citizens had long been clamoring for.

    The United States’ founding incorporated the principles that made slavery untenable. That’s no blot.

  21. ps. Coates is probably THE slickest race provocateur on the Internets. He’s the black Ezra Klein, without the charts and the semblance of personality. He’s Klein with more vowels, slightly less substance, and the race card.

    Admit it: Anything called Protein Wisdom is defacto White Supremacist and should probably be forced to implement U.S. approved Trigger Warning protocols.


  22. the united states is a brokedick incompetent fascist slutstate

    that’s a blot

  23. however my understanding is that the brokedick fascist united states has made a major commitment to reducing the precise number of carbon dioxide molecules it produces in any given span of time

    and that my friend is certainly no blot


    is a check plus plus scratch-n-sniff-sticker-worthy accomplishment!

    o! to be a veteran of the military forces of a fagstate like america

    just to think of the healthcares of which one would be deserving

    it is to shiver

  24. That’s a different blot than the one Coates twists and lies about.

  25. so many blots so little time until chinarussia eat the lunch of the great satan

    ok so who owns the directv exactly and can i still watch the gameofthrones?

    nobodytellsmeanything except huffpost

    and sometimes i think they lie

  26. and can you teach me how to dance

    real slow

  27. pop cul referents are always winners. I just watched Crowe’s Robin Hood and liked it despite the obvious historical fabrications. What the hell is wrong with fiction anyway?

  28. it’s all an illusion

    there’s too much confusion

  29. “You just wait. Somewhere, there’s a Homo-erectus in the woodpile!”

    Freakin’ pak. Always eating my sweet potatoes. Why can’t they just build a ram scoop and go back towards the core? (No, they DON’T know about the core explosion yet, because Beowulf Schaeffer hasn’t borrowed the Longshot yet.)

  30. The United States’ founding incorporated the principles that made slavery untenable. That’s no blot.

    Not to mention the whole 3/5th of a slave thing to which most of the cretins that comment upon it are unable to understand the implications.

  31. Maybe that should be “whom comment upon it”. Not sure.

  32. ICYMI, you really should read this story about how the sort of indentured servitude Darleen’s family experienced was converted into outright chattel slavery. Considering who the first slave owner was, some of the reparations should be paid by the very people who are demanding them.

  33. I, for one, would have absolutely no problem paying reparations. Just produce any American citizen who was actually enslaved, and they can request anything they want for the rest of their life.

    Their kids and grandkids and great-grandkids and great-great, etc. who were never slaves? Fuck them, let them get by on their own skills and abilities, just like the rest of us.

    No one is offering to pay me for what might have befallen any of MY ancestors, so why should they get anything from me? Oh, is it because they are demanding that we treat them differently solely because of the color of their skin? Isn’t that the very definition of racism? Either we’re a racist for not treating them like anyone else, or we’re a racist if we do. Yawn.

  34. I know it won’t make a difference, but my great great grandfather and two of his brothers wore Union blue in the Civil War. The eldest brother was mortally wounded in combat.

    My family, in my opinion, paid its share already.

  35. The whole backstory of American slavery is revisionist bullshit.

    I find it amazing that slavery was widespread since the dawn of man, but it is the “new world” that bears all the shame.

    Newsflash! Arabia was and still is the worlds major slave traders. The west renounced it in the 18th century, the east in the 20th. The middle east has eased back and mostly just enslave women these days.

    There’s a lot said about western white Christians beginning the abolitionist movement and influencing the founders to make slavery incompatible with the constitution. Which is true. What is left out of the story, to further the grievance industry, is the western white Christian abolitionists were not just concerned about a flood African slaves, but about themselves their family and friends, all risking a great chance of being enslaved by pirates of all nationalities every time they traveled the ocean. Or certain vast tracts of land.

    As Thomas Sowell wrote, there were white’s being sold on the block in Morocco twenty years after the American emancipation.

    The mindfuck democrats have subjected the American black community to is as astounding is it is evil. I stand in awe of the modern propagandists. They have infused scientific method into an art on a level almost impervious to resistance.

  36. Ta-Nehisi Coates…isn’t that the farmer guy who owns that ‘Coat of Many Colors’ Dolly Parton sang about? Only tarnished because he wore it and fell in his sty whilst slopping his pigs? Now he’s seeking cleaning fees from whomever is responsible for the outrage he feels?

    Yep. That’s about right.

  37. “I stand in awe of the modern propagandists. They have infused scientific method into an art on a level almost impervious to resistance. – See more at:

    It’s amusing to throw the science of Darwin back into atheist’s faces. So many Progressive memes can be dismissed outright when touched by the hand of Natural Selection…”explain again why you hate Christopher Columbus ? Didn’t he do what comes naturally?”.

    Only do this if you can stand the explodey heads that follow!

  38. Who devised the hierarchical taxonomy of the University?

    Should we be surprised to learn that within that taxonomy of the sciences or “sciences” (or even the merely teachable), that “biology” (the study of the living or life) would be the category which would include a subordinate category “politics”, the category which describes the order[s] of the communal organization of the human beings, merely one among the many of forms of the living? Such a business may seem a touch shabby to us ordinary folk (given our great distance from the time when the need for such a taxonomy arose), or even perhaps heartlessly cold, if we take a more serious regard for the fellow or fellows who were actually moved by that aforesaid need — but hey, that’s what science is for: turning tops into bottoms and bottoms into tops.

  39. So that’s why these pants no longer fit right. Damn you, Science!