Tuesday, 5 August 2008

It's Time Blacks Requested "Compensation" and "Restitution" Instead of "Reparations"

RE: "Reparations" are out, "Compensation" and "Restitution" are possible.

Although well-meaning, it is wrong to say that it is impossible or unworkable for Blacks to request "compensation" and "restitution" for slavery, and so we therefore have to request the Blacks-only remedy of reparations. In law, plaintiffs have to request remedies that are known to the courts, or they are said to have failed to state a claim and their cases are thrown out of court. Although courts regularly grant "restitution" and "compensation",

See, for example, the Jewish experience requesting "restitution" and "compensation" and the positive treatment their requests received in the US Congress, even for those who were not alive at the time of the Holocaust:


(a) IN GENERAL- For purposes of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, any excludable
restitution payments received by an eligible individual (or the individual's heirs or estate) and any excludable interest--

(1) shall not be included in gross income; and

(2) shall not be taken into account for purposes of applying any provision of such Code which takes into account excludable income in computing adjusted gross income, including section 86 of such Code (relating to taxation of Social Security benefits).

For purposes of such Code, the basis of any property received by an eligible individual (or the individual's heirs or estate) as part of an excludable restitution payment shall be the fair market value of such property as of the time of the receipt.

As I said yesterday, and I as further prove today, "restitution" and "compensation" are terms that are generally recognized by US courts and the US Congress for people who have been harmed by others' actions. And so "restitution" and "compensation" are terms that American white people are far more likely to receive warmly than the term "reparations", which is a "Blacks-only" concept that is foreign to American jurisprudence.

Effectively, the United States has had segregated terminology for what people get when they have been seriously wronged. "Restitution" and "compensation" are words that are heard everyday in American courts. "Reparations" is a term used exclusively with respect to Blacks and slavery, which puts the term and the concept in a linguistic and juridical ghetto, redlined in a place where the normal forms of legal relief are unavailable, simply because the victims were Black.

The term "reparations" tell America, whenever the term is used, the victims are Black and so they should be given what we ALWAYS treat Black people who request reparations: nothing at all.

The modern reparations movement revived an idea that’s been around since emancipation, when black leaders argued that newly freed slaves deserved compensation.

About six years ago, the issue started gaining momentum again. Randall Robinson’s “The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks,” was a best seller; reparations became a central issue at the World Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa; and California legislators passed the nation’s first law forcing insurance companies that do business with the state to disclose their slavery ties. Illinois passed a similar insurance law in 2003, and the next year Iowa legislators began requesting — but not forcing — the same disclosures. MSNBC

In other words, "reparations" is a concept that, in the United States, is almost wholly associated with Black people and that, therefore, starts out at a thrity-yard deficit in a 100 yard legal and legislative dash. However, if you ask for the same thing that other groups have received under similar circumstances, then that gives you legal and social and political precedents from which to work.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Beloved Actor Morgan Freeman Injured in Car Accident

I am sad to report that one of my favorite actors and people, Morgan Freeman has suffered a serious car accident.
JACKSON, Miss. - Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman was injured in a car accident late Sunday night and is in a hospital in Memphis, Tenn. Regional Medical Center spokeswoman Kathy Stringer said Freeman, 71, is in serious condition. The hospital is about 90 miles north of the accident scene in rural Tallahatchie County in the Mississippi Delta.

Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Ben Williams confirmed Freeman was in a wreck shortly before midnight Sunday, but said he was still gathering information and had few details Monday.

Clay McFerrin, editor of Sun Sentinel in Charleston, said he arrived at the accident scene on Mississippi Highway 32 soon after it happened about 4 miles west of Charleston, not far from where Freeman owns a home with his wife.

McFerrin said it appeared that Freeman's car was airborne went it left the highway and landed in a ditch.

"They had to use the jaws of life to extract him from the vehicle," McFerrin said. "He was lucid, conscious. He was talking, joking with some of the rescue workers at one point." Yahoo News

Well, I'm not much for praying, but this is my vow to Morgan Freeman, so that he will get well and stay well: I am not going to watch any movie that doesn't have some significant Black actor roles until Morgan Freeman recovers, and for so long as any of his movies are still available on DVD, television, or the Internet.

In other words (LISTEN UP HOLLYWOOD AND TELEVISION!), if there ain't no Black actors, then there ain't no Black audience! See how that works? It's not so hard to figure out? You might not like it, you might not think it's just or logical or reasonable, but I look at the trailers and if there are no Black actors in the trailers then you won't find this Black man in the theatre seats.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

"Barack is 'The [Chosen] One', but is he Ready to Lead?" Asks McCain

In the above YouTube video, focused entirely on Barack Obama and the religious subtext to his political message, John McCain concedes, "Barack Obama: He may be the One. But is he ready to lead."

It seems to me that in this ad John McCain falls into the trap of repeating and popularizing his opponents' best lines for the purpose of vaguely trying to punch holes in them.

America is a very religious country, with ninety percent of people saying they believe in God. So a candidate who says that he feels a mission to lead and has been chosen to do so may have a much better change than another candidate who ridicules the religous content of his opponent's mission, without offering any religious content of his own.

John McCain's slogan is, "Barack Obama: He may be "The One", but is he ready to lead?" If American decides that Obama is more ready to lead than McCain, then McCain's McCain may find that it is essentially over.

Religious people take leaps of faith, and "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen." If McCain's campaign depends on convincing religious people not to have faith, that makes him a negative naysaying, a tool of doom rather than the man to lift up the nation in troubled times.

Hat Tip to Agent X.