following is a ver batim copy of the text of David Horowitz's controversial advertisement.
Ten Reasons Why
Reparations for Blacks is a Bad Idea for Blacks - and Racist, Too!
No Single Group Clearly Responsible For The Crime Of Slavery
Black Africans and Arabs were responsible for enslaving the ancestors of
African-Americans. There were 3,000 black slave-owners in the ante-bellum United States.
Are reparations to be paid by their descendants too?
No One Group That Benefited Exclusively From Its Fruits
The claim for reparations is premised on the false assumption that only whites have
benefited from slavery. If slave labor created wealth for Americans, then obviously it has
created wealth for black Americans as well, including the descendants of slaves. The GNP
of black America is so large that it makes the African-American community the 10th most
prosperous "nation" in the world. American blacks on average enjoy per capita
incomes in the range of twenty to fifty times that of blacks living in any of the African
nations from which they were kidnapped.
Tiny Minority Of White Americans Ever Owned Slaves, And Others Gave Their Lives To Free
Only a tiny minority of Americans ever owned slaves. This is true even for those who lived
in the ante-bellum South where only one white in five was a slaveholder. Why should their
descendants owe a debt? What about the descendants of the 350,000 Union soldiers who died
to free the slaves? They gave their lives. What possible moral principle would ask them to
pay (through their descendants) again?
Today Is A Multi-Ethnic Nation and Most Americans Have No Connection (Direct Or Indirect)
The two great waves of American immigration occurred after 1880 and then after 1960. What
rationale would require Vietnamese boat people, Russian refuseniks, Iranian refugees, and
Armenian victims of the Turkish persecution, Jews, Mexicans Greeks, or Polish, Hungarian,
Cambodian and Korean victims of Communism, to pay reparations to American blacks?
Historical Precedents Used To Justify The Reparations Claim Do Not Apply, And The Claim
Itself Is Based On Race Not Injury
The historical precedents generally invoked to justify the reparations claim are payments
to Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, Japanese-Americans and African- American victims of
racial experiments in Tuskegee, or racial outrages in Rosewood and Oklahoma City. But in
each case, the recipients of reparations were the direct victims of the injustice or their
immediate families. This would be the only case of reparations to people who were not
immediately affected and whose sole qualification to receive reparations would be racial.
As has already been pointed out, during the slavery era, many blacks were free men or
slave-owners themselves, yet the reparations claimants make no distinction between the
roles blacks actually played in the injustice itself. Randall Robinson's book on
reparations, The Debt, which is the manifesto of the reparations movement is pointedly
sub-titled "What America Owes To Blacks." If this is not racism, what is?
Reparations Argument Is Based On The Unfounded Claim That All African-American Descendants
of Slaves Suffer From The Economic Consequences Of Slavery And Discrimination
No evidence-based attempt has been made to prove that living individuals have been
adversely affected by a slave system that was ended over 150 years ago. But there is
plenty of evidence the hardships that occurred were hardships that individuals could and
did overcome. The black middle-class in America is a prosperous community that is now
larger in absolute terms than the black underclass. Does its existence not suggest that
economic adversity is the result of failures of individual character rather than the
lingering after-effects of racial discrimination and a slave system that ceased to exist
well over a century ago? West Indian blacks in America are also descended from slaves but
their average incomes are equivalent to the average incomes of whites (and nearly 25%
higher than the average incomes of American born blacks). How is it that slavery adversely
affected one large group of descendants but not the other? How can government be expected
to decide an issue that is so subjective - and yet so critical - to the case?
Reparations Claim Is One More Attempt To Turn African-Americans Into Victims. It Sends A
Damaging Message To The African-American Community.
The renewed sense of grievance -- which is what the claim for reparations will inevitably
create -- is neither a constructive nor a helpful message for black leaders to be sending
to their communities and to others. To focus the social passions of African-Americans on
what some Americans may have done to their ancestors fifty or a hundred and fifty years
ago is to burden them with a crippling sense of victim-hood. How are the millions of
refugees from tyranny and genocide who are now living in America going to receive these
claims, moreover, except as demands for special treatment, an extravagant new handout that
is only necessary because some blacks can't seem to locate the ladder of opportunity
within reach of others -- many less privileged than themselves?
To African Americans Have Already Been Paid
Since the passage of the Civil Rights Acts and the advent of the Great Society in 1965,
trillions of dollars in transfer payments have been made to African-Americans in the form
of welfare benefits and racial preferences (in contracts, job placements and educational
admissions) - all under the rationale of redressing historic racial grievances. It is said
that reparations are necessary to achieve a healing between African-Americans and other
Americans. If trillion dollar restitutions and a wholesale rewriting of American law (in
order to accommodate racial preferences) for African-Americans is not enough to achieve a
"healing," what will?
The Debt Blacks Owe To America?
Slavery existed for thousands of years before the Atlantic slave trade was born, and in
all societies. But in the thousand years of its existence, there never was an anti-slavery
movement until white Christians - Englishmen and Americans -- created one. If not for the
anti-slavery attitudes and military power of white Englishmen and Americans, the slave
trade would not have been brought to an end. If not for the sacrifices of white soldiers
and a white American president who gave his life to sign the Emancipation Proclamation,
blacks in America would still be slaves. If not for the dedication of Americans of all
ethnicities and colors to a society based on the principle that all men are created equal,
blacks in America would not enjoy the highest standard of living of blacks anywhere in the
world, and indeed one of the highest standards of living of any people in the world. They
would not enjoy the greatest freedoms and the most thoroughly protected individual rights
anywhere. Where is the gratitude of black America and its leaders for those gifts?
Reparations Claim Is A Separatist Idea That Sets African-Americans Against The Nation That
Gave Them Freedom
Blacks were here before the Mayflower. Who is more American than the descendants of
African slaves? For the African-American community to isolate itself even further from
America is to embark on a course whose implications are troubling. Yet the
African-American community has had a long-running flirtation with separatists,
nationalists and the political left, who want African-Americans to be no part of America's
social contract. African Americans should reject this temptation.
For all America's faults, African-Americans have an enormous stake in their country and
its heritage. It is this heritage that is really under attack by the reparations movement.
The reparations claim is one more assault on America, conducted by racial separatists and
the political left. It is an attack not only on white Americans, but on all Americans --
America's African-American citizens are the richest and most privileged black people alive
-- a bounty that is a direct result of the heritage that is under assault. The American
idea needs the support of its African-American citizens. But African-Americans also need
the support of the American idea. For it is this idea that led to the principles and
institutions that have set African-Americans - and all of us -- free.
(The preceding is a ver
batim copy of the text of David Horowitz's controversial advertisement. Editor)
END The Censored Anti-Reparations Ad