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In 2008, the election of Barack Obama was universally hailed as an historic breakthrough event - the first African American presidency in American history. Great expectations were raised for what was then billed as the beginning of a new “post-racial era.” A decade later these expectations have not been fulfilled, and – worse – have been frustrated by the spread of “identity politics” – the most tribalistic, color - conscious and divisive attitude to dominate the public square since the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965 outlawed discrimination on the basis of skin color.
An early sign of trouble in the new racial paradise was Obama’s designation of Al Sharpton - the nation’s second most notorious racial demagogue - as his “chief adviser” on race. As racial tensions in the nation’s streets intensified, this designation was fleshed out by over 80 Sharpton visits to the Oval Office, by far more than anyone else’s. It was further reflected in the White House’s embrace of extremist groups like Black Lives Matter and in the not-so-subtle White House covers for violent attacks on local law enforcement.
With Obama’s exit from office in 2016, the fury and violence of Ferguson and other beleaguered cities have faded, but the spirit of racial division remains and flourishes in the menu of Democratic demands. It was most recently manifest in a new Democratic ritual as the 2020 roster of Democratic presidential hopefuls has made a pilgrimage to Sharpton’s National Action Network conference to kiss the kingmaker’s ring and sign on to his list of outrageous demands. Most prominent among these is reparations for slavery to be paid by people who were never slave owners to people who were never slaves, 154 years after the fact.
The reparations demand is pure racism: Recipients will be paid on the basis of their skin color even if, like Kamala Harris, their ancestors were actually slave owners. It will be paid by people who had no historical connection whatsoever to slavery, and it will be paid by the very government that sacrificed 350,000 mainly white (and Christian) lives to abolish slavery and lead the world in doing so.
The real agenda of the reparations movement is clear. It is to indict white Americans for what Cory Booker and other leftist demagogues call “America’s original sin.” It is part of the Left’s assault on the Christian founders of America – an assault justified by a completely bogus version of history. Black Africans were not enslaved by white Christians. They were bought at slave auctions in Ghana and Benin where they had already been enslaved by Black Africans. It was the Christian crusader William Wilberforce who – for the first time in 3,000 years - declared slavery immoral and launched a campaign to end it. It was another white Christian, Thomas Jefferson (whose statue is a current target of leftwing ignoramuses, who wrote into America’s birth certificate that all men are created equal and have a God-given right to liberty. Within fifteen years of the Declaration most of the northern states had freed their slaves. It took less than a generation to complete the process, but at the horrendous cost of 350,000 Union lives.
The reparations campaign is a campaign to bury the fact that white Americans freed Black slaves who were originally put in chains by Black Africans and Muslims, and that the white Christian males who created this country are responsible for ending slavery and creating the most inclusive, tolerant and equal society on earth. It is a campaign to make Americans ashamed of their country, so that its enemies can more easily destroy it. Americans whose forbears declared their independence in 1776 and created a new nation conceived in liberty can be proud of their record on slavery. It’s demagogues like Sharpton and Harris and every other 2020 presidential hopeful in the Democratic Party who should rightfully be ashamed.