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While grazing hither and yon around the glades of the internet, I stumbled on the Reverend Al Sharpton, who was demanding reparations for slavery. He was against slavery, I divined, and wanted money. I could hardly blame him, as I too want money.

In truth, I confess that in the past I have written harshly of the idea of reparations. I have said cruel things, such as that the entitlement programs are enough reparations for a dozen slaveries. This time, however, a blinding light fell over my consciousness, doubtless from On High, and I saw the error of my ways. I determined to repent and make amends for my sins.

I immediately asked Violeta to make an inventory of all our slaves—if not a precise count then at least in even dozens, and to inform them that we would issue checks for reparations the next day, and Geeyhound tickets to Memphis.

She pointed out that we didn´t have any slaves. My God. I hadn´t thought of that, so eager was I to commit social justice. She, being Mexican, and probably a hard-hearted Republican by instinct, said her understanding was that slavery ended in 1865, so that our slaves would be at least 150 years old. How would they live when they got to Memphis?

I was kind to her, and patient. She is bright and rational, and so has no grasp of American politics. I explained that we European-Americans are so desirous of curing injustice that we invent it when there isn´t any, so that we can Fix It by giving all our money to those who either can´t or won´t make any for themselves. It´s like stocking a bass pond. We get to feel good about ourselves, almost our only entertainment in a boring age. We are happy.

Those who get the money always ask for more, so we can always confess yet more guilt. See? It´s a closed ecosystem.

And there is justice in it. In our hearts we whites know it. Mr. Sharpton has said that bringing slaves in chains to America was a terrible thing. I would like him to know that a great many white people could not agree more. However, as long as we are balancing the financial books, there are other matters pecuniary that merit attention. I believe that we whites should pay such debts as we owe, with accrued interest, but I also believe that in honor others should do the same.

For example, as a white American, I think that African-Americans and Indians should pay us royalties for the use of our civilization. I do not propose a great exaction, but only a reasonable fee for enjoyment of contributions that whites have made and that others use. I mean things like telephones, air conditioning, flush toilets, democracy, civil rights, antibiotics, running shoes, and the machines that read EBT cards. Also paved roads. Cars. Computers. Electricity. Clean water. That sort of thing.

I have in mind something like a software license, with one price for the entire bundle. Surely there should be some reward for our 2500 years of onerous research in mathematics, physics, politics, engineering, from Fifth Century Athens through Rome, the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution, and Silicon Valley, with countless brilliant men going where no one had gone before, even Captain Kirk.

Which brings to mind other rearrangements of the body politic, or corpse, that might be made with salutary results.

Before entering these deep waters, I should say that personally I think that things should be done according to individual merit. However, I recognize that the United States is collectivist in spirit, uncomfortable with individualism, and has chosen to order everything according to race, creed, color, sex, and national origin. I yield to the majority. Thus I suggest that voting rights should be determined according to the contributions to civilization made by the various tribes.

I propose the calculation of a Contribution Factor, or CF, for each race, creed, sex, etc. The CF would be a function of such things as number of patents taken out by the group, number of entries in the list of the world´s greatest mathematicians and chess grandmasters, number of winners of the Nobel Prize in real subjects (the sciences, but not Peace or Literature, which are political baubles), number of engineers graduated annually, of companies started, and mean IQ. This laudable measure would be scaled to lie between zero and ten. Thus if, say, Korean Americans scored eight, each would be allowed eight votes in elections. Groups that scored .5 would get half a vote each. They could vote in teams.

What could be more socially progressive? Policy would then be made by the brightest and most productive, by those with a proven track record of contributing to society instead of being breast-fed by it.

Continuing my salutary reflections along this fertile line, it seems to me that we should reform the voting laws further. For example, convicted felons should not be permitted to vote. True, this would disenfranchise the NFL, but I believe that the Republic could withstand this shock. (Those familiar with Washington will point out that laws invariably are made by felons, to which I respond that they have usually not been convicted. They are at least felons of the better sort, smart enough not to get caught. Call it felonious Darwinism.)

Further, illiterates should be denied the vote on the obvious grounds that people too stupid (not many) or too lazy (most of them) to learn to read should not be permitted within five hundred yards of a ballot box. Only a complete lunatic or a Democrat could believe otherwise.

Further, no one living on welfare should be allowed to vote. People who take much, give nothing, and demonstrably cannot function in a First World country are not desirable shapers of policy. Granted, this provision would give rise to questions of definition. Should federal bureaucrats be regarded as being on welfare, or just in day care? The legislation would have to be carefully drawn.

These are my thoughts. I hope that the Reverend Sharpton, a man of the cloth, will get in touch with me. I would like to get his scholarly insight regarding theological matters, such as the eschatological significance of the kerygma, and whether he knows what book of the Bible follows Judges. I am aware that the uncharitable regard him as a race hustler and extortion artist. I for one will have no part of such slander.

(Republished from Fred on Everything by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Slavery Reparations 
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