With all the pressing issues out there today, Sanders may have forgotten which century he’s running in.At last, during a speech Wednesday we heard the Democrat candidate’s position on slavery.
When asked if he would apologize for slavery, Sanders said, “You want the short answer? Yes. There’s nothing that anybody can do to undo the deaths and misery—how many people we don’t even know who died on the way over here from Africa in the ships. But we have got to do everything we can to wipe the slate clean by acknowledging the truth. You know truth is not always an easy thing. There are a lot of things that we have done in this country that are shameful. We have got to recognize that and own up to it. So the answer is yes.”
You know, you’d think the apology was implied when we fought an entire war for the purpose of freeing the slaves. People tend to forget that America didn’t invent slavery, we ended it.When Sanders was asked earlier by Catherine Hicks about his position on reparations, he said, “I think my view is pretty close to President Obama’s, and that is we understand the legacy of slavery. We understand that. And as I mentioned and as everybody in this room knows, what we’re seeing in many African-American communities, outrageously high levels of unemployment, inadequate education, inadequate healthcare.
Hispanics tend to fare comparably to blacks economically – what does Sanders blame this on? There’s no doubt that slavery impeded the advancement of the black community – but to blame problems surrounding employment, education, and healthcare on slavery is a bit ridiculous.
And I think what we have got to do as a nation is invest in those communities who need that investment the most. And there is legislation introduced by some members of the Black Caucus, which I support, which takes a look at those communities around America which have long-term structural poverty issues and they become the communities that receive the highest priority for federal funding. In other words, let us make sure that in every way, federal funding goes to those communities who need it the most, and most cases that will be minority communities.”I’ve always questioned the efficacy of reparations. Certainly they make sense when victims of an injustice are still living – such as the Japanese who suffered internment during WWII.
But there are no slaves alive today to compensate for their suffering. Certainly their offspring started off at a disadvantage, but today many of those who would be paying reparations to them are Americans who are descendants of immigrants who didn’t come to this country until slavery has been long over.At this point I wish interviewers would stop asking Bernie who he’d give a handout too. He doesn’t need any more ideas.
[Note: This post was authored by The Analytical Economist]