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Demands for reparations are rising and Democrats have this amazing reaction

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“It’s time to pay.” These four words from Missouri Democratic Rep. Cori Bush are being heard a lot by Democratic politicians across the country this month. For Bush, the debt amounts to 14 trillion dollars in reparations for black Americans.

In California, activists are demanding up to $5 million per black resident and asking Governor Gavin Newsom “where’s the money?” A member of Newsom’s reparations task force demanded that the state pay its ‘sin bill’

In New York and Chicago, mayors balk at the high costs of migrants being shipped across the border to their “sanctuary” cities.


In Tampa, after demanding $3 million per black resident, a witness said he and others were warning “white people we want our reparations.” The bills are coming due after years of political campaigning on these issues.

Reverend Tony Pierce calls for millions of dollars in reparations for every black Californian at a meeting of the California Reparations Task Force on May 6, 2023. (YouTube screenshot from the California Department of Justice channel)

Reparations and sanctuary cities have long been the bread and butter of identity politics. For years, Democratic politicians have campaigned on these “moral imperatives” by passing sanctuary laws and creating reparations task forces.

This is the equivalent of compound interest on credit card debt. In every election, Democrats have used these issues for short-term political gain. Now those bills are coming due and Democratic leaders are balking.

President Joe Biden and Congress are in a potentially deadly game of chicken over the impending default on our debt. Now wouldn’t seem like the perfect time to demand another $14 trillion, but Bush said, “Black people in our country can’t wait. She was joined by members like Reps. Barbara Lee, D-CA, Jamaal Bowman, D-NY, and Rashida Tlaib, D-MI.

It’s a view expressed across the country by black citizens who have been told that these payments are an undeniable moral obligation. Years of politics over the issue have created a sense of entitlement to large cash payments. As a well-known Californian activist said, “It’s a debt owed, we worked for free. We don’t ask, we tell you.

Newsom recently balked at paying for repairs recommended by his own task force, although he indicated some cash payments could still be made. Newsom attempted the long-awaited pivot and said, rather plaintively, that dealing with the legacy of slavery “is much more than a matter of cash payments”. It may be too late for this pirouette. A recent poll shows that 77% of black Americans now support reparations – a sharp increase in recent years.

The Reverend Amos Brown, a member of the task force, said he would not accept any excuses and that the state must commit to the total amount and, if necessary, “pay it in installments”.

The late New York Governor Mario Cuomo said politicians campaign with poetry, but govern with prose. However, the “prose” of many Democratic leaders does not win any awards.

While many have denounced the busing of migrants to sanctuary cities, most privately admit there is an element of poetic justice. For years, these cities told undocumented migrants that they were welcome in their cities where they would be protected. Then they introduced themselves. It was a political take on “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” the film about a liberal couple dealing with a visit from their daughter and her black fiancé.

A Los Angeles resident holds up a sign demanding reparations for slavery

Longtime Los Angeles resident Walter Foster, 80, holds a sign as the Reparations Task Force meets to hear public comment on reparations at the California Science Center in Los Angeles on September 22, 2022. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The most fascinating moment came at Martha’s Vineyard where locals came out to cheer and greet the migrants… as they were shipped off to a military base off the island. New York City has shipped migrants to other cities, who are going to court to stop the relocation. Many of these cities point out that, unlike New York, they have never declared themselves a haven for undocumented immigrants.

Even though those cities received a fraction of the influx from states like Texas, mayors in sanctuary cities like Chicago expressed dismay.

Like those awaiting reparations, these migrants are understandably confused. They were told that Chicago was a “ciudad sanctuary”. Chicago reaffirmed that status in 2022 by expanding protections and benefits.

At the time, politicians jostled in front of the cameras to declare, like Alderman Rossana Rodríguez, that Chicago must be “a welcoming city for immigrants” and reaffirm that “our city has the responsibility to act with solidarity towards those most marginalized and those most affected by a system that oppresses them. »

The Reverend Amos Brown, a member of the task force, said he would not accept any excuses and that the state must commit to the total amount and, if necessary, “pay it in installments”.

Then they showed up in larger numbers and former mayor Lori Lightfoot demanded that the migrants be sent elsewhere or held up in border towns overwhelmed by far greater numbers of migrants.


In some cases, there is no alternative but to try to quietly abandon past campaigns that have garnered national praise and caused severe damage locally. For example, some of us have criticized cities like San Francisco for declaring a boycott of states that don’t agree with their views on issues like transgender rights.

I noted at the time that the boycott would cost the city dearly by cutting off 22 states by driving up costs. He did, and the city quietly called off the boycott after losing millions. While the media paid far less attention to the cancellation than to the original decision, other reversals have come at a greater political cost to the left.

For example, cities that led efforts to defund the police are now defunding the police after skyrocketing crime rates and high levels of police retirements and quits. Activists in cities like Los Angeles called it a “slap in the face” given years of pledges from Democratic politicians.


In the meantime, Newsom’s task force has demanded an assortment of other changes, including eliminating cash bail, dropping charges for certain crimes, subsidizing the purchase of a home for black residents, the guarantee of a “right of return” by taking charge of development projects to guarantee housing for black people. ownership. Some of these reforms can be tweaked by politicians, but there is no twist that will mask the absence of a cash payment.

They are creditors to the Democratic Party, and they now seem determined to collect compound interest from years of identity politics.

A version of this blog previously appeared on Jonathan Turley’s blog.



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