Florida Governor Crist takes slavery reparations public

The topic of reparations for slavery is about to go viral.

A few months ago, the only thing you heard about it was an occasional link at the bottom of a long thread of a political ticker blog–say, comment number 200 out of 350. Now, no less a public figure than Florida’s Republican Governor Charlie Crist has favored it. Reports the New York Times:

“And on Wednesday, Mr. Crist said he was open to evaluating whether broader reparations for slavery would be worth pursuing.”

4 Responses to “Florida Governor Crist takes slavery reparations public”

  1. Colleen Says:

    What an pathetic idiot!! If he feels so badly for something he is not responsible for, and Florida citizens are not responsible for, let him fork our his own money to pay for his own feelings of guilt, simply for being white!!!

    I am a Florida resident, and I do not volunteer my money to donate to such a ridiculous “cause”, and Mr. Crist—do not volunteer it for me!! And— MR. CRIST– DO NOT SPEAK FOR ME AS GOVERNOR OF MY STATE with such blind sheepiness, cowardess and ignorance!! I did not vote for you to speak as to such ridiculous notions as reparation — and I am sure a poll of Florida Republican voters would show none of us did. It is time for you to tune into reality, get some gonads instead of being sucked into the, “Wright” White Guilt Syndrome and supporting a notion that defies all logic for your own selfish political goals!!

    Take note:

    My maternal grandparents came to this country from Italy–through Ellis Island around 1920. They were labeled, “waps” and, “guineas” and worked their butts off to raise enough money to buy a farm. They worked this farm — not with slaves, but with their own hands!!! No one gave them anything, and they never complained!!

    My paternal great grandparents came to this country from Ireland around 1877, and were labeled “micks”. They also worked their butts off for dirt pay to get ahead, were spit upon, but made a place in this country for themselves and their families. They were certainly nowhere near American soil when slaves were brough here!!

    The black community who have their hands out, and this certainly does not include all blacks), thanks to walking thoughtless political boobs like Charlie Crist, need to GET OVER feeling sorry for themsleves and take responsibility for their own lives!! Pick up a copy of Bill Cosby’s book, read it thoroughly, take it to heart, and take responsibility for your own lives!! Rather than lay back and whine complain about oppression at the hands of the “white folks”, and your “plight”, take responsiblility for your own lives– pull up your pants, quit breeding children you can feed, speak English, and motivate yourself. Stop being the catalyst for your own demise!!!

  2. James Says:

    Colleen, your ancestors arrived in this country as whites, and while they had to work for what they got, they weren’t treated like blacks.

    As true as it is that the Irish, in the early years, were often not treated as well as the descendants of English settlers, they were never the subject of widespread lynchings or laws intended to keep them from as many jobs as blacks were. And within a few years, the descendants of those Irish immigrants were treated just like any other white citizens, while blacks had to wait until the 1960s to even see legal equality.

    There’s nothing wrong with encouraging everyone to take personal responsibility for their lives. But it defies imagination to suggest that an entire group of Americans can be denied access to the same jobs, education, and other resources for centuries, and somehow achieve what everyone else has, simply by being as virtuous as everyone else.

  3. Michael Says:

    James, have you ever heard of Nathan Huggins. He was a Harvard professor and one of the most respected historians of the 20th century (He was also a black man).He said, and I quote, “virtually all of African slavery was carried out by Africans”. I could take a long time explaining what he meant by this, but I doubt you would get the point. Colleen’s point, James, is that every race, every religion has suffered injustices. However, if we try to compensate everyone who has ever been wronged, there would simply not be enough money. Besides, maybe they should go after the stronger African tribes that originally enslaved the Africans that were brought here. Oh, that’s right, there’s no money to go after. They are still butchering the weaker tribes there pal.

  4. James Says:

    Michael, despite your suspicion that I wouldn’t “get the point,” I certainly agree that slavery in Africa, including the African end of the transatlantic slave trade, was carried out by Africans. No one here is trying to excuse Africans of that period of any responsibility.

    I also agree with Colleen that there have been many historic injustices. (My ancestors, too, suffered prejudice when they immigrated here.) But I don’t believe that we should treat all injustices alike, or as if they have equal consequences today, or throw up our hands in despair at rectifying any of them.

    The plain fact is that the suffering of Irish immigrants to the U.S., to use Colleen’s example, was far less than that of the blacks enslaved in this nation, or of the freed slaves and their descendants. That prejudice was also, for the most part, not officially sanctioned or supported.

    Most importantly, the consequences of slavery and racial discrimination are still with us today, and dramatically affect the lives of millions of Americans. The former slaves were dumped out into society with nothing, and faced another century of violence and official discrimination. This has hardly left a chance to catch up to earlier Irish immigrants and others. To take just a single example, at present rates, it will take another 1,664 years for black Americans to catch up to whites in homeownership.

    I find it disturbing to hear people dismissing concerns about the enduring legacy of slavery with the argument that it’s no different than the prejudice suffered by everyone else’s ancestors in the past. To suggest that blacks should have recovered from this disadvantage with nothing more than the same opportunities as others, or that they could surely succeed if the descendants of Irish immigrants were able to, just doesn’t square with the facts.

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