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“Sins of the Father”

 
Traces Elk
 
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Traces Elk
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16 December 2019 23:37
 
Garret - 16 December 2019 11:06 PM
Traces Elk - 16 December 2019 10:13 PM

[
It looks on the surface as if a full-time academic has time to hang out in internet chat-rooms and tell his colleagues there to “start another thread”. It wouldn’t be the first time somebody with access tried to win a chat-room argument with nothing more than access.

Yeah, I’d be a serious asshole to hide behind access and never once offer a way to get access to some of the same materials.

I’ve offered up 5 times now ways to have this discussion in a serious and informed manner.

But hey, call me a snob and… dismiss me out of hand?  Huh… that sounds like some sort of behavior… I can’t put my finger on it though.

Let me know when you guys are done with your bitchfest that someone might know something you don’t yet.

As the song goes, Garret, “if you plant ice, you’ll harvest wind”.

My conclusion is that you’re filtering your offer to provide references that support your contention. Your concept of “serious and informed” is flawed, since you have not offered any explicitly as counterpoints. What sort of implication do you want to derive from having your evangelism dismissed “out of hand”? Your demeanor and footprint both emit whiffs of ideology.

I pointed out to you how even agreeing that reparations are justified does not propose a solution as to how to deliver them based on a litany of discrimination no one disputes has taken place. Once you get off your high horse you can sling your gun at answering a question or two before I genuflect to “something you might know”.

Compared with justifying how to implement reparations, convincing someone that the reparations are justified—some lofty philosophical conclusion—is child’s play, and that is what I think your generous ‘offer’ entails.

Here’s what is easily found out about Randall Robinson, one of those you cite as providing additional resources:

In 2001, [Randall] Robinson quit his position as head of TransAfrica and decided to emigrate to St. Kitts - where his wife, who is a member of a prominent Kittitian family, was born - a decision chronicled in his book, “Quitting America: The Departure of a Black Man from his Native Land.”

Robinson’s self-imposed exile was caused by what he describes as his antipathy towards America’s domestic policies and foreign policy, both of which he believes exploit minorities and the poor.

I think Robinson has made a principled stand in leveraging his marriage to a foreign national in order to emigrate to a tropical resort island and leave behind an exploitive society, a conclusion we might have reached about Amerika already, Professor.

[ Edited: 17 December 2019 00:06 by Traces Elk]
 
 
Garret
 
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Garret
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17 December 2019 00:05
 

If I have to point out how bad that post is, there’s no reason to continue.

[ Edited: 17 December 2019 00:10 by Garret]
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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17 December 2019 00:05
 
Garret - 16 December 2019 06:40 PM

If you want to have your “bar conversation”, why don’t you start a different thread? Seems like the more “friendly” thing to do than coming into this thread and being pissed about being called out on not adhering to the threads goals.  If I made a shit thread, you guys can just let it die by not replying.

This all could have gone better. I’m not sure where.

Our regulars could have taken your request seriously but there was no obligation. Inspiring some level of camaraderie first might have helped. Folks don’t come here for more work. They want to be engaged but extra effort means extra courting. I rank our rancor higher than chat. I’ve checked recently.

You did mention ignoring posts that did not meet your requirements. That could have gone better, too.

 
 
Garret
 
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Garret
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17 December 2019 00:07
 

I agree.  My patience runs thin pretty quick sometimes.

 
Traces Elk
 
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17 December 2019 00:17
 
Garret - 17 December 2019 12:05 AM

If I have to point out how bad that post is, there’s no reason to continue.

Reading reams and reams of references you supply might work as penitence for the sins of our fathers, but it doesn’t make for reparations, or even advocacy thereof. Perhaps the Superfund Cleanup model would work. In that case, we can sue Great Britain and France to clean up the mess they started. Spain, I dunno. Ask Mexico or Peru whom to sue.

[ Edited: 17 December 2019 00:22 by Traces Elk]
 
 
Garret
 
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Garret
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17 December 2019 00:42
 

What form of reparations have I proposed?

 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
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17 December 2019 05:11
 

I tremble to push back against so great an intellect and such a mighty bastion of professional expertise, but it bears pointing out that the main point of the OP is vague and ill-posed for one of its stated topics (reparations), and the cited case is irrelevant to the question of restitution for slavery. 

The main point is vague and ill-posed because considering “past events as relevant in understanding the present” or determining whether “history has had an impact on our current society” (emphasis added) is one thing; assigning liability (legal or otherwise) and attaching a remedy for past acts in the present, particularly on an issue like reparations, is quite another.  For sure, determining “relevance” and “impact” precedes determining liability—indeed, logically, it must—but in no way must the later follow from the former, either logically or legally.  When the former considerations aren’t simply platitudes—and saying ‘the past has a relevant impact on the present’ is an historian’s platitude—what liability and what remedy apply is a separable issue to be determined on additional grounds.  To invoke the legal distinction, something beyond “but-for-causality” is required, meaning yes, but-for slavery and the subsequent history of oppression blacks would not suffer some (or all) of the disparities they do now, but on what basis are we going to assign liability to anyone today for these causes, and on what basis are we going to attach a remedy (not to mention, which remedy)?  Absent a preexisting legal basis, this is, as I see it, the paramount question, and after the more or less trivial task of recounting the historical record (this has been done for a long time now), this question of what to do about it—this question of what basis for assigning liability and attaching a remedy, if any—is the really difficult one to ask.  Not only is it not asked in the OP: the vagueness of the OP obscures it.

As to that basis, the cited precedent is irrelevant because 1) its “cause of action” deals with a treaty the US Government was by its own laws required to obey, then and now; 2) the defendant is the US Government itself, which still exists as an entity and bearer or rights and obligations; and 3) the plaintiff, the Sioux Nation, still exists as a distinct, legal entity as well.  For reparations or restitution for something like slavery, the situation is different on two points.  First, slavery was legal at the time it was practiced, so there is no basis for saying the US Government violated its own laws, or any kind of agreement between parties to which by its own laws it is bound—hence there is no legal cause of action, i.e. no legal basis for bringing the case up at all.  And second, the original “plaintiffs” are long since dead, and in any case they never formed a recognizable body as the bearer of rights and obligations, and neither does their descendants.  Instead both represent a collection of individuals with marginal status (then) under US law, and equal status now—a race, if anything, not a recognized nation like the Sioux (and “races” are not bearers of rights).  So, for these two reasons, the two situations are not comparable, and therefore the Treaty of Laramie and its violation is irrelevant as a precedent for reparations or restitution—or any other remedy, for that matter.  In fact, all the two ‘cases’ have in common is the (trivial) similarity that the Government did something wrong ‘to a race’ in the past, and the Government in the present is liable for it—a [sic] basis as vague as one would expect given the vagueness of the platitudes in the OP.

None of this is to say that the vagueness and the erroneous citation in the OP don’t address an important point.  Indirectly, both do.  Specifically, the vagueness and the erroneous citation indicate that if “reparations” are forthcoming from the US Government, it will probably have to be on moral, not legal grounds, and whatever form they take, they will certainly have to be based on something more concrete than the “impact” and “relevance” of the past for the present.  Like burt indicates, one would want to get at the specific causes of specific disparities and address those directly, as opposed to a blanket assignment of liability, and a blanket remedy like “reparations.”  As I see it, the devil of remedying the crimes of the past is in the details, and preening vanity like that displayed in this thread only makes sorting out those details more difficult and rancorous than it needs to be.  No one I know of—on this forum or anywhere else that matters—is guilty of saying past oppression has had no impact on blacks and that nothing needs to be done about it now.  Quite the contrary.  When addressed without self-righteous belligerence, posters here and whites just about everywhere seem quite willing to accept “effective programs designed to…promote equity in the present.”  Given this, why post questions like those posed in this thread, in the way they are posed, when both only detract from the real cause of insuring racial equality through positive steps to remedy the inequities and injustices of the past?

[ Edited: 17 December 2019 05:44 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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17 December 2019 05:46
 
Garret - 15 December 2019 11:44 AM

The thread title is an argument that essentially states that modern Americans bear no culpability or responsibility to address damage caused by previous generations that are long dead.

As a historian, I find this stance confusing.  If we were to switch it around to a question like… Should we recognize the importance of the Founding Fathers in their drafting of the Constitution as a governing document, I think there’d be a lot of agreement that this is okay.  To which I would respond that you can’t just take the parts of history you like and discard the ones you don’t.  Either history has an impact on our current society or it doesn’t.

More pragmatically, there is precedence.  For example, the US government violated the Treaty of Ft. Laramie1 over 130 years ago.2  After many, many decades of court battles, the Supreme Court upheld a decision that awarded the Great Sioux Nation $100 million in restitution.  Of course that was in 1980.  The tribes involved have decided to hold out for the land itself (ie, the Black Hills), and the money has sat accruing interest and was valued at $1.3 billion about 8 years ago.3

Overall, I find the argument that past sins of previous generations do not deserve to be addressed to be fairly weak.  In a lot of discussions on these boards, we don’t even discuss anything like reparations or restitution, we just use the past to discuss it as an explanation for where we are now and how to understand the current state of things.  Seeing as how courts, congress, and many, many other institutions think that such past events can be so relevant as to require things like reparations/restition… I would love to hear the argument from people on this forum why we should not even consider past events as relevant in understanding the present.

Please note, I am providing sources for my claims.  If you want to debate this topic, if you provide no sources, I will not respond.  If I were a mod, I would delete all posts without citations.  Just flat out, I’d make it a rule for this thread, but alas, I am not.  If you don’t have sources to back you up, all you have is your opinion, and I don’t care about your opinion.

If you are having trouble finding sources, I am not going to dig through archives for you, but I will help you find those archives.  I also have an active university library account, so I can get full journal articles if that is a road block.

You sayin youll be tuter me graties? 1nd though, whait is your porpuse with this thread, if you got one.?
Here are my source:
https://www.sandvik.coromant.com/en-us/knowledge/machining-formulas-definitions/pages/threading.aspx

 
 
Traces Elk
 
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17 December 2019 07:21
 
Garret - 17 December 2019 12:42 AM

What form of reparations have I proposed?

For that matter, what scope of past events have you proposed. Nuttin’. You’ve simply informed us that dismissing the issue without discussion is wrong, and you’ve promised to present or reference literature presumed to assure we do not dismiss the issue without discussion. What does that get us? A discussion, The floor is yours.

Garret - 16 December 2019 11:06 PM

I’ve offered up 5 times now ways to have this discussion in a serious and informed manner.

And having this discussion is, apparently, for you to prescribe literature to read and for us to read it and report back to you that the discussion can, indeed, go forward. Not in this life, reporting to you. You have the floor, as much of it as you can stand.

[ Edited: 17 December 2019 07:30 by Traces Elk]
 
 
Garret
 
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17 December 2019 07:41
 
Traces Elk - 17 December 2019 07:21 AM
Garret - 17 December 2019 12:42 AM

What form of reparations have I proposed?

For that matter, what scope of past events have you proposed. Nuttin’. You’ve simply informed us that dismissing the issue without discussion is wrong, and you’ve promised to present or reference literature presumed to assure we do not dismiss the issue without discussion. What does that get us? A discussion, The floor is yours.

Garret - 16 December 2019 11:06 PM

I’ve offered up 5 times now ways to have this discussion in a serious and informed manner.

And having this discussion is, apparently, for you to prescribe literature to read and for us to read it and report back to you that the discussion can, indeed, go forward. Not in this life, reporting to you. You have the floor, as much of it as you can stand.

You’ve made specific observations about my (and others) plans for reparations.  In fact, you made such observations in this post:

Traces Elk - 16 December 2019 10:02 PM
Garret - 16 December 2019 03:10 PM

This is just scratching the surface on the amount of work that has been done to discuss the topic in academic circles.  If a person were to have an open mind on the topic, I would think that they would want to at least consider scratching the surface, or speak to someone who has, before they form an opinion.

It’s a lot easier to make a case for reparations by citing chosen historical events than it is to say whose pockets should be ransacked, and for how much. I skimmed Coates’ article in Atlantic, and viewed the usual litany of cheats, discriminations, or general unfairness. Sure, you or any student of this history can draw arbitrary lines on the problem. It looks to me like advocacy of bringing a long line of court cases in a lot of local jurisdictions whose pockets are no longer very deep. It’s fine to make an abstract case for reparations, and that should squeeze out a little more white guilt among parties who have not already given at the office.

And yes, get down off your high horse of credentials you claim imperiously and cannot demonstrate in an anonymous internet forum. Having access to making unlimited citations from (electronically accessed) volumes in an academic library is a privilege few of us have. Go back to arguing these minutiae with your academic colleagues who have equivalent capacity to engage in a battle of citations.

What is my reparations plan, and how did you reach the conclusions in this post about my reparations plan?  I’ll quote a second time and bold to point out the passage I am referring to.

Traces Elk - 16 December 2019 10:02 PM

I skimmed Coates’ article in Atlantic, and viewed the usual litany of cheats, discriminations, or general unfairness. Sure, you or any student of this history can draw arbitrary lines on the problem. It looks to me like advocacy of bringing a long line of court cases in a lot of local jurisdictions whose pockets are no longer very deep.

Please, lay out for me a single detail from my reparations plan, or the one you saw in Coates’ article.  Because to make a determination about the feasibility of our plans, you must be aware of at least a couple of details of either of them.

[ Edited: 17 December 2019 07:45 by Garret]
 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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17 December 2019 09:06
 

Garrett is the King of the Meta Argument.

 
 
burt
 
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17 December 2019 09:10
 

Garret, it seems to me that you are either naive about what is possible in a forum such as this, or are intentionally attempting to stir a pot based on an agenda. In particular, your approach here seems to be: Here is a topic (vaguely specified) and I provide references. You (mere students) can read these as well as supplying your own references and we can have a seminar discussion which I am willing to lead. You will be graded at the end of the term. Sorry, that doesn’t go over here. Better if you were to think of this as a discussion after hours in the bar at the faculty club where you are the only historian present amongst a mongrel mix of chemists, physicists, mathematicians, philosophers, linguists, and English professors. In that venue, you would not and could not expect people to cite multiple sources or be aware of historical details, but you could get a decent conversation going with a variety of worthwhile opinions expressed, and that would possibly lead to refinement of positions and some worthwhile ideas being generated. Unless, of course, you are trying to promote an agenda by simply putting out the idea of reparations under the impression that the first step in getting that sort of thing going is to promote discussions of it. If that’s the case, just say so.

 
LadyJane
 
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17 December 2019 09:34
 

I’ve never seen so many pots calling a kettle African American.

 
 
DEGENERATEON
 
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DEGENERATEON
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17 December 2019 10:04
 

Let’s work on a plan for reparations of women.  This gender-role stuff of the past and ongoing discrimination has led to the pay gap.  Also, what about the Chinese that did the mining and built the railroads for peanuts while suffering discrimination?  Or the Japanese who were put in a camp during WW2 and faced great discrimination?  Or the Native Americans?  Or what about reparations for ugly people?  The studies show that in many fields they are not proportionally represented and make much less than what most consider beautiful people make.
And let’s say we just focused on African-Americans.  After we get through the task of figuring who gets what - is that the end of it?  Terrible idea that will only set race relations back.  No source, just my two cents.  Oh, and as a politician if you favor reparations you have committed political suicide. 

 
Garret
 
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17 December 2019 10:08
 
burt - 17 December 2019 09:10 AM

Garret, it seems to me that you are either naive about what is possible in a forum such as this, or are intentionally attempting to stir a pot based on an agenda. In particular, your approach here seems to be: Here is a topic (vaguely specified) and I provide references. You (mere students) can read these as well as supplying your own references and we can have a seminar discussion which I am willing to lead. You will be graded at the end of the term. Sorry, that doesn’t go over here. Better if you were to think of this as a discussion after hours in the bar at the faculty club where you are the only historian present amongst a mongrel mix of chemists, physicists, mathematicians, philosophers, linguists, and English professors. In that venue, you would not and could not expect people to cite multiple sources or be aware of historical details, but you could get a decent conversation going with a variety of worthwhile opinions expressed, and that would possibly lead to refinement of positions and some worthwhile ideas being generated. Unless, of course, you are trying to promote an agenda by simply putting out the idea of reparations under the impression that the first step in getting that sort of thing going is to promote discussions of it. If that’s the case, just say so.

Actually, my agenda was to put on display how readily people on these forums are willing to jump to conclusions without evidence.

Thanks for proving me wrong, I appreciate it.

 
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