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Apparently, I “Owe” a “Debt” “to African-Americans”

Hans Bader (Liberty Unyielding) writes:

Reparations took a step closer to becoming a reality. California’s state senate just voted 33-to-3 to create a reparations commission. The commission will “study the effects slavery had on California and recommend to the legislature no later than 2023 what type of compensation would be appropriate, how it might be dispersed and who could be eligible to receive it,” according to Fox News.

Supporters of reparations assume the racial wealth gap between blacks and whites is the result of slavery, and thus, something to be fixed through reparations. “If the 40-acres-and-a-mule that was promised to free slaves were delivered to the descendants of those slaves today, we would all be billionaires,” state Sen. Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, said. “I hear far too many people say, ‘Well, I didn’t own slaves, that was so long ago.’ Well, you inherit wealth—you can inherit the debt that you owe to African-Americans.”

My parents and my brother and I came to the country in 1975. We didn’t inherit any wealth in the U.S. (and really none anywhere). I don’t owe any debt—because of my skin color my ancestors or theirs—to blacks or whites or Asians, and neither do other Californians.


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Eugene Volokh

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