Let’s see: there are checking accounts, savings accounts, retirement accounts, and now, a new and exciting innovation: individual reparations accounts! The Free Beacon.com explains:
Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson called on white people to maintain an ‘individual reparations accounts’ to make donations to black individuals as retribution for racism in America.
The plan, put forth in Dyson’s upcoming book, Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America, suggests that white people set aside funds to donate to groups like the United Negro College Fund or to pay ‘the black person who cuts your grass double what you might ordinarily pay.
Oh dear. But what if I’ve never been racist? It should go without saying I’ve never kept a slave of any color, nor did any of my ancestors, despite residing in the South. My wife and I spend thousands each year on our students—of all colors—and we cut our own grass. What am I to do?
Look, if it doesn’t cost you anything, you’re not really engaging in change; you’re engaging in convenience,’ Dyson told the New York Times Magazine last week. ‘I’m asking you to do stuff you wouldn’t ordinarily do. I’m asking you to think more seriously and strategically about why you possess what you possess.
Oh! So I’m supposed to give money to people I don’t know for transgressions I’ve never made? That would certainly be “change” in that it would empty my already meager bank accounts. Hmm. If we’re all responsible for ourselves, how does that work? Why would someone I don’t know or to whom I have no connection, someone I owe no duty or compensation, even think I owe them something? Why would any honorable person accept such undeserved largess?
I’ve done some serious, strategic thinking about what I possess and why. I worked hard for many, many years, overcame many obstacles and much unfairness, and earned it all, every little bit. If there was any privilege involved, I surely didn’t see it.
And if this is, as Dyson suggests, an entirely racial thing—all white people owe all black people money simply because white people are white people and black people are black people–how is it to be distributed, and what’s Dyson’s cut? And why are leftists so obsessed with race? Despite living in Texas, a generally conservative place, working and associating with people of all races and religions, I have never seen the slightest evidence of racism, yet leftists seem to be swimming in a cesspool of it. Why are the supposedly enlightened places they live such racist hells?
You ain’t got to ask the government, you don’t have to ask your local politician–this is what you, an individual, conscientious, ‘woke’ citizen can do,’ he continued.
Oh, I see! I need to be “an individual, conscientious, ‘woke’ citizen.”
Well, Mr. Dyson, this citizen is very much ‘woke,” and I utterly reject your attempt at instilling guilt for wrongs never committed by my ancestors, my family and me. I’m sure Mr. Dyson would suggest my refusal to accept guilt and to admit my inherent racist white privilege are proof positive I’m racist. That, you see is the first sign of a racist: they deny they’re racists.
Why, by the way, can’t a Georgetown professor use standard American English? He wants ‘woke’ citizens? Not “awakened” citizens, or does proper English bespeak white privilege and the oppression of blacks as well? And “ain’t got?” For this he got a PhD?
Dyson, a regular contributor to MSNBC, said he expects his book to be well-received by white people who are ‘deeply empathetic to the struggles of minorities.’
‘These are the ones who ask me, ‘What can I do, as a white person?’ he said.
Apparently Mr. Dyson thinks one can’t experience empathy without giving undeserved money to the undeserving. Because we here at this scruffy little blog strive to serve the public, allow me please, gentle readers, to suggest what we, as white persons, can do. Actually, all persons can do it:
As Christians and others of good will, we can love our neighbors as ourselves. We should also do unto others as we would have them do unto us.
As Americans, we can mind our own business, and allow others to mind theirs. Simply being left alone unless we wish otherwise, is a quintessential American value that provides benefits for all.
As human beings, we should feel guilt only for our own failings, and make peace and proper recompense only to those we have failed.
Charity is always a virtue, but it must be voluntary and close to home, where we know it will be properly used, appreciated, and temporary. Charity that becomes an entitlement encourages helplessness and failure.
And what should we expect of black people, and everyone else for that matter? The same, and: responsibility, hard work, sobriety, good will, dedication to their families, their neighbors, their community and their country. It would also help to develop respect for the value of education, which college professors can demonstrate by not advocating racism, not doing their best to tear down the foundations of civilization, and using proper English.
Mr. Dyson’s “sermon” appears to preach dependency and the expectation that black people are owed money by others for harms they never did. This is a very destructive message, not only for black people, but for everyone. One doesn’t succeed by thinking the world owes them anything; it doesn’t. One doesn’t demand respect; they earn it, each and every day. One doesn’t demand prosperity; they earn it through proper attitudes, the development of positive habits, and consistent learning and effort. Dwelling on the past and believing oneself oppressed despite no evidence of oppression is a recipe for misery and failure.
That ain’t no way for no citizen to be “woke.”