When we step back and take a look at the current condition of our country – socially, politically and so on – we find no end of troubles. We also see a slew of disturbing trends. While there are differences between issues, we can trace some definite similarities.
One of these is the increasingly shrill demand for remedy for one offense or another. They seem to be coming at us with greater speed and absurdity, par for our political course these days. Some call for apologies in one form or another, others expect more formal and substantial remedies. Like money. Funny how often it comes down to that.
And – here is one of those trends that have become so common – those demanding the money haven’t earned it and those expected to pay aren’t culpable. But, that never satisfies the insatiable desire to remake society and to use distorted appeals for justice to accomplish that.
They are distorted because they hide the truth under false pretenses and phony outrage. There are plenty to choose from, some sounding more legitimate than others. And, that is the problem – they sound credible, even noble, but they really aren’t.
If it Sounds Good…
Take slavery and the treatment of blacks and other minorities in this country historically. Without question, some people did some horrific things to some other people some time in the past. Doing something to rectify that sounds like a great idea. For some that means reparations.
The problem with this is the same as with many other great ideas we have to improve things. The cure would be worse than the disease. A vague, grand scheme to do good can’t stand up to the scrutiny it should receive. When it gets to the details of how we might go about implementing the proposition, it fails.Even worse, once we assent to one such claim, others are sure to follow. This isn't a matter of being stingy or unjust. Quite the opposite – true justice can only be served with a proper response to these reparation claims. Click To Tweet
We need to think through demands like this clearly and carefully. There is ample counsel available to help guide us into more rational thought and action. The following commentary is one example. Bill Muehlenberg presents some insights into the difficulties and the dangers of starting down this path.
Not only will any measures we take be inadequate, they will be extremely costly. Even worse, once we assent to one such claim, others are sure to follow. This isn’t a matter of being stingy or unjust. Quite the opposite – true justice can only be served with a proper response to these reparation claims.
Apologies for Past Wrongs
“But let me point out that there are other calls for apologies for past wrongs, such as apologizing for the Crusades. I have written about that elsewhere, so I urge you to have a read of this piece, since so many of the concerns related to that also relate to the US slavery debate…
“Similarly, Australia has had national sorry days and the like. That too I have previously discussed…
“But let me return to the renewed calls in the US for reparations for slavery. Democratic hopefuls such as Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris are now strongly pushing this – or at least for a major debate on it. But is it really such a good idea? I don’t think so.”
The entire piece is well worth the read at Reparations For Slavery – Social and Political Considerations.