Economics, Identity, Politics, Top Stories

On Race and Inequality—A Reply to Nathan J. Robinson

The resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd has plunged us into a new era of institutional anti-racism. The prevailing narrative is that the country remains a fundamentally racist and white supremacist society that has yet to come to terms with its original sin and must be held accountable by eliminating all racial disparities of outcome. To this ongoing discussion, Nathan J. Robinson has contributed a long essay in his magazine Current Affairs restating the case for reparations on behalf of black Americans.

What was once a fringe perspective has become increasingly mainstream in the wake of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s widely debated 2014 essay on the topic for the Atlantic. The reparations issue has become emblematic of the broader debate around race, encapsulating all of the moral and political dimensions that make it so complex and heavy. To what extent does racism continue to hold blacks back? Can an entire racial group, whites, be held responsible for the sins of the past? What does racial justice really look like, basic fairness or socio-economic parity? These are the questions Robinson tackles in his essay.

Robinson begins with a thought experiment: What if we took two groups, A and B, deprived B of resources while allocating every advantage to A, allowed those respective advantages and deprivations to compound for generations, before changing the law 60 years ago so groups A and B were treated the same, and then weighed out the results today? We’d expect group A to find itself ahead of group B on virtually every socio-economic metric, and it would necessarily require a massive restructuring of society, involving a major redistribution of wealth and power, for these groups to be on a level playing field. Robinson sums up this point by reminding us of former president Lyndon B. Johnson’s famous adage:

You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, “You are free to compete with all the others,” and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.

He then considers the arguments against reparations and offers a rejoinder to each in turn. Conservative objections to reparations, he argues, mostly involve the questions of practicality, pragmatics, and precedent. Either it can’t be done, it won’t help the people it intends to, or doing it will destabilize society. To Robinson, this is all evasion. As he sees it, the fact that almost all critics of reparations admit that historical racism impacts blacks today are conceding the basic premise of the pro-reparations argument. If we are acknowledging, to paraphrase Robinson’s thought experiment, that it’s wholly unreasonable to expect group B to have the same outcomes as group A based on history, the opposition is left with no logical or moral ground upon which to stand.

Robinson goes on to address some of the deeper criticisms of the reparations movement, those that have less to do with feasibility and more to do with its underlying ethical problems. He pulls a quote from Coleman Hughes’s testimony before Congress in which Hughes argues that reparations will turn American citizenship into a transactional relationship between guilty groups and victim groups that ultimately corrodes our sense of togetherness as a nation.

Robinson believes there is no need to look at things this way. Instead, we should approach reparations as if we were settling a dispute in court. We are simply “trying to make amends and make sure that someone does not accumulate unjust advantages at the expense of another.” Reparations are not an attempt to make up for the sins of the past, but rather a way of ensuring a more equitable future, so that a black baby and a white baby “do not have radically different life outcomes as a result of the injustice that was done to the dead that came before them.”

His essay broaches a few other points that regularly crop up in the reparations debate. There is the question of basic fairness: How would compensating blacks for historical oppression relate to the problems faced by poor whites or poor members of other groups? On this, Robinson has little to say other than that, on paper, whites who are low on the economic totem pole shouldn’t be touched one way or the other by a reparations program, and that other policies could be instituted to address the broader issue of poverty in America.

He then lists disparities between blacks and whites and offers these as evidence of how far we have to climb before true equality is reached. So long as there remains a black/white wealth gap, wage gap, health gap, incarceration gap, homeownership gap, education gap, or gaps in policing outcomes, we’ll know we haven’t gone far enough. Robinson concludes that the reparations discussion is not about tallying up the racial debt in monetary terms, but attempting to understand what would constitute “wholeness” moving forward. If historical racism were like a knife in someone’s back, as Malcolm X once put it, simply taking it out is not enough. We must set about healing the wound.

Against reparations

To anti-racist activists like Ibram X. Kendi and Ta-Nehisi Coates, achieving racial parity of outcome would mark the culmination of America’s healing process. To their mainstream critics, who are mostly conservative and liberal humanists, overcoming the moral stain of anti-black racism would be shown by the declining significance of race in public life and national discourse and by the overall improvement of social conditions for the country as a whole, regardless of whatever racial gaps persist. These visions are diametrically and irreconcilably opposed, but it’s important to understand precisely how and in what ways.

Robinson’s essay is useful both in its articulation of basic anti-racist logic and in its confusion about the views of those who reject it. His argument can be broken down into four parts:

  1. A historical wrong was done.
  2. The injury of that wrong determines present outcomes.
  3. Healing that injury means closing racial gaps.
  4. Reparations would entail anything that would achieve this, namely the implementation of race-conscious policies.

Robinson is under the impression that opponents of reparations concede points one and two, and it is only on the question of what should be done to achieve point three and whether that would entail point four that disagreement emerges. But this is not the debate. It is only on point one that the critics readily agree. Points two through four remain contested, and for good reasons.

Although it is very difficult to deny that systematically racist historic practices such as redlining—the racially selective distribution of housing loans whereby blacks were methodically denied good credit—account for some degree of racial inequality today, it is not obvious how much it can account for. Nor is it obvious what other factors are involved in perpetuating inequality, and considering that we can’t change the past, whether the historic discrimination alone admits of clear solutions or is in any way relevant to formulating policy.

It requires quite the leap of faith to draw a straight line from discriminatory housing policies of the mid-20th century to the pervasive and self-replicating violence and poverty afflicting many inner city black communities today. Many of these patterns didn’t fully manifest until well after the passing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. For example, the rates of black single parenthood recorded by the likes of E. Franklin Frazier and Daniel Patrick Moynihan—a phenomenon highly predictive of criminality and other antisocial behaviors—remained relatively stable during slavery and Jim Crow before increasing in the mid-20th century.

Nor can historical determinism explain why racial progress occurred over periods when racism was considerably worse than it is now. The black poverty rate per household halved between 1940 and 1960 from 87 percent to 47 percent according to the conservative economist Thomas Sowell. And in his short 2017 book False Black Power, Manhattan Institute senior fellow Jason L. Riley has pointed out that the employment rate for black males quintupled over the same period. Post-slavery, meanwhile, blacks made a historic leap in literacy rates. It is never fully explained why racist attitudes have been in dramatic and measurable decline for 60 years while racial disparities have remained more or less the same, if not worse in some respects.

There are many reasons besides oppression why a group of people might experience socio-economic progress or regress, whether it involves broader societal forces—such as globalization, industrialization, immigration, automation—or deep-seated cultural factors such as attitudes towards education and family life. The social construction of group identity, the ways in which a group of people conceive of themselves, can be equally as important as external factors in determining outcomes. Although discrimination against Asian Americans continues, they out-earn white Americans in terms of household income by about 20 percent. That data point alone should cause a thoughtful analyst to doubt that racism necessarily explains inequality. There is no shortage of ethnic minorities throughout history who achieved astonishing success in their society despite whatever negative attitudes the majority held toward them, such as the Chinese in Malaysia or the Lebanese in colonial Africa.

These conflicting visions about the nature of inequality represent divergent views of history: as a top-down power play between different groups determined by oppression on the one hand, and as a bottom-up cultural story of human development on the other. Nevertheless, even if it’s true that visibly identifiable minority groups can succeed without the largesse of the majority, that racial progress in America has been less linear than often thought, and that racism is not always the primary source of disparity, doesn’t the uniquely brutal history of black Americans at the hands of whites carry enormous weight into questions of inequality today? And wouldn’t accounting for that history mean closing the recurrent racial gaps we see in the country?

The reality is that virtually no two ethnic groups in history have ever achieved equal outcomes on all measures, anywhere, ever. Equal outcomes and proportional representation are the exception, not the rule. It may simply be the case that whites and blacks, not to mention the array of various ethnic groups in America that get little mention in this conversation, will never be equal on all fronts, just as Asians and whites may never be equal on all fronts. It’s worth asking why, if life has been materially improving for every group over time, one group’s relative success over another should be considered an injustice?

Racial gaps are not a good way to measure progress. It is better to compare outcomes in the present with those in the past, and to set clear and measurable goals for the future while proposing policies and cultural changes intended to attain those goals. For instance, instead of positing that progress means eliminating the racial wealth gap, why not try to double black American income by expanding the earned income tax credit or instituting a federal jobs program in low income areas, policies that are entirely colorblind and class-based? Or how about halving the black homicide rate through preventative policing practices, community reinvestment, and ending the drug war? The problem with measuring progress in terms of gaps is that, if all we’re doing is comparing groups to other groups, there’s no need to keep track of specific trends that more directly correlate with actual quality of life. All we have to do is look at comparative outcomes, ascribe racism to the inevitable disparities we see, lament reality for not conforming to our hopes, and enjoy the moral capital of being on the “right side of history,” even though nothing really changes.

The final part of the pro-reparations argument is that race-conscious policies are preferable to universalist economic reforms. Although Robinson, a democratic socialist, is clearly in favor of robust social safety nets and wealth redistribution, such measures are apparently not sufficient to make up for the intergenerational impact of anti-black sentiment in American life. But if the argument for reparations is that blacks are disproportionately represented on the lower rungs of the economic ladder, then, in theory, they would disproportionately benefit from policies intended to help the poor. It is unclear why race-conscious programs are necessary. Why use race as a shorthand for other inequalities if those other inequalities—in income, wealth, geography, single parenthood—are more predictive of life outcomes than race?

Many social democrats, including Bernie Sanders, are reluctant to acknowledge the conflict between economic and cultural leftism out of political expediency. The moral logic of retributive justice and collective guilt is distinct from the humanist impulse to help as many living people as possible in the present regardless of their particular identity. That both positions are grounded in a sense of injustice means very little when it comes to developing solutions and implementing policies. It is incumbent upon proponents of reparations and other race-based policies to make the case for why race is a better proxy for addressing inequality than pure socio-economics. This case has yet to be decisively made.

We can take steps toward a society in which white and black babies are not born with “radically different life outcomes,” while steering away from a society in which, to quote Thomas Sowell, “a new born baby enters the world supplied with prepackaged grievances against other babies born the same day.”

 

Samuel Kronen is an independent writer interested in culture, politics, and identity. You can follow him on Twitter @SalmonKromeDome.

Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash.  

Comments

  1. Negotiating with terrorists leads to more demands from terrorists.

  2. Restitution has been paid to the African-American community for almost 60 years.

    We call it Affirmative Action.

  3. Blacks who have immigrated here outpace whites in average US income. Southeast Asians from India are at the top of the economic earning food chain, with Asians not far behind. So there has been and is a problem inside the native (US) born black community. As the article states, the white Americans culpability towards that is arguable in degree, but not in fact.

    Reparations, aka ‘shooting the money gun’ at the problem is something Americans like to do, but it rarely actually helps in the intended way. It is an ‘easy’ solution because you don’t have to get your hands dirty.

    Opening the can of reparations worms seems to me that Native Americans may have to just be handed back about half of our national parks, just to begin to make up for the land grab from them. And Jews, holy smoke, they have suffered so much oppression, and it goes back WAY before 1619. Should they get in line? I don’t think TaNeshi and his group will be down with that.

    My hope is that black leaders will emerge that can keep working towards solving the issues that reparations wouldn’t fix anyway, like out of wedlock babies and continuing black on black murders in south Chicago. Why don’t all of those black lives matter? I know they do, but I want more black leaders leading solution identification, not just problem ID and blaming.

    I think most Americans, specifically white Americans, are open to helping. But as a former marriage therapist and International mission leader I can tell you that much time has to be spent on what ‘help’ actually means and who and how it should be administered. Solutions won’t fit in 140 characters, so I’m afraid the social media crowd will not have the bandwidth to stay in the room for THAT ‘conversation’.

  4. No offence, but there was a whole civil war which ended slavery (while I believe the war was mainly about unification, one of its main consequences was the end of slavery). All those dead white boys, and not one thank you. Affirmative action, boosted SAT scores and a black president, but still there’s “systemic racism” against blacks. Ta-Nahesi Coates enjoys opportunities and wealth that would not exist for him in Africa. Ditto any black celebrity, from Michael Jordan to Oprah Winfrey. If there are reparations to be paid, it’s them to their great grandparents because their suffering led to their offspring’s bounty. You want oppression, Africa has tons of oppression available. Reparations aren’t just impractical, they are not deserved.

  5. “If the argument for reparations is that blacks are disproportionately represented on the lower rungs of the economic ladder, then, in theory, they would disproportionately benefit from policies intended to help the poor. It is unclear why race-conscious programs are necessary. Why use race as a shorthand for other inequalities if those other inequalities—in income, wealth, geography, single parenthood—are more predictive of life outcomes than race?”

    Not only are race-conscious programs unnecessary, they virtually guarantee that policies to help the poor will never be enacted. The idea of reparations for slavery is only interesting as a thought experiment. On a practical level, it will not and should not be seriously considered. In addition to the logistical challenges–e.g., on average 25% of African Americans’ DNA is European in origin; will genetic tests be used to pro-rate their payments?–reparations are a political impossibility.

  6. The tragedy of the American dialogue on race is that whilst liberals may have the will and intent to help Blacks, they lack the intellectual framework of how to do it, and whilst conservatives may possess much of the intellectual framework to help, they possess neither the cultural power nor the historical habit of being able to articulate their case on the basis of compassionate conservativism.

    Here are the simple dynamics of human social mobility. If you are born into the bottom 60% of society in the West, then you will possess the strong in-group preferences and moral foundations which characterise every other culture in the world, whilst if you are born into the top 40% and to an educationally fluent and aspirational set of parents then those in-group preference will have declined and your only moral foundations will be the care and fairness foundations. The logistical problem is this- apart from a small percentage of exceptional individuals born every generation, the liberal mindset cannot help communities largely in the bottom 60% of the socio-economic distribution, to change their stars en masse.

    Liberals are usually distrustful of authority, and they tend to see a disproportionate need for discipline in schools serving poor, multi-ethnic or mainly Black and high crime neighbourhoods, as evidence of systemic racism. Yet if we look at the small number of high performing schools serving these communities a highly structured system of strictly enforced low-level discipline (such as detentions), which sets the bar high on standards of behaviour, seems to be a universal common denominator for those schools which generate seemingly miraculous results. Often, conduct codes extend to parents both in terms of engagement in the educational process and in relation to parental standards of behaviour.

    Liberals also tend to overestimate the comparative advantage conferred by economic factors, and completely underestimate the role of comparative advantage in parental engagement. The division of labour which a two parent family provides allows parents to engage with their children. A longitudinal study from the UK sampling 0.2% of the UK population showed that highly engaged fathers from high SES backgrounds conferred an IQ advantage of around 3.5 IQ points, with smaller gains for lower SES backgrounds. That’s almost as much as the estimate for the entirety of primary and secondary education. Fathers also apparently improve motor coordination through rough play. A Chinese study showed similar declines in cognitive ability for children raised without maternal influence, as parents worked in cities whilst their parents raised the children.

    But the biggest error for liberals in education is the erroneous belief that the behaviour and achievement of good kids can somehow transfer to less orderly children. They might occasionally witness some benefit but these gains are only temporary, whilst there is far greater chance that negative behaviour will transfer to well-behaved kids and become permanent. The Cambridge Somerville experiment proved this decades ago.

    "The program had no impacts on juvenile arrest rates measured by official or unofficial records. The program also had no impacts on adult arrest rates. There were no differences between the two groups in the number of serious crimes committed, age at when a first crime was committed, age when first committing a serious crime, or age after no serious crime was committed. A larger proportion of criminals from the treatment group went on to commit additional crimes than their counterparts in the control group.

    And this is the secret of why liberals consistently fail to provide the community level educational transformations that African Americans so desperately need. Whilst they acknowledge the role of peer groups in educational outcomes, they either gravitate to the belief that comparative advantage is economic, or to the mistaken belief that mixing troubled kids with good ones is going to somehow raise the attainment and behaviour of the troubled kids. It’s a ludicrous proposition, from what we know.

    The reason why many subsequent migrant populations have been so successful in the US and the US, is that tendency to cluster and self-segregate upon arrival, means that they are able to preserve whatever conservative moral coding they possess, with its inherent advantages for poorer people, for at least the one generation necessary for their mainly liberal children or grandchildren to achieve economic opportunity and transcend class barriers to locate their own childres into the pockets of liberal affluence where self-selection ensures an entirely different set of socially benign factors.

    The wealthy liberal parents of progressive children may disdain marriage and monogamy publicly- not wishing to morally condemn the choices of others- but they achieve the thirty year plus stable marriages and picture book princess weddings for themselves, with far greater frequency than the rest of the population. And, of course, with fees paying private education for their children, or active participation on the boards of their well-funded public schools, they are quick to expel and exclude the occasional bad influence who happens to encroach into their own children’s peer group.

    And peer group is the one insurmountable barrier which conceptually liberal fail to grasp. They simply don’t understand just how harmful their defence of Teachers Unions is, in depriving Black parents of the opportunity to remove their children from schools which fail to enforce order within peer groups and the inevitable poor educational outcomes that result. They understand that disruptive kids will always exist and make provision for those kids within the system- but what they fail to realise is that in some communities the percentage of kids with strongly disruptive behaviour patterns can be as high as 40%. It’s not the kids fault- poverty and intergenerationally reinforced cycles of behaviour simply combine, to make the circumstances that they are born into far more likely to generate disruptive or anti-social behaviour patterns. Disrupted classrooms can easily result in two years of lost education by K-12, and often more.

    The secret that every parent know intuitively is that parenting is a weak force when compared to the influence of peer group during the teen years. We all remember the kids who could have led us astray. It’s the stuff of nightmares, the idea that the wrong kids might introduce our daughter to drugs, or our son to singularly unhealthy attitudes towards young women. Where liberals seem to fail to make the cognitive leap, is in understanding how peer groups can shape disparate outcomes by race at a population level, statistically speaking.

    One child of single mother in a peer group of four or five individuals, might be overwhelmed by group pressure- when one consider the negative accumulation of a lack of a paternal role model, the much higher chances of aggressive males cycling through the home, the statistically far higher chances of neglect, abuse, or SUDs in single parent homes- but as peer groups start to possess two or more such teens, the chances of benign outcomes rapidly decline. Plus, fathers really do regulate boys peer groups where they exist in sufficient numbers at a community level- Dr Raj Chetty’s research into social mobility for the bottom 20% of the socio-economic spectrum really does prove this simple axiom.

    Any attempt at using reparations to address systemic racial disparities in outcome, should be mindful of the fact that when looking at high socio-economic backgrounds, it’s the social that confers the advantage, not the economic. Oh sure, economics does play a role- but only insofar as it allows parents to exercise choice in the peer group their child is exposed to through education.

    A better way to accomplish the goal of better educational and life outcomes for African American children and the economic opportunities which result would be to allow parents to exercise more control over their children’s peer group, through the medium of school choice, and with the simple innovation of allowing parents to exercise autonomy over school disciplinary proceedings for misbehaving kids (and parents), it wouldn’t be long before poor inner city were producing schools every bit as good (though not necessarily as numerous, initially) as their private school equivalents.

  7. Coleman Hughes said best when he said:

    Black people don’t need another apology. We need safer neighborhoods and better schools. We need a less punitive criminal justice system. We need affordable health care. And none of these things can be achieved through reparations for slavery.

    The Reparations conversation is just another ineffective social justice cloak whose purveyors group focus & counterproductive nonsense betrays divisive politically driven tactics. Their all encompassing command of social justice discussion effectively prevents any real solutions thus substantially prolonging hardship. They are effectually anti social justice.

  8. So they haven’t been burning/destroying buildings and tearing down ‘unclean’ statues/monuments?

    They are attacking the state and attempting to overthrow it. They are employing extreme violence and using ultimatums like "If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it.”

    They are terrorists. They are the dictionary definition of terrorists, in fact.

  9. Agreed;
    I know this varies with your faction and nation but “Non governmental group using violence or threats of violence to achieve political goals” is a pretty good definition of terrorism to me.

  10. As soon as you see the word ‘reparations’ you know that the rest of the narrative is all useless flannel.
    It’s not about racism or injustice - it’s all about money and power.
    The argument that funding is required for worthy programs to help lift folks out of poverty - while true in many cases - is also used falsely by activists.
    This Guilt into Gold alchemy has been pushed by activists in Canada’s Indigenous grievance industry for years.
    Forget hearts and minds; guilty white liberals can simply buy their way out of sin.
    Et voila!
    Equality in 3 easy payments!
    And if you act now we’ll include Justice at no extra charge - just pay shipping and handling.
    Too cynical?
    Well as they say in the movies, “follow the money”
    Go ahead and call their bluff.
    How much money, exactly, will be enough?
    To whom, exactly, will the money be paid?
    If past experience is any indication the amount will remain undefined and the idea of sending cheques to individuals will be dismissed out of hand.
    The money will have to be given to an activist-approved and operated organization created to ensure the cash is distributed “fairly”.
    And of course as Signor Ferrari famously said there will be: “carrying charges my boy, carrying charges”
    Said organization will announce at each year-end that yet more money is required because the stubborn stains of slavery are proving more difficult to wash away then we thought.

  11. Why always focus on race, when there are myriad other factors that correlate?

    With, say, earning potential, you can break the numbers down by using differing metrics, to create stats to back up just about any argument you like.

    But having done so - often to bolster an emotive polemic - you still have to remember that “inequality of outcome is not proof of inequity” and “correlation does not equal causation.” Yet everyday we see articles throughout the media that wilfully ignore those two truths.

    Just as a “for instance” - There’s reams of research to “prove” that attractive people are given better jobs at the starts of their careers and find it easier to gain promotion and pay rises. Who is manning the barricades to fight that battle? #uglylivesmatter

    Plenty of research has been done into why tall people out-earn the short - yet I don’t see much being done to tackle that issue. #teardownthetall
    Research has also suggested Redheads find it harder to get employed #gingersmatter … though, once on the career ladder, they advance faster than their colleagues #endgingerprivilege

    Try to start a campaign to tackle those injustices and it would appear absurd - and rightly so.

    When it comes to educational attainment, to career prospects, to poverty, to crime, to incarceration, to life expectancy, there are countless competing factors that play a part. But just because things “correlate” it does not follow that one “causes” the other.

    So, why ALWAYS focus on colour?

    For instance: Growing up in an urban environment, in a single parent family, with no significant male role model figure is a far better predictor of a criminal future than colour. A young white boy growing up in that environment is many times more likely to drift into crime than a young black boy growing up in the suburbs with two working parents in the home.

    The correlation with ethnicity only exists because there are distinct cultural differences that lead to absent fathers being more prevalent in one community than another.

    These figures are from the UK’s Office of National Statistics:

    The statistics in the UK show that 59% of black Caribbean children live in lone-parent households compared with 22% of white children.

    Fathers from Asian backgrounds (Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani) are the least likely to be non-resident whereas Black Caribbean, mixed race and Black African fathers are the most likely. Whereas just 6% of Pakistani fathers and 7% of Bangladeshi fathers are non-resident, 32% of Black Caribbean, 21% of mixed race and 19% of Black African fathers have non-resident children.

    But rather than tackle absentee fathers it appears much simpler just to blame everything on institutional and systemic racism. It is not an honest assessment of reality.

    Though blaming the majority for the outcomes faced by a minority seems the simpler, and more popular way to go. It helps no one.

    I’m not paranoid enough (yet) to believe that the majority of the “woke” actually want to see society divided - but I cannot fathom how they think the divisive, separatist attitudes of their movement can possibly bring us together. It seems so self-evidently self-defeating.

    Just a few years ago we were exhorted as a society to be colour-blind, to accept people simply as people, whatever their background, their lifestyle, their “differences”. What happened to that idea?

    I lived in London and worked in an industry (Broadcast TV) that was as diverse as one could possibly find anywhere. As far as I was concerned the arguments of Race, Gender, Creed, Orientation had been fought and won. We seemed at the time - perhaps naively - to be enjoying the peace.

    Maybe those who are inclined to be activists feel they have to keep picking at the scab and reopening old wounds or there is no point to their existence, but it seems incredible that we’ve gone so far backwards and quite so quickly.

  12. Although it is very difficult to deny that systematically racist historic practices such as redlining—the racially selective distribution of housing loans whereby blacks were methodically denied good credit

    Totally agreeing with your comment @AlexSimonelis

    Why is redlining racist? I can’t prove, but I’d be willing to bet, that those loans were denied for reasons that weren’t the applicant’s race. Maybe the reason was related to race, but not the actual reason. Please correct me if I am wrong:

    When you apply for a loan for property, the entity loaning you the money isn’t doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. There has to be return on that money, hence the interest rate over the term of the loan. If you happen to be unable to pay the full price of the loan, including interest, the value of the property must be at least somewhat comparable to the amount you own. In this case, the loan owner takes the property and attempts to get their money out of it.

    If you live in low value area, have low wages, and have little to offer up in terms of other collateral, why would a bank even think about giving you money? Why would they want to hold a piece of property with a shitty house in a sketchy neighborhood as some sort of leverage against your lack of job and shitty income? Do people think this has to do with race?

    I grew up poor and rural. My life was dead center of the meth triangle in the 1990’s in western Colorado that destroyed so many lives. I also happen to be white. While both of my parents were off working trying to make something of a living, I was baby-sat in a trailer park. The tenants next to my babysitter were dirt poor white trash. Like, trailer with no stairs, no doors, no windows, no skirt so you can see the tireless wheel axles underneath… don’t even know how they lived to be honest. Were these people redlined? Absolutely. What it because of their race… shit no. It was because they were poor as dirt. What would they even offer up as collateral? You think the bank wants that trailer? How is this different than the case for racist redlining that the SWJ’s keep referring to? Oh that’s right, these people were white and had no hope. If they were black at least they’d “deserve” something better because their great-great-grandpa was a slave, right?

  13. Education is a public right until 18, and the government will cover Harvard-on-the-Hill via loans if you get in.

    Doctors can’t turn you away at the ER. Your vaccines, etc. the state picks up the tsb.

    “Denied medical care” may be the single biggest lie you believe. A private practice can deny you care, a hospital legally cannot deny you life preserving services.

    With the added subsidies of Obamacare, it’s the lower middle class, who don’t qualify for the writeoff, who are de facto denied care.

    Also, this mindset doesn’t see individuals for the group. Loot the local store, and sure, whitey doesn’t get poorer. But Tom, local manager, is crippled. His wife has to quit her job to care for him, they sell their home for bills. Their kids withdraw from college.

    There are no group on group crimes. All crime is done on an individual basis to individusls, who suffer as individuals.

  14. Society doesn’t owe you a ticket to a better life just because you exist. There are many ways you can build yourself a better life. Here in the U.S. ( I know you Canadians have a similar system in place) almost anyone can get a free-ride to college, university, or any technical training you could ever want. Pilot school, welding school, teaching, cosmetology, you name it. All it takes is a few years of your life and basically being able to spell your name on a piece of paper along with passing a drug test. Its called the Military.

    I get really tired of all this “no opportunity available” narrative from people. There is plenty of opportunity available to those that are will to make sacrifices and do some work. Like my previous post states, I grew up pretty fucking poor. Not dirt poor, like some people I knew, but I did have to give up some of my own money made working at Golden Corral in high school so my family could pay the rent. That didn’t stop either me or my sister from both earning Masters. She paid for hers with loans (poor kid will be paying that bill for the rest of her life) and I chose the military. I don’t have student loans. I paid for my education by selling five years of my life, including three combat deployments, to the Marine Corps. We had immigrants earn their citizenship this way along with an education. One specific person stands out in my mind… a El Salvadorian kid that grew up in the back of a truck. I don’t think I can remember a single time he complained about anything. He was always just happy to be earning what he hoped would be a better life.

    I will never have a gram of pity on any able bodied and sound minded person that plays this no opportunity game.

  15. Pepper sprayed? Really? That’s what you put up against being killed, against being pulled from your car or chased down in the street and beaten?

    That system IS NOT broken. YOU and your ilk are broken. Possibly beyond repair.

    There were 375 MILLION interaction between police and he public last year 375,000,000.

    NINE resulted in an unarmed person being killed NINE. Of that nine, 4 were found to be questionable, the rest were very obviously justified. Of those four two were found to be criminal and the officers were charged. 2 are still pending.

    So, out of three hundred and seventy five million encounters 4 might have been criminal and 2 have already been prosecuted.

    Four in 375 million encountered. How much better do you think is even possible? Statistically speaking, those numbers are BEYOND perfect.

    They show that the police care more than ANYONE about ALL people.

    There is no problem.

    Except with the media and the left that has created this situation.

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