Reparations and Blood Guilt

Early in the interview shared below, Coleman Hughes notes the huge wealth gap between Jews and Protestants and the fact that hardly anybody is interested in that matter. Indeed, if a person is interested in the wealth gap between Jews and Protestants he is viewed with suspicion. Is there not at least a whiff of antisemitism when a Protestant is interested in why Jews as a group do so much better than Protestants do as a group?

Coleman Hughes a fellow and contributing editor at City Journal.

We can push Hughes’ premise a bit more. If the person interested in the question argues that the reason there is such a gap is because the Jews have organized a system of institutions and organizations and occupy influential positions within this system that allows them as a group to amass privilege over time and accumulate a disproportionate share of the wealth, what social scientists call “cumulative advantages,” then the suggestion becomes an indication of antisemitism. Sounds conspiratorial, no? Does the explanation have the Jewish plan of control in hand? Are there laws on the books that protect and advance the ability of Jews to manipulate society in such a fashion? No? It’s just the way the system works? Jewish power is built into the DNA of society, is that the claim?

An imaginative Protestant seeking to blame Jews for his situation could certainly construct an elaborate theory about dynamics and structures in Western history that explain this disparity. Social science provides jargon for the construction of all manner of abstract things and “social facts” supposed to work forces on people. But I think we all know what that theory would be called in this case and what would happen to the person who advanced it.

It would remove all doubt about the question of antisemitism if the person pushing the theory of Jewish privilege and supremacy demands on the basis of his theory the reorganization of society to redistribute the wealth held by Jews to Protestants.

Yet it is not merely okay for blacks and their “allies” to blame whites for the wealth gap between their respective groups; it is expected. Those who object to antiracism are treated with the same scorn as a Protestant who wonders why Jews as a group are so much better off are than Protestants. Ibram X Kendi, Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research, whose theory of “antiracism” makes all whites who do not agree with him racist, tells us that it is racist to oppose reparations. Kendi is celebrated on the left and by the establishment media.

Ibram X. Kendi Launches New Center For Antiracist Research At ...
Ibram X Kendi, Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research

The antiracist standpoints normalizes anti-white racism. Whereas a Protestant runs the risk of being accused of antisemitism for asking why Jews are so well off as a group, the black person demanding reparations from white people for something their distant ancestors may or may not have done is bravely seeking the justice due him. This expression is given a lot of leeway. Some black nationalists even pull Jews into the scope of their theory of the black-white wealth gap and, unlike the white Protestant who would be crucified for doing such a thing, are able to maintain associations with groups like Black Lives Matter, darlings of the establishment, without much scrutiny. How dare white people tell black people which oracles to consult, right? As if criticizing rabid antisemites like Louis Farrakhan should be avoided because some black people wish to sidestep vile and potentially embarrassing and hypocritical associations.

Even though the demand for reparations is made in a society that abolished slavery more than 150 years ago—even though the demand is made for blacks whose ancestors were never exploited and oppressed by the structures theorized to still disadvantage blacks after so many decades—even though some who will get reparations are descended from tribes who sold the ancestors of other black people into slavery—the characterization of all whites as privileged and collectively profiting from skin color and guilty of an intergenerational sin is viewed as a noble cause. White privilege rhetoric blames an entire race of people for the situation of blacks as a group. Blood guilt, rightly never tolerated in explanations of Jewish affluence and status, has become the prevailing theory of racial disparities and, moreover, the policy ground upon which racial equity is to be achieved.

To be sure, there was racial slavery in the United States. This is a historical fact. And that fact does have something to do with the development of post-slavery America. If you feel the need to point that out (which in my experience many people do), then you are missing Hughes’ point. Hughes need not ponder the substance of the Jewish question for a second for his point to work. One does not need to spend any time working out odious theories about Jewish affluence. It is for this reason that reparations is such an unhealthy obsession: it is driven by race prejudice. The hatred and loathing of white people has become so severe—paradoxically increasing in the wake of the elimination of actual structures privileging white people—that whites are now expected to self-hate and self-loathe in ritual confession. The truth is the opposite of what Kendi writes in his Atlantic article: it is advocacy for reparations that is racist. This should be obvious. But we are in an era where people are easily manipulated by feelings of guilt installed by antiracist programming. One cannot safely assume people see through the deception.

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Andrew Austin

Andrew Austin is on the faculty of Democracy and Justice Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. He has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews in books, encyclopedia, journals, and newspapers.

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