Sam Francis, David Horowitz, And Why Reparations Are Wrong—NOT Because They're Bad For Blacks
Print Friendly and PDF

Earlier (2001) by Sam Francis: Real Reasons Reparations are Wrong...

With Reparations Fever increasing, David Horowitz has republished his Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Blacks is a Bad Idea for Blacks—and Racist Too,  March 24, 2023.

These caused some controversy when he originally published them in 2001, because he published them in college newspapers, and this caused the students to riot and destroy newspapers, and newspapers to apologize.

Briefly, the “Ten Reasons” are:

[1] There Is No Single Group Clearly Responsible For The Crime Of Slavery.

[2] There Is No One Group That Benefited Exclusively From Its Fruits.

[3] Only A Tiny Minority Of White Americans Ever Owned Slaves, And Others Gave Their Lives To Free Them.

[4] America Today Is A Multi-Ethnic Nation and Most Americans Have No Connection (Direct Or Indirect) To Slavery.

[5] The Historical Precedents Used To Justify The Reparations Claim Do Not Apply, And The Claim Itself Is Based On Race Not Injury.

[6] The Reparations Argument Is Based On The Unfounded Claim That All African-American Descendants of Slaves Suffer From The Economic Consequences Of Slavery And Discrimination.

[7] The Reparations Claim Is One More Attempt To Turn African-Americans Into Victims. It Sends A Damaging Message To The African-American Community. 

[8] Reparations To African Americans Have Already Been Paid.

[9] What About The Debt Blacks Owe To America? 

[10] The Reparations Claim Is A Separatist Idea That Sets African-Americans Against The Nation That Gave Them Freedom.

The late Sam Francis explained that Horowitz was coming at this from the wrong angle, both in saying reparations were bad for blacks, and saying that reparations would send a ”damaging message” to the black community.

Francis wrote

The central issue of reparations is not whether reparations are justly due to blacks or justly owed by whites.  The central issue is one of racial power—as it is with most other racial conflicts today: over the Confederate flag, affirmative action, racial profiling and indeed the most recent quibble about the right of college newspapers to publish Mr. Horowitz’ ads at all.  The central issue is that one race (blacks) seeks to assert power over another (whites).  In the black view, what is good for black power is good; what thwarts or threatens it—including liberal values like free speech—is bad.  Seen in this context, Mr. Horowitz’ ad not only misses the point but in one case even gets it wrong. 

The ad’s Reason 7 is that ”The reparations claim is one more attempt to turn African Americans into victims.  It sends a damaging message to the African-American community.” No, it doesn’t, really.  

The reparations claim, so far from turning blacks into victims, would turn them into masters.  Reparations, if actually enacted into law, would, first, elevate black victimology, the black myth of racial injustice, into the dominant myth of American society.  Second, as a practical matter, reparations would effectively redistribute wealth from one race to another in a colossal revolutionary act of racial collectivism.  If the black racial myth becomes dominant and white wealth is redistributed to blacks, then it is absurd to say that blacks are being turned into victims.  Their ”victimhood” is merely white enslavement. 

Mr. Horowitz’ ad nowhere appears to grasp that the reparations issue is one of simple racial power, and in claiming that reparations are ”a bad idea for blacks,” it is out to sea.  But, as a neo-conservative, Mr. Horowitz is unable to offer much else in the way of objections.  Despite his well-known and authentic disgust at black racism, he is also a disciple of Martin Luther King racial liberalism.  As he wrote in his recent book ”Hating Whitey,” an attack on black bigotry, his own beliefs ”are the same views once advanced by the civil rights movement [Martin Luther] King led.”  It is precisely those views that invite the kind of attacks he and his ads have endured.  

The problem involved in fighting reparations isn’t trying to convince blacks that free money is somehow bad for them, it’s convincing whites that it’s OK for them to say that they don’t want to give away their money. To quote Sam Francis again:

As a racial liberal Mr. Horowitz invokes values like tolerance, freedom of expression, equality and peaceful discussion in the face of an enemy that has no more use for those ideas than whistling Dixie.  That enemy is the racial consciousness and solidarity that the progressive ”views once advanced by the civil rights movement” deny exists or insist shouldn’t exist.  But the brute fact of our new century is that they do exist, at least among non-whites.  Until the foes of black racism understand that its hunger for power can be effectively challenged only by a countervailing racial power, don’t expect Mr. Horowitz’ tepid reasons against reparations to have much real impact.
Print Friendly and PDF