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20 May 2016

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bth

This is a fascinating story. The school could if it chose make an enormous gesture of goodwill to the descendants by offering them free tuition.

tim s

Reparations are a rabbit hole with no bottom, and in my estimation, an illusory foundation.

The unfortunate fact of slavery is that the slave is owed nothing - they were slaves. They did not have the mental or physical strength to keep those mentally or physically stronger than them from imposing their will onto them. Morally repugnant to some, granted, but morality is an ideal and a very individual/subjective one at that. Nature seems to care not a bit for morality, unless it makes an individual or group stronger somehow.


Laura

Colonel, Amen to that.

turcopolier

tim s

Too much hard heart and not enough empathy. pl

jonst

I think there is no stopping this once the flood gates are opened, however deservedly, or not. They will be figuring payments, and who pays, for the next century.

tim s

pl

I spent a good part of my life claiming the viewpoint espoused above. My heart was plenty soft. I've seen the error of my idealistic ways, and won't make such arguments anymore.

We put a nice face on humanity and think of ourselves as semi-gods, but in the end the laws of nature will not be violated.

I have empathy for those descendants of slaves who are good and just people who are trying their best to overcome. I'll root for the underdog frequently as I see them engaged in a mighty struggle. I'll do the opposite if I see/hear groups such as BLM raging about injustice in the past and what they're entitled to due to that.

What BLM doesn't seem to get is that their ancestors were slaves, these slaves were in no way anywhere near being strong enough to free themselves from bondage, events occurred that allowed them the great fortune of being freed from slavery according to the law, and they remain relatively free today, according to the law.

Most of what I see in African-American culture today shows that, as a whole, this group was not yet "ripe" to hold their own in an advanced civilization. This civilization still is subject to the laws of nature, however camouflaged, can be brutal and predatory, and those living in it must be able to survive and thrive somehow. Left to their own devices as a group, I don't see them being able to do it, being so easily repressed. But I digress.

Nobody is owed anything. Tomorrow is promised to noone. The best advice I can give to anyone concerning slaves is - don't be one. Struggle with all your might to keep it from happening for yourself and your offspring. If it happens, do your best to get out of it. Figure out why you're on the bottom of the pecking order and work to overcome it, rather than whining about it, which will get you nowhere.

turcopolier

tim s 7 jonst

I don't think this has anything to do with generalized Black grievance culture or BLM which is in my opinion a farce born in the untruth of the Ferguson situation and wrongly supported by Obama. The Jesuits specifically wronged these people who depended on them in the most literal way and IMO owe them. pl

bth

A voluntary act of goodwill on the part of the school would be a lot different than forced reparations.

David Lentini

To Tim and Jonst:

One thing to keep in mind is that the priests involved in the transactions here were found to have misled the Order and Vatican and were duly punished. Thus, the transaction was itself recognized by the Church as based on immoral behavior and therefore of questionable legitimacy. So, arguably the slaves wrongly sold were owed a debt by at least the priests who were culpable if not the Society itself.

As for the more general question, I tend to agree that any sort general "reparation" is fraught with problems, often sounding more like a "race tax" than true remuneration. As both Jesus and the Virgin Mary have said, true justice is not in this world.

turcopolier

bth

Forced reparations? What are you talking about? Where did you get that? The university IMO should make a gesture but the Society of Jesus MUST make a gesture or be forever shamed. pl

turcopolier

David Lentini

What, in anything I wrote suggested approval for general reparations for Blacks for slavery? What? As for justice, a search for justice is one of the things that distinguishes us from other animals. “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God.” (Luke 11:42) Tell me where Jesus and Mary taught that justice was not to be done in this world. Tell me. pl


jonst

I do not think anything you wrote Col suggest opened reparations/payments. Rather, I think you implied the opposite. But I work with Plaintt's some times. Not AS ONE, thankfully. But I provide them a service. Same as I do with the defense bar. I am a mercenary when it comes to choosing sides. But the moment this starts, and industry/service sector will start with it. And nothing under the Sun will stop them. Plaintiff's lawyers will move so fast setting up Mealey Like Conferences https://litigationconferences.com/tag/mealeys/ will turn up so fast the suction of the lawyers socks will take have of town with them. Defense conferences will follow

mbrenner

Since you are being completely candid in expressing what I deem repugnant views, allow those like me who disagree to label them frankly as blatant racism of the kind which has plagued this country since the day the first slave was forcibly brought to these shores.

It is all the more repugnant for coming from someone who apparently has "thought it through" and come up with some half-baked philosophy that mixes an extreme form of social Darwinism with a reading of Hobbes as a documentary of the human experience.

By your "logic," were a child of yours grabbed off the street by a gang and sold into sexual slavery in Bangkok, it would simply indicate that the child had not the mental or physical traits that justified a claim to better treatment - and anybody who found its fate a grotesque injustice would be an "idealist."

turcopolier

jonst and lentini

I am a bit sensitive to issues concerning slavery since my utterances both written and spoken indicate that I do not believe the Confederates were like the Nazis. Nevertheless, I will state categorically that I oppose general reparations for blacks for slavery. IMO that is just an attempt to shift political and economic power in this country and is unjustified by the present circumstances of Blacks in the US. BTW my WBS ancestors were abolitionists and all fought for the Union in the infantry. pl

Seamus Padraig

"What is not acceptable to this pilgrim is the crass decision to sell these people, (the Jesuits clearly thought of them as Brothers and Sisters in Christ) when the farms became unprofitable, a decision made in the sure knowledge that the buyers' future behavior toward the slaves could not be foreseen."

I think one question that needs to be answered here is what sort of laws Washington DC and Maryland had at the time regarding manumission. I have been told that some states used to forbid it, requiring all slaves either to be transferred from one owner to another, or else to the state.

turcopolier

Seamus Padraig

I do not doubt that this was a legal set of transactions but is that really the point? pl

scott s.

All

As a one-time resident of Annapolis, I was interested in Maryland history but never read of this connection of the RCC and slavery (generally histories tend to comment on Catholic persecution which I suppose is a bit ironic). This week end we will be hearing of "Howard's war-like thrust" but I don't think the intended reference to the "despot's heel on thy shore" was the SJ.

bth

I am in total agreement. You misread.

turcopolier

scott s
IMO opinion it was the despot's heel. Lincoln arrested the secession inclined members of the Maryland legislature. pl

turcopolier

bth

Thanks for the correction. pl

Harry

I don't think Tim ' s argument is racist. It is not humane but it is not racist. However he does give me a reason to laugh down the line when the police benevolent association calls begging. Similarly, I think he is telling me to use offshore vehicles to exempt my wealth from taxation, and to avoid any charitable donations.

Some of my ancestors were slaves and had only themselves to blame. Funnily enough i first came across this point of view from an African woman who was being rude to my mother. But now how should I behave around poor whites, of which there are still plenty? Should I consider them inherently weak or inherently feckless? I hope the world is not as Hobbesian as you suggest. I know the order that I have benefited from in my life is won at some cost by rough men. But they do not protect me and others solely for money.

With respect to the Jesuits shame on me, but I don't consider hypocrites the greatest sinners. I am impressed the church acknowledged the error.

turcopolier

Harry

Did I say or suggest that Tim S is a racist? pl

tim s

My views are just what I see. I do have children, and I will say that ultimately their well being is noone's responsibility but mine, since they are my offspring. If the conditions were such that my children were at risk of being kidnapped and sold into slavery, then it would be my responsibility to prevent that from happening, either by standing my ground and fighting off those who would kidnap, or fleeing. I'd hope that at that point I had enough community support that others would be watching my back and looking out for my children and helping me in this fight, but community is something that grows organically and cannot be enforced by laws. Laws are good, but only effective if an organic community is already in place. Take at a look at the USA today for an example of where laws are meaningless without community.

tim s

I've hoped the world is not as Hobbesian as it seems for most of my life. Hope doesn't seem to be carrying things that well, though. Humans are most strange. There is a divine element, but underneath that is a very basic nature, and this mix it seems can only be captured in myth.

Poor whites may be inherently weak, feckless, etc, no different from poor whoever. Rich and poor may change positions in time. Given enough time, some turnover is inevitable. It's more strength & weakness than rich and poor, which wax and wane. Regardless of race, it is up to whoever as individuals and as part of a community to try to raise themselves somehow. That initiative can only come from within individuals and then spread within a community. Any feeling of entitlement on their part will only serve as a hindrance.

As far as Hobbes and Darwinism goes, looking back over the course of recorded history, count how many civilizations have come and gone. They've come and gone largely due to continual conflict. Humanism is found only between individuals within this larger context. They are not mutually exclusive.

I greatly appreciate the humanism of our existence. When it's genuine it's the best thing in life. I don't see it as the driver though at all times. Maybe after times of great conflict and people are fatigued with barbarism, humanism may loom large in influence. Given enough time of "civility" and the humanistic elements seem to atrophy. Look at the West now. The humanists can hardly raise a finger to halt the advancement of the worst elements in our society, which will almost surely bring us to ruin. And with this accusation I point directly at myself. But I am far from alone.

tim s

pl

Sorry if I was careless to have linked reparations with your proposition. It is a fine line that is drawn, however.

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