Sunday, August 23, 2015

A "modest proposal" in lieu of reparations for slavery


Here’s a “modest proposal” – a rather bombastic one – for race reparations from the Washington Post, by Theodore R. Johnson. The print front page for the Outlook Section of the Washington Post leads off, “The 5/3 Compromise”.  Online, Sunday August 23, 2015, the title is “We used to count black Americans as 3/5 of a vote. For reparations give them 5/3 of a vote”, link here

The Post has many maps showing how the vote would change, especially moving Southern states back to the Democrats.  But one of the biggest problems is deciding what counts as “black”.

The proposal refers to an original provision to count 3/5 of the slaves for a state’s representation in the Constitution. The provision was neutralized by the 13th Amendment, but the 14th Amendment, which gave suffrage to former slaves, was contravened by Jim Crow laws and various poll taxes and citizen knowledge requirements, recently the subject of other Supreme Court opinions.


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