Thursday, June 26, 2014

Jonathan Blanks - Some Thoughts on Ta-Nehisi's 'Reparations' Essay

Some Thoughts on Ta-Nehisi's 'Reparations' Essay I read TNC's reparations essay in The Atlantic last night. The following is a slightly edited and modified version of my thoughts on first reading. I plan to read it again one or more times.

1. The piece should be read without reference to the headline. I think the greatest power of the piece is in its history and its ability to frame public policy in a milieu that is seldom discussed or addressed in educational or policy settings.

2. The history he recounts is only a fraction of the horrors the government and the American people inflicted upon black people for generations.

 The reason I think this is important is that ideologues, of all stripes, neglect what our government and our country looked like for the vast majority of its history. As I talk about in my upcoming essays for, there is a vast chasm between what we think should or will happen given our policy 'druthers and what experience and history tell us has happened. This is a lesson for conservatives, progressives, and libertarians alike.

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