Hi @RodDMartin ,

I noticed that you retweeted this.

I’m no expert on reparations or slavery. But I do have expertise in ethics and political philosophy. And, if I may, I think this comment actually brings more confusion than clarity to the issue. Here’s a much better argument.
(Quick preliminary. I’m not going to say anything about who owes what to whom, how much, or the process of effectuating compensation. I just want you to acknowledge that it’s at least possible that some people in the present day are owed compensation for some past injustices.
Oh yeah, and my argument has nothing to do with slavery. So your answer shouldn’t have anything to do with slavery or details Re who owes what to whom, how much, etc. My only point is that it’s at least possible that some people today are owed compensation for past injustice.)
So, anyway, here's a *good* example. Suppose @martyduren steals $15K from @droakley1689 . (Sorry, Marty.) So Marty is $15K in Jim’s debt, plus let's say that the penalty for stealing = X. (X could be prison time or fines or what have you.)
Suppose further that the police never catch Marty and Jim never recovers the $15K. Now imagine that Marty dies, leaving his entire estate--including *Jim’s* $15K--to Marty’s children. (Sorry again, Marty.)
I deny that Marty's children must pay penalty X, whatever that may be. But I believe that Marty's children owe Jim $15K. Wouldn't you agree?

#sbc19 #reparations #ReparationsHearing #Reparations2020 #ReparationsNow
OK, now imagine that Jim dies, leaving his entire estate to his children. (Sorry, Jim.) I'd say that Marty's children owe Jim’s children $15K. Wouldn't you agree? (Even Nozick, Rawls's most prolific libertarian interlocutor, would agree to this much.)
Notice that the penalty of X dies with Marty. But the $15K debt transfers from one generation to the next. Why? Because it's a tangible benefit that rightfully belongs to Jim’s children, not Marty's children. Agreed?
Now, here's a more salient example. Imagine that my grandparents had access to a federally subsidized mortgage in 1960. (The subsidy comes in the form of insurance cover for the lender in case of default.) This subsidy is paid by taxpayers, including *your* grandparents.
But suppose that *your* grandparents weren't eligible for the same government-backed mortgage. The reason? Their skin color. So my grandparents get a mortgage and your grandparents don't.
Since this mortgage insurance is funded by *all* taxpayers, including your grandparents, this means that my grandparents got a subsidy from your grandparents (via the U.S. government): your grandparents were required to subsidize a benefit that they weren’t eligible to enjoy.
Consequently, my grandparents accumulated and transferred wealth to my parents via home equity, backed by U.S. taxpayers like your grandparents. But your grandparents didn't do this, because they weren't eligible.
I, in turn, receive an inheritance from my parents, etc. And you don't--there's no inheritance for you to receive. Does this make sense, Rod? The point isn't that I'm bad because laws in the 1960s were bad. My point has nothing to do with individual (or collective) piety.
Rather, the point is that bad laws reverberate into the future, in the form of tangible benefits that people either do or don't have in the present day. So you might think that you are owed compensation from me (just like Jim’s offspring were owed compensation in that example).
I realize that on the macro level, things get a lot more complex; and figuring out exactly who owes what to whom and how much would be impossibly difficult. But remember, I’m not taking a position on any of that here.
I just want you to acknowledge that there’s a plausible case to be made that some sort of compensation is due to people whose parents and grandparents were denied access to a federal benefit that their taxes helped to subsidize.
Is this making sense, Rod? Let me know if you have questions. Remember, your answer shouldn’t say anything about slavery since my question doesn’t have anything to do with slavery. Same goes for details about exactly how compensation might be carried out.
The *only* question here is whether it might be reasonable to think that some people whose grandparents were denied access to a federally backed mortgage might be owed compensation for that harm.
Final thought. Given the complexity and sensitivity of this issue, perhaps we, as Christians, should refrain from tweeting or retweeting pithy comments on the subject. It comes off as careless and unread.

#sbc19 #reparations #ReparationsHearing #Reparations2020 #ReparationsNow
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