August 20, 2002
USA Today bangs the reparations drum

This weekend, the USA Weekend newspaper supplement (carried by many newspapers in place of a locally produced weekend supplement, or Parade) had a love letter to the reparations movement (see Media Minded's post on the article), but that biased, one-sided article paled in comparison to today's odious piece in its sister publication, USA Today. This propaganda dominated the print edition's editorial pages. The piece, entitled "Reparations-payout debate undermines support", only mentioned in passing that there was still a debate about whether reparations should be paid; the rest of it discusses arguments in the black community about how they were to be paid, as if it were a fait accompli. A telling line from the article:

But unless African-Americans have a more wide-ranging, honest debate over this payout issue, it will continue to fracture the community and could very well undermine the entire reparations cause.

Which not only attempts to establish the legitimacy of the issue, but essentially excludes non-blacks from participating in the issue.

I can think of a whole laundry list of issues about why reparations should not be paid, but apparently my views are not valid, because I'm not black. Never mind that my taxes will pay for any such scheme (short of a special assessment on all non-blacks in the country), but I'm not entitled to debate the issue? I don't think so.

The reparations movement is hurt far more by smug, sanctimonous twaddle like this than by any jockeying amongst factions for a piece of the pie. Blacks are currently only 12% of the population of the US; excluding the other 88% is a sure-fire way to torpedo any support it may currently enjoy.

posted on August 20, 2002 05:17 PM


Maybe we should assess the reparations against the newspapers that beat the drums so loudly.


posted by J M Johns on August 20, 2002 08:35 PM

USA Today is a Gannett Corp. paper, so I'm not terribly surprised.

Gannett has very enthusiastically pursued the whole diversity agenda, setting manager's bonuses to minority hiring percentages and the like. They even went so far as to institute a policy requiring *every story* to include a quote from a minority. For people working at large dailies (such as USA Today), that is not a problem. For people working at smaller Gannett papers, it led to calling people outside the coverage area of the paper in order to comply with the requirement. The now-defunct Brill's Content had a scathing review of the policy as it related to the Greenville (SC) News in the March 1999 issue of the magazine.

posted by Timekeeper on August 22, 2002 10:41 AM

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