Herschel Walker Makes Case Against Reparations for Slavery

Herschel Walker Has Wanted 1 Question Answered for 40 Years

The Review of Black Political Economy has estimated that the amount of reparations to descendants of slaves that would be sufficient would be about $12 trillion. This would give each descendant of slavery over one-quarter of a million dollars.

But Herschel Walker, a black American who won the Heisman Trophy at Georgia, and later had a long professional football career, told a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives last week that the idea was both preposterous and immoral.

“We use black power to create white guilt,” Walker said in his opening statement. “My approach is biblical. How can I ask my Heavenly Father to forgive me if I can’t forgive my brother?” Walker added, “Reparations teach separation. Slavery ended over 130 years ago. How can a father ask his son to spend prison time for a crime he committed?”

Walker also addressed several other problems with reparations, including where the money would come from, and who would be receiving it. “Reparations, where does the money come from? Does it come from all the other races except the black taxpayers? Who is black? What percentage of black must you be to receive reparations? Do you go to 23 and Me or a DNA test to determine the percentage of blackness?”

“Some black immigrants weren’t here during slavery, nor their ancestors. Some states didn’t even have slavery,” Walker added.

Walker makes an excellent point. What about multi-racial individuals, notably former President Barack Obama, whose father was a black African from Kenya. His mother was of mostly English ancestry. Therefore, Obama had no slave ancestors. And what about those Americans who have one parent who is black and another who is white, or Asian, for example? Do they take the money out of one pocket and put it in the other?

The former NFL star told the committee that the proposal was divisive and emphasizes race over all other considerations. “I feel it continues to let us know we’re still African American, rather than just American. Reparation or atonement is outside the teaching of Jesus Christ.”

The committee heard from Walker as part of its hearing on H.R. 40, a bill sponsored by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, an African American and Democrat from Texas. The bill would create a commission to study reparations proposals. The Atlantic published an article in 2014, “The Case for Reparations,” recommending reparations as a way to make up for America’s past “sin” of slavery. Ta-Nehisi Coates, the author of the article, wrote, “An America that asks what it owes its most vulnerable citizens is improved and humane. An America that looks away is ignoring not just the sins of the past but the sins of the present and the certain sins of the future. More important than any single check cut to any African American, the payment of reparations would represent America’s maturation out of the childhood myth of its innocence.”

And it was not just slavery that enraged Coates. He also wrote in The Atlantic article, citing the Chicago Tribune in 1891, “But while the people advocating reparations have changed over time, the response from the country has remained virtually the same.”

“They have been taught to labor,” the 1891 Chicago Tribune article editorialized. “They have been taught Christian civilization, and to speak the noble English language instead of some African gibberish. The account is square with the ex‑slaves.”

“Not exactly,” Coates responded. “Having been enslaved for 250 years, black people were not left to their own devices. They were terrorized. In the Deep South, a second slavery ruled. In the North, legislatures, mayors, civic associations, banks, and citizens all colluded to pin black people into ghettos, where they were overcrowded, overcharged, and undereducated. Businesses discriminated against them, awarding them the worst jobs and the worst wages. Police brutalized them in the streets.”

No doubt exists that slavery was wrong, and it violated the principles upon which the country was founded. Coates is also correct that more abuse was heaped upon black Americans, generally, in the decades after slavery ended. But, as Walker explained, what happened to a person nearly two hundred years ago should not be blamed upon any person living today. As Walker put it, we do not put sons in prison for their father’s crimes.

Slavery existed in all cultures and continents among all peoples throughout world history. Western Africans held fellow Africans in bondage, and facilitated the trans-Atlantic slave trade by selling these persons, who were already slaves, to European slave-traders. It was all horrible. But the individuals who did that are all dead now.

Perhaps the problem is that Walker’s point that Christianity teaches forgiveness is not believed by progressives such as Sheila Jackson Lee. A society that regularly elects politicians who promise to take from those who have and give it to those who don’t have has rejected biblical Christianity already. In its place, such anti-Christian ideologies as Marxism become more acceptable. Marxists are always looking to real and imagined grievances to use to advance their agenda. Karl Marx himself saw Christianity and Judaism as obstacles to the establishment of his supposed communist paradise.

President Joe Biden, the supposed “moderate” who now occupies the White House, supports the study. His spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, told reporters that Biden “understands we don’t need a study to take actions right now on systemic racism.”

Whether the “study” leads to any concrete action, it is fortunate that there are Americans with a moral compass such as Herschel Walker, who strongly oppose any reparations. Unfortunately, the fact that such a “study” can even be considered by Congress is an indication just how far America’s moral compass has been altered.


Steve Byas is a university instructor of history and government and the author of History’s Greatest Libels. He may be contacted at byassteve [at] yahoo.com.

Reprinted with permission from The New American

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