While surfing the Internet, I came across this phrase: “Total equality for everyone all the time.” My initial reaction was: this is a humorous caricature of today’s Leftists, not meant to be taken seriously. But, although it might be humor, it characterizes the Liberal mindset: No one should be better than anyone else.
Equality is unattainable but degrees of equivalence are possible. Society can be gradually modified if modifications are carefully planned prior to taking corrective action. Hindrances must be dealt with but can’t always be anticipated.
Consider the post-War Reconstruction of Southern states by occupying Union troops. As the South was under military rule, the Union thought it could rearrange society with little or no local resistance. But local opposition, both outright and subtle, continually frustrated the occupying troops. Eventually the Union lost interest in Reconstruction efforts and abandoned the Southern region.
Without coercion from occupying forces, freed slaves and former masters negotiated contractual arrangements. For use of the land, freed slaves agreed to assign a portion of their crop production to the land owners. This was the beginning of sharecropping. Leftists often consider sharecropping as simply another version of slavery, although sharecropping labor was voluntary, not compulsory. The 1860’s concept of sharecropping lasted well into the 20th century.
One of today’s hottest issues is reparations for slavery although no former slaves or slave masters still exist. A curious example of today’s reparations is San Francisco, a city with very little involvement with slavery. It plans to dole out $5 million to each Black resident, eliminate all personal debt, guarantee annual incomes of at least $97,000 for 250 years and homes for Black residents for just $1.
Before the astonished public could fully grasp San Francisco’s exorbitant reparations agreement, Missouri’s Democratic Representative Cori Bush introduced a Congressional bill requesting $14 trillion in reparations. (Yes! You read that correctly. $14 trillion.) When Rep Bush announced her bill, she said: “The United States has a moral and legal obligation to provide reparations for the enslavement of Africans.” Interestingly, Ms. Bush didn’t describe the Black population as African-Americans but simply as Africans.
The potential of receiving reparations has caused the definition of enslavement to be expanded. It now includes such things as segregated housing, separate education, and hindered cultural opportunities. The anticipation of receiving reparations has encouraged a surfeit of Black complaints about the harmful effects of slavery on their ancestors.
Gail Jarvis is a Georgia-based free-lance writer. He attended the University of Alabama and has a degree from Birmingham Southern College. His writing is influenced by years of witnessing how versions of news and history were distorted for political reasons. Mr. Jarvis is a member of the Society of Independent Southern Historians and his articles have appeared on various websites, magazines, and publications for several organizations. He lives in Coastal Georgia.