Friday, June 30, 2006

Security Guards Eye Organizing

Security Guards Eye Organizing: Black Workers Worry About Being Displaced - Washington Post

There are two dynamics at play, with respect to competition between Blacks and Hispanics, which need to be considered as we search for solutions to immigration and Black economic plight.

The first is that America is primarily an ‘immigrant engine’, or country optimized to convert immigrants up an economic chain. Huddled masses enter at one end, with only the clothes on their proverbial backs, and exit later as working and middle class success stories. In between they gladly and faithfully follow the markings on the floor. They know their power comes later.

Blacks, however, did not come to this country as immigrants and feel limited compulsion to play a ‘game’ stacked against them, even if it was also stacked against others too. Regardless of whether their compulsion is justified or not, the end result is that the group is defiant to the only factors this country can reward, that of ‘striving’ immigrant behavior.

Education is the prime example of defiance that works against Blacks. Education is a prerequisite to success, yet Blacks continue to place reduced emphasis on its attainment, with debilitating results. Hispanic education performance, normalized for cultural and language difference, will ultimately outpaced that of Blacks, as it has already begun to show in mathematics.

The second dynamic is that the arrested pace of progress of Blacks, on the economic bottom of the country, represents a navigational block for those more recent immigrants that have come here over the past 20 years. Navigating around Blacks, stuck in low-wage jobs, largely due to poor education and skills, places a greater stress on the limited, and sometimes shrinking, pipeline resources of the country.

When we see Blacks strategizing to hold-on to low-wage jobs, we are seeing a group in surrender, and a country derailed. Whether it is as a janitor or security guard, these jobs will always be but stepping-stones, never careers, to destinations for realizing this land’s opportunity.

James C. Collier

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Earth's Climate Warming Abruptly, Scientist Says

Earth's Climate Warming Abruptly, Scientist Says - Washington Post

Before we pull the emotional fire alarm on this scientific proposal of abrupt climate change signaling the end, we should do a little math, with a side-order of philosophy.

The earth is roughly 6 billion years old, give or take a few hundred million years, and this magnitude makes it difficult for us to relate even to something that happened 5,000 years ago. However, in relative terms 5,000 years is to 6 billion as 7/100ths of a second is to 24 hours in a day (86,400 seconds).

Scientific research also tells us that 99 percent of all species that ever existed are now extinct. Since humanity is a species, it too will one day be extinct one, rest assured.

Lastly, if we put humankind into perspective, in its many evolutionary forms, we have been around for only 150,000 years, a time span akin to 2.2 seconds on our 24 hour clock. Our time hurling through space on a green ball is not only finite, in scientific terms, it will also be exceedingly brief.

While our environmental impact may mimic that of a swarm of locust, indeed we should still do whatever we can to be kind to the planet, but not because our survival depends upon it – it clearly does not. However, our quality of life, and that of future generations, is absolutely at stake. To put it bluntly, just because were going to go out, does not mean we want to be sitting in the soup, while we wait.

It is inevitable that the planet will record that we came and went in the blink of an eye, as measured on the planetary timepiece. While our to-date evolution has been traumatic, to say the least, it remains to be seen if the rest of our short stay and certain departure will be any more graceful. Let us hope.

James C. Collier


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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Some Perplexed by Steele's Donor List

Some Perplexed by Steele's Donor List: Senate Candidate Takes Contributions From Those Who Have Offended Blacks in the Past - Washington Post

It is incredible that some Black leaders are upset with senate candidate and Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele because he hired the producer of the Willie Horton attack ads to raise money. Yes, those ads were despicable, but has everyone forgotten that it was infamous democrat Al Gore and his team who invented Willie Horton? The original credit should not go to the senior Bush campaign.

It was Senator Gore, who created Willie Horton in the 1988 democratic presidential primary battle, which featured Governor Dukakis. Gore did this prior to his overwhelming support by the same Black leaders who are now challenging Steele. Are Black memories so poor that people have forgotten the Tennessee Senator's failed race-baiting politics? This would seem to be the case, as it was in 2000.

Lee Atwater, the now deceased senior Bush campaign leader and dirty-tricks king, simply borrowed Gore’s race-card playbook, and put more money and polish into scaring the hell out of White voters. This would make Gore significantly responsible for helping to put both Bush's into the White House.

There is no doubt that politics makes strange bedfellows regardless of race, but let the record accurately reflect that the original sin, when it comes to Willie Horton, lies at the feet of Mr. Albert Gore, of Tennessee.

James C. Collier


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Friday, June 23, 2006

Bigotry Beneath the Fog

Bigotry Beneath the Fog - Washington Post

The most important aspect of human behavior is to remember that, individually and collectively, it represents the trailing edge of thought. While the Republican caucus stalls, by behavior, the extension of the voting rights act, they tell part of the story of how the southern White electorate they represent is really still the ‘old’ south, steeped in thoughts of controlling Blacks for selfish benefit.

Also recall that 50%, roughly 20 million, of US Blacks still live in this new ‘old’ south, and in voting numbers that could make a real difference if fully exercised. The sad truth is that these votes are indeed not exercised – hence the sea of ‘blue’ states throughout the south. The reasons for this have as much to do with Blacks, as it does with Whites thwarting the exercise of the vote.

Blacks turn out to vote, with exception, in disproportionately low numbers. This is largely influenced by limited education and experience that has Blacks poorly comprehending the economic impact of staying away from the polls. Add to this the gerrymandering, by Whites, to isolate and reduce voting advantage. What remains is White control, even when Blacks are the majority.

Blocking the voting act for reasons of bi-lingual ballots is just an opportunistic play to make sure immigration reform gets no help as the two-side’s posture for the final battle. The objective of voting is to accurately capture the voter's choice, not to re-test for citizenship qualification.

Nonetheless, Blacks are in a political stalemate, from which only they can extract themselves. The behaviors of some Whites, including southern Republicans, will continue to seek unfair advantage despite protest. In the end it is Blacks who must step up their voting, not only against issues, but rather 'for' programs, initiatives, and candidates that offer significantly more than complaining voices, falling on deaf ears.

James C. Collier


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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Performance Gap on Tests Uneven for Black Students et al

Performance Gap on Tests Uneven for Black Students - Washington Post

Elementary and Middle MSA Results Are Up - Washington Post

County Students Stay Ahead on State Tests - Washington Post

Summer Math, Missing in Action - Washington Post

Three in Four Va. Students Graduate, Study Says - AP

It is amazing how difficult it is for educators to read their own research reports when it comes to understanding why Black kids underperform.

There has been almost ten years of minimal progress since California educators concluded,

“It appears likely that we are now training teachers who not only have little understanding of critical thinking or how to teach for it, but also wrongly and confidently think they do. The end result is that California classrooms are places in which both teachers and students lack explicit knowledge of how to reason in a disciplined way about serious subjects and questions.”

The cause goes even deeper when we consider that Black kids are missing out on the early critical reasoning instruction that their caregivers never received, and on and on back through time. There are many reasons for this, but none of them fix the problem.

Very succinctly, Black kids get the smallest dose of critical thinking instruction of any ethnic group. Whether it is background instruction in the home, and other social settings, or at school in the hands of curriculum wielding professionals, the recipe for success for Black kids is being shorted the most key of ingredients.

Math is abstract and very dependent on the disciplined mind, a type of mind that can only be trained. Reading suffers as well. Socrates established, 2500 years ago, that thinking is prone to errors, due to cognitive distraction and varying mental discipline. He further concluded that one cannot depend on those in authority to act from sound insights. The education community has certainly proven this true.

Early-age critical thinking instruction is the key. Parents and teachers must know it, practice it, and teach it to our children – there is no other way.

James C. Collier


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Monday, June 19, 2006

La. Governor to Summon National Guard et al

La. Governor to Summon National Guard - AP

National Guard troops roll into New Orleans - Reuters

Guard to Stay in New Orleans Through '06 - AP

It was inevitable that New Orleans would return to the violence and murders that plagued the city prior to Katrina. Pumping out lowlands and patching bricks and mortar is akin to putting a band-aid on an infected wound that is the Big Easy.

Mutual agreement by the candidates to not talk about race in the recent mayoral election was tantamount to ignoring the festering ills of the city. This miss-step is a segue into a full bypass of the challenges of 20 million Blacks in the “Black Belt” of the southern US. Inasmuch as race touches every issue of substance, Mr. Nagin, with no clear acknowledgement, mandate or resources, is steering a rudderless vessel.

In fact, the newly re-elected mayor is in quite a Catch-22. With murders soaring, he is begging for National Guard rescue while trying to portray effective leadership. The mayor's vow, to get tough with criminals by ‘drawing a line in the sand’, is bluster at its worse, as everyone knows that murder and mayhem are on the way back up. This is even more the case considering the many officers who simply did not return to their squad rooms after the storm.

Black people of New Orleans believe that Mayor Nagin will improve the city for all dwellers, including them, but in reality he cannot deliver on this promise. The city simply does not have the resources to support people who are not contributing to the local economy in a meaningful way.

Katrina survivors were doubly lucky. They survived the hurricane and many also received a big helping hand to start lives that were nearly impossible before, from communities around the country. But that helping hand extends only so far for so long before they must grasp the opportunity.

Nr. Nagin offers no solution for his city except the real probability of streets patrolled by National Guard troops. This is where not talking about race delivers us.

James C. Collier


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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Obama's Profile Has Democrats Taking Notice et al

Obama's Profile Has Democrats Taking Notice - Washington Post

The UFO Hovering Over 2008 - Washington Post

Will Democrats Put Their Faith in Obama? - Washington Post

2008: The Case for Barack Obama - Washington Post

The top ten reasons why people like Barack Obama as a presidential candidate in 2008.

1. He makes 2008 meaningful. He raises the presidential bar. Any Republican who beats Obama will have to have a lot more on the ball than George W. Bush. Election 2008 becomes more of a win-win for the country, if he runs.

2. He is the face of Black and immigrant contribution to this country. The country gets to look a Black Leader, with immigrant roots, in the eye, without pause and with a feeling that they are looking at the solution, not the problem, facing Blacks, immigrants, and the country as a whole.

3. He is inarguably intelligent. Obama’s path to and at Harvard Law speaks loudly of educational performance and results that too many Blacks and Whites believe not to be within the group’s ethic or capacity.

4. No race card. He does not seem to have a ‘race’ card in his repertoire.

5. No guilt card. He does not seem to have a ‘guilt’ card in his repertoire.

6. He is a melting pot. Obama’s mixed heritage, African and European, bridges historically competing groups, in a manner where merit, fairness, and opportunity have equal weight.

7. He loves this country. As the son of a third-world immigrant, he views America, warts and all, as a great place to pursue his dreams, and reminds Black people of this fact.

8. He has a Colin Powell ‘feel’ to him, minus the ‘drag’ of Ronald Reagan and divisive Republican politics.

9. He is Black, but no ‘dark horse’. Despite what the pundits say about Hillary Clinton, or Kerry, or Gore, none are remotely viable candidates to win the highest office, compared to Obama.

10. He is elect-able. White people, the majority, who claim him publicly, will also vote for him privately – this is the gauntlet from Congress to the Senate.

James C. Collier


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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bush education policy to miss goals: Harvard study

Bush education policy to miss goals: Harvard study - Reuters

No one should be surprised that the experts from Harvard now say that No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is on its way to being a grand failure. The big question is what will we now do with this information? However promising a program might seem, when it does not work, in the case of NCLB, it should be rationed and replaced with something better informed and with more promise.

It does not take a Harvard Ph.D. to know that it is grossly inefficient to try to improve learning by better exit testing, at any level. This was the whole point of Deming and Juran, the management experts responsible for transforming Japan’s industry after WWII. Quality education, like production, must be designed into curriculums from the start.

This does not mean we should not test. More simply it means that better testing of an inherently poor system only raises the confidence in measuring broken processes. Perhaps the educators are getting better at giving tests, but kids are not performing any better because the federal government is looking over the shoulders of school districts.

Furthermore, the performance gap of Blacks and Hispanics, relative to Whites and Asians is not closing. It is perplexing that anyone could believe that testing would identify and solve the disparity that plagues modern education achievement and, with it, our society.

To be fair, NCLB is not a total failure. It reveals and marginally challenges the lack of confidence the electorate has in our educators. This is the result of their willingness to promote students who cannot deliver minimal skills for contributing to their own lives and those of their fellow citizens. NCLB as a ‘quick and dirty’ program of accounting is necessary, but certainly not sufficient to our needs.

There will be those who want to hold on to the grandiose promise of NCLB, as ineffective as it is, because they cannot separate the objective from the process of trying to achieve it. Such is the sad case of Affirmative Action, whereby the goal of helping disadvantaged people sits ‘played-out’ by more than 40 years of a divisive and counter-intuitive implementation.

James C. Collier


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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Pairing a Diploma With Associate's Degree

Pairing a Diploma With Associate's Degree - Washington Post

The federal government, via Mr. Bush’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB), has begun its struggle to ‘spin’ efficacy into the results of this program. The market place, however, is finding a new competing voice, as well. This is in response to decades of grade inflation and blind promotion which have put the high school diploma, the traditional ticket to opportunity, into jeopardy, despite NCLB rhetoric.

The associate degree, considered by many as dubious in value, is treading into the high school arena as the future benchmark for what represents an educated young person, ready for a world of opportunity. It will not be long before high school students, and their parents, supported by employers, demand that kids are offered curriculums that provide the community college-level ‘experience’, as an effective adjunct to the devalued high school diploma.

Community colleges are already being used as staging areas, not only for not-ready-for-prime-time students, but also for those who maintain their sights on their first choice of education, even after the dreaded rejection letter. In particular, this strategy is in practice in California, by Asian students intent on attending UC Berkeley or UCLA. Instead of going to a lesser four-year school, these kids use stellar performance at the community college level to set up a transfer, after two years, to their desired top-tier school. This route exists because California mandates that a generous number of slots are made available for such transfers from the community college system.

Advanced placement (AP) programs will remain the standard-bearer for public school kids on their way to college. However, for those who cannot handle AP-mania, the high school AA degree should tell the world that the holder did not sleep-walk through school. Meanwhile, initiatives like NCLB will continue sweeping up and around stragglers and those indeed left behind, depositing them on or about the margins of the American Dream.

James C. Collier


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Agency to Examine 'No Child' Loophole

Agency to Examine 'No Child' Loophole - AP

Testing the NCLB: Study shows that NCLB hasn't significantly impacted national achievement scores or narrowed the racial gaps - Harvard Civil Rights Project

As a magic pill for that which ails our schools, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) leaves a lot to be desired. While it places the Bunsen burner closer to the backsides of educators, it does not help kids go to college, the achievement with the greatest impact. Rather, it minimally insists that 12 years of school yields 8th grade math skills and, perhaps, 10th grade English capabilities.

Even so, to ‘game’ this minimum requirement in a manner that has 2 million kids excluded from the requirements is unconscionable. I suppose it is the kindly cheating of our children by the very adults charged to educate them that began this mess, so I should not be so surprised at this slight-of-hand. However, if this is allowed to continue, officials should change the name to SCSLB, or Some Child Still Left Behind, in all fairness.

It is depressing enough that the federal government must step in to insure the minimum value of a high school diploma, but now there is the task of removing a hidden door that transports the most needy minority kids beyond the status of being counted.

While we search for understanding and programs that close the performance gap between Black kids and their classmates, everyone must count. The performance of teachers, principals, and school leaders must also be audited to catch other inevitable gaming, or outright cheating, that in turn cheats our kids.

As painful as it may be, many of us are still in denial about how we lose Black kids, via under performance in early education. Any program or behavior that supports group denial is an anathema to Black progress, and must be stopped.

James C. Collier


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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Loving Day Recalls a Time When the Union of a Man And a Woman Was Banned

Loving Day Recalls a Time When the Union of a Man And a Woman Was Banned - Washington Post

Black Men in Interracial Relationships - Washington Post

Race is a social construct. Scientist have known this for quite some time, but society’s view is only slowly changing. Remembering the history of miscegenation laws is important to gauging to what degree this type of thinking, while no longer law, still pervades our society.

As a scientific backdrop, R.C.Lewontin, a Harvard Zoologist offers the following conclusion in the recent article, Confusions About Human Races?. ”There has been a constant pressure from social and political practice and the coincidence of racial, cultural and social class divisions reinforcing the social reality of race, to maintain “race” as a human classification. If it were admitted that the category of “race” is a purely social construct, however, it would have a weakened legitimacy. Thus, there have been repeated attempts to reassert the objective biological reality of human racial categories despite the evidence to the contrary.”

But what is really at the root of this social distinction that resulted in behaviors and laws to set or keep people apart? Survival is an instinctive zero-sum contest, where for every ‘winner’ there is a ‘loser’. For roughly seven thousands of years, homo sapiens have chosen their comrades-in-survival, by how they look. It is part of our evolution.

But the zero-sum nature of living has changed from the simple binary of life or death, to having more or having less. This is all the more complicated by steady leaps in human development with the last one being ‘critical thinking’ of 2,500 years ago. Socrates lead the activities that have eventually brought us to understand the magnitude of our sameness, even as we fight to remain ignorant.

Our clinging to ignorance is fueled by insecurity, but this insecurity fuels our advancement, as well. As we appreciate our progress, against our set backs, we should know that one without the other is quite impossible. We see that no group is immune from either side of this dynamic, if the angle and focus of our lens is true.

James C. Collier


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Friday, June 09, 2006

Natural Disasters in Black and White

Natural Disasters in Black and White - Washington Post

The Color of Disaster Assistance - Washington Post

The Katrina disaster certainly has evoked reasonable concerns that this country’s disaster relief tactic is, in some ways, racially biased. It is also logical to extend concerns of this governmental bias to the population as a whole. Testing this assumption in the manner pursued by Stanford University’s Political Communications Lab is indeed proper; however, their approach appears to suffer from incompleteness.

The bias shown in the reaction of the test group to the race of example Katrina victims certainly show race, and skin-tone within race, as drivers to the level of aid the subjects are willing to provide. What it does not show, however, is the influence of alternate factors that correlate to race, and which also deserve consideration.

An example of one such factor is the significance of the influence, set in legal precedent, of compensating victims in relation to their magnitude of loss. By example, the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund was explicit in utilizing anticipated economic loss in awarding monies, $38.1 billion to-date, to relatives of the terrorist attack. Inasmuch, we would expect the amounts distributed to such victims to follow the racial disparities in wages and wealth we observe in society, which are driven by factors of education and skills, including the influence of racial bias.

The fact that the Stanford test subjects were allowed to apply not only their racial biases, but also their own empirically backed estimates of ‘compensation for loss’ to the disaster victims, is a cause for concern in methodology. Those disparities, whose origins, while correlating to race, occur via the influence of other factors, draw the study and results into question.

The influences of race, as well as factors that exist along-side race, need accurate control to make these type of studies robust, and therefore useful. Researchers do a disservice to our efforts for progress when they aggregate behaviors and make less-than-refined assignments.

James C. Collier


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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

17 Pct. at 2 Schools Practice Self-Abuse

17 Pct. at 2 Schools Practice Self-Abuse - AP

No doubt that Ivy League schools are academic pressure-cookers. However, pressure that was once reserved for these elite schools is trickling down, and our mainstream worry is well founded for these students.

Nearly twenty years ago, during my ‘tour of duty’ at the Harvard Business School (HBS), I was initially surprised to realize that the school had twelve (12) full time psychologists to tend to the mental well-being of 900-plus first-year students. Presumably second year students do not need much support as they are past the ‘screen’, the dreaded point of academic termination.

I relinquished my skepticism of the rumor of one HBS suicide every two years when a classmate at that time asked me to speak to her roommate, who was having a difficult time with her studies. After speaking with the woman, I asked my classmate to notify the campus hospital that she was bringing them a new ‘customer’. She was promptly admitted, sedated, and retrieved by her family in a matter of days.

My 90 section-mates, with whom I shared my first year studies, were a disparate group, with the exception that the group's high achievement was clearly fueled by a combination of intelligence and insecurity that somehow translated into academic success. But this does not mean this mixture did not also convert into other, less healthy, behaviors.

Emotional disorders, stress and high achievement correlate and this is a ‘dirty secret’ of leading schools. Some academics, like military leaders, speak of these problems as statistical or even acceptable losses. But these are indeed real people who push themselves, with society’s urging, up to and sometimes beyond the edge.

James C. Collier


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Monday, June 05, 2006

Supreme Court to Rule on Affirmative Action in Public Schools et al

Supreme Court to Rule on Affirmative Action in Public Schools - Washington Post

Alito in Action - Washington Post

It is important for us to acknowledge and understand the position from which affirmative action is being argued in recent years, versus in the past. The change is not obvious to everyone, but has implications on what victory or defeat means or does not mean to Blacks.

In the past, affirmative action was argued as a response to discrimination which held Blacks beyond full opportunity. These days the revised 'diversity' affirmative action argues that the best learning environments are those that have a representative balance of the population, and therefore Blacks and others are required for the greatest benefit to all.

In this revised approach, schools can give under-represented minorities additional weighting, beyond standard measures, in the form of ‘plus factors’, that have the effect of raising their admissions ‘scores’, relative to other candidates. Colleges are using this approach, supported by the high court, to circumvent traditional affirmative action.

Proposition 209 in California, outlawing any use of race in admissions to public universities, expressly closes this alleged ‘loop-hole’, that the justices have provided college admission committees. Other states have ballot initiatives that will seek to follow in California’s approach to mitigating the high court.

The current challenge, relative to high schools, seeks to block administrators from using the same ‘plus factor’ systems for admitting Black and Hispanic kids to competitive programs for which they otherwise do not qualify, without race. Since most high schools are segregated, in line with their neighborhoods, the potential impact is low, in general, but nonetheless significant in certain high demand venues.

In any event, affirmative action is no longer a strategy for moving large numbers of Black, or Hispanics, up from the lowest economic strata of the country. We should acknowledge that the short run character of this ill-fated long-term strategy has finally run its course. Our attention must turn towards analysis and programs that get to the underlying under performance issues of Blacks and Hispanics.

Fewer Black kids, especially Black males, are ever reaching the point where traditional affirmative action can have an impact on their lives. Their situation is dire and we cannot afford to continue to expend resources on programs that simply cannot and do not work.

James C. Collier


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A Calculus of Race and Death?

A Calculus of Race and Death? - Washington Post

It is distressing to hear Black leaders accuse authorities of devaluing Black victims of crime, while at the same time lamenting the plight and disproportion of Black males in prison. This would seem to put authorities in a Catch-22 situation.

If law enforcement vigorously pursues the perpetrators of criminal acts against Blacks, then more Black males end up in prison, as male-dominated Black-on-Black crime is statistically disproportionate. In turn, once the disproportion in crime is translated into incarceration rates, they are accused of racism in prosecution and punishment. It is a no-win situation.

If Blacks want authorities to act aggressively for their protection, they must accept that the likely result is more Black males in prison. If Blacks want fewer of their group incarcerated, they must reach back to early childhood and education where so many first get off the right track.

James C. Collier


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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Episcopalians Consider Giving Reparations to Black Members et al

Episcopalians Consider Giving Reparations to Black Members - AP

Religion Today - AP

While reparations are on the minds of Episcopalians preparing to meet in June, Blacks and Whites, in general are lined up squarely for and against reparations. An earlier CNN/Gallup poll shows Blacks in favor by 6 to 4, with Whites opposed by 9 to 1.

However, it is restitution, a form of reparations, which is being more hotly debated and enacted, even as we speak of full reparations. The actionable character of restitution has propelled it as the lead-in tactic of reparations advocates, ahead of a hoped-for national reparation showdown.

The willingness of some municipalities to take action, in the form of slavery-era disclosure requirements, has the effect of forcing companies to self-incriminate and plead guilty in the court-of-public-opinion, as a condition for their continued good standing to conduct normal business with those municipalities.

These disclosures, with various forms of payment, have occurred even though the companies that engaged in the slavery-related activities did so at a time when it was indeed legal, and no court has or is even considering sanctions. This influence by city governments amounts reasonably to coercion, a kind of municipal vigilantism.

Even with concerns and issues around the growing requirements, many city governments, across the country, are pushing ahead with disclosure referendums. Companies are paying compensation to Black organizations and programs to avoid appearing unrepentant for the actions of their corporate ancestors. But what role should laws play?

Someone who pays restitution is normally giving up unjust gains back to the claimant, motivated by the potential for, or a direct order of, the court due to the claimant’s reasonable legal basis, by the causative events of either unjust enrichment or wrongful damages. The wrongs, however, that companies are atoning for are measured squarely against modern day morality and statues, and not that of the time when the events occurred. It is this revision of the criteria, under which past behaviors are judged, that is illogical, following the auspices of ‘two wrongs can not make a right’.

Our legal system and its jurisdiction in these matters, limited as it is, should not be circumvented. This is a degenerative form of manipulation. Once the law’s effectiveness is thus weakened, this intrusion increases the opportunity for continuing reduction and non-compliance, and a further loss of constitutional protection.

If it is true that these companies should pay restitution, then it is a matter of the courts, not city officials, to decide who should pay, to whom they owe their debt, and the form and amount of any such payment. Adjudication should be carried out under the watchful eye of the public, and with the full protection of our laws, including the appeal process.

James C. Collier


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