August 17, 2004

Alan Keyes supports a form of reparations? (WTF?!)

Yesterday, in response to a reporter's question in Chicago, Republican US Senate candidate Alan Keyes said that he supported a form of reparations (Chicago Tribune links require free registration or

Prompted by a reporter's question, Keyes gave a brief tutorial on Roman history and said that in regard to reparations for slavery, the U.S. should do what the Romans did: "When a city had been devastated [in the Roman empire], for a certain length of time--a generation or two--they exempted the damaged city from taxation."

Keyes proposed that for a generation or two, African-Americans of slave heritage should be exempted from federal taxes--federal because slavery "was an egregious failure on the part of the federal establishment." In calling for the tax relief, Keyes appeared to be reaching out to capture the black vote, something that may prove difficult to do, particularly after his unwelcome reception at the Bud Billiken Day Parade Saturday.

The former ambassador said his plan would give African-Americans "a competitive edge in the labor market," because those exempted would be cheaper to hire than federal tax-paying employees and would "compensate for all those years when your labor was being exploited."

Under Keyes' plan, African-Americans would still have to pay the Social Security tax, because "it's not a tax in the strict sense," said Keyes, calling it instead a payment to support a social insurance program.

This is in direct contradiction to statements he made on his former MSNBC show (Alan Keyes is Making Sense), and in a published column of his, both in 2002.
In 2002 on his short-lived MSNBC show, "Alan Keyes is Making Sense," he argued with one of his guests, an advocate of reparations, asking, "You want to tell me that what they suffered can actually be repaired with money? You're going to do the same thing those slaveholders did, put a money price on something that can't possibly be quantified in that way."

And in a 2002 column titled "Paid in Blood," Keyes called lawsuits on behalf of slave descendants against large corporations an "effort to extort `reparations' for slavery from their fellow citizens" and said that "the truth of the Civil War is that the terrible price for American slavery has been paid, once for all," when Americans gave their lives on the battlefield to end slavery. "The price for the sin of slavery," Keyes wrote, "has already been paid, in blood."

Pandering or a true epiphany? That's for Illinois' voters to decide.

It smells real fishy to me.

Michelle Malkin not only is as skeptical as I am, but she has a reparations calculator that shows how stupid the notion of reparations is.

Posted by mhking at August 17, 2004 10:56 AM

I just Paypalled you a few bucks. Lunch is on me.

If Jesse and Al want reparations, feel free to vomit their share on them.

Posted by: Laurence Simon at August 17, 2004 12:16 PM

Keyes is full of shit as far as it being cheaper to A-A under his plan... Employers do not pay any federal taxes on/for employees... So where would it be cheaper?

Posted by: Mudfish Billie at August 17, 2004 12:46 PM

Wow !!!!!
I am in agreement with Alan Keys !!!!!
Yall Better Get Right !!! Yall better get Right !!!

Seriously though, that is a great idea. Of course this doesn't solve the problem of how decide who will get the Reparations. Let's face facts. We all ain't as dark as Mr. Keys. And if you are talking about a exempting a generation or two (30 or 40 years) from income tax, their are bound to be phonies in the mix.

I have not forgotten to what site I am posting. But you can not disagree that rteperations ARE warrented, and even promised, just never given. After all. How does a Nation say I am sorry to an entire people. There is only one way that matters. And that is with M-O-N-E-Y.

Posted by: BH at August 17, 2004 12:54 PM

Heh. King, somebody better go get cha boy. I see this getting much worse before it gets better.

He isn't the only one acting the fool. I talked about Vernon Robinson earlier today too:

Things aren't looking too good right now.

Posted by: Expertise at August 17, 2004 01:10 PM

Coming from a caucasion mid-twenties male, this may elicit some responses (as soon as a Caucasion opens their mouth to discuss this sort of subject, they are met with hostility) but as an avid subscriber to Playboy for almost 10 years now, I remember reading this article in Playboy a couple years back about the full page article by David Horowitz on his feelings about reparations....Read his post (also appeared in the Playboy issue) HERE

Definitely brings up some good points....

Being in the Navy on a deployed missile cruiser meant that my time was spent with fellas of all races and backgrounds....I've got great friends of all races and colors and this particular article in Playboy got a very heated discussion going down in our berthing area.....As long as it can be discussed with an open enough mind to not scream "Racism" at one another, it results in a good conversation....The guys down in my berthing were, for the most part, open-minded enough to discuss this....Of course, there were several "lesser minds" that refused to listen to anyone's opinion (Caucasian OR African-American)....

Posted by: dmiller23462 at August 17, 2004 01:13 PM

I agree - this smells of fish. I know how things go, when you start smelling things, Michael.

I also agree with your Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

My post will go long, so I will address it on my blog.

Posted by: Joel (No Pundit Intended) at August 17, 2004 02:45 PM

I have personally spent a long time thinking about reparations, and I think the plan of allowing blacks to be free from taxion is the best plan. I would also account for current racism where black workers trade at a discount. So if you are making 30k vs. the white guy 40K, your take home pay would be about the same if you didn't have to pay payroll and income taxes. And guess what it would cost your company 10k less so now there is a direct economic incentive to hire black.

Posted by: Scott at August 17, 2004 02:56 PM

As a descendant of German immigrants that arrived in 1876, 11 years after the War of Northern Agression, I can safely say that Keyes is now an official nut-case in my book. Anyone who had ancestors that arrived post-unCivil War should be exempt. They owe nothing for slavery that they couldn't do anything about, and they owe nothing because their ancestors did not participate.

Posted by: David R. Block at August 17, 2004 03:08 PM

Fellow conservative brotherhood member is upset about Alan Keyes supporting reparations. I Think he has fallen into the classic falsehood that you can't combine conservative principles with social justice. Of course Alan would be against suing for reparations from corporations because it would be unjust to take their personal property for actions that were legal at the time they were committed. The fact that he believes two wrongs don't make a right doesn't mean he has to ignore the wrong that was done to black Americans by slavery and racism. He has obviously thought about it and came up with what is the most logical and just reparations plan that fits with his beliefs.


Posted by: Scott at August 17, 2004 03:58 PM


Off topic, it looks like you may have forgotten to close your italics tag on this post. The whole page below the second quote is in italics.

Posted by: Frog at August 17, 2004 05:08 PM

Well I'll be...

Posted by: DarkStar at August 17, 2004 05:39 PM


I agree reparations for slavery would be a form of social justice, if it was going to people who had been enslaved or maybe even their children. But that's not who we are talking about today.

There is no one walking around today who can honestly say they are where they are in life today because of slavery.

Are we talking about social justice for slavery or retribution for the rampant violations of civil rights prior to 1964?

Reparations solves nothing except to assuage the guilt of people who somehow, after several generations, feel guilty about something they had no part in. It's still an "Us and Them" proposition and must be resisted at all costs.

We are ALL Americans and none of us deserve any more than any of the rest of us. Mr. Keyes has my deep respect for the wonderful things he has done to promote laws based upon morality in this country - that is where he should focus his campaign. He is wrong wrong wrong on reparations.

I am still hoping that he has been misquoted somehow. I am shocked he has said something he's spoken against so much in the past.



Posted by: Joel (No Pundit Intended) at August 17, 2004 09:12 PM

Hey Mudfish

Employers do not pay any federal taxes on/for employees... So where would it be cheaper?

Thats not true.

Posted by: GeronL at August 17, 2004 11:04 PM

Geroni: What federal taxes do employers pay on employees? I'd really like to know. With the exception a really insignificant amount of F.U.T.A., there is nothing to give an employer a better deal to hire an African-Ameerican under the specs outlined.

Posted by: Mudfish Billie at August 17, 2004 11:18 PM

Joel can I quote your comments on my blog. I would like to comment what i think are your general misconeptions of the effects of racism in the past and today.


Posted by: Scott at August 18, 2004 01:21 AM


Certainly. Thanks for asking. I am always open to a potential educational experience. :)

Posted by: Joel (No Pundit Intended) at August 18, 2004 04:26 PM

Here is something you may not know. Barack Obama, Keyes opponent does not support reparations. The Tuesday, August 17, 2004 edition of the Chicago Sun-Times said: "Obama said Monday he did not support reparations. Instead, he favored "investments" that would benefit all Americans who are struggling. "Things like early childhood education, job training, college scholarships, provide opportunity to all people," Obama said. "I'm just in favor of investments of people in need and struggling."

I will bet anything in the world that the majority of Obama supporters were caught with pants down on that one. A mortar shell went off in the Obama camp, but you will not hear about it on the news. Many of Obama's people religiously support reparations. I guarantee that there are leaders of the reparations movement in Chicago who will ask Obama to explain himself, especially Alderman Dorothy Tillman. Actually this is a beautiful situation. The reparation people support a candidate who does not support reparations, and those same people lambast and ridicule "Uncle Tom" Alan Keyes who supports a form of reparations. Obama actually embarassed them, but do not expect them to tell us that.

Posted by: Robert at August 21, 2004 05:56 PM
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