Why Can America Distribute Farm Bailouts And Disaster Relief, But Not Reparations?
I read a comment the other day from a Medium poster who had something negative to say about reparations. Something regarding a transfer of “their” wealth.” He implied White people today should not be on the hook for losses they did not cause and atrocities associated with slavery White people living today did not commit. His assumption was that someone would come to take his $4,000 out of his savings and give it to my great-great-grandma Sadie, a Black lady and a descendant of slaves down in Charleston, South Carolina.
It was absolutely hilarious to read such nonsense. It was devastating to hear how the losses of some Americans are worth addressing while others are dismissed like an incompetent doctor failing to diagnose an ill patient of color because he or she believes the pains of their Black patient aren’t real.
The only difference between disaster relief, farm aid, and reparations is not the loss itself, but the color of the people suffering the losses. America is infamous for valuing Whiteness among all else.
There is even inequality in how losses are valued in this nation. The color and sex of the loser matters.
The Differences Between How The Nation Compensates Some of Us For Our Losses
Trump rewarded his loyal, faithful followers he fucked with his tariffs a $6 billion dollar bailout so White, rural farmers (values voters) can weather their self-inflicted tariff war. That’s $6 billion dollars of our hard-earned tax dollars being given to stubborn asses who voted against their own interests. Many farmers have had to file for bankruptcy. That doesn’t sound like Trump’s making America great to me.
White silence is all I hear about those handouts. That’s what it is, a handout. It’s a form of welfare, a transfer of wealth. It’s compensation by the USA for White losses.
Don’t get me wrong, I love farmers; I love to eat, but when people mash their own hands in the door on purpose because someone dared them to, don’t expect me to pay for their hospital bill.
The Midwest is in crisis again. They are flooded. This crisis is a natural disaster beyond their control, and I want my money to help these people, in the same manner, their tax dollars help us down in Florida and elsewhere when natural disasters, hurricanes, and massive flooding occurs nationally. Our Panhandle still hasn’t recovered.
The bomb cyclone that hit the Midwest will require federal Disaster Relief (FEMA). The only support given to Mid-westerners impacted by the flooding thus far are thoughts, prayers, and a pledge of solidarity by Vice President Mike Pence.
I’m sure another generous government aid package (a transfer of wealth) will come eventually to Mid-westerners who have suffered losses, including many of those farmers who just got farm subsidies (farm welfare). It will be yet another form of compensation to pay for their losses by our country.
White Americans are pretty silent about rural White farmers receiving compensation for their losses. They have no comments at all. The losses of farmers aren’t my problem, but I understand what goes around comes around and I think I should help my neighbor. It’s our money going to help our neighbors. That’s what good people do, correct? Helping those who have losses shouldn’t be conditional, right?
Helping people with losses is only good if the beneficiaries are White.
Just mention reparations and White folks will show you how “helpful” they desire to be when it comes to the losses of Blacks. They have no zero tolerance for it.
What About Reparations?
Now, let’s talk about reparations. Compensation. Money. For Black people. For the losses of their descendants.
Reparations (in theory) would be payable by a defeated country (like perhaps the Confederate States of America, now the United States of America) to another country or to an individual (like perhaps a Black person) for losses suffered (oh let me count the ways) during or because of war. The average person doesn’t know or understand what reparations are, they simply know compensation would go to Black people, and God forbid America cares equally about us the same way they care for White America.
African-Americans have suffered irreparable damages that can never really be fully repaid to make us whole. But just because White America doesn’t believe or care we’ve suffered losses doesn’t mean it shouldn’t try to make amends, and the decision for America to pay us for our sweat equity damn sure shouldn’t be swayed by selfish White folks who only care about staying ahead of everyone else or those insisting on wealth transfers to Blacks won’t be helpful. As I showed previously, America has no issues giving welfare to farmers and disaster to the same batch of farmers in the same year. Disaster and farm aid are reparations for losses suffered. The tariff war is not a real war, but the title of the fake war entitles farmers to compensation for their losses. Why can’t descendants of slaves be compensated for losses suffered during and after the Confederate War?
America has compensated Jews for their losses and has allowed them to shape policies and communities to ensure they are protected as they prosper. The Japanese were compensated for their losses, and the Native Americans were compensated for their losses. America has never compensated African-Americans for their association with slavery, Jim Crow, and the discrimination and inequity suffered to this day. losses. We’ve never been compensated for our cultural trauma, the losses of our family members, or the losses of opportunities.
All African-Americans have ever gotten from America was a funky half-ass apology for the past raping of Black men and women (yes perverted Master raped Black male slaves), free labor, public hangings, child separation, wage theft, false accusations of theft, murder, along with the physical, mental, and emotional abuses suffered at the hands of White slave owners. They didn’t even have enough respect to use the U.S. Census data they collect every 10 years to track us to mail the apology to folks identified as African-American to ensure we all knew the government was kinda sorry.
Many Black people don’t even know America half-apologized to us which goes to show how insincere they were about it. Truth be told, Blacks can never be made whole after four centuries of inequity and exclusion, but America could atone for its since.
If you think Blacks have not had losses, you need to study America’s history and Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome. Descendants of slaves in America have suffered significant losses because of slavery and institutional racism.
White America has a different way they treat people they value when it comes to losses. Even when the poverty of Blacks and Whites are equal (i.e. poor Appalachian Whites vs. poor New Orleans Blacks), America views how each group should be treated when experiencing losses because of natural disasters. Compare how White residents of Paradise were spoken of compared to Hurricane Katrina victims. White residents of Paradise were mostly described as poor, elderly, and frail and seen as needing help. Hurricane Katrina victims in New Orleans were disparaged for needing help while being in the same class socioeconomic class as poor Whites.
Understanding how White victims with losses and Black victims with losses are viewed helps us to understand why White people are so opposed to Blacks receiving reparations. All losses should matter equally, but they do not. For centuries White people have only validated the losses of White people.
Many Whites view losses suffered by Blacks as insignificant or not worthy enough for us to be made whole. Because of these anti-Black sentiments which are rooted in slavery, you’ll continue to see inequity in how aid is distributed among Whites and Blacks. Additionally, watch how quickly White groups can bounce back after setbacks compared to some Black groups. America makes sure it takes care of White folks.
Truth be told, we are actually more worthy and more entitled to have our losses validated than Whites or any other group in America besides Native Americans because no attempt has ever been made by our government to do right by us.
Slavery and systemic racism were created to ensure Whites maintain the caste system the nation was founded upon. These systems ensured we African-Americans were always on the losing end of living.
The Difference In How White People and Black People React To Compensation For Losses
Black folks aren’t ranting saying the government shouldn’t use tax dollars to compensate White people for losses they have suffered because of wars, White politicians making bad policies, natural disasters, or economic downturns. Lord knows we could, but we don’t. We simply ask for equality in how funds are distributed in our time of need. Black people aren’t bashing Whites for needing help, they aren’t worried about the amount of money used to aid Whites, nor are they signaling they should pull themselves up by their bootstraps.
As a matter of fact, most Black people don’t even care if the government gives aid to rural White farmers who are also Trump voters. All we want is the favor returned with no lip serve when it’s time for us to get a bailout. Between global warming and failing economies globally, all Americans should want our government to make us all whole again, or at least be able to get us on our feet.
When aid is handed by the U.S. government for White losses, it will yet again be a form of financial aid (charity, welfare, etc.) derived from taxpayers and investors who will help these poor folks recover. Tax dollars will help them get back on their feet, and aid in their speedy recovery. How many times have Whites been bailed out from farm bills, farm aid and subsidies, disaster relief, V.A. loans, and government programs like the G.I. Bill to help them get back onto their feet and into the middle class? The G.I. Bill was pre-Civil Rights Era, so guess who were the biggest beneficiaries of payments?
How soon White folks forget.
In my opinion, it’s not that Whites forget, it’s that heir of entitlement they carry with them throughout their lives. White folks believe without a doubt they have a right to demand their government work for them. They demand their government should do something for them when they have losses. They believe they are the only ones who have this right. They believe our government only works for them, not all of us. In reality, it does not.
White folks know they will be helped by the federal government. Most don’t know or don’t care about where the money comes from, they just want it to be there when they need it. They are taught the government is supposed to take care of White taxpayers.
Black folks are supposed to work and pay taxes so White people can be properly cared for.
Even if Black taxpayers don’t contribute as much as White ones (it’s impossible based on the nation’s demographic makeup), it should be noted that many Black folks work hard, pay taxes and help our government take care of its citizenry. We’ve also spent centuries being excluded from subsidies, grants, and other aid White people benefited from. The government takes Black money from our Black paychecks and Black tax refunds.
America has to realize it’s biased, and if the nation will not attempt to remedy African-American losses, they should stop collecting the data used for well-being indicators. We all always going to be sicker. We will always be poorer. We will always have huge gaps in wealth. We will always have poorer schools, school districts, less public funds spent in our communities, and our older people will always die poorer.
America is designed for Black folks to have poor outcomes.
The cards are stacked against us, and they always have been because America has never attempted to repay us for our losses. American has never atoned for her sins.
Native Indians were finally compensated for their losses, and rightly so. Jews were compensated for their losses even though America had nothing to do with the Holocaust. The Japanese were compensated — hundreds of years after slavery.
But African-Americans, the descendants of slaves, have never compensated for our losses. We haven’t because America is racist.
Only White Losses Matter
What’s the difference between a bailout, disaster relief, and reparations? Absolutely nothing but the name of the payment for the loss and color of the persons receiving the payments for the losses. The money comes from the same place, us taxpayers and America's numerous business investments.
Whites will always receive more help than Blacks when it comes to receiving government aid. Blacks work and pay taxes to ensure White Supremacy lives on. There will never be reparations paid to Blacks in America because America does not believe in equity. American imperialism prevents them from admitting they are wrong. So cheers to disaster relief and farm aid and the White people who have the privilege of always being compensated for their losses.
And for the bigots who have an issue with reparations because they see it as a “transfer of their wealth,” your racism is showing.