Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Coates makes a well written and passionate argument how African-Americans were and, to some extent, continue to be harmed by "White Supremacy" but he's not made a case for reparations because he consistently ducks the issue of not only how the reparations would be engineered, but how they would make any meaningful difference.
It all well and good to say that in accordance with the law of torts a harm in violation of a right has been committed, but as Chicago Joe pointed out that's not enough.
I hear you, but a couple of things...
Sometimes I'm not sure the whole"violation has been committed" piece is considered a fait accompli in the collective American psyche. We can call it a given only if we regard the portion of the populace that believes blacks should be grateful just to be here as strictly fringe.
The reason Coates' and others of note have devoted entire tomes to arguing for the moral and ethical "rightness" of Reparations and gave plans for implementation short, if any mention is that it has never been at all clear that the country was ready to move from a discussion of established need to practical application.
The argument has been about whether it is a right and good thing to do right from the start
. Granted, when General Sherman issued his famous Field Order #15 - prescribing that 40 acres of sized confederate land be distributed to every freedman - I guess there was some consensus that repayment for harm done was in order. But the promise of 40 acres (and the later added mule) was promptly overturned by Lincoln's successor Andrew Johnson.
And to my knowledge, the argument has gone on through the centuries between those who see reparations as an easily justifiable moral imperative that should be done, and those who either don't think so, or who do think so but still feel it shouldn't be done, for sundry reasons.
So, although I understand and tend to agree with you when you say "in accordance with the law of torts a harm in violation of a right has been committed" and it isn't enough, I also understand why the discussion tends to stall at the outset. It's because the very thought sticks in some craws. For sundry reasons.