Tag Archives: Lyndon B. Johnson

Bill Lockwood: Reparations and the Failure of Affirmative Action

by Bill Lockwood

All recent talk coming from the Democrats is about current “reparations” to black Americans for yesteryear’s slavery. White America must begin paying financial compensation for sins of history. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) announced a bill this week to form a commission to recommend “reparations for slavery.” Booker says this could solve the “persistence of racism, white supremacy, and implicit racial bias in our country. It will bring together the vest minds to study the issue and propose solutions that will finally begin to right the economic scales of past harms and make sure we are a country where all dignity and humanity is affirmed.”

Beto O’Rourke was against “reparations” when he was in Congress but has switcherooed to favor Booker’s commission. Whatever is vogue is what the Democrats support. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, another Texas Democrat, has supported reparations as well. Sen. Kamala Harris and Sen. Elizabeth Warren both cannot get on the bandwagon quickly enough.

Reparation talk is growing elsewhere. Black Princeton Seminary students in New Jersey are asking their school for reparations for slavery due to the fact that the early founders and faculty of the University had ties to slavery. A group of black seminarians have collected more than 400 signatures in an online petition calling on the Princeton to “make amends” by setting aside $5.3 million annually—15% of what the seminary uses from the school’s endowment for its operating expenses—to fund tuition grants for black students and establish a Black Church Studies program (Selwyn Duke, in The New American, 3.27.19).

What Shall We Say to These Things?

This is all a tacit admission that Reparations Do Not Work to the End for Which They are Intended. Why?  Booker says reparations will “right the economic scales of past harms.” This is exactly, almost word for word, the reason Affirmative Action was instituted in America in the first place.

Consider Pres. Lyndon Johnson, in a commencement address at Howard University in 1965 on affirmative action, who opined this way about Affirmative Action:

You do not wipe away the scars of centuries by saying, ‘now, you are free to go where you want, do as you desire, and choose the leaders you please.’ You do not take a man who for years has been hobbled by chains, liberate him, bring him to the starting line of a race, saying, ‘you are free to compete with all the others,’ and still justly believe you have been completely fair …This is the next and more profound stage of the battle for civil rights. We seek not just freedom but opportunity—not just legal equity but human ability—not just equality as a right and a theory, but equality as a fact and as a result.

We were going to have equality “as a fact and as a result” provided by Big Brother Government in its meddlesome Affirmative Action programs. Compensate for past discrimination and persecution is the “reason.” The original purpose for Affirmative Action in the United States was to “pressure institutions into compliance” with the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

According to the clintonwhitehouse2.archives.gov website,

The current scope of affirmative action programs is best understood as an outgrowth and continuation of our national effort to remedy subjugation of racial and ethnic minorities and of women — subjugation in place at our nation’s founding and still the law of the land within the lifetime of “baby-boomers.

Apparently, the government remedy did not take. Instead of a “remedy” affirmative action has exacerbated the racial problem, so much that Democrats are seeking again to “right the economic scales” in America—exactly what Affirmative Action was supposed to do—by government fiat.

Questions

There are a few hundred questions we need answered by the Booker’s, Harris’, Warren’s and O’Rourke’s of the world before “reparations” are underway. Just a sampling of those questions are these:

Since slavery is solely of the Democrat Party in America, why not make the DNC pay the reparations?

Since American Indians practiced slavery regularly, and photos exist of Indian tribes holding white captives as slaves, will whites receive payments as well? Will the government “shake down” the Indian tribes for their historical practice of slavery?

Since “slavery” is, by definition, for all practical purposes, the process by which one person is forcibly used to serve the purposes of another, how is it that modern-day forcible financial re-distribution (slavery) supposed to “right” slavery of the past? Will modern-day slavery via the tax code be repaired? What is the difference in principle between slavery to the government and slavery to a plantation owner?

Is Booker man-enough to note that the Koran teaches slavery and Muslims have practiced slavery throughout the centuries? Shall Muslims in America pay reparations for subjugating populations of Europeans in history? Will those that support Mohammed and the fact that he owned a black slave be forced to disown Mohammed? After all, those theological students at Princeton say that “Restitution is evidence of repentance.”

While thinking of Islam, since each and every black slave that was captured in Africa and sold to English slave-traders originated with Muslim slave-traders in Africa, will those who practice Islam be forced to pay reparation? After all, why target just a few Englishmen involved in slavery? Why not cast a wider net for reparations?

Since “righting past wrongs” is Booker’s game, what about abortion? Since abortion is the taking of innocent life, will the Democrat legislation force those who have aborted children to pay into a general fund for usage by others? Or, is our grievance against sin selective? Only some sins need apply.

And since abortion rates are higher in black communities than in white communities does this mean that more blacks will be paying than whites? Or, is abortion off-the-table as far as discussion is concerned?

Since the black Princeton Theology students tell us that “reparation is evidence of repentance” do they also teach that it is the government’s job to force repentance among the population? Is asking for free-will contributions the same as a government shakedown?

Ezekiel 18

While on theology students, perhaps a biblical passage will help us. Ezekiel 18.

Israelites in Babylonian captivity were self-righteous. They were disposed to shift blame off of themselves and lay it partly upon their fathers and partly upon God. Shifting blame to some other quarter that we might be just and God unjust is still prevalent among men!

Their Illusion is that they were suffering, not for their own sins, but the transgressions of their fathers. Their proverbial statement to that effect was, “The fathers have eaten sour grapes and set the children’s teeth on edge.” An old proverb repeated by the modern-day Democrat-Socialist. The prophet dispels this idea in the balance of the chapter.

Ezekiel lays out four cases to illustrate Divine Justice. Number one: the righteous man (v. 5-9) is just (dealings with others) and will live. Number two: a wicked son of a righteous man (v. 10-13). The father will not be held accountable for the sin of the son. Number three: a righteous son of a wicked father (v. 14-18). Here is where liberal idea of reparation rests. Must wickedness of past generations be paid today? The inspired prophet’s answer: NO. The principle is: The soul that sins, IT is the one that shall die! (v. 2).

Number four: Ezekiel has one more scenario (v 21-24). The wicked AND the righteous. If the wicked repents, then he is forgiven. If the righteous apostatizes, he is lost. This involves a change, not in the character of one generation to the next, but in the character of the individual. Such is repentance. Princeton Theology students and the Cory Booker’s of the world notwithstanding.

Bible Basics, Social Justice and War on Poverty

Bible Basics, Social Justice and War on Poverty

by Bill Lockwood

The Heritage Foundation wrote, “In his January 1964 State of the Union address, Johnson proclaimed, ‘This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America.’  Since that time, U.S. taxpayers have spent over $22 trillion on anti-poverty programs (in constant 2012 dollars). Adjusted for inflation, this spending (which does not include Social Security or Medicare) is three times the cost of all military wars in U.S. history since the American Revolution. Despite this mountain of spending, progress against poverty, at least as measured by the government, has been minimal.”

The Washington Times reported similarly that the poverty rate has only decreased in America by 2% since Johnson’s War on Poverty began in 1965. “Although the president often rails against income inequality in America, his policies have had little impact overall on poverty. A record 47 million Americans receive food stamps, about 13 million more than when he [Obama] took office. “The poverty rate has stood at 15 percent for three consecutive years, the first time that has happened since the mid-1960s. The poverty rate in 1965 was 17.3 percent; it was 12.5 percent in 2007, before the Great Recession.

“About 50 million Americans live below the poverty line, which the federal government defined in 2012 as an annual income of $23,492 for a family of four.” Obama’s Socialism or Social Justice will never effectively reduce the poverty rate. Forcing businesses to raise the minimum wage will not do it either. No amount of government FORCE—the only thing Obama knows—will solve the poverty problem.

Why Will Socialism Not Work?

The reason is because the entire structure of socialism is built upon a grand lie, a false world-view about the nature of man and life itself. Instead, social justice sears the conscience of America as to what is real justice while hardening the once-freedom-loving Americans into allowing the government to experiment on us socially.
To understand why this is the case, we need go back to real basics of life—Bible basics of freedom.

First, Life. Life is a gift of God (Gen. 1:27; 2:7). A worldview that begins with “In the beginning God…” is the only viable option that truly recognizes the dignity of man. Since God created man, it stands to reason that what is required to preserve life is also a part of God’s created purpose. Life cannot sustain itself alone. Thus, Jehovah gave us marvelous faculties with which to extract the resources He placed in or on the earth that sustains our lives.

These faculties include my liberty of action. I am free to choose to labor. Hunger assists me in making that choice. Additionally, if I have not freedom to sustain my own life, then what benefit is life? And, if I cannot by my own labor provide and even accumulate goods (that would be my “property”) that are necessary to sustain my life or provide for my future, again, what good is life? There is no benefit to having life from God if I am not able to sustain it.

Second, Law. What is law? Law is the “rule of action” that recognizes that I have not only the right to provide, but to protect my person, liberty or property. Since life is sacred, I have the right to use force to protect it as well as the property that I have accumulated. The Mosaic code of the Old Testament makes this emphatically clear. It is also the basic concept of Natural Law.

It also follows that if I have a right to defend myself and my property, then groups of persons may do the same. This organization to defend ourselves from THEFT is what is known as LAW.  Man-made secular law is nothing more (or should be) than the organization of the natural right by groups of persons to defend what God gave them (Romans 13:4,5).

This is why James Wilson, a Founding Father that signed both the Declaration of Independence as well as the Constitution, reflected on the law of man and the law of God: “Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed these two sciences run into each other… All [laws], however, may be arranged in two different classes. 1) Divine. 2) Human… But it should always be remembered that this law, natural or revealed, made for men or for nations, flows from the same Divine source: it is the law of God… Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is Divine.” Man’s laws need to reflect God’s.

Third, The Nature of Man. Man is a mixture of “sunshine and shadow,” as one Founding Father put it. This was but a reflection of the biblical exposition of man. By “sunshine” is meant the propensity to do well and be a blessing to others.  It is a great quality that we need to encourage in ourselves and others.  On the other hand, there is also a “shadowy” portion of man. It is a desire to do wrong, which, when acted upon, is what the Bible calls SIN.  Sin is a violation of God’s law (1 John 3:4).

Reflecting this part of man, history is littered with examples of men who wished to live at the expense of others. They do this by overt robbery or, they take the God-given concept of law (protecting ourselves and our goods) and convert it to enrich themselves. Instead of robbing us at gunpoint, they pervert the purpose of LAW that they might steal your possessions. Politicians do this on a regular basis. Promising more goodies to various classes of people ensures their longevity in office and positions of power. But the end—confiscation and redistribution—or socialism, is exactly the same as a gunpoint robbery. Force is used and LAW becomes the source of evil and wickedness.

That the above occurs in America, not only with frequency, but as a part “our system,” is a source of sadness and shame. Law no longer serves its God-given purpose to protect the rights, goods, and persons of individuals in society but it has become the instrument of PLUNDER of many by the few. Obama’s social justice is exactly this. The overturning of what men innately know to be right. That churches, which should be standing for principles of justice, favor it simply shows to what immoral depths we have now descended in America. But these atrocities God will not overlook forever. Poverty will continue to plague us in astronomical proportions and working people will chafe more and more under a yoke of bondage. Perhaps that is what Obama wants all along.

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