Reparations for All or None

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America was created to fail. Unending wars had been a good teacher. European leaders knew that attaining peace and prosperity required ethnic and religious homogeneity. Why then did England develop the Thirteen Colonies? The Colonies were doomed from the start. Religious, racial, and ethnic homogeneity was stillborn. The Colonies were a place that attracted people that had nothing to lose, and they weren’t homogenous beyond that trait. 

Among the earliest settlers joining the Native Americans were people of diverse ethnicities and religions facing persecution. Sharing the plight of religious oppression was no bond, and mutual animosities drove violence and segregated living. 

This was the quiet before the storm. After American independence, desperation led ethnic groups aplenty to take dangerous voyages across the Atlantic and Pacific. Eighteenth century theorists predicted American failure because democracy could not handle the conflict inherent in an increasingly heterogeneous society.

The 19th century was the perfect storm. Immigrants were arriving from all over Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. There were Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists. Animosities filled the air. Racial, ethnic, and religious discord became part of life in America. The storm grew in intensity when millions from southern and central Europe were processed at Ellis Island and four million blacks became free. America had “a national population whose diversity was unmatched in western history.” The world saw America as a tinderbox.

The American petri dish. From the beginning, the Colonies and later America were inadvertently hosting the world’s largest petri dish experiment with diversity. There were confirmations and reconfirmations that diversity leads to unending ethnic, racial, and religious conflict. It wasn’t pretty. No one was spared the unremitting mental and physical challenges of trying to build a peaceful and prosperous nation with people disunified by race, ethnicity, and religion. 

Survival was at stake. After independence, the government intervened and tasked its public schools with unifying America’s diverse populations. It was working well; diverse children were becoming homogenized through American values. To lessen ethnic conflict further, immigration policies were used to reduce the ethnicities of immigrants provoking the greatest anxieties. 

WWII. America existed in an altered state for four years. There were regularly published reports of Germans, Japanese, and Italians killing and imprisoning Americans, and engaging in racially motivated atrocities against Jews, Slavs, westerners, and Chinese. Meanwhile, nearly half of American soldiers had German or Italian ancestors, and over 500,000 Jews, 900,000 Slavic-speaking Poles, 21,949 Japanese, and 13,499 Chinese fought for America. 

WWII motivated Americans to self-examine their beliefs. They had never given much thought to ethnic, religious, and racial animosities because they were tolerant of annoying, aggravating, and invidious behaviors. Now, however, they were rethinking their tolerance for intolerance. 

Survival is imperiled again. The Civil Rights Movement (1954–1968) strongly encouraged re-examining the legally sanctioned intolerance embedded in Jim Crow laws. The government, with the support of most Americans, stepped in to address intolerance. In the Civil Rights Act of 1964 no American was to have their success hindered by racial, ethnic, or religious animus. This Act was unique in the world, bold and brilliant. The experiment with diversity was on a path to victory. Then the government lost its mind. The government ended its use of immigration policies to manage ethnic conflict. Instead, immigration policy would be a catalyst for perpetuating racial, religious, and ethnic conflict. In the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the United States became an “all-comers” nation. Immigrants could now come from any and every country in the world. 

Pouring unlimited diversity on top of a nation that just committed to trying to end animosities among its current diverse population was reckless. If legislators didn’t know it; they should have. America was never a melting pot. Every non-British, non-Anglican Protestant ethnic, racial, and religious group was disparaged, and many British were marginalized for their social class. It took nearly 400 years for diverse white ethnicities to deprecate religious and national origin biases and unify as Americans. 

The end of black and white America. The year 1965 was a turning point. Diversity, animosity, and competition in America would never again be black and white. America’s long-standing African American, Native American, and European American populations were now competing on an equal playing field with tens of millions of immigrants and descendants from America’s newer diverse Asian, Latino, and African populations.

Diminishing America’s competitive advantage. The 1965 Immigration Act made the experiment with diversity unending, but it also offered a permanent prescription for stoking American productivity and competitiveness. The motivating influence of immigrants has always been America’s ultimate source of competitive advantage. But the advantage has two pre-requisites. America must be a country that inspires immigrants to work hard to become self-reliant, and Americans must step up their game. But the potential power of the Act was instantly undermined. In the same year, the government lessened the value of self-reliance and made government dependency an option for immigrants and Americans. The ramifications of this continue to haunt America. 

Defying the odds. So far, America has amazed the naysayers, but new immigrants with antithetical beliefs and behaviors, and political officials dabbling with social engineering continually test the experiment. It’s easy for politicians to do this. Most Americans are obtuse to the challenges of an increasingly diverse population. They think it’s normal for diverse nations to resemble a courteous forum at the United Nations. This makes it simple for politicians and other private and public sector administrators to naïvely support tinkering with policies and practices. They don’t know that misguided dabbling, for example, deprecating the value of self-reliance or balkanizing racial and ethnic groups, can prove the naysayers right that heterogeneity is a source of endless conflict 
and increasing poverty.

Reparations for All or None tells the unique story of how America built a racially, ethnically, religiously, and socially diverse peaceful and prosperous nation. For the first 200 years, the grandest challenges were building the foundations for a stable nation in a very inhospitable environment. For 200 years following independence, Americans had to defend their sovereignty from European and Asian imperial powers, and domestically from the Confederate States of America. Internally, they had to endeavor to defy the incontrovertible wisdom that it was impossible for America’s increasingly diverse population to achieve peace and prosperity. 

Some will scratch their heads when reading about events because they contradict current narratives that reflect more recent historical revisions that have been cited so often, they seem true. Today, “truth has been reduced to a shadow of its former self.” Other nations do this too. They censor parts of history because it interferes with the positive image they want their people and the world to embrace. You can’t blame them. So many struggle to place history into context. Americans struggle with context too, but this is often because it is intentionally omitted. This permits revisionist historians to masquerade truth to create a history of America that can read like America the evil. America is portrayed as the home of irredeemably white supremacists, of white privileged people who were genocidaires that stole the land of Indians, sponsored the cruelest episode of slavery in the world, robbed the land of Mexicans, and uniquely interned American citizens during WWII because they were from a different race. America is so evil; it must pay reparations to the descendants of its victims. This is a shameful portrayal of a country whose history in a global context is to be admired – warts and all. 

Reparations for All or None sets the historical record straight, because the continuation of American peace and prosperity depends on it. America’s history of increasing diversity is treated evenhandedly.

 The pitted path of America’s contested sovereignty, unending racial, ethnic, and religious animosities, and the ongoing quest to build a more perfect union for all Americans are chronicled. The unwanted outcomes of the post-1964 period of government-driven accelerated diversity and dependency that are fueling fodder for harmful racial divisions are evaluated. To achieve these goals, revisionist history is sidelined, and newspeak is silenced. America’s history of diversity is placed in a global and time-dependent context. This has placed a heavy reliance on references and data from prior centuries, and on diverse objective chroniclers of history. 

Chapter overviews

Chapter 1–6.  The history of America from the 17th to 20th centuries is told through waves of immigrant arrivals in the North and South. In the 18th to 20th centuries, the Midwest and West are added. Labor, living, and social conditions are examined to better understand the recipient and payor candidates of reparations. Immigrants endured depravity, danger, malice, and intolerance. In the 17th and 18th centuries, forced labor for blacks and whites was more common than not. People were whipped for not attending church, stealing a chicken, insubordination, or being raped. Men, women, and children that broke the rules prepared for stripes. Some had 4–14 years of forced labor added for good measure. Bastard children endured forced labor for life. Women were raped and beaten without recourse. Cities were called “infant abattoirs.” Until 1964, second class citizens came in all colors, genders, and religions. Native Americans and nearly every descendant of an immigrant that arrived between 1607 and 1964 could qualify for reparations using a yardstick of acceptable and legal behaviors today. This includes most African- and European-Americans. In 1964, about 88.7% of the population was European American, 10.5% were African American and 0.3% Native American. 

While contemplating paying reparations to the descendants of aggrieved ancestors for the sins of history, consideration must be given to who pays. Chapters 1–6 identify potential payers, and this list is equally long and includes colonial proprietors, foreign governments in Africa and Europe, and the United States and Mexico. It also includes descendants of slaveholders and indentured servants. This last one alone will have millions of potential payers because it includes 1% of European Americans, 2% of African Americans, and some unknown percent of Native Americans. 

To help finalize thoughts on payors or receivers of reparations, the first six chapters add information that is missing in America’s revised history. This includes America never being a land of white privilege or white supremacists; Native Americans were paid for their land; Mexican Americans were not victims of land theft, Native Americans were not victims of genocide, American slavery was not the cruelest in the world, and racism had nothing to do with interning Japanese citizens and noncitizens during WWII. 

Finally, Chapters 1–6 offer lots of global context on different topics, including: the use of forced labor around the world, the different slave trades, crime and punishment practices, anti-miscegenation laws around the world, WWII internment, and how different nations preserve the history of forced labor. 

Chapter 7 covers how life for subjugated people all over the world forever changed after WWII. American leadership was key to this development. Also explored is how the United States became a global role model for providing and protecting fundamental freedoms for all, and how Russia and China became role models for not protecting any freedoms. The latter had lots of acolytes, of which several are examined here to provide additional context for understanding the unfounded accusations of America as a racist pariah.  

Chapter 8 probes changes to immigration policies that dramatically changed the face of America and initiated government decisions that racialized America’s diverse populations.

Chapter 9 examines the origins, challenges, and new biases introduced by the primary post-1965 immigrant populations. This includes Latino, Asian, Muslim, and black immigrants.

Chapter 10 surveys how the government unthinkingly compromised America’s defining values and principles. This includes, very importantly, no public charges, self-reliance, and good moral character. 

Chapter 11 covers the extraordinary impact that poorly conceived government policies have had on America’s three “nativist” populations: African Americans, European Americans, and Native Americans. 

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