Time To Amend Constitution To Ban Race-Based Transfer Payments

We finally learned what all the fuss has been about for the past month. It’s not about police reform. It’s not about systemic racism. It’s about race-based transfer payments, or reparations. At least it is according to the ideologues calling the shots at The New York Times.

            What are reparations?

            How about a cash payment of $350 thousand dollar to every African-American. That’s a good start, according to Robert Johnson, founder of the Black Entertainment Network. This money is necessary to help promote equality between white and black. If more is needed later, well, we can revisit that as needed. This down payment on racial justice will cost about $13 trillion, give or take a trillion.

            The New York Times is on board with this project. So, too, is the implicit rhetoric in which reporting of events takes place at outlets like CNN, MSNBC.  All the tumult since the death of George Floyd is part of the nation’s “racial reckoning,” you see. The language is deliberate. Reckoning is what you do with sums. Reconsider and revisit American history since 1619 and you can come up with a case for reparations.

            “We” owe people of color on account of a history of slavery, Jim Crow, and, apparently, failed civil rights legislation in the 1960s. We’re rotten and racist to the core, a virus of hate deep within us that can only be cured by giving the aggrieved money.

            As Hawk Newsome, a Black Lives Matter organizer in New York recently told Martha MacCallum on Fox News: “If this country doesn’t give us what we want then we will burn down the system and replace it,” while arguing that our history is steeped in violence.

            I am not buying this race-based shakedown for one moment. P.T. Barnum in black face is still a con, maybe even a criminal.

            You shouldn’t buy it either. Indeed, if you want to stop this madness it’s time to start speaking up. Silence, you see, begets violence.

            Most of us came to this country long after the founding and the ending of slavery. We were taught a common history and encouraged to adopt it as our own. I recall sitting in Chicago elementary schools in the 1960s being taught about Pilgrims coming to the United States for religious freedom. “We,” the teachers used the plural possessive pronoun, came here for freedom.

            I recall wondering about that. My family came here in the 20th century. What did the Pilgrims have to do with me?

The stories I was told about our family history involved a great grandfather executed by Turks on the Isle of Crete. But I didn’t press matters. “We the people,” the opening clause of the Constitution’s preamble, seduced me. I became a lawyer because I believed those words applied to me. I believed, and still believe, in equality before the law.

            It turns out I was taught a lie. At least according to The New York Times and the 1619 Project. Sixteen nineteen is the year the first African slave arrived on these shores. According to the new history, the nation’s 400-year course is one of systemic oppression of African-Americans. We never believed in equality. The Declaration of Independence is a fraud. The Constitution is a fraud, Dismantling of Jim Crow is a fraud. Our civil rights legislation in the 1960s is a fraud. The whole and entire sweep and course of American history is a hoax.

            We can only redeem ourselves by speaking today’s truth. We need to be taught a new history to adopt as our own. We owe a debt to black Americans. Decency requires a modest down payment to begin the work of racial healing.

            No, thank you. Why would I adopt a history that makes me into a villain over something I or my family never did. It makes no sense. Reparations history is not a unifying set of myths; it’s a sophisticated ideology used to support claims of distributive justice. I am supposed to buy into the history so as to volunteer to pay race-based taxes.

            It’s not going to happen. Ever. Don’t even ask me to debate this.

            No one alive was enslaved. No one alive enslaved. We adopt views of history that serve our present interests. That’s why folks say winners write history.

            So our history is now being rewritten. We revisit times in which not one of us lived to look for lessons serving our present interests. Read a story of enslavement and become enraged. The use of that story? It sanctifies a victim and demonizes a villain. “You” enslaved “me,” so pay me. Thus does a tragic history become tawdy tokenism.

So much for individualism and justice based on personal merit. It’s all about group identity now.

            It’s a vast racial shakedown worthy of P.T. Barnum.

            Speak this way and run the risk of scorn, of what is now referred to as “cancel culture. It’s almost as if this were all exquisitely timed: While we stay hunkered down in our homes for fear of COVID-19, a social contagion runs riot: Looting, defacement of monuments, bizarre acts of obsequious white while folk kneeling before blacks, and even violence are tolerated. A viral video shows an enraged black man beating a cowering white man. Why? The white man used the “n” word. Does that justify the beating?

            Are you ready to pay a race-based transfer payment to make it stop?

Notice that no one is burning the Washingtons and Jeffersons in their wallets. The game here is to make you willing to pay for the chaos to stop.

            There is still time to save the republic. I say make it clear that there will never be raced-based transfer payments in the United States by amending the U.S. Constitution. Simply prohibit any person from receiving superior “privileges or immunities” under the Fourteenth Amendment on account of their identity.

            The Amendment can be simply stated: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of a person’s identity and no person shall enjoy superior privileges or immunities under law on account of their identity.”

            Call it the Integrity Amendment. Press your local legislators to support it. We can demand change peacefully, by lawful means. It’s a chance to salvage a republic that is dangerously close to fraying. How close? I’ve heard more than one person say in recent weeks they’d rather see the republic fail than be required to pay a race-based tax.

            Pass this along. Let’s start a constitutional fire before it’s too late.



Comments: (6)

  • Thank you
    Been listening to Atty Pattis for years. I'm in full agreement here. We (the silent majority) must step up and speak up NOW. If we remain silent and let this continue we will all suffer and regret. Thank you Norm Pattis for speaking up here and now.
    Posted on June 26, 2020 at 6:55 am by Bobby O'
  • Nisen
    I'm sick of victims that have never been victimized!
    Posted on August 31, 2020 at 2:31 am by Thomas
  • Slave Reparations
    Thank you Attorney Pettis.These so-called "Reparations"are really no different than paying "Protection Money"to a mob of violent gangsters. Other races were sold as slaves here, Why does one group think they are unique and entitled? If money is given, what's the next demand, or the next?
    Posted on September 1, 2020 at 1:04 am by M Clark
  • Reparations
    I heard the first slave owner in America was a black man in Maryland. Aside from that, if reparations are the solution to slavery, then the Irish should also receive reparations. And how about the American Indians? Why should only Africans receive reparations? Isnt that racist, too???
    Posted on January 30, 2021 at 11:38 pm by Doreen Maynard
  • Reparations
    I'd be more direct in the language so as to prevent courts from interpreting "superior privileges and immunities" in a way that would allow reparations: "No person shall be required to pay, and no person shall receive, any compensation for injuries suffered or purportedly suffered on account of slavery or on account of laws enacted before 1964 that discriminated based on race." I'd also add a clause that ensures any taxpayer would have standing to bring suit to stop any such payments. Right now, taxpayers only have standing to sue in Establishment Clause cases, and only because of Flast v. Cohen, which is tenuous precedent. It would be a shame to go through the trouble of amending the constitution with all of the hurdles that entails only to see it neutered because people in black robes favor reparations.
    Posted on April 4, 2021 at 6:14 pm by George Ferko
  • Reparations
    I want to thank you Attorney Norman Pattis for having the courage to speak the truth & defending the constitution. We the people should not be forced or subjected to pay for slavery reparations that we were not participants of in the present time/era. Thank you once again Attorney Pattis for speaking out on such a delicate matter and you are sooo right that we must not be silenced on a matter as this slavery reparation issue.
    Posted on April 8, 2021 at 7:43 am by Guadalupe Adolphus

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