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Should Senator Harris Receive Reparations?

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U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) accepts the Democratic vice presidential nomination during an acceptance speech delivered for the largely virtual 2020 Democratic National Convention from the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., August 19, 2020

The selection of Senator Kamala Harris as Joe Biden’s running mate has produced irrelevant arguments about whether she qualifies as African-American, since both her parents were born abroad. But her history-making Vice Presidential candidacy does raise an uncomfortable question for advocates of identity politics. On what basis could Senator Harris possibly qualify for the slavery reparations she supports? Her parents immigrated from Jamaica and India; none of her ancestors were ever enslaved in the United States.

In fact, the Harris example exposes the lack of logic behind all reparations proposals: why should the daughter of two PhD’s, who achieved distinguished university careers, receive tax money intended to compensate the suffering of distant ancestors? Prominent Black politicians, including Harris, Corey Booker and Barack Obama, were all born to highly educated, hard-working, successful parents, and the idea of government pay-outs to products of privilege of any race is, obviously, ludicrous and unjust.

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