soldier with rifle american civil war THE
SESQUICENTENNIAL
EDITION

 

 

The Power of Congress to Grant Reparations

I

Introduction

The members of the current Board of Supervisors of Los Angeles County have resolved to give away some $15 million of public wealth to a 33 year old gentleman named Tony Bruce. The predicate the supervisors are relying upon for the give-a-way, is a bill introduced by Gardena State Senator Stephen Bradford. The bill is now before the Assembly of the California Legislature and will, presumably, reach the floor for a vote sometime in the coming Fall. Assuming the bill becomes law, the supervisors intend to use it as their legal authority to cut a check made payable to Tony in the amount of $15 million. The politiical reason they have in mind for doing this, is their view that the transfer of wealth constitutes "reparations" for the fact that, in 1927, the City of Manhattan Beach, California, on the basis of the City's intent to develop the lots into a public park, obtained an order of condemnation of thirty-one lots in the city from the Los Angeles Superior Court. Two of the lots were owned at the time by a Black woman named Willie Ann Bruce, who had been operating a hotel business on the property since 1912, when she purchased the lots from the Tract owner, George Peck. Twenty-six of the thirty-one lots were owned by white persons, while the remainder were owned by three other Black persons.

The supervisors are of the view that, because the members of the City Council, who made the decision that the City take the lots for use as a public park, probably had animus in their minds toward Black persons at the time, the City's taking was morally, if not legally, wrong; and, therefore, they—the supervisors—possess the power to "right the wrong," by giving away to Tony Bruce, a resident of the State of Florida, millions of dollars of the public wealth of the nine million residents of Los Angeles County. One must wonder, if this is so, why the supervisors think they need the predicate of Senator Bradford's bill passed into law? Why not, simply cut the check now? For Bradford's bill merely removes specified conditions in the County's property deed to the lots; it has no legal relevance to the constitutional question where Hahn's Board of Supervisors thinks the power to give away public wealth comes from.

II

The Constitution Does Not Grant Government
Power to Give Away Public Wealth to Private Persons

There are about three hundred and twenty million citizens of the United States, living in "America" today. These millions can be separated into four ethnic groups: white people (60%), Hispanic people (20%), black people (13%), and people of Asian descent (7%), not including Indians. What they have in common—what makes them Americans—is that they live together under a Constitution which constitutes the supreme law of the land we now call, "America." The Constitution, as it stands, today, with its framers' intent interpreted by the United States Supreme Court, does not grant power to Government to transfer public wealth to members of a particular ethnic group for the group's personal, private use. The Constitution does, however, grant power to Government to give wealth to private persons, for public use; for example, to build a factory for the purpose of employing the community in which it is constructed. This is done in a variety of ways, such as tax forgiveness, infrastructure support, and by taking private property from A and giving it to B.

The classic example of this is the 2005 five-to-four Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. City of New London. (2005) 545 U.S. 469, which allowed the City of New London to take Mrs. Kelo's residence for use in its plan of economically developing the blighted portion of its community.A principal private beneficiary of the City's redevelopment plan was Pfizer, which was to build a manufacturing plant on Mrs. Kelo's lot; but, in the end, Pfizer decided to take its business operations elsewhere and Mrs. Kelo's lot remains vacant today. The opinions of the members of the Court run to fifty-eight pages. Here, below, is set forth the nutshell of the Majority's opinion:

"We granted certiorari to determine whether a city's decision to take property for the purpose of economic development satisfies the "public use" requirement of the Fifth Amendment. 542 U. S. ___ (2004).

Two polar propositions are perfectly clear. [First], it has long been accepted that the sovereign may not take the property of A for the sole purpose of transferring it to another private party B, even though A is paid just compensation. [Second], it is equally clear that a State may transfer property from one private party to another if future "use by the public" is the purpose of the taking.

Neither of these propositions, however, determines the disposition of this case. As for the first proposition, the City would no doubt be forbidden from taking petitioners' land for the purpose of conferring a private benefit on a particular private party. (See Midkiff, 467 U. S., at 245: "A purely private taking could not withstand the scrutiny of the public use requirement; it would serve no legitimate purpose of government and would thus be void;" and Missouri Pacific R. Co. v. Nebraska, 164 U. S. 403 (1896).). Nor would the City be allowed to take property under the mere pretext of a public purpose, when its actual purpose was to bestow a private benefit.

The takings before us, however, would be executed pursuant to a "carefully considered" development plan.( 268 Conn., at 54, 843 A. 2d, at 536.) The trial judge and all the members of the Supreme Court of Connecticut agreed that there was no evidence of an illegitimate purpose in this case. Therefore, as was true of the statute challenged in Midkiff, 467 U. S., at 245, the City's development plan was not adopted "to benefit a particular class of identifiable individuals." On the other hand, this is not a case in which the City is planning to open the condemned land—at least not in its entirety—to use by the general public. Nor will the private lessees of the land in any sense be required to operate like common carriers, making their services available to all comers. But. . . this 'Court long ago rejected any literal requirement that condemned property be put into use for the general public.' (Id., at 244.) Indeed, while many state courts in the mid-19th century endorsed 'use by the public' as the proper definition of public use, that narrow view steadily eroded over time. Not only was the 'use by the public' test difficult to administer (e.g., what proportion of the public need have access to the property? at what price?), but it proved to be impractical given the diverse and always evolving needs of society. . .

The disposition of this case therefore turns on the question whether the City's development plan serves a 'public purpose.' Without exception, our cases have defined that concept broadly, reflecting our longstanding policy of deference to legislative judgments in this field. In Berman v. Parker, 348 U. S. 26 (1954), this Court upheld a redevelopment plan targeting a blighted area of Washington, D. C., in which most of the housing for the area's 5,000 inhabitants was beyond repair. Under the plan, the area would be condemned and part of it utilized for the construction of streets, schools, and other public facilities. The remainder of the land would be leased or sold to private parties for the purpose of redevelopment, including the construction of low-cost housing. . . . (Note: This was done in St. Louis, Chicago, and other cities at the same time, each project displacing the Black residents of the particular city's slum.)

In the present case, the Congress and its authorized agencies have made determinations that take into account a wide variety of values. It is not for us to reappraise them. If those who govern the District of Columbia decide that the Nation's Capital should be beautiful as well as sanitary, there is nothing in the Fifth Amendment that stands in the way." Id., at 33.)

Those who govern the City were not confronted with the need to remove blight in the Fort Trumbull area, but their determination that the area was sufficiently distressed to justify a program of economic rejuvenation is entitled to our deference. The City has carefully formulated an economic development plan that it believes will provide appreciable benefits to the community, including—but by no means limited to—new jobs and increased tax revenue. As with other exercises in urban planning and development, the City is endeavoring to coordinate a variety of commercial, residential, and recreational uses of land, with the hope that they will form a whole greater than the sum of its parts. To effectuate this plan, the City has invoked a state statute that specifically authorizes the use of eminent domain to promote economic development. (Note: It is here Bradford's bill fits in the Democrat plan.) Given the comprehensive character of the plan, the thorough deliberation that preceded its adoption, and the limited scope of our review, it is appropriate for us, as it was in Berman, to resolve the challenges of the individual owners, not on a piecemeal basis, but rather in light of the entire plan. Because that plan unquestionably serves a public purpose, the takings challenged here satisfy the public use requirement of the Fifth Amendment." (Italics added.)

Of the four dissenting Justices, Sandra O'Conner expressed the political reality created by the then Democrat-appointed majority:

"Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms. As for the victims, the government now has license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more."

In the context of the Fifth Amendment's requirement that Government must not take private property, except for a public use, the irony is that a particular ethnic group—holding presently the balance of power within the Democrat Party—has seized upon Justice Breyer's amorphous view of the Framer's intent underlying the Fifth Amendment's prohibition, to argue that Government can give public wealth to private persons if Supervisor Hahn deems the giving has a "public purpose;" that is, that the supervisors have "taken into consideration a wide variety of values" which is not for the courts to reappraise; that, if Congress can transfer public wealth to make the Capital "beautiful," why can't the supervisors transfer public wealth to a particular ethnic group of Americans to make their individual lives more beautiful? Why not simply to right what the supervisors deem to be a moral wrong that American society, as it was in the past, committed in their minds against those of African descent in its midst?

The Democrat supervisors are playing a shell game with their constituents in arguing this: for, it is not the prohibition of the Fifth Amendment which is the predicate for the power they wish to exercise; nor can it be the prohibition of the Fourteenth Amendment that requires Government to treat every American citizen equally in the application of its laws. The constitution, in other words, does not recognize the feelings of those who operate our Government as constitutionally "wrongful;" it recognizes only the actions of Government as wrongful.

III

Where does The Power to Give Tony 15 million Come from?


Ms. Simmons authored the Evanston IL Give-a-way


Shelia Jackson's parents came to the US from Jamacia
Shelia graduated, in 1972, from Yale
. She lives in a mansion




So, what words and phrases within the text of this grant by the people of power, do Bradford and Hahn and Jackson and the rest of their crowd point to, as the constitutional authority to give Tony Bruce fifteen million dollars of the public wealth of Los Angeles County? Let's guess what their legal briefs will say when some interested group files suit in the Los Angeles Superior Court, or the Central District of the United States District Court, for an injunction.

"The Congress shall have power to. . . provide for the general welfare of the United States?"

Nope, the constitutional modifier to the exercise of the "power" must be, that it is exercised for the "general" welfare of the [people] of the United States. Not for the particular, special welfare of a thirty-three year old security guard who resides in Florida—a stand-in, a place holder for the African race in America. And that's it, folks; read the list yourself.

Oh, but, but, but, Bradford and Hahn and Jackson say, the transfer is for the moral welfare of the ethnic group of white people whose supposed ancestors are imagined to be saddled with the sin of the Constitution's recognition of slavery as the law of the land for sixty years, and the United States Supreme Court's subsequent interpretation of the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment to allow segregation of the races for seventy years. Surely, they must say, it is objectively reasonable to deem that the Founders—Washington, Madison, Hamilton, Jefferson and the rest, writing the Constitution for white men, white men being ninety-ninety percent of the population of "America" at the time, not including Indians—intended the words—the general welfare—to include the grant of power to Janice Hahn and Senator Bradford and Shelia Jackson to transfer fifteen million dollars of public wealth to Tony Bruce, as restitution for their sin—the Founders' sin—of refusing to live with Africans as citizens in their political communities.

The Readers of The Washington Post Comment

Note: Yes, this is the glaring defect in the political logic of the Democrat Agenda: My great grandfather, Michael Ryan, came to America in the 1850s, from Ireland, to escape the fate of dying in the ditch. The Irish race had been conquered by the English king, Henry VII, one thousand years ago, and it was held in ignorance and poverty, forced to work for the English over lords, or starve, until about 1830 when The Liberator, Daniel O'Connell, appeared on the scene.

Mike Ryan arrived in Cincinnati an illiterate man, penniless, with no means of earning a living than digging holes in the ground with a shovel in his hands, though eventually he became the keeper of the City's morgue, bringing out of the Irish slum the dead bodies in the night. Yes, indeed, as his great grandson, or is it simply that I am an American, I must be constitutionally responsible to Senator Bradford's ethnic group for the sins of Washington, Madison, Jefferson and Lee. I wonder whether the Afghans landing in St. Louis, the Black murder capital of America, will feel this.


The Indianapolis Liberator, circa 1898, a Black owned newspaper.

Note: Look at the detail of the image; it reeks with black racism. The man on the right is dressed to the nines, as is his companion. He is obviously an educated man, a successful man, a wealthy man. He approaches the ticket window of a concert hall, or an opera, or a Broadway show, but a white man, probably a Native American of the time, has nudged in front of him, bringing by the arm what looks like a disheveled, unshaven, intoxicated Irish man, with a woman behind whose face looks like a monkey's. The Black man's lady, you notice is standing on the opposite side of the railing from the white woman; she wants to keep herself separated from the trash.

The point of the image is that the black couple is plainly of a higher class than the white couple, and, as such, are socially entitled to first place; yet the man in the middle—the Native American—has elbowed them aside to make way for the riff raff who probably have no comprehension, of whatever the Native American is bringing them to see. And, now, in Bradford's time. the descendants of the Irishman, Hahn deems, must shoulder the moral blame of the Native American's behavior and extinquish its supposed material consequences, by giving up the wealth they have accumulated from the inherited experience of their ancestors, to the descendants of the disappointed black man who can't seem to stand up on his own two feet and break the unending cycle of his race's lower class, living in ignorance, poverty, and violent dispair.

IV

The Democrat Mouth Piece Writes Fantasy

Contary to the movie script The Daily Breeze "journalist" Mark McDermott writes, it is doubtful "Willa Bruce," aka William Ann Walker, Willie Ann Baker and Mrs. C.A. Bruce, was a slave. She appears to have been born in Missouri, perhaps in Clay County, in about 1862, this at a time when Union forces had occupied the county's government seat at Liberty. At this time there were about 2,000 Africans held as slaves in the County, and by about 1863 half of them had gone to Kansas. The other half remained after the war as American citizens and farmers.

The record suggests it perhaps probable that Willa's mother was a woman named Caroline, that Caroline had intercourse with a man named Walker, and from the union came Willa. Caroline then may have married a man named Haywood and from the marriage came a son named Charles Haywood. Haywood died sometime before 1867, and Caroline went to Kansas with Willa and Charles in tow. In June 1867, Caroline married Thomas Tillman in Jefferson County Kansas and took up residence with him on his farm which was well stocked with farm animals; he somehow having acculumated wealth within two years of the war ending.

Note: Caroline's and Willie's life events were recorded in Kansas and the records have been preserved. Their life events in Missouri may have been recorded, but, so far, they have not been found. This is because, unlike Kansas, the Missouri River border counties from which Caroline and Willie probably had lived in, were in chaos during the war. Union forces, regular and irregular, ravished the counties, burning, looting, and killing; and this conduct was reciprocated by the young Missouri men of the counties who took to the bush and gave tit for tat. Notwithstanding, a serious student can dig into the county and state archives and, in time, probably find some evidence of Caroline's and Willie's lives in Missouri.

In 1879, Willie Walker and Thomas Tillman had intercourse and from the union came a daughter. The event was not received well in the Black community of Oskaloosa where it occurred, and Thomas took his family to a farm in Wabaunsee County Kansas, near the town of Eskridge. In 1880, Willa left the farm and went to Topeka, leaving her daughter behind. In 1881, Willa married Ephraim A. Baker, a Black man who worked as a plasterer. It appears Baker died shortly thereafter, as the record shows Willa working in Topeka for a white family as a domestic servant, in 1885. In January 1887, Willa appears in Albuquerque New Mexico marrying C.A. Bruce, the head waiter of the dining room of a fashionable hotel. Willa and C.A. have four children together during the fifteen or so years they spent in Albuquerque, but three of them died at home before each reached the age of two years; something about swelling of the brain.

In about 1902, for reasons not clear from the record yet, Willa and C.A., with their teenage son, Harvey, in tow, appeared in the Black community of Los Angeles, taking up ownership of a handsome residence on Santa Fe Avenue. The record is not clear exactly how C.A. Bruce made his living, but it does not appear he made it as a "Pullman dining car chef." What is clear is that C.A. was a popular fellow, both in Albuquerque and in Los Angeles, was involved in politics, and probably managed a restaurant or hotel dining room in the downtown area. Despite the wealth C.A. had accumulated, evidenced by his purchase of the Santa Fe Ave residence, Harvey did not go to college, though many black men and woman living in Los Angeles at this time graduated from USC, UCLA, Occidential College and other institutions.

In the spring of 1912, Caroline Tillman died in Eskridge Kansas, where she was living with her husband Thomas in a residence on First Street. At about the same time, Willa, in her name, purchased from George Peck a beach front lot in his Manhattan Beach Tract, the Tract extending north from Marine Ave to Rosecrans Ave. At this time the white people of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, did not want to live with Americans of African descent in their communities. This is evidenced by the reactions of the white people of Santa Monica, and of the South Bay, and of Huntington Beach, when Black business groups attempted to develop ocean front properties for the use of Black Angelenos. Yet, despite brief public whining by white people living about Manhattan Beach, in 1912, Willa constructed a two story building on her property and opened a hotel business in 1914. From 1914 to 1924, the business was in operation without obstruction. Then, in 1924, the City of Manhattan Beach condemned two blocks of Peck's Tract for use as a public park, which included Willa's property.

In the subsequent condemnation proceedings in Los Angeles Superior Court, Willa was represented by William O. Tyler, a 1908 graduate of Harvard Law School and the premier Black trial lawyer of the times in L.A. Tyler had represented several families in civil disputes, in court, involving race restrictions, taking two of the cases to the California Supreme Court. When Tyler realized the facts were that the City was condemning thirty-one lots, twenty-seven of them owned by white persons, he recognized that, as a matter of law, the City had not discriminated against Willa because of her race, whatever the racist feelings of all or part of the City's Trustees might have been. For, Tyler knew that the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, does not protect Black persons from the fact that Government officials may harbor feelings in their minds, that it protects Black persons instead from the actions of Government which treat Black persons differently from white persons in the application of its laws. So, Tyler advised Willa what she was entitled to, and nothing else, was "just compensation" for the taking, and, on his advise, she accepted the amount offered as reasonable under the circumstances.

Willa vacated the property in 1927, moving with her husband and her son, Harvey, and his wife, Meda, to a residence on a good street in South Central Los Angeles, where she lived until she died in 1934. When Willa left Manhattan Beach, a Black man named James Slaughter, an old friend of the Bruces, opened a hotel business on a lot adjacent to the two condemned blocks and operated it successfully, catering to the same Black Angelenos Willa had, until 1933 when the Great Depression ruined it. Had Harvey had the character of Tyler, or Slaughter for that matter, there is no good reason not to believe he would have graduated from college by the time Willa bought the Peck lots in 1912, and, learning at her knee how to run the business, he could have done what Slaughter did. But he was a loser, a dead-ender, a loafer; one of those sons who hangs at home until the money's gone. After his parents died, and he went through the wealth they had accumulated, Harvey went from job to job working as a janitor.

From Harvey came Bernard, who made it to his senior year at Oregon State as a football player, but then, not graduating, dropped out and married a seventeen year old girl, and seems to have sold used cars the rest of his life; and from this came Derrick, the ghost, and from Derrick came Tony who is salivating for the multimillion dollar Government check.

V

The Black Democrats Need a Theory of Law

Senator Bradford and his crowd need to strip their theory of recovery of its rhetoric, and rebuild it based on law. Beginning the process from scratch, they must start with their eyes open and their minds animated by cold reason. First, the Jamacians, politicians like Shelia Lee and Kamela Harris, must be set to the margin of the discussion as their experience is irrelevant to the process. Neither they nor their ancestors are victims of the process Bradford is complaining about. What legitimate "moral" complaint they have, about the treatment their ancestors received, belong in the court of the British monarch and her government, not in the Congress of the United States. Second, those with the blood in their veins that they can trace to an African held as a slave in the United States of America, from 1778 to 1865—a period of eighty-five years, hardly one life time—must face the objective reality that, during this time, their ancestors were not, in law or fact, citizens of the United States; much less citizens of the States in which they were held as slaves. They were, in fact and law, aliens. This legal status attached to them the moment the first of them were dragged as slaves into the political communities that, from 1789 to 1865, were independant, sovereign States voluntarily confederated together by means of a Federal Union which the Federal Government's function was to represent in the Union's relations with the nations of the world.

It is an undisputable fact of world history that, from 1500 to 1789, the law of nations recognized the "right" of a nation to conquer a continent, purge its indigenous people in the process of exploiting its natural resources, and, when they were gone, replace them with Africans captured by African kings and exchanged for other material things. One can weep and moan and feel personally responsibile for this human reality, so much so that you crave redemption by dispossessing yourself of everything you own, but your feelings of regret do not alter the reality, the reality that human beings are driven in their actions by self-interest—by the paramount principle of self-preseveration; of the idea that if someone's ox is to be gored, it will be yours, not mine.

Whether the color of your skin is black, white, brown, red, or yellow, when the chips are down, it is this principle you reach for. You reach for it, whether you are an Ashanti king, with an army of young men raging over the vast stretch of your kingdom, raping the women and collaring the men and trudging them to the sea shore, or, you are an European king with your great sailing vessels at anchor in the bays waiting to receive them. It is merely the reflection of the reality, of the struggle of human existence—a struggle that will only intensify as the nations of the world compete with all their power among themselves for control of the world's dwindling resources.

Notwithstanding this ultimate human fact of life, when the representatives of the founding generation of Americans came together in 1790, in the first Congress of the United States, they debated the question whether the two hundred thousand Africans held as slaves in their midst should be made free. The question came to the table on the basis of a petitition submitted by Pennsylvania and was endorsed in the affirmative by Massachusetts, But South Carolina raised her hand and said, "No." The reason for South Carolina's response is plain and simple: in 1790 there were more Africans residing within the borders of South Carolina than Englishmen. If the Africans in South Carolina were free, by the natural order of things—by the struggle of human existence, by the principle of self-interest—the Africans would demand the status of citizen, which carries with it the "right" to vote, and, if denied, civil war would naturally ensue. This is the plain reality you cannot help but see, if your mind is animated by cold reason.

But why not political equality between these two ethnic groups, as they were in 1790? Why not leave control of the political community to the majority of its citizens? Wake up, think it through, here. You live today in Kansas. You are Americans of English, Irish, German, Spanish, Asian, and African descent. Suddenly, an endless stream of Lockheed C5M Galaxy transport planes appear in the skies over Topeka and Witchita, and descend to land with their payloads composed of three hundred thousand Afghans, who pour out of the bellies in their baggy pants and slippers, the faces of the men covered in beard, the women's masked. Their religious beliefs, you know, are medieval; rigid, fanatical. They are uneducated, ignorant. Their sexual customs archaic, the men see the women as their slaves; their work habits slovenly; and, now, suddenly, they are to be citizens of Kansas, with the right to vote? You are living in a world of make-believe, if you are nodding your head, "Yes." No group of human beings organized together in a political society of their own making, made for them and for their way of life, will voluntarily turn over control of it to an ethnic group so diverse from them as this. It is not in the nature of human beings to do this.

And so the record shows, the representatives who sat in the First Congress of the United States left the question of what to do with the Africans on the table and went on to other business. Most of us, who graduated from high school, know the historical result. From 1790 to about 1820, a period of thirty years, a generation of white people of the United States, predominantly descendants of Englishmen, forced the continent's indigenous people west of the Mississippi River, and developed what had been a wilderness of space into great cities surrounded by endless stretches of farm land, the cities connected in their economic activities by the great rivers and, later, by the railroads; and all the while in the States where they resided the Africans multipied, so that by 1820 they constituted the clear majority of the human populations of the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.

This fact generated a tension that the white people of these States attempted to dissipate by dispersing the Africans (through the institution of slavery) into the Territories of the United States that laid west of the Mississippi, pushing the indigenous people toward the arid portions of the Southwest and northwestward into the high plains. But, by 1840, as this process played out in Congress, millions of a new breed of white men had entered the country and were migrating generation by generation westward, seeking to claim a homestead in the region west of the great river, too; and they came quickly to support the agenda of the rising Republican Party as the means of securing the land for themselves alone. None of them, whether Irish or German, or Englishman, wanted to live with Africans as citizens in their political communities, and this social atttitude—this political insistence that the Africans remain bottled up in the Southern states where they were, resulted, ultimately, in the explosion of the American Civil War; this war between white men fighting white men in their frustration over what to do with the Africans.

Do we—we Americans living in the world today—wish we had lived in the time of our ancestors? Wish that we, with our education and experience, had been of their generation, been responsible for forging a solution to the social dilemma inherent in the tension between disparate ethnic groups, short of a devastating civil war? Of course we do. But we didn't. Instead, we are standing on their shoulders looking down at them, with disgust in our minds as we see them from our high horse. We have no respect for their turmoil, for the delimma created by their human condition.

But, of course, the nature of war solved the problem; to the surprise of both sides of the white struggle over the Africans' future in America came a great revision in the supreme law of the land; henceforth Africans were now citizens of the United States and of the States in which they resided, to be treated by Government equally in its application of the laws. And, more often than not, Americans of African descent were treated by Government equally in its application of the laws; though, it turned out, separately for seventy years. This is hardly surprising, if you are thinking the thing through with cold reason: Ninety-seven percent of the American population of 1880 were white people adhering to the Protestant religions; of this about 65% were Americans descended from Englishmen. Though the Civil War had settled the question of the Africans' status as citizens in their political communities, though it did not cause the white and black people to amalgamate, it did set the process in motion which, over a period of seventy years, has brought Americans of African descent into the main stream of American society as full participants in the ideal of American life; that is, those who want to participate. It has resulted in the creation of a human society in which, in the ideal, the pride of race an ethnic group, by its nature, feels, is subsumed in the spirit one feels as an American: A new race of men, whose separate strands of race has become inextricably bound, being Americans.

And so here we are again at a point of fundamental political change, brought on by Senator Bradford's wish that his ethnic group be treated by Government differently than it treats all the others that make up the nation we call America. Bradford wants, in the final analysis of his plan, that we Americans amend our Constitution—the supreme law by which we live—to grant to Government the power to pay the individuals that in the aggregate constitute his kind in America, each a lump sum of money deemed reparations for the hard case past generations of white people had handed his group's ancestors. This the founders provided for, by including in the language of the Constitution they framed for us, the means of its amendment.


Joe Ryan