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Boston commission could study reparations for Black residents

WBUR looks at the proposal by City Councilor Julia Mejia (at large) to create a commission to study the idea.

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Slavery was hundreds of years ago and I had nothing to do with it so why should I pay and anyway my ancestors from [country] weren't exactly welcomed with open arms either so where are my reparations!

There, if you came in to post some version of that, consider it done and you may now go about the rest of your day

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Magoo is a class unto Magoo’s self and Magoo has been persecuted by uhubbers. Magoo reckons Magoo should get reparations from said uhubbers. Magoo.

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The Chrome extension seems to not be working today.

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Magoo's reparation.

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...can someone post it again? Maybe needs a tweak.

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…in classless.

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I am willing to give reparations appropriate to what Magoo has been providing us. I'm thinking a burning paper bag of shit on his doorstep.

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At least Mejia is wise enough that she didn't submit this before the election last month.

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If you read the linked article, you would know otherwise.

See also, from JUNE: https://www.boston.com/news/racial-justice/2021/06/09/two-city-councilor...

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My bad. I thought Mejia must have submitted a motion at yesterday's council meeting. I don't see it, so the article just covered the stuff she brought up earlier.

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these comments say much more about the breadth of your thought than the state of our politics

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The broader merits of the question aside, it's hard to imagine where any reparations would be paid from — the city of Boston has no money — and what remains to be studied in light of that.

(For what it is worth, I am more sympathetic than many are to reparations proposals, but at the city level it seems like a complete non-starter given the lack of resources).

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It gets used to buy stuff for Alabama and Israel instead of Boston.

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…should insolvent, broke, disabled dead-beat dads be liable for child support? After all since you can’t get blood from a stone, why bother?

Perhaps Boston doesn’t have the resources to pay (notably, as-of-yet-undefined) repairations. But does Boston have the resources? is a different question from if Boston owes a debt to the descendants of the enslaved population of the city.

The enslaved population of Boston at its height was around 15% of the total population. 25% of Boston households were slaveholding households. And this before Roxbury (and its 3 daughter towns), Dorchester, and Charlestown are considered. Furthermore, that is before we begin to discuss the fact that Boston and Massachusetts Bay Colony’s entire economy was almost solely dependent on the business of provisioning slave societies in the West Indies.

So I believe that yes, even if Boston doesn’t have 1 dime to spare for whatever the city imagines as repairations, the city and region should openly grapple with the long-term prosperity of one of the wealthiest states and how we were dependent upon the institution and business of slavery for at least 145 years before independence. Without enslaved people to backfill labor shortages and the West Indian slave society markets, Boston and Massachusetts (Plymouth especially) would be yet another failed English colony.

(And, regrettably, this is before we discuss the genocide of Native peoples in New England).

Discuss and study it all. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

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Discuss and study it all. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Agreed. Every time the word "reparations" is uttered, white people start trying to shut the discussion down, thus preventing anyone from learning exactly what's being proposed. It's a recipe for never getting away from our racist past. "Discuss and study it all" presumes no course of action, so don't be afraid to do it.

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I always find it odd when someone opposes a non-existent plan.

We don't have money to pay for what exactly? The proposal is to study the issue and come up with appropriate ways to address it. Sure, there's operational overhead that goes into running a government, but no one's put forward a plan to hand out cash here, and perhaps at the local level that won't even be the conclusion of this study.

From the linked article:

People often associate reparations with the idea of cash payments to Black people from the government. That’s one way to do it, but some municipalities are taking different approaches.

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Do you keep editing your comment or is something screwy with UHub? Just about every other time I refresh the homepage it says there's a new comment and then it brings me to this one. Just curious and/or starting to think I'm losing my mind.

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I edited it once to add the parenthetical about 2 minutes after I originally submitted it, and not since then.

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I am a typo-machine. And I apologize.

One benefit of UHub is that users are able to amend their first-draft comments to improve readability. The downside of the Durpal system that Adam uses is that every time any one of us edits out poorly-written comments, each iteration appears as a “new” comment.

I have the exact same frustration that you have: “oh, look…a fresh comment!” Only to learn that it is [tblade] editing his poorly punctuated and hasty comment. But I rarely mention it because so am certainly one of the biggest abusers of this loophole.

The one downside is, if a time stamp is important to you as far as being “first”, every revision of a comment updates the time stamp to the last edit.

Long story short: I make a s*** load of typos and grammatical mistakes.

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At least I'm not going completely insane yet. Thanks!

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[With that logic] should insolvent, broke, disabled dead-beat dads be liable for child support? After all since you can’t get blood from a stone, why bother?

Typically, the other parent in such cases doesn't spend any money pursuing support, because, as you say, why bother. The court awards whatever support it awards and if it turns out that the deadbeat hits the lottery then everyone goes back to court.

I am not sure what expertise the city of Boston can bring to bear on conducting a wide-ranging historical survey covering hundreds of years. It seems like a strange thing to spend money on when BPS bathrooms don't even have toilet paper. If some university or foundation wants to conduct that study, then by all means open up the archives.

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I am not sure what expertise the city of Boston can bring to bear on conducting a wide-ranging historical survey covering hundreds of years.

There are world-class and national-class institutions in the city's proverbial backyard (and front yard, for that matter!) that can rigorously study this issue. Boston has a surplus of qualified grad students and post-docs that can compensate for the shortcomings of Mejia et al.

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Typically, the other parent in such cases doesn't spend any money pursuing support, because, as you say, why bother.

If I'm not mistaken, several forms of welfare require a single-parent applicant to show evidence that they have attempted to collect child support. That may not require their spending money, but there is still a "bother".

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Most assistance requires this. I also frequently see it when families get bullshit DCF reports for not being able to provide private-pay therapies and tutoring, then DCF tacks on further "neglect" for not having spent extreme time and effort to go after dad who doesn't work or works under the table, including expecting mom to update the court every single time mom hears that dad is lying about working. (Because courts typically respond so positively to people showing up all the time to bring up stuff they don't care to pursue, and that's going to go SO well for her.)

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I hope the commission study says it's not a good idea.

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…if you want to deny that the white supremacy that was foundational to the early success of our current Commonwealth and that was subsequently codified into the segregationist laws of the federal period have nothing to do with the success and prosperity of modern Boston.

Anything that people disagree on can “divide” us. The racists in the south commonly complain that teaching authentic history surrounding race and slavery will “divide us”. But we certainly aren’t going to unify under white denialism like we did in the past.

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Boston is made up of many races, not just white and black. If I don't think it's a good idea you can't label me as a white denialist.

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…to regurgitate right-wing talking points.

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Ummm....ok.
I thought I was giving MY opinion.
Oh well.

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Yeah, it’s interesting how many of your opinions expressed here are word-for-word the same as what is spouted in right wing media. It must simply be a crazy coincidence.

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Yours, or are they left wing talking points?
Saying reparations will divide us has been said by people on the left and the right by the way.

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I wouldn’t claim that I make a ton of original observations here.

But it’s interesting people bemoan that the mere fact of discussing reparations will allegedly “divide us”, as if not talking about it means that we are unified and we all somehow have the same vision of our region and nations’s white supremacist origins.

Talking about relegations won’t divide us; we’re already divided. The discussion brings those divisions out into the open.

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I said I hope the commission reaches a decision that granting reparations would divide us, to get to that point ( or not) a discussion is obviously going to happen.

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...enters the investigation with an open mind and makes a decision based on their findings and not a pre-determined conclusion.

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Correct?

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…if we were both on the commission, the we might learn a thing or two. And that would be a good thing.

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That it might divide us? I assumed you had decided already ... Like me.

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20 years ago I would have dismissed the idea of reparations, especially on the city level. But the more I have learned over 20 years, the more I am open to the idea.

Also, who cares if something might divide us? By saying that you already have your mind made up, it seems there is a pre-existing diivision. There’s no point in avoiding something that’s already there.

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So have you, but you paint your mind being made up as noble and mine as a "right wing talking point"

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...in a complete absence of information.

I can't decide if you're just being disingenuous, or if your reasoning powers are actually so poor that you equate identifying a right-wing talking point when someone states it in so many words, and deciding against reparations from a state of complete ignorance and absence of information -- a condition that you guarantee in perpetuity by refusing to entertain any discussion on the subject.

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My apologies. I am sure that you formulated the “sounds like a great way to divide us” line in a totally independent and original fashion and the fact that this is the same exact line repeated by politicians like Ted Cruz and right wingers who rage against the imaginary CRT boogieman is simply a coincidence.

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Not my own? Because you heard Ted Cruz say it means I obviously picked it up from him? How about me having two black grandparents one white grandparent and one Vietnamese grandparent helping me decide my opinion? Should I qualify for reparations? Will I be tested for the right amount t of blood
to qualify for reparations? I think it will divide us and I swear it's my own opinion, I cant help who else holds the same opinion and how you feel about them, that is on you, not me.

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I think that if you don't want to be mistaken for a duck, it's probably a good idea to not quack like one. I'm sure you could find other words to express your concerns about divisiveness.

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Thanks for the input

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The best reparation would be for the elimination of the ghettoes here in the United States overall by the discontinuation of red-lining practices that have taken place for so long in so many areas. Simply throwing good money after bad is not the way to go, imho.

Moreover, had programs such as B-BURG and other similar red-lining programs that created, re-inforced and expanded ghettoes throughout the United States been administered differently, by allowing non-white homebuyers access to housing throughout the cities, instead of singling out Jewish neighborhoods for such programs, the need for disastrous policies such as mandatory school busing programs that served to make many people more angry, fearful and suspicious of each other would've been eliminated, and helped to neutralize demagogic politicians who played to people;'s worst fears along the lines of race and class.

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Ending all discriminatory practices in housing and real estate has to happen. Until it does, racism continues.

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*

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*

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You made a claim about a hypothetical scenario, now support your argument. Show your work.

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i am haitian-american so would my parents benifit from this ? most black bostonians are haitian, cap-verdean, dominican, ...

part of this study should define the population affected (also somerville used to be part of charlestown).

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Tough to sort it all out. Great questions and I look forward to hearing the answers.

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dupe

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