Just Think About It!

Lafe Tolliver

By Lafe Tolliver, Esq
Guest Column

  1. Reparations are needed now.

I know, I know…white folks would rather wrestle with a 40-foot anaconda than sit down and have a rational conversation about the need for reparations, including direct cash payments to the affected people of color.

The mental image that they may have of reparations is a long line of people named DeMarcus, Lakeesheyasha, De’breoyanna and Jarrillious, waiting for a handout and then spending the dough on lotto tickets, back child support and $300 Michael Jordan footwear.

The need for concrete discussions of hundreds of years of not being compensated for labor, skilled and unskilled; and the shameless denial of fair treatment in housing, education, employment, government benefits and living under the glare of pure meanness for no other reason than being Black, escapes them.

And why does it elude them? Simple. The American history of education has deliberately and with surgical precision excised the laudable history of Black and brown and indigenous people out of the history books.

Those history books were written for the most part by white male historians who were not inclined to include “us” in the existential corpus of knowledge of who made and built America, but they would rather propagate a plethora of stories and incidents that demean and ridicule Black people and their progeny.

History does not write itself. It takes an impartial observer and scribe to observe, weigh, investigate and assess what is and what is not to be able to record what is later presented for purposes of remembrance; and if the recorder has biases against you, for whatever reason, that history will be fraught with errors, lies, half-truths and invented myths.

When Japanese Americans were interned in camps during WWII for fear that they would be a “fifth-column” in the United States, they were eventually awarded reparations for being vilified as traitors and enemies.

Class actions are routinely filed on behalf of aggrieved consumers when commercially-available products cause death or injury and many of the injured parties are awarded millions of dollars for their losses, psychic or otherwise.

But. Somehow. When it comes to assessing the grievous harm and damage done for hundreds of years to the former slaves and their progeny, America gets tongue tied and they suddenly lose the key to the bank.

President Biden knows that if he were to back the concept of reparations, the GOP would act as if their hair were on fire; and the Trump-infested Republican base would howl to the moon and the Democrat Party would lose the shirt off their political back.

America has no plans to cough up about $12-14 trillion (yes, trillion) dollars over any period to compensate Black people for their hundreds of years of free labor, labor that built the critical mass of capital that allowed the US to become a world superpower.

  1. BLM matter needs to redirect some of its efforts, money and energy to the embarrassing and sticky issue of Black-on-Black crime. If we say, “Black Lives Matter!” does that include slowing down the pace at which “we” kill and maim each other? If we do not respect and love ourselves, who will and why would they?

If news reports show that we have killed each other over a dispute about a fried chicken wing, or being cut off in traffic or catching the baby’s momma with another man or doing drive by shootings at a birthday party that we were not invited to, something is wrong.

No amount of blaming the “white man” will suffice when it is shown that the white man was not the instigator of senseless crime perpetuated by us and against us.

You can be poor as a church mouse and still that is no reason to plunge a steak knife in your live-in companion. You can be mad to the world about living in substandard housing but that is no reason to randomly shoot people. You can be rooked out of a profitable drug deal but that is no reason to kill the seller or the buyer.

Unless and until certain people are willing to change their behavior and cancel negative thoughts that they feed into their mind, Black on Black crime will not be abated by any social programming since the change needs to come from within a person and dictated by a moral code that eschews senseless crime and killings. There, I said it.

If you do not view your intended victim as a valuable person made in the image of God (as you were also) and you have no fear of judgment, now or later, you do not deserve to live in community because you have shown that you are unable to be at peace with others.

  • The concept of a BIG LIE…is not new. Not at all. Despite the ongoing blatant lies of former President Trump and his conscience seared followers, the BIG LIE he is floating about that he is a victim of an election theft, is not new.

America fomented a BIG LIE starting from the year 1619 when they invented out of whole fabric the outrageous lies that the Africans brought to these shores were less than human and as such were not entitled to any rights that a white person needed to respect (a one-time actual Supreme Court case law!). From that BIG LIE sprouted slavery, Jim Crow, The Civil War and present day de jure (lawful) and de facto segregation.

America’s original sin was not just slavery but the BIG LIE that people of color were not human and thus, could be enslaved. In Hitler’s Germany, the BIG LIE was about Jews being less than human and accordingly, much of the German public was indoctrinated to the point that concentration camps exterminated millions of Jews, gypsies, political dissidents and “other” foreigners.

And the granddaddy of all the BIG LIES? I am glad you asked! Go to the Book of Genesis where the Serpent (The Devil) first convinced Eve and then Adam, that despite God saying to them not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or they would surely die, they believed Satan’s BIG LIE and the rest is history.

So, in conclusion, a BIG LIE can get traction if it appeals to your “fleshly” instincts or appetites and you will do mental gymnastics in order to justify negative and wayward conduct.

In the above BIG LIE examples, we are still living with the negative repercussions.


Contact Lafe Tolliver at tolliver@juno.com