Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed former Vanderbilt University professor and all-star panelist Dr. Carol M. Swain to the studio.
At the top of the third hour, Leahy and Swain discussed reparations and how one could calculate that with many people who are descendants of immigrants from other black countries . Swain added that she didn’t think reparations were the answer and thought it would only worsen race relations in America.
Leahy: I’m having a good time this morning with our all-star panelist Carol Swain. Carol, I don’t know if you watched Tucker Carlson last night but there was a segment on Tucker of two different films. I don’t know if it was a setup or not but it had a young black man walking around New York City and there was a young white woman there and he said I want you to kneel down before and beg for forgiveness for the systemic racism in the US.
And she did. I don’t know if she just did it or if it was a setup. Then, there was this big video, Breitbart had it as well. There were about 200 white people in Bethesda, Maryland where they are a bunch of guilty rich white liberals. There was a big group there. All of the white people bent down and begged for forgiveness for the systemic racism in the United States.
So here we are in the studio. You are a black woman and I’m a white man. Carol, because I’m a genealogy buff and I’ve looked into your genealogy, right? We’ve been looking for that man Thomas Jefferson who was your great great grandfather. We don’t know if it was the Thomas Jefferson but maybe a descendant. We’re still working on that. We do know that your great great grandparents were slaves in Virginia.
We also know that my great great great grandfather, Anders Bouvier owned one slave back in the 1790 census. So my question to you Carol is, do you want me to kneel down before you and beg for forgiveness for the country’s systemic racism?
Swain: You don’t need to kneel down before me but I will gladly take my reparations.
Leahy: OK. So I have my wallet out here and I have money in the wallet. So how much reparations do I owe you, Carol, for the fact my great great great great great grandfather who owned one slave in 1790? And your great great grandparents were slaves in the western part of Virginia back in Bath County in the early 1800s.
Swain: Well, we would just have to sit down and negotiate it.
Leahy: Do you favor reparations by the way?
Swain: I have spoken about reparations for some time and no, I don’t believe it would solve the problems that are affecting black people. And at this point in history, I think it would worsen race relations.
Leahy: I completely agree. You see the guy that founded BET Entertainment who is worth about $3 billion. He’s a black guy named Robert Johnson.
Leahy: He wants the United States government and American taxpayers to pay $14 trillion in reparations.
Swain: Let me tell you this Mike, every time there has been a riot and we can go back decades to even the 1960s it is always followed by demands for money and usually the government response by doing something. We got affirmative action out of the riots of the 60s but that was never targeted specifically to blacks.
By 1970 there were five different groups included and women were included from the very beginning. And whenever money comes to the community it never reaches the poorest of the poor. The elites benefit. (Leahy chuckles) And that’s the problem with affirmative action. It benefits elites and it never addresses the problems of the poorest of the poor.
And I think that a lot of the inequalities that we see today that it can be traced back to a moral problem. It’s not going to be addressed by giving people money. It’s problematic. And I think that with reparations if you were trying to compensate the descendants of slaves it would be complicated by the fact that you have blacks that are descendants of immigrants. It would be very difficult.
Leahy: How would we determine that. I guess 12 percent of the population of 300 and some odd million would classify as black, right? So we are looking at 40 million people, right?
Swain: It includes immigrant blacks. And so whenever money is being given out by the government…
Leahy: You mean from like Jamaica or Kenya or whatever…
Swain: So more people would identify as black to collect the money. It would be problematic and it would not address the problems we have in America and I believe it would worsen race relations.
Leahy: I don’t think it would help.
Swain: No. Because everyone is suffering right now.
Leahy: Under that, I’m asking this, would I owe LeBron James reparations under that? (Chuckles)
Swain: Well, that was always the problem with affirmative action the children of the most affluent blacks were the ones that got the free rides to colleges and universities.
Listen to the full third hour here:
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