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Horowitz's Notepad: Joseph Anderson’s Ignorant Slander By: David Horowitz
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, April 17, 2001

IGNORANT SLANDERERS like Joseph Anderson probably can't be expected to conduct a civil dialogue with anyone, so I will not waste too much time responding to his rant, "Why David Horowitz’s `Reparations’ Ad Was Racist." According to Anderson, it was "racist" because 1) The ad suggested that welfare was a form of reparations, and 2) While America committed great crimes against his ancestors, the ad argued that the American government also freed his ancestors and provided a political and economic framework in which he and other African Americans enjoy the greatest freedoms and highest standard of living of any black community in the world.

1. Welfare. It's only in Anderson's sick mind that I claimed that most blacks live on welfare. If he had read my ad carefully, he would have noticed that one of my arguments against reparations is that African Americans are collectively the 10th richest nation on earth. This was not accomplished through welfare. What I did say is that welfare represents a transfer of wealth to any blacks who were impoverished through racism by non-blacks (the net transfer amounts to about $1.4 trillion). Even if Anderson does not see it this way, ordinary tax-paying Americans will. Anyone truly concerned about the well-being of the African American community would take this political reality into consideration before embarking on a crusade like this.

2. Slavery and the debts. First, I did not say that African Americans owe a "greater debt" to America nor did I suggest that African Americans should be grateful for slavery. Evidently Anderson is not only foul-mouthed, but a liar as well. By the way: Jews regularly acknowledge that without the Holocaust there might never have been an Israel.

Since black Africa "immorally accepted brutal slavery" then, and still accepts it today, I wonder what Joseph Anderson has to say about Africans and the reparations they owe?

Anderson implies that black slave owners were okay because they "purchased their own family members to protect them in and from slave-owning states." If this were true, he would have a point. Unfortunately it is not true. There were 500,000 free blacks at the time of the Civil War. Why keep your family as slaves when you can free them? Perhaps Anderson would like to explain why tens of thousands of free blacks also fought for the Confederacy.

Anderson claims that most Americans are connected to slavery because "slavery has spawned a legacy of racial oppression that exists to this day." Does he want to include Hispanic and Asian immigrants whose tax dollars would be taken for reparations? Or is his target just white people, and isn't this just about his own racist hatred of whites? Finally, if a white person born today is naturally a slaver, as Anderson argues, is he also suggesting that a black person born today -- through the legacy of oppression etc. -- is a slave?

Anderson's argument that government owes the debt, not individuals, is spurious. Taxpayers will pay the debt. The case for reparations needs to be made to them.

Finally what is shocking is not that some college newspapers would print a perfectly reasonable argument about reparations but that a member of the National Council for African American Men who cannot put together a credible argument to answer them will resort to vicious name-calling as a substitute. The ad I wrote was offered as a friendly admonition to the African American community not to listen to America-hating, separatist, reparations leaders. Claiming reparations for slavery 136 years after the fact will isolate the black community, put it at odds with all other ethnic communities, and misdirect its energies towards the past instead of the future.

David Horowitz is the founder of The David Horowitz Freedom Center and author of the new book, One Party Classroom.

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