Today I learned that in 1878, some tribesmen in Papua New Guinea killed and ate some Methodist missionaries.
According to the legal, political, and/or moral theory used by the people who advocate reparations for slavery, I figure I'm owed some money by these people. Right?
It has nothing to do with me since the only connection I have to those missionaries is that we share a sect of Protestantism. And considering that the people who actually ate those missionaries have been dead for over 100 years it's kind of stupid for me to expect payback for it.
But I think it does illustrate the point, doesn't it? That the concept of reparations is kind of foolish? It's 2007. It's been 142 years since slavery was legal anywhere in the US. No one alive today in the US has ever been enslaved. No one alive today in the US has ever owned slaves. (For the sake of this discussion I am not considering the relationships between "pimps 'n' hos", nor "white slavery". These things are reprehensible, but not germane to the topic.) So why on Earth does any American citizen "deserve" reparations?
As for the article I mentioned above: missionaries being eaten by tribal islanders is an old, old idea. I'm not at all bothered by the fact that, 129 years ago, some missionaries were eaten, not even Methodist ones. It has no effect on me or my life.