“It’s Time to Pay”: Democratic Members and Activists Demand Fulfillment of Past Promises from Reparations to Sanctuary Cities

Below is my column on the conflict in Democratic states over the fulfillment of prior political pledges from reparations to sanctuary cities. Democratic states like California cannot blame the opposing party for a failure to fulfill the pledge for cash reparations. That leaves them in a bind. Small payments will belittle a commitment that was called a civic duty and moral imperative. After years of campaigning on the issue, expectations are high and tensions appear to be rising.

Here is the column:

“It’s time to pay.” Those four words from Rep. Cori Bush (D., Mo.) are being heard a lot by Democratic politicians across the country this month. For Bush, the debt amounts to $14 trillion for reparations for every black American.

In California, activists are demanding as much as $5 million per black resident and asking Gov. Gavin Newsom “where’s the money.” One member of Newsom’s Reparations Task Force demanded that the state pay its “sin bill.”

In New York and Chicago, mayors are balking at towering costs of migrants being shipping from the border to their “sanctuary” cities.

In Tampa, after demanding $3 million per black resident, a witness said that he and others were putting “white people on notice that we want our reparations.” Bills are coming due after years of political campaigning on these issues.

Reparations and sanctuary cities have long been the bread and butter of identity politics. For years, Democratic politicians have campaigned on these “moral imperatives” in passing sanctuary laws and setting up reparation task forces.  It is the equivalent of a compounding interest on credit card debt. Each election Democrats used these issues for short-term political gains. Now those bills are coming due and Democratic leaders are balking.

President Joe Biden and Congress are in a potentially lethal game of chicken over the looming default over our debt. It would not seem an ideal time to demand an additional $14 trillion, but Bush declared “Black people in our country cannot wait any longer.” She was joined by members like Reps. Barbara Lee, Jamaal Bowman and Rashida Tlaib.

It is a view being voiced across the country by black citizens who were told that these payments are an undeniable moral obligation. The years of politicking on the issue have created a sense of entitlement to large cash payments. As one well-known California activist declared: “It’s a debt that’s owed, we worked for free. We’re not asking; we’re telling you.”

Gov. Newsom recently balked at the payment of the reparations recommended by his own task force, though he has indicated that some cash payments may still be made. Newsom attempted the long-expected pivot and said, rather plaintively, that dealing with the legacy of slavery “is about much more than cash payments.” It may be too late for that spin. Recent polling shows 77 percent of Black Americans now support reparations–a stark increase in recent years.

Task Force member Rev. Amos Brown said that they will not accept any excuses and that the state has to commit to the full amount and, if needed, “pay it over installments.”

Mario Cuomo famously said that politicians campaign in poetry, but they govern in prose. However, the “prose” of many Democratic leaders is not winning any prizes.

While many have denounced the busing of migrants to sanctuary cities, most privately admit that there is an element of poetic justice.  For years, these cities have told undocumented migrants that they are welcome to come to their cities where they would be protected. Then they showed up. It was a political version of “Look Whose Coming to Dinner,” the movie about a liberal couple who are confronted with a visit of their daughter and her black fiancé.

The single most riveting moment came at Martha’s Vineyard where residents came out to clap and wave to the migrants . . . as they were shipped to a military base off the island.  New York City has been shipping migrants to other cities, which are going to court to stop the relocation. Many of these towns point out that, unlike New York City, they have never declared themselves a sanctuary for undocumented persons.

Even though these cities have been sent a fraction of the influx of states like Texas, mayors in sanctuary cities like Chicago have expressed outrage.

As with those expecting reparations, these migrants are understandably confused. They were told that Chicago was a “ciudad santuario.” Chicago reaffirmed this status in 2022 when it extended protections and benefits. At the time, politicians scrambled for cameras to declare, as did Alderwoman Rossana Rodríguez, that Chicago must be “a welcoming city for immigrants” and reaffirmed that “our city is responsible for acting with solidarity towards the people that are the most marginalized and the most impacted by a system that oppresses them.”

Then they showed up in greater numbers and the former Mayor Lori Lightfoot demanded that the migrants be sent elsewhere or kept in border towns overwhelmed by far greater numbers of migrants.

In some cases, there is no alternative but to try to quietly abandon prior campaigns that generated acclaim nationally and caused serious damage locally. For example, some of us criticized cities like San Francisco for declaring a boycott of states which did not adhere to their views on issues like transgender rights. I noted at the time that the boycott would cost the city dearly in cutting off 22 states by driving up costs. It did and the city quietly rescinded the boycott after losing millions. While the media paid far less attention to the rescission than the original decision, other reversals have come at a greater political cost on the left.

For example, cities that led efforts to defund the police are now refunding the police after soaring crime rates and high-levels of police retirements and resignations.  Activists in cities like Los Angeles called it a “slap in the face” given years of promises from Democratic politicians.

In the meantime, Newsom’s task force has demanded an assortment of other changes, including eliminating cash bail, abandoning the prosecution of certain crimes, subsidizing home purchases for black residents, and guaranteeing a “right to return” by taking over development projects to guarantee black housing ownership. Some of those reforms can be finessed by politicians, but there is no spin that will obscure the absence of a cash payment.

These are the creditors of the Democratic Party and they now seem intent on collecting on compounded interest of years of identity politics.

This column previously appeared on Fox.com

119 thoughts on ““It’s Time to Pay”: Democratic Members and Activists Demand Fulfillment of Past Promises from Reparations to Sanctuary Cities”

  1. Activists act, they don’t think. Just laugh at the progressive clowns – they’re so stupid it must be an act.

  2. I hate to say it but Democrats have released a genie that can’t be put back into the bottle. It is going to become very dangerous to be white out in public and unarmed.

    They have stirred up a hornet’s nest of resentment, hatred, and rage all for political gain and it’s average people with no bone in this fight who are going to pay the price.

    1. So….be legal but be prepared….and be willing…. or stay home.

      You can surrender meekly and be a victim of all of this or refuse that.

      Your choice.

      Go about your Life….be polite and courteous and let the Thugs confuse meekness of manner for lack of resolve.

      Shame on them when they make that mistake.

      Life can be described in the relationship between Sheep, Sheep Dogs, and Wolves…..you have to choose which role you play in Life.

  3. If someone can present DNA results from a reputable lab and legal paperwork with background checks of whom did the legal paperwork that the person is saying they are a DIRECT (and the key here is DIRECT ) DESCENDANT OF A PLANTATION SLAVE, then I could agree with it. Once reparations are received, all food stamps, Medicaid, housing, etc., are to stop immediately.
    Many blacks here are not DIRECT DESCENDANTS; many are from a different country working towards citizenship, working on a VISA, or illegally.

  4. I don’t believe the financial markets are taking this reparations business seriously. If they were California’s municipal bonds would begin to be downrated toward Single-C. If CA only gave each black resident $120,800.00 (per population estimate by the Census Bureau) the total reparations payments would be equal to the May revision of the state budget for all expendatures otherwise. The state would not be able to service its obligations and its existing debt if 120+ grand per qualifying resident in reparations is enacted. Paying for this generosity would require a punishing degree of austerity measures and extremely high tax hikes. No pol in the state has the fortitude to pass such draconian legislation, so bond defaults are inevitable.

    One can only imagine the influx of new residents seeking to qualify for reparations entering the state and demanding their payment. There would seemingly be no end to the costs.

    1. “There would seemingly be no end to the costs.”

      No, there isn’t an end to the costs. Even if they got what they wanted they would be back for more barrels of cash in a few years.

      The Democrats and RINOs are on a “Make America Zimbabwe” trajectory now that their insane and unjustified promises are coming due. There is no easy way out. Newsom has put his d*** in a vice that gets tighter no matter which way he turns the handle.

      1. @Young

        Oh, they’ll find a way to blame someone else. Think: debt ceiling. Modern Democrats could be the most ethically bereft people to have ever walked the earth.

        A possible scenario, Biden: ‘I was ready to do it, the MAGAs wouldn’t come to the table on the debt ceiling.’

    2. There would seemingly be no end to the costs.

      What measurable outcome resulted in naming elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, highways, auditoriums, parks, plazas, etc “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr” across America? Here in Richmond, the worst violent crime is in government housing, populated by blacks, with schools, bridges and roads named MLK Jr located in those areas. They spit on MLK Jr’s name. Again, here in Richmond, the Hispanic region is widely known to house Hispanics who live in poorer neighborhoods, run down trailer parks (many of my patients live here), unattractive grocery stores, thriving restaurants, second hand stores, etc. Crime is no higher in these Hispanic locales than in other areas of Richmond except for the black neighborhoods. Richmond is 50% black, and the crime is without a doubt far higher in black areas. Blacks like Cori Bush with their grievance parade do more harm to Blacks than whites by a long shot.

      The real problem facing blacks is not whites, not Hispanics, not Asians, not Jews, not Muslims, not anyone but blacks.

    3. There would seemingly be no end to the costs.

      Go google Pigford settlement An agreement that was supposed to compensate black farmers for discrimination at the hands of the USDA Up to$50k per a farmer that had business with the USDA, $1 miillion bucks….except it ended up being $1.25Billion

      1. Iowan, I think Pigford was a scam. Federal agencies were falling all over themselves to make loans to blacks. Many, maybe most, of those loans were not creditworthy and went into default. The discrimination favored blacks. Don’t expect our corrupt media ever to look into it though.

        1. Of course is was a scam.

          It is a flashing neon sigh, of what will happen is we are stupid enough to entertain such idiocy.

          Just talking about it like its something that is feasible is risible. But then to consider how the govt would implement such a farce….Makes the Biden fghan withdraw look like couch cushion change at a flop house.

  5. 40 acres and a mule, on steroids. A promise not kept. Dear old governor Newsom has already said, .”It’s the thought that counts”. Well governor Dipstick, this is a lot more serious than 40 acres and a mule.

  6. Keeping this simple…I’ve never owned or enslaved another human. Therefore, I will never agree to pay for any sins I’ve not committed against another human.

    I will, however, voluntarily contribute to a general fund that has the singular purpose of providing one-way transportation to any country outside the United States and countries that border it, for ANYONE who believes they’re owed reparations. I’ll even thrown in an extra twenty for those who aren’t owed reparations but hate this country as it exists today, anyway. These would be non-refundable, non-transferrable, not redeemable for cash, vouchers for transportation only. I would hope those who wish to leave would request to return to their ancestral homelands, but any “Shangri-La” where they believe they will not be oppressed by the personal decisions they make for themselves, will suffice.

  7. This could stew a little bit more, but Repubs have a tremendous opportunity to offer “wealth-creation” policies rather than the mirage of wealth-transfer. We had “opportunity zones”, but why put geographic barriers on human development?

    A few minor changes to business-entity, tax and estate law could significantly grow a privately-owned HumDev sector. These startups would be run by social entrepreneurs with expertise in their special area, whether pre-parenting, pregnancy and childbearing skills, preschool, private education, boys and girls clubs, leadership training, financial management, prison release mentoring, addictions rehab, mental health, body building, entrepreneurship, etc.

    Intensifying human development is the key to wealth-building — shortcuts like reparations are illusory. Oh, sure, people might get some money dropped on them, but how many would go out and spend it right away? How many would be scammed out of it, or gamble it away? Without first learning the skills of earning and saving, money is quickly spent down, and people end up back in poverty. They’ll demand more reparations.

    Financial independence is the goal. Repubs can’t be cold-hearted and just say “figure it out for yourself”. What they can do is take a good look at social entrepreneurs who are being successful in the private HumDev field — ask them how to make their businesses have more reach and impact…with pinpoint policy changes. Ask how to grow the private HumDev sector. For example, raise the charitable deduction to 90% of income, and 95% of estate for qualifying (domestic) HumDev philanthropy. Let wealthy people choose who is more effective at developing human capital — govt. bureaucracies, or an entrepreneurial private sector.

    That’s what Repub government can do — change the policies to incent the growth of skills and mobility.

    I’m not the best person to speak for Repubs on this, but there ought to be several who can.

    1. @pbinca

      Your assumption is that people are willing to work, and they aren’t. Particularly the young’uns. I actually expect our victim class in its entirety to start demanding cash. Pandora’s Box is right – this could all get out of control rather quickly. Only time will tell.

  8. Regardless of your support or opposition to the Lee/Booker bill (H.R/S. 40) to establish a commission to study and consider a national apology and proposal for reparations for slavery, I hope there is widespread support on this blog for the following: 13th amendment, 14th amendment, 15th amendment, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act (1968).

    1. Concerned Citizen – I hope there is not widespread approval for the Reconstruction Amendments. They have been used to establish federal control over the states. The 13th Amendment banned slavery after it had already been abolished. The 15th Amendment, prohibiting the denial of vote rights to the freed slaves, was probably justified but Congressional legislation would have been more appropriate. The 14th Amendment has proven harmful for several reasons. It has added vague phrases into our jurisprudence, e.g., due process of law, equal protection of the law, which can be interpreted to mean anything, and which have in fact been used to impose virtually the entire Bill of Rights against the states. The introduction of birthright citizenship has opened the door to the current problem of illegal immigration. The clause calling for the disqualification from office of any person supporting “insurrection” has been recently used by Democrats to attempt to remove Republicans from ballots around the country. The prohibition on “questioning the validity of the public debt” is now being used by Democrats to authorize the President to circumvent the exclusive spending powers given by the Constituion to Congress. The people who passed these Amendments thought they were still fighting the Civil War. But in fact they were opening the door to the subversion of the original Constitutional system by federal judges and cynical political factions.

  9. OMG!! A reprieve! Not a word from Svelaz…or did I miss something. Not her gig this issue!

    1. ZZ, Svelaz hasn’t done his usual 200 comments yet, even he must be having trouble coming up with a counter argument to the fact that 90% of non-Recipients are against reparations. Notice I capitalized Recipients.

  10. I didn’t read today’s dosage of Turley slop, because I didn’t need to. Since he went on the payroll of the Hate Network, all he does is look for stories he can spin to attack Democrats, massage and fudge the facts (that’s the nicest way to put it), and ignore Trump’s crimes and Republicans’ efforts to trash the successful economy Biden has restored after Trump ruined it. I thought it was unusual that his first 2 postings today didn’t attack Democrats at all. Well, the day wasn’t over, and because it’s obvious that Turley’s paycheck requires attacks on Democrats, mainstsream media, and trying to pump life into the “Hunter Biden Scandal”, Turley remedied that. Meanwhile mortgage interest rates are going up over fears that Republicans will actually let the deadline to raise the debt ceiling expire without taking action. Trump is wetting his shorts over the prospect of an imminent indictment by Jack Smith, so his lawyers are trying to go over Smith’s head, directly to Merrick Garland, demanding that Smith not recommend indictment because, after all, he didn’t do anything wrong, and charging him over his deliberate theft of classified documents and lying about returning them is just politically-motivated. Republicans are looking for ways to try to pass legislation to prevent Trump from getting indicted. You can literally smell the desperation. The main reasons Trump just HAS to find a way to cheat his way into office (which is the ONLY way he can get in), is to pardon himself, the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys, the 3 Percenters and other losers who were dumb enough to follow through with his call for attacking the Capitol on Jan 6th. He will need his private army to protect him against all of the vindictive things he’s planning to do, which includes using the US military against US citizens–something forbidden by the Constitution, and demanding a loyalty oath to him–instead of the Constitution–which is also unconstitutional. If the Republicans refuse to raise the debt ceiling and we go into a massive recession, there might not be much of America left for Trump to ruin a second time.

    1. I didn’t read today’s….

      Because mindless trolls that just spit out what the handlers send them does not require any intelectual engagement. They are something like chatgpt, only they have zero information. They only have what someone else tells them. Like a baby bird they just make themself available and beg to fed.

    2. Svelax – you are obviously trying to sell a product: the idea that the economy was bad under Trump and was saved by Biden. For those of us who can remember back to 2017, we know that is not true.

    3. @Gigi; Thank you for putting in your oar by defending the argument that reparations are inflationary and budgetary suicide. It is unlikely that the debt ceiling would be raised by Republicans to enable the funding of such an outrageous dog and pony show.

    4. Hey Nat, not one word from you about reparations which is the subject of the blog entry. Please tell us what you think about the subject matter at hand. Please tell us why you think that sixty six percent of the nation as usual you won’t address the subject. Some might think that a continuance of your approach might be an act of dishonesty aided by an attempt at deflection. Some might think that it is a cowardly act on your part to avoid a difficult subject. Some are probably correct.

  11. There are currently hearings in the House regarding “weaponiztion” by Democrats of federal agencies against conservatives and Republicans. Isn’t the more obvious and dangerous point that over the decades Democrats have also weaponized African-American populations in major cities against the rest of us? Now they have the weapon, but can they control it?


      Abraham Lincoln left a foreign, adversarial, 3-million-man, standing army on U.S. soil after fully preparing for compassionate repatriation.

      The members of that foreign, adversarial, 3-million-man, standing army could not be admitted for naturalization per extant immigration law on January 1, 1863.

  12. At first I was against the reparations movement but on deeper reflection, I have come around to supporting it. Here is my reasoning….

    I’d be for the $14 trillion in reparations if the recipients, upon receiving the money, agreed to return to Africa where the $14 trillion could be spent to lift that continent out of third world status.

  13. I am begging that the Democratic Party’s support for reparations grows even stronger as we near election day. Almost two thirds of the American electorate are against reparations including many Democrats. https://www.npr.org/2021/06/18/1008196317/recent-polling-data-shows-why-nearly-2-3-of-americans-oppose-cash-reparations. This is an issue where Republicans can keep the Democrats feet to the fire. Its not just Democrats in California who are in favor of reparations. Democrats in the United States Congress have also stated their support for reparations. https://www.reuters.com/world/us/a-cry-an-acknowledgement-us-house-democrats-urge-reparations-bill-2021-04-14/. They’re running scared because more Black people are voting Republican. So what’s their answer? Make a big promise that will never be fulfilled. The Democrats are looking for that sucker born every minute that P.T. Barnum was talking about. Black support is down from ninety two percent to eighty six percent. They know that a six percent drop in many districts will spell defeat for Democratic candidates. There answer is: look black voter we’re going to give you more free stuff. If you want to see the result of more free stuff go visit the ghettos in Democratically held cities. They learned their tactics from the Big Daddy politicians at the county fairs throughout the south during the Depression. If them there country bumpkins could fall for it then why shouldn’t them there city bumpkins fall for it today. Why give up the tried and true?

  14. Common sense dictates that the enormous tax increases required to fund this madness, at both the state and Federal levels would guarantee the complete collapse of support for the Democratic party and increase the level of divisiveness in this country to levels never imagined.

  15. “The ‘Great Emancipator’ and the Issue of Race – Abraham Lincoln’s Program of Black Resettlement”

    “Congress Votes Funds for Resettlement”

    “In 1860, the 3,185 slaves in the District of Columbia were owned by just two percent of the District’s residents. In April 1862, Lincoln arranged to have a bill introduced in Congress that would compensate District slave-holders an average of $300 for each slave. An additional $100,000 was appropriated 55

    to be expended under the direction of the President of the United States, to aid in the colonization and settlement of such free persons of African descent now residing in said District, including those to be liberated by this act, as may desire to emigrate to the Republic of Haiti or Liberia, or such other country beyond the limits of the United States as the President may determine.

    “When he signed the bill into law on April 16, Lincoln stated: “I am gratified that the two principles of compensation, and colonization, are both recognized, and practically applied in the act.”56

    “Two months later, as part of the (second) Confiscation Act of July 1862, Congress appropriated an additional half-million dollars for the President’s use in resettling blacks who came under Union military control. Rejecting criticism from prominent “radicals” such as Senator Charles Sumner, most Senators and Representatives expressed support for the bold project in a joint resolution declaring57

    that the President is hereby authorized to make provision for the transportation, colonization and settlement in some tropical country beyond the limits of the United States, of such persons of African race, made free by the provisions of this act, as may be willing to emigrate …

    “Lincoln now had Congressional authority and $600,000 in authorized funds to proceed with his plan for resettlement.”

    – Robert Morgan

  16. African slaves were abducted and detained by African tribal chiefs.

    African tribal chiefs sold African slaves to Arab slave traders.

    Arab slave traders existed previously because slavery was ubiquitous in the Middle East and, likely, around the globe.

    Arab slave traders sold African slaves to British shippers.

    British shippers sold African slaves to British planters.

    Americans were determined to end slavery upon the adoption of the U.S. Constitution.

    George Washington freed his slaves through his will in 1799.

  17. I am 12,5 % native Cherokee. Where is my cash? Native Americans has the whole country, and Canada and South and Central America stolen from us. Black folk are living on our land and property. GET OFF and go back where you came from. Give us our cash! NOW! You deadbeats. That include you too, Newsom. You all, everyone of you are thieves.

  18. Well one has to love it when a politician sticks their proverbial foot into their mouth. After promising money forever and telling any that would listen if you do not agree, then you are a bigot, the chickens have come home to roost. Now what? That is going be an interesting answer when the money is not forthcoming. I almost feel bad because this is going to become very ugly.

    So let us see the future. Payments mean tax increases and large ones. Tensions certainly rise between communities. Plenty move out and those that do not will vote the bums out over their anger. No money means anger and vote the bums out and even more tension within communities over perceived broken promises.

    The fun part is the politicians shot themselves in the foot and they are going to compound the problem by shooting the selves in the other foot as they try skate past this broken promise.

    So my question is who is the bigger bigot, the guy that does not believe in reparations or the guy that says he believes in them, does not deliver after the promise, and then tries to wiggle out of paying for them?

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