Elorza’s “Collection of Truth” for Reparations Is a Red Flag

Mayor Elorza's comments only served to illustrate his ignorance—as abortion is not a religious issue. It is an issue that pertains to human life.

You know we must have forgotten the lessons of history and literature when a politician feels comfortable announcing his intention to assign employees to a “collection of truth,” and such is the degree of Orwellian  amnesia coming from Democrat Mayor of Providence Jorge Elorza as he deploys a cynical and divisive plan to move the city toward paying reparations to people based on their race:

Mayor Jorge Elorza will sign an executive order Wednesday to begin the process of examining the feasibility of establishing a reparations program in Providence for residents of African heritage and Indigenous people.

City leaders have no estimate on how much a reparations program would cost or how it would work, but Elorza said studying the issue will be the “first step in accepting the role Providence and Rhode Island has held in generations of pain and violence against these residents and healing some of the deepest wounds our country faces today.”

Didn’t the city just receive a major blow from the Rhode Island Supreme Court, immediately imposing millions of dollars in costs to cover pensions and creating longer-term fiscal problems?  Shouldn’t the mayor be focusing on that… or ensuring that businesses can operate smoothly in the city… or working with the state to improve the city’s deplorable school system… or working to shore up the city’s infrastructure?

Reasonable minds may wonder whether the mayor’s announcement is simply a means of distraction.  It certainly isn’t a quest for truth.

Consider, firstly, whether it is conceivable that the “collection of truth” might actually conclude that reparations are not owed.  It is not; no politician capable of tying his own shoes would begin this process if he thought for a moment he might produce a disappointment for the narrative.  In progressives’ minds, the truth is already known, and the project would merely be gathering whatever facts (or factoids) might justify confiscating more money from disfavored communities, while brushing aside any evidence that would point the other way.

Nevermind the question of tying actual people to any demonstrable harm, such a project, if fair, would also have to assess the degree to which people have actually been in Providence in order to be harmed or to have benefited.  Despite Rhode Islanders’ using their government to bring an end to slavery and racism, a program of reparations would require the conclusion that the government was complicit in the harm, thereby imposing the burden on anybody who falls under that government.  Implicitly, Elorza would use the government to decree that a white person who moved to Providence yesterday owes something to a black neighbor who moved in the same day.

In short, Elorza’s truth commission is sure to be a pure manifestation of racism, and the most likely outcome is that it will arrive at the predictable finding that reparations are owed, but that they cannot be paid, right now, because the money simply is not there.  This will arrive just in time for Elorza to depart office, leaving his successor with an even bigger challenge governing the city and solving its problems.

Our politics have reached the point that people really need to start standing up and acknowledging that elected officials are way off base. If common sense and just moral reasoning have no advocates, then insanity will simply roll over us all.

  • Joe Smith

    Reasonable minds may wonder whether the mayor’s announcement is simply a means of distraction.

    Nice way to put it’s about securing the Democratic nomination for Gov in 2022.

    Elorza will follow the playbook you noted. Gather facts, tell a nice story that ends with a dollar amount for both people and more government projects, and then spin that it’s going to take someone at the *state* level to make this happen as this narrative extends beyond Providence’s city borders.

    Just in time for the Democratic primary jockeying. The others will point to a bankrupt city and a Mayor that couldn’t even run his schools – he needs something in his pocket to counter those attacks.

    If the more right of center folks want to make a statement, align with Dan McKee early and don’t run a GOP candidate for Gov. Cross over in the primary and vote McKee. Focus on a solid person for LtGov – you know Regenburg is running again and he’s beatable. There is nobody in the GOP circle capable of winning the Gov’s office.

    • Rhett Hardwick

      Asheville, North Carolina (I am withholding a comment) recently enacted a “reparations” program. It is described as meaning to assist minorities in obtaining housing and opening businesses. I have heard nothing of cash payouts.

      • Joe Smith

        Love Asheville although it’s a bit of an outlier in the region. I wonder how much COVID has taken a bite out of the city – it had a lot of small restaurants and shops as well as the college and the Biltmore estate – and the casino to the west (although that’s Native American run I think).

  • Christopher C. Reed

    Reparations? Out of the question.
    Repatriation? Absolutely. Anyone whose ancestors were kidnapped from their homeland and forced into chattel slavery in the US is entitled to restitution to the status quo ante insofar as is achievable. And in this day and age it certainly is. It’s well established in US law that the victim of tortious interference is entitled to restitution. A one-way ticket NYC->Lagos runs about $1200 on United, (while they’re still flying). That plus a reasonable grubstake would provide repatriates with a good start on making a real contribution in their new (old) homeland.

    The situation is more complicated in dealing with tribal claimants. They are not the legatees of involuntary servitude and were not kidnapped in foreign countries, i.e. West African kingdoms. They are the remnants of a defeated enemy, (analogous to POW’s,) defrauded by countless broken treaties, and are entitled to full restitution under breach of contract. I would file a claim to all land titles from the Atlantic to the Pacific, (including Hawaii and Alaska) and negotiate from there. A contingency fee of about a third would be reasonable, given the number of billable hours required.

    After all, don’t those displaced from their ancestral homelands have a ‘right of return’?

    • Rhett Hardwick

      Repatriation has never “gotten legs” See history of Liberia and Marcus Garvey’s Black Star Line.