Blackonomics: The silly season is upon us

James Clingman | 3/2/2016, 3 p.m.
The “Silly Season,” as many call it, is well under way; and Black people are up to our necks in ...
James Clingman

— Bernie Sanders says Blacks “need jobs” not reparations. In an interview in Iowa Bernie said, “[Reparations] likelihood of getting through Congress is nil; second of all, I think it would be very divisive.” Japanese, Filipino, and Jewish reparations were not divisive? Feeling “Berned,” y’all?

What we “need” is to be paid for the jobs Blacks used to have, as we talk about creating more jobs. After enslavement, Black people were laid off with no severance package, 401-K, or extended benefits. We “need” our well-deserved “back pay.” Reparatory justice is not a panacea, but it sure would give us a boost. Internally, Black people must circulate our own $1.2 trillion aggregate income among ourselves, and stop exchanging it for everything someone else makes. We must produce more and consume less.

Have you ever been sent to someone else’s job to pick up their check because that person was unable to do so? It’s the same thing with reparations. Malcolm said, “If you are the son of a man who had a wealthy estate and you inherit your father’s estate, you have to pay off the debts that your father incurred before he died. The only reason that the present generation of White Americans are in a position of economic strength…is because their fathers worked our fathers for over 400 years with no pay. Your father isn’t here to pay. My father isn’t here to collect. But I’m here to collect, and you’re here to pay.”

In this silly season, confront candidates with substantive issues rather than symbolic gestures.