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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Monday, May 27, 2002
9:26 PM

Columnist William Raspberry thinks it would be a good idea to create a separate national tax system that would benefit only black people.

No, seriously.

Raspberry didn't come up with this reparations breakthrough himself. He, um, credits James P. Comer, a "Yale University professor of psychiatry and extraordinarily successful public school reformer was at North Carolina State University."

He would enact legislation to allow black taxpayers to direct up to 95 percent of their federal income taxes directly to a series of foundations set up specifically to help those blacks who have been most hurt by slavery and its legacy. These black-run foundations would have two main focuses: educating young people for work, family life and citizenship, and promoting economic development and economic access for the rest of us.

National defense, highways, international affairs, environmental protection, the justice system, science and medical research, paying off the debt--don't worry, us white folks will take care of that. Also Hispanics, Asian-Americans, American Indians, basically everybody except black Americans; you just go over there and take care of your own.

That won't be divisive, right?

Wait a second, everybody else can get in on this deal too. That is, everybody else can help just black people:

There might also be the logistical problem of determining which taxpayers would qualify to have their income taxes diverted. Perhaps the way around that would be to make the matter voluntary and nonracial. That is, any taxpayer could designate up to 95 percent of his or her taxes for the foundations. Presumably almost all African Americans would so designate, but a great many others might as well.

But of course. I know there will be many Latin American immigrants, and Vietnamese, and Koreans, not to mention first, second, and etc.-generation Irish, Italian, Scot-descended Appalachians, you name it, all waiting to devote their income taxes to a new multibillion program that excludes almost everybody in the country, including themselves and their own children, on the basis of race. That's a winner.

Hold that carrier wing, Captain! I know you want to destroy Saddam's nuclear launch capability, but first we have to see how many people checked off the box for Operation (Blacks-Only) Push!

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