Salon.com has gone from a generally harmless left-wing rag to a ridiculously radical mouthpiece of stupidity.
In a genuinely wacky article today, writer Matt Bruenig wrote that in order to make up for racial intolerance and inequality we need to take money from white people and give it to black people.
I’m not kidding.
Forget facts, logic and fairness. It’s all out the window. Read how Bruenig tries to weasel his way into a racist rant.
As Thomas Piketty’s groundbreaking book “Capital in the 21st Century” has detailed: wealth has a tendency in a capitalist economy to concentrate into the hands of a few and travel down generations through gifts and inheritances. Even if racism were wiped out tomorrow and equal treatment became the norm, it would never cease being the case that the average white person has more wealth than the average black person. We could equalize everything else in society, and racial wealth inequality–plus all of the political power disparities that accompany such a thing–would continue into perpetuity.
Thus, those actually serious about righting the wrongs of enslavement and Jim Crow apartheid must support more drastic leveling efforts. Beefed up anti-discrimination, which is both necessary and good, will not be enough. Ideally, we could work towards reparations in the form of redistributing wealth along racial lines. With that an unlikely possibility though, we can at least think about ways to redistribute wealth more generally from those with wealth to those without it, something that would have a similar, albeit more attenuated, effect as reparations given who the wealthy and non-wealthy happen to be.
One commenter called it “lobotomized journalism.” It’s certainly stupid enough. But what if some people take this seriously?