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snopes 09 September 2009 07:10 PM

Fred Reed
Comment: Is this true? Does Fred Reed exist, and did he write this as an


As you will recall, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the Harvard professor who
got arrested by Cambridge Police a week or so ago.

Fred Reed was a police reporter for one of the large Washington
newspapers. He now writes a column which can be googled ~ "Fred on

Fred published a weekly online column in which he got to say the things
his editors would never, ever have let him write in the paper. His stuff
is iconoclastic and various articles have probably offended everyone..
regardless of political orientation. So, with the warning that "This is
definitely not politically correct," here comes Fred.....

The following is an essay regarding the failings of a system and a
culture. Please note that he elegantly describes the mood of many
Americans and he does so without prejudice.


Slavery Reparations Fred Reed!

On the Web I find that Henry Louis Gates Jr., the chairman of
Afro-American Studies at Harvard, is demanding that whites pay reparations
to blacks. It's because of slavery, see. He is joined in this endeavor
by a gaggle of other professional blacks. I guess he'll send me a bill, huh?

I feel like saying, "Let me get this straight, Hank. I'm slow. Be patient.
You want free money because of slavery, right? I don't blame you." I'd
like free money too. Tell you what. I believe in justice. I'll give you
a million dollars for every slave I own, and another million for every
year you were a slave. Fair enough? But tell me, how many slaves do you suppose I have?

In round numbers, I mean ... say to the nearest dozen. And how long were
you a slave?

Oh. In other words, I owe you reparations for something that I didn't do
and didn't happen to you. That makes sense. Like lug nuts on a birthday

Personally, I think you owe me reparations for things you didn't do and
never happened to me. I've never been coated in Dutch chocolate and
thrown from the Eiffel Tower . I'll bet you've never done it to anyone.
I want reparations. Kind of silly, isn't it?

But if we're going to talk about reparations, that's a street that runs in
two directions. You want money from me for what some other whites did to
some other blacks in another century?

How about you guys paying whites reparations for current expenses caused
by blacks? Not long ago blacks burned down half of Los Angeles, a city
in my country. Cities are expensive, Hank. Build one sometime and you'll
see what I mean. Whites had to pay taxes to repair Los Angeles for you. You can send me a check.

Now, yes, I know you burned LA because you didn't like the verdict in the
trial of those police officers. Well, I didn't like the verdict in the Simpson trial.

But I didn't burn my house and loot Korean grocers, or burn down a city.

Over the years blacks have burned a lot of American cities: Newark,
Detroit, Watts, on and on. Now add in the fantastic cost over the years
of welfare in all its forms, the cost of all of those police calls people
had to make, for cells and jails and security systems in department stores.

I can't live in the capital city of my own country because of crime
committed by blacks. Toss in the cultural cost of lowering standards in
everything for the benefit of blacks. See what I mean?

Now, I'd view things differently if you said to me, "Fred, blacks can't
get anywhere in a modern country without education. We know that. We
need better schools, smarter teachers, harder courses, books with smaller
pictures and bigger words. Can you help us?"

I'd say, "Hallelujah! Hoo-ahh! Not just yes, but hell yes. Let's sell an
aircraft carrier and get these folks some real schools and get them into
the economic main-stream.' I'd say It partly because it would be the
right thing to do, and partly because I'd like to add you guys to the tax

The current custodial state is expensive. I'd just love for blacks to
study and learn to compete and stop burning places. But is it going to

You may not believe it, but I, and most whites, don't like seeing blacks
as miserable and screwed up as they are.

I spend a fair amount of time in the projects. Those places are ugly.
It's no fun watching perfectly good kids turn into semi-literate dope
dealers who barely speak English. It just plain ain't right. But, Hank,
what am I supposed to do about it? I can't do your children's homework.
At some point, people have to do things for themselves, or they don't get done. Maybe it's time.

I'll tell you what I see out in the world, Hank... I think blacks are too
accustomed to getting anything they want by just demanding it. True, it
has worked for over half a century. Get a few hundred people in the
street, implicitly threaten to loot and burn, holler about slavery, and
sadly the Great White Cash Spigot turns on.

Thing is, whites don't much buy it any longer. Most recognize that what
once was a civil-rights movement has become a shakedown game. Few people still feel responsible for the failings and inadequacies of blacks.
Political correctness keeps the lid on -- but everyone knows the score.. Which scares me, Hank.

On one hand, blacks hate whites and incline toward looting and burning.
(The whites you hate are the ones who marched in the civil-rights
movement. Ever think about that?)

On the other hand, whites quietly grow wearier and wearier of it. Not
good, Hank.

On the third hand (allow me three hands, for rhetorical convenience),
blacks keep demanding things. As I write, you demand reparations for
slavery. Blacks in Oklahoma (I think it was) want money for some ancient
race riot.

Other blacks reject the Declaration of Independence. Blacks in New York
hint broadly at burning and looting over a trial, yet more demand the
elimination of the Confederate flag, and the federal equal opportunity
apparatus, which means blacks want to sue Silicon Valley for not hiring
nonexistent black engineers. That's a lot of demanding for one
month, Hank.

What happens if whites ever say, "No"?

Now, how about you? You've got a cushy job up there at Harvard, and you
can hoot and holler about what swine and bandits whites are. I guess it's
lots of fun, and you get a salary for it to boot. But don't you think you
might do blacks more good if you told them to complain less and study more?

For example, if you want blacks to work in Silicon Gulch, the best
approach might be to find some really smart black guys, and get them to
study digital design ~ not Black Studies (as you teach). That's how
everybody else does it. It works. Then blacks wouldn't feel left out, and racial tensions would decline. Sound like a plan?

Just out of curiosity, how many hours a week do professors of
Afro-American Studies spend in the projects, encouraging poor black kids
to study real-life sho-nuf subjects?

Chloe 09 September 2009 07:18 PM

There is no "chairman of Afro-American Studies" at Harvard.

And surely he cannot seriously argue for a distinction between those African-Americans who were slaves and those who were not, while at the same time conflating those who "burned LA" and those who did not?

Ryda Wong, EBfCo. 09 September 2009 07:23 PM

The best thing I can find indicates that Gates' lawyer, Olgetree, filed a reparations suit in 2002.

No direct link to Gates on that.

I'd love to see this fellow's cites.

Dara bhur gCara 09 September 2009 07:26 PM

Well, Fred Reed is someone I've totally heard of before, and here's the article on Fred Reed's own site.

AnglRdr 09 September 2009 07:34 PM

ETA in light of Dara's find: 1. Fred needs to spend more time with black people, 2. black people are not white people's responsibility, and, 3. he needs to spend more time with black people.

Ryda Wong, EBfCo. 09 September 2009 07:35 PM


Originally Posted by Dara bhur gCara (Post 1044067)
Well, Fred Reed is someone I've totally heard of before, and here's the article on Fred Reed's own site.

So, he's like a parody of stupid reactionary conservatives?

Dara bhur gCara 09 September 2009 07:54 PM


Originally Posted by Ryda Wong, EBfCo. (Post 1044075)
So, he's like a parody of stupid reactionary conservatives?

I think he's like one of those racists who like to refer to themselves as "equal opportunity offenders" as if that makes them not racist.

I have a theory about writers and journalists who choose as their byline photograph a picture of themselves smoking a cigar; they're generally terrible dicks.

Okay, so it's not a terribly clever theory...

AnglRdr 09 September 2009 07:59 PM

I do think he is aware of his a-holeosity, but I don't know if he gets that he is a racist.

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