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Black Democratic writer gets booed, called 'presumptive' by white liberal Rep. Steve Cohen after opposing reparations in House hearing

The House had a hearing Wednesday on the topic of reparations for slavery, and it was unruly more than once. In particular, things turned ...

The House had a hearing Wednesday on the topic of reparations for slavery, and it was unruly more than once. In particular, things turned chaotic after a columnist for Quilette, who has written for National Review and Spectator, and who is African American, spoke in opposition to reparations.

His dissent was not well-received. In fact, the chair had to gavel for order.
That writer, Coleman Hughes, told the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties that he knew his speaking wouldn't be well-received in his opening statement.

"Nothing I'm about to say is meant to minimize the horror and brutality of slavery and Jim Crow," he began his remarks. He talked about how the bill under consideration mentions slavery 25 times, but "incarceration only once," and said that it is addressing issues of the past perhaps at the expense of the issues of today.

Even as those in the room were already negatively reacting out loud to his commentary, Hughes pointed out that he was advised against testifying.

"Nearly everyone close to me told me not to testify today. They told me that even though I've only ever voted for Democrats I'd be perceived as a Republican, and therefore hated by half the country. Others told me that by distancing myself from Republicans I would end up angering the other half of the country," he said. "And the sad truth is that they were both right. That's how suspicious we've become of one another. That's how divided we are as a nation."

"If we were to pay reparations today, we would only divide the country further making it harder to build the political coalitions required to solve the problems facing black people today," he continued. "We would insult many black Americans by putting a price on the suffering of their ancestors. And we would turn the relationship between black Americans and white Americans from a coalition into a transaction. From a union between citizens into a lawsuit between plaintiffs and defendants."

"What we should do is pay reparations to Black Americans who actually grew up under Jim Crow and were directly harmed by second-class citizenship. People like my grandparents," Coleman said, refining his point. "But paying reparations to all descendants of slaves is a mistake."

He used his own situation as an example, saying that even though he grew up decades after Jim Crow in a "privileged household" and attends an Ivy League school, reparations would be allocated to him.

"You might call that justice, I call that justice for the dead at the price of justice for the living," he said.

As he spoke, people in the room audibly objected and contradicted him several times. After he finished and said the bill was a mistake, he was widely booed.

The chairman of the hearing, Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen (Tenn.), banged the gavel for order, saying, "Chill, chill, chill, chill."

Cohen then said of the young black writer who spoke of his enslaved ancestors that "he was presumptive, but he still has a right to speak."

The disruptions continued, to include laughter and mocking. One person got up and left the room, and Cohen said "every witness here should be treated with respect," which apparently includes talking down to a witness with personal interest as being "presumptive" (by which one assumes Cohen meant "presumptuous").

It was a chaotic scene, and an indication of how the Democrats will be treating the issue going forward.


  1. Where are OUR reparations for the murders,robberies,rapes, burnt cities?

  2. They should be THANKING us.
    What kind of life did the African live in his native land, before he was brought to America and introduced to Western civilization? That slavery was widely practiced in Africa before the coming of the white man is beyond dispute. But what sort of indigenous civilization did the African enjoy?
    In A Slaver’s Log Book, which chronicles the author’s experiences in Africa during the 1820s and 1830s, Captain Theophilus Conneau (or Canot) describes a tribal victory celebration in a town he visited after an attack by a neighboring tribe:
    On invading the town, some of the warriors had found in the Chief’s house several jars of rum, and now the bottle went round with astonishing rapidity. The ferocious and savage dance was then suggested. The war bells and horns had sounded the arrival of the female warriors, who on the storming of a town generally make their entry in time to participate in the division of the human flesh; and as the dead and wounded were ready for the knife, in they came like furies and in the obscene perfect state of nakedness, performed the victorious dance which for its cruelties and barbarities has no parallel.
    Some twenty-five in number made their appearance with their faces and naked bodies besmeared with chalk and red paint. Each one bore a trophy of their cannibal nature. The matron or leader … bore an infant babe newly torn from its mother’s womb and which she tossed high in the air, receiving it on the point of her knife. Other Medeas followed, all bearing some mutilated member of the human frame.
    Rum, powder, and blood, a mixture drunk with avidity by these Bacchantes, had rendered them drunk, and the brutal dance had intoxicated them to madness. Each was armed also with some tormenting instrument, and not content with the butchering outside of the town of the fugitive women, they now surrounded the pile of the wounded prisoners, long kept in suspense for the coup de grâce. A ring was formed by the two-legged tigresses, and accompanied by hideous yells and encouraging cry of the men, the round dance began. The velocity of the whirling soon broke the hideous circle, when each one fell on his victims and the massacre began. Men and women fell to dispatching the groaning wounded with the most disgusting cruelties.
    I have seen the tiger pounce on the inoffensive gazelle and in its natural propensity of love of blood, strangle its victim, satiate its thirst, and often abandon the dead animal. But not so with these female cannibals. The living and dying had to endure a tormenting and barbarous mutilation, the women showing more cannibal nature in the dissection of the dead than the stronger sex. The coup de grâce was given by the men, but in one instance the victim survived a few minutes when one of those female furies tormented the agony of the dying man by prostrating herself on his body and there acting the beast of double backs.
    The matron, commander of these anthrophagies, with her fifty years and corpulous body, led the cruelties on by her example. The unborn babe had been put aside for a bonne bouche, and now adorned with a string of men’s genital parts, she was collecting into a gourd the brains of the decapitated bodies. While the disgusting operating went on, the men carved the solid flesh from the limbs of the dead, throwing the entrails aside.
    About noon the butchering was at an end, and a general barbecuing took place. The smell of human flesh, so disgusting to civilized man, was to them the pleasing odor so peculiarly agreeable to a gastronomer …
    The barbecuing over, an anthrophagous repast took place, when the superabundant preserved flesh was packed up in plantain leaves to be sent into the Interior for the warriors’ friends. I am silent on the further cruelties that were practiced this day on the unfortunate infirm and wounded that the different scouting parties brought in during the day, supposing the reader to be sick enough at heart at the above representation.