WashPost Promotes Electoral Reparations: Let’s Give Black Voters Five-Thirds Of A Vote??

Posted on Mon 08/24/2015 by


TimGrahampicture-13-1409699701By Tim Graham ~

The Sunday Outlook section of The Washington Post was dominated by a proposal for a “5/3 compromise.” Theodore R. Johnson, (pictured)  a doctoral candidate in law at Northeastern University, proposed that since 94 percent of whites oppose financial reparations for blacks, there should be a political solution for the never-ending oppression of blacks: giving them five-thirds of a vote to make up for the three-fifths compromise in the Constitution.

Ted-R-JohnsonThe headline was “The 5/3 Compromise: Reverse a  historical injustice — literally. Give black voters a larger say.” Pay no attention to the fact that 94 percent of whites would probably oppose this too as a naked power grab. Johnson and the Post want to linger over this proposal for racial justice:

A five-thirds compromise would imbue African Americans with a larger political voice that could be used to fight the structural discrimination expressed in housing, education, criminal justice and employment. Allowing black votes to count for 167 percent of everyone else’s would mean that 30 million African American votes would count as 50 million, substituting super-votes for the implausible idea of cash payments.

This weighted vote, coupled with an increasingly active black electorate that in 2012 had a higher voter participation rate than whites for the first time in history, would offer African Americans an outsize influence on national and state elections. Politicians, finally, would have to truly compete for the black vote, or a substantial share of it, to attain or remain in office. This would provide an incentive, even for purely self-interested politicians, to prioritize African American policy concerns and act on them, or face a loss at the polls…

What’s more, five-thirds has a redemptive, lyrical quality to it: The weighted portion of the vote could be interpreted as the voice of those who earned the right to the ballot but were unjustly silenced. Too sentimental? Fine. Economics and statistics could help assign the right value for proper weighting. The magnitude of the challenges and the corresponding solution could be taken up by Congress as a giant math problem, but in the end, racial reconciliation requires a moral and political mandate to make black America whole.

This plan should be temporally limited in scope, since the point is not to permanently install a historical equivalence but to erase structural disadvantages. Weighted voting could be fixed to some predetermined period of years, say 24, which is only about a third of the number of years the three-fifths compromise was in place.

This sounds quite absurd in practice, because black lobbyists never see an end to their racial advantages in “affirmative action,” so why would they give up on a five-thirds system…and wouldn’t they then have the power to overturn any attempt to limit its term? Then there’s the trouble of …who’s black? Johnson takes a stab at that one:

Would a biracial voter qualify? A black immigrant? And what exactly is an election official to do when Rachel Dolezal shows up to claim her five-thirds vote? The government shouldn’t be the sole arbiter of who gets to be black — nor flirt with archaic prescriptions such as the one-drop rule in determining a voter’s race. The most straightforward approach would be to limit access to weighted voting to those American-born citizens who have demonstrated through government documents, such as drivers’ licenses or birth certificates, that they identify, and are identified by others, as black or African American.

This is doubly absurd, considering the black Left’s absolute horror at having to produce government documents before voting. It would be automatically racist to ask if every Dolezal “identifying” as black gets to have an augmented vote.

Johnson knows this isn’t going to fly, but he wants to force some momentum toward reparations: “Of course, weighted-vote reparations are only slightly more politically feasible than a multi-trillion-dollar payout. But we have to consider novel approaches to racial reconciliation — including apology, forgiveness and, yes, some kind of restitution”.

Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters. He is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center.

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