Wednesday, June 15, 2005


I was ragging on the Oyster over at YRHT, and he came up with the idea of restitution to lynching victims. The direct quote looks like this:
For those who believe the Senate's apology is an empty, insufficient gesture-- Yes! I agree with you! Let's do more! How about some meaningful restitution to the affected families and their direct descendants? Perhaps $1 or $2 million each-- or were you envisaging a larger number?

Now, there is an interesting idea. I can see that happening, and if we take the numbers from Mary Landrieu's site, we learn that:
From 1890 to 1960, 4,742 Americans were documented as having been lynched, with actual numbers believed to be much higher.

So, using those numbers for planning, if we multiply 4,742 documented victims times a million dollars each, we get a net restitution amount of 4.742 billion dollars. Not much, considering the size of the US budget, but large enough to be considered more than just symbolic.

[sarcasm on]So, lets just have the Treasury cut a check in the amount of One Million US Dollars to the estate of (insert victims name here)(they are documented, aren't they). Then the fun begins. Let the family decide how to split the money. Taking my own family as an example of a not untypical Southern family, my grandfather, born in 1910, had five brothers. He himself had four sons, who had a total of fourteen grandchildren. If my grandfathers dad had been a lynching victim, then that million dollars might be split, oh, among fifty people. Your numbers may vary. If my grandfather had been lynched, then that million dollars would be split among his three surviving sons and the descendants of his one deceased son. Some families would find it much more complicated.[/sarcasm off]

[heavy sarcasm on]Oh, yeah, that is a great idea. The lawyers would go ape-shit crazy. The US government would get a healthy chunk of it if it were classed as income. Those recipients would be (no doubt) certifiably members of a victim class, because we had paid the blood money. However, if that happened we would owe them nothing else. Nothing. Ever again. [/heavy sarcasm off]

Ideas like this from the Donks. Amazing. Simply amazing.

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