Washington Post contributing columnist Gary Abernathy was plucked from obscurity as an editor of a newspaper in Hillsboro, Ohio, a rare one that endorsed Donald Trump in 2016. Abernathy also had some experience in writing about the nasty opioid epidemic in his area.
He has written some conservative pieces in the last few years, like proclaiming Fox News was right all along on Russian collusion. But Sunday’s Post carried a bizarre article titled “Why I support reparations — and all conservatives should.”
He claimed “it could be argued that the idea fits within the conservative philosophy. We’ll come back to that.” But when he came back to that, it was simply dismissive: “It is a tenet of conservatism that a level playing field is all we should guarantee. But that’s meaningless if one team starts with an unsurmountable lead before play even begins.”
It’s not accurate to say conservatives believe a “level playing field” of life should be “guaranteed.” It’s certainly racialist thinking to say the “white team” has an “unsurmountable lead” and so poor whites should pay reparations to Oprah and the Obamas.
In between these lame arguments, Abernathy touted a book called From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the 21st Century, which comes with a book blurb from radical Ibram X. Kendi: “Simply put: The best historical, conceptual, and empirical case for reparations for Black Americans.” He also quoted another radical reparations advocate, TransAfrica founder Randall Robinson.
Abernathy admits this idea is unpopular — only 1 in 5 backed it last year, especially with an estimated price tag of $10 trillion. Abernathy doesn’t seem to care, he just wants to proclaim that the idea is just:
The cost can be debated, along with the mechanics of a compensation package. But in the current drunken haze of government spending, appropriating trillions for the noble purpose of bringing Black Americans who remain economically penalized by the enslavement of their ancestors closer to the fiscal universe of White citizens surely seems less objectionable than some recent spending proposals.
Follow that? “In the current drunken haze of government spending, who’s going to miss another $10 trillion?”
Thanks to his status with the Post, he was picked up by the PBS NewsHour folks for convention analysis last year, and even subbed in the pseudoconservative David Brooks chair on a “Week in Politics” segment last November. This column sounds just like David Brooks — it carries the false pretense of conservatism as it affirms everything leftists would say on the subject in question.