In regard to the colored people, there is always more that is benevolent, I perceive, than just, manifested towards us. What I ask for the negro is not benevolence, not pity, not sympathy, but simply justice. The American people have always been anxious to know what they shall do with us… I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm-eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! … And if the negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone! If you see him on his way to school, let him alone, don’t disturb him! If you see him going to the dinner table at a hotel, let him go! If you see him going to the ballot box, let him alone, don’t disturb him! If you see him going into a work-shop, just let him alone, — your interference is doing him positive injury.
January 26, 1865-Frederick Douglass
Preach it brother. The call for reparations is simply yet another attempt by the Democrat Party to profit politically from race hatred, a perennial campaign theme of Democrats. The colors have shifted, but the old siren song of stoking racial fears to win votes is the same. In its current incarnation the appeal to race implicitly argues that blacks are inherently doomed in a racist society unless government props them up. No Democrat member of the Klan, circa 1867, could have put it better.