Every “What About…?” in the comments here represents a question that would be asked, and, with luck, answered by a commission to study the issue. People tend to post “What Abouts…?” as if the questions themselves invalidated the proposal to even study reparations, let alone attempt their implementation. But of course, they do not.

“What About…?” is almost without exception a cop-out, a magician’s “watch-this-hand” ruse to quell the conversation. The title to this essay is “What’s the Best Way to Give Reparations?”, not “Here’s the Best Way to Give Reparations”. It describes possibilities being discussed. The “What Abouts…?” would need to be part of the investigations into those possibilities.

But first, we would need to dedicate ourselves to the investigation, to the conversations, to the goal of finding the best way to give reparations. “What About…? is a deflection away from that goal.

“Heaven is a library of every book ever written, eternity to sit and read, and a bottomless cup of the best coffee.”

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