Dave Paxton

It’s like when one of the 20 Democrat candidates for President offer something really stupid to the national discussion, there is a pile on. The latest completely ditsy idea being brought forward by any number of socialists is a very tired platform plank called “reparations.”

Over the course of my lifetime, reparations have been brought forward for several different special interest groups, most notably African Americans (actually all black people) and Native Americans. At some level, Native Americans (indigenous populations...Indians) have been served because we gave them the right to set up casinos. They are essentially robbing stupid white (and black and Hispanic and Asian) people blind.

The U.S. government defeated the American Indian in dozens of battles, encouraged people to settle on their native lands (as happens to defeated peoples) and now the remnant tribes are gaining a whole lot of that wealth back via the blackjack table. What’s fair is fair. God bless America.

But it is reparations for the sin of slavery that is being attempted by the socialists of the Democrat Party to cause further division in this country. However, there are some problems, at least for anyone with a brain. First of all, not all black people in the United States are descendants of slaves. In fact, there is a growing black population of Somalis, Ethiopians and Congelese among others who have come only recently to the United States as political refugees.

Here is another problem. My wife and I have been married almost 44 years. Ours is a mixed marriage in terms of reparations. Her family came from the land of Dixie (her dad a native of St. Louis, her mother from near Columbia, Mo. My family is strictly from the north, the Paxtons, Newells and Williams clans sending sons into the Civil War to free the slaves and save the Union. Added to that, part of my blood line comes from Czechoslovakia around the turn of the last century. My great-grandfather was a notorious draft dodger (escaping Prussian conscription by whacking a guy over the head) and my great-uncles went back to Europe to fight in WWI. My dad and his first cousin (half Czech and half English) fought in WWII, one in the South Pacific, the other in France.

The point is, which part of my immediate family owes reparations? My wife, the southerner whose kin were connected to the Confederacy (although no one we know of owned slaves) or me, a white person whose family had a half dozen sons fighting for the union in the effort to cleanse our country of slavery.

Frankly, since my Paxton kin came to the New World as indentured servants, I don’t feel a bit responsibile for any part of slavery and would be highly offended if my tax dollars went to pay reparations.

There is yet another problem with reparations. As the civil rights movement has advanced and the racial divide in many places softened, there are all sorts of mixing of the races. I can guarantee you that black Americans, great-great-great-grandsons and granddaughters of slaves, have married white southerners, sons and daughters of the Confederacy.

And if we’re taxing to pay for reparations, where does this leave Asian Americans (Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Laotian, Chinese) who have no dog in this fight? What about Hispanic Americans (Cubans, Mexicans, Guatamalans and the like)?

Reparations as a campaign theme only works if the Democrat candidate believes in his or her heart that the people who they are hoping to have vote for them are stupid. It is a cynical and sinister way of looking at the future of America and a completely illiterate way of looking at America’s past.

Basketball has been a big part of our lives as a family, dating back to the 1940s when my dad played on a state tournament team. I got to play a ton of pick-up basketball throughout college and into my 30s and my middle daughter was a prolific high school and collegiate three-point shooter. Watching junior high, high school and college basketball is a wonderful part of our lives and as much as the men’s collegiate game, March Madness and all the rest is fabulous, it is the women’s tournament that really caused a TV addiction this year.

I wasn’t really pulling for any team in particular after Iowa bowed out, but when Baylor lost its All-American Lauren Cox to what was an obvious ACL injury, the Bears became my favorite. When the TV cameras panned into the crowd and showed her mother in tears and her dad with his head buried in his hands, I immediately connected, thinking back to the second to the last game of my daughter’s freshman season at Central College when she tore her ACL.

I always thought the Baylor coach was sort of a cross between a lady bartender and an aging women’s professional wrestler, but she completely won me over post victory, holding her granddaughter, talking about her wounded star. She may be an audacious dresser, a frowning taskmaster and a crazy woman in the coaching box, but you could absolutely tell she loved her family and her team.

Virginia vs Texas Tech. It was a great game right up until I fell asleep halfway through the overtime.

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