Thurgood Marshall on Reparations

Thurgood Marshall was an associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States from August 30, 1967 to October 1, 1991. He passed away on January 24, 1993.

Calls for reparations continue to be made by those who are four, five… even nine generations removed from the Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves in the United States of America. The Emancipation Proclamation was the presidential proclamation and executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on September 22, 1862, during the Civil War. On April 14, 1865, President Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth, a Southern sympathizer. Lincoln died early the next morning. Lincoln’s vice president, Andrew Johnson, was unharmed as his would-be assassin, George Atzerodt, lost his nerve, so he was immediately sworn in as president. General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia on April 9, 1865, at the McLean House, near Appomattox, Virginia. On May 9, 1865, President Johnson officially declared the end of the Civil War.

Fast forward to 2019:

Any financial benefits awarded to African Americans in compensation for historical discrimination would collide with well-established Supreme Court precedents.

That doctrine emerged out of two decades of affirmative-action cases, from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, during which a center-right court wrestled with how much “reverse discrimination” against whites to allow for the sake of correcting black America’s historical disadvantages.

The court’s answer: not much. Under the 14th Amendment, a race-conscious policy, state or federal, could be enacted only if it passed “strict scrutiny” — that is, if it was “narrowly tailored” to meet a “compelling” government interest, through the “least restrictive” means available.

“Diversity” in higher education was a compelling interest, the court ruled, and could be addressed through admissions programs that took race into account but provided all applicants individualized consideration. “In most contexts, though, the court required government to show that it was redressing harm clearly caused by a discriminatory policy, and that government had exhausted other remedies before trying race-conscious ones.

Under this standard, government contracting set-asides intended to support historically disadvantaged African American (or other minority) businesses, in preference to some white-owned ones, were unconstitutional, the court held, because, even in the former Confederate capital, Richmond, the location of a landmark 1989 case, it was too hard to prove that any given minority business suffered discrimination at the hands of the contracting agency.

Justice Thurgood Marshall protested. “A profound difference separates governmental actions that themselves are racist, and governmental actions that seek to remedy the effects of prior racism or to prevent neutral governmental activity from perpetuating the effects of such racism,” he wrote.

Lane, C. (August 12, 2019). Would reparations for slavery be Constitutional? The Washington Post. Retrieved from:

Then there’s the matter of how many times over must Whites Americans, European Americans, Hispanic Americans, Latino Americans, Asian Americans, Roma or Aboriginal/Indigenous Australian Americans Native Americans, Hispanic Mestizos, Creole, South African Americans, Belizean Americans, Puerto Ricans, Wesorts, Mulugeons, Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, Middle Easterners and the many other smaller categories pay reparations to just a single race/ethnicity of Americans before that single race/ethnicity of Americans are finally satisfied? Once? Twice? Thrice? Arguments like, “You ain’t paid me nothing yet!” are just flat out WRONG, as countless taxpayer-funded programs designed to help blacks, specifically, and most other minorities in general, have been used since 1865, and many of then continue to be used today?

Then there’s this:


I submit reparations have been paid not only in full, but many times over.

In conclusion, enough with the reparations bullshit. If you want to get ahead here in these United States of America, do what ALL Americanss had had to do in order to get ahead: BETTER YOURSELF.

Reparations beyond the immediately affected generation is THEFT, they’re a CRIMINAL ACT against your fellow Americans.


If you’d like to read Justice Marshall’s full opinion, you may find it, here:

Thurgood Marshall Dissent in Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co. (1989)