Fred Reed Column on Black People Receiving Reparations for Slavery-Commentary!
Summary of eRumor:
A commentary attributed to Fred Reed about reparations for slavery and demands made by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the chairman of African-American studies at Harvard, and other black leaders has gone viral.
This commentary has been making the rounds for years, and “Fred Reed” appears to be a pen name that an unknown writer or writers uses to tackle controversial topics — mainly about race — without repercussions.
The commentary can be found at the website FredonEverything.org under the headline “Blacks and the Politics of Racial Extortion: Will It Work Forever?” But it’s been referred to in forwarded emails and on discussion boards as far back as 2009 as simply “Fred Reed on Black Reparations.”
The commentary begins with the setup that Henry Louis Gates, Jr., who it identifies as the chairman of African-American studies at Harvard, has demanded that “whites pay reparations to blacks” because of slavery. The commentary snipes that Fred Reed will make a deal on the subject — Reed will pay $1 million dollars for each slave that he’s personally owned.
As it turns out, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is not the chairman of the Department of African and African-Americans Studies at Harvard. Rather, Gates is as a professor and the director of the Hutchins Center for African and African-American Research at Harvard.
And we couldn’t find any examples of Gates directly advocating for reparations. But in an editorial that he published in the New York Times in 2010, Gates noted that African tribal leaders had helped facilitate “the business” of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and that most slaves were not kidnapped by outsiders, contrary to popular belief. Opponents of reparations have historically used Africa’s active participation in the slave trade to argue against reparations for centuries, but Gates wrote in 2010 that President Obama — the child of an African father and an American mother — could be uniqualy qualified to “untangle the knot.”
Again, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., didn’t directly advocate for reparations. He argued that President Obama was in a unique position to “bridge the reparations divide” in the reparations argument, and to place blame on “both sides of the Atlantic.”
But, aside from the substance of the Fred Reed commentary, most readers question whether or not Fred Reed is a real person. We can’t answer definitively, but Fred Reed appears to be a pen name.
The first clue is a picture on FredonEverything.org that shows a name plate reading, “Fred Reed: based on a real person.”
Second, the bio page lists various publications where Fred Reed has supposedly published his work — including The Washingtonian, Playboy, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, just to name a few. But Fred Reed’s byline doesn’t appear anywhere in those publications. That means the character is either entirely fictional, or a real writer uses the Fred Reed pseudonym to write controversial blog posts — like the one headlined “White Males: Are They Actually Gods” — while using his or her real name to publish commentaries in well-known publications.
Slavery Reparations ……….by Fred Reed!
On the Web I find that Henry Louis Gates Jr., the chairman of
Afro-American Studies at Harvard, is demanding that whites pay reparations
to blacks. It’s because of slavery, see. He is joined in this endeavor
by a gaggle of other professional blacks. I guess he’ll send me a bill, huh?
I feel like saying, “Let me get this straight, Hank. I’m slow. Be patient.
You want free money because of slavery, right? I don’t blame you.” I’d
like free money too. Tell you what. I believe in justice. I’ll give you
a million dollars for every slave I own, and another million for every
year you were a slave. Fair enough? But tell me, how many slaves do you suppose I have?
In round numbers, I mean … say to the nearest dozen. And how long were
you a slave?
Oh. In other words, I owe you reparations for something that I didn’t do
and didn’t happen to you. That makes sense. Like lug nuts on a birthday
Personally, I think you owe me reparations for things you didn’t do and
never happened to me. I’ve never been coated in Dutch chocolate and
thrown from the Eiffel Tower . I’ll bet you’ve never done it to anyone.
I want reparations. Kind of silly, isn’t it?
But if we’re going to talk about reparations, that’s a street that runs in
two directions. You want money from me for what some other whites did to
some other blacks in another century?
How about you guys paying whites reparations for current expenses caused
by blacks? Not long ago blacks burned down half of Los Angeles, a city
in my country. Cities are expensive, Hank. Build one sometime and you’ll
see what I mean. Whites had to pay taxes to repair Los Angeles for you. You can send me a check.
Now, yes, I know you burned LA because you didn’t like the verdict in the
trial of those police officers. Well, I didn’t like the verdict in the Simpson trial.
But I didn’t burn my house and loot Korean grocers, or burn down a city.
Over the years blacks have burned a lot of American cities: Newark,
Detroit, Watts, on and on. Now add in the fantastic cost over the years
of welfare in all its forms, the cost of all of those police calls people
had to make, for cells and jails and security systems in department stores.
I can’t live in the capital city of my own country because of crime
committed by blacks. Toss in the cultural cost of lowering standards in
everything for the benefit of blacks. See what I mean?
Now, I’d view things differently if you said to me, “Fred, blacks can’t
get anywhere in a modern country without education. We know that. We
need better schools, smarter teachers, harder courses, books with smaller
pictures and bigger words. Can you help us?”
I’d say, “Hallelujah! Hoo-ahh! Not just yes, but hell yes. Let’s sell an
aircraft carrier and get these folks some real schools and get them into
the economic main-stream.’ I’d say It partly because it would be the
right thing to do, and partly because I’d like to add you guys to the tax
The current custodial state is expensive. I’d just love for blacks to
study and learn to compete and stop burning places. But is it going to
You may not believe it, but I, and most whites, don’t like seeing blacks
as miserable and screwed up as they are.
I spend a fair amount of time in the projects. Those places are ugly.
It’s no fun watching perfectly good kids turn into semi-literate dope
dealers who barely speak English. It just plain ain’t right. But, Hank,
what am I supposed to do about it? I can’t do your children’s homework.
At some point, people have to do things for themselves, or they don’t get done. Maybe it’s time.
I’ll tell you what I see out in the world, Hank… I think blacks are too
accustomed to getting anything they want by just demanding it. True, it
has worked for over half a century. Get a few hundred people in the
street, implicitly threaten to loot and burn, holler about slavery, and
sadly the Great White Cash Spigot turns on.
Thing is, whites don’t much buy it any longer. Most recognize that what
once was a civil-rights movement has become a shakedown game. Few people still feel responsible for the failings and inadequacies of blacks.
Political correctness keeps the lid on — but everyone knows the score.. Which scares me, Hank.
On one hand, blacks hate whites and incline toward looting and burning.
(The whites you hate are the ones who marched in the civil-rights
movement. Ever think about that?)
On the other hand, whites quietly grow wearier and wearier of it. Not
On the third hand (allow me three hands, for rhetorical convenience),
blacks keep demanding things. As I write, you demand reparations for
slavery. Blacks in Oklahoma (I think it was) want money for some ancient
Other blacks reject the Declaration of Independence. Blacks in New York
hint broadly at burning and looting over a trial, yet more demand the
elimination of the Confederate flag, and the federal equal opportunity
apparatus, which means blacks want to sue Silicon Valley for not hiring
nonexistent black engineers. That’s a lot of demanding for one
What happens if whites ever say, “No”?
Now, how about you? You’ve got a cushy job up there at Harvard, and you
can hoot and holler about what swine and bandits whites are. I guess it’s
lots of fun, and you get a salary for it to boot. But don’t you think you
might do blacks more good if you told them to complain less and study more?
For example, if you want blacks to work in Silicon Gulch, the best
approach might be to find some really smart black guys, and get them to
study digital design ~ not Black Studies (as you teach). That’s how
everybody else does it. It works. Then blacks wouldn’t feel left out, and racial tensions would decline. Sound like a plan?
Just out of curiosity, how many hours a week do professors of
Afro-American Studies spend in the projects, encouraging poor black kids
to study real-life sho-nuf subjects?