The Corner


New England Journal of Medicine Pushes Reparations

Reparations would grant African Americans government benefits not paid to other Americans to rectify the awful sin of slavery and the “peculiar institution’s” residual harm. It is a favored policy of hard progressives, so of course, the New England Journal of Medicine — which regularly promotes left-wing causes in its “Perspectives” sectionhas published an article pushing the radical agenda as a supposed corrective to the disparate health outcomes between those “born Black or White” (capital letters in the text).

The authors make the obvious point that greater prosperity can help promote a healthier life. To improve health, African Americans should receive reparations. From, “Reparations as a Public Health Priority–a Strategy for Ending Black-White Health Disparities,” co-authored by Harvard-affiliated MD bioethicists:

The radical implication of this link is that what really needs fixing is access to resources. We suggest that one means for fixing it is Black reparations for slavery. Reparations would target the underlying causes of Black–White health gaps. Efforts to provide better health care, to provide more medicine, and to tackle the greater disease burden in a population that lacks access to essential resources for health are bound to fall short — they may be necessary, but they will never be sufficient.

To these wokesters, there are only apparently two races. How un-American.

The authors posit three ways in which reparations would be a corrective for disparate health outcomes:

First, they would go some way toward expanding the extremely limited resources available to many Black Americans. Insofar as the relationship between resources and health is inarguable, there is no way to close a health gap without also addressing a resource gap. In the short term, reparations would give many Black Americans the means to obtain health-producing resources such as better neighborhoods, better schools, and access to cleaner air.

Cleaner air?

Second, reparations would help reduce the stress felt by many Black Americans, which is undoubtedly associated with poor health…

Third, we would expect the ultimate effect of Black reparations to be intergenerational. Health is produced over the life course and across generations, and any effort in the present to level the wealth playing field could reset the potential wealth and assets — and consequent health — of future generations. Thus, any reparations provided today would be an investment in the future and in reducing disparities that have been intractable for generations.

The authors want payments made to African Americans that others in society would not receive:

Black reparations could be implemented in various ways, ranging from cash transfers to the creation of investment vehicles, and we need research to elucidate the most effective forms. It seems likely that no single approach will be sufficient to counterbalance the centuries-long deprivation that continues to harm the health of Black Americans today. But at the core, reparations would be an acknowledgment of the harms of slavery, a restitution of resources that have long been denied to people affected by slavery over generations, and would bring some closure to profound injustices that the country has long shamefully neglected.

Sounds like they would never end, doesn’t it?

We are told this is a time to unify.  We are told now is the time for embracing diversity. But progressives are into sowing greater division. Indeed, I can think of no public policy that will as thoroughly rend the social fabric of this country as imposing reparations.

The NEJM has gone off the left-wing cliff.