One day after their first meeting, U.S. Senate hopefuls Barack Obama and Alan Keyes were back on the campaign trail again Monday.
Speaking at a news conference at the Hotel InterContinental in Chicago, Republican Keyes added to his now familiar talking points his stance on slavery reparations.
Prompted by a reporter’s question, Keyes gave a brief tutorial on Roman history and said that in regard to reparations for slavery, the U.S. should do what the Romans did: “When a city had been devastated [in the Roman empire], for a certain length of time–a generation or two–they exempted the damaged city from taxation.”
Keyes proposed that for a generation or two, African-Americans of slave heritage should be exempted from federal taxes–federal because slavery “was an egregious failure on the part of the federal establishment.” In calling for the tax relief, Keyes appeared to be reaching out to capture the black vote, something that may prove difficult to do, particularly after his unwelcome reception at the Bud Billiken Day Parade Saturday.
The former ambassador said his plan would give African-Americans “a competitive edge in the labor market,” because those exempted would be cheaper to hire than federal tax-paying employees and would “compensate for all those years when your labor was being exploited.”
Uh, can somebody say “pandermonium”??