So the Southern Baptist Convention, trying desperately to get liberal approval, votes an apology for slavery. I wasn't surprised at this pointless grovel. I have watched "Christian" conservatives for decades, and their bumbling desperation for liberal approval on race issues is old news.

But then LIBERALS started pushing for a national apology to blacks for slavery, and I figured there was something more than a token involved.

As I pointed out in ONLY THE RIGHT ACCEPTS WOODEN NICKELS, August 12, 2000, liberals, unlike respectable conservatives, don't accept token gestures for their clients. If you want Mexican votes, you give American jobs to Mexicans. If you want black votes, you have to give jobs and school openings to them that would have gone to more qualified whites.

Now that respectables have begun groveling over slavery, liberals are out, as always, to turn that token grovel into something solid. They want real money reparations for slavery, and lots of it.

This is not a new issue, but they are serious now. Respectable conservatives are piling up apologies and grovels that can be used as evidence. We're talking lots of hundreds of billions of dollars, and however unlikely it may seem to you that they'll get it, never underestimate the liberals' ability to kick around the conservative wimps who speak for us.

Before you start beating your chest over how we won't pay, remember when race quotas were unacceptable? I remember the 1960s, when they were considered impossible. You just saw a Republican Convention's highlight speaker demand that we not only allow them, but that Republicans take a lead in enforcing them.

Anything the left wants is just a matter of time to respectable conservatives. When reparations come, it will be "Christian" conservatives who shout about how they will kill anybody who objects, just as today's "Christian" conservatives try to outshout liberals about how anyone who ever criticized Martin Luther King is anaziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

This "reparations" business is so old that in the mid-60s when I was professoring economics, I would address it. I put on the blackboard the argument liberals use (and conservatives will not challenge) to justify black reparations. I would write up the per capital income of blacks in America and the per capita income of whites in America. The difference, say liberals, is owed to black people.

So I put up the per capita income in a few representative black countries in Africa. Then I put up the average black income in the United States. I then asked whether BLACKS owed WHITES that difference. After all, as a direct result of their being slaves, blacks have had an income several times that of black Africans for generations.

According to the only serious econometric studies of the subject in "Time On the Cross," African slaves in America netted much higher incomes than many Europeans in their day, much less the so-called "free" black Africans of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

Respectable conservatives protect liberals from that kind of argument.

The movie "Roots" begins with Kunte Kinte, a free African black man, being captured by white men.

ACTUALLY, THERE IS NO RECORD IN ALL HISTORY OF ANY WHITE MAN EVER ENSLAVING A BLACK MAN. Like all nonwhite societies, black Africa had plenty of slaves. There is no record of any black African refusing to sell another black African to a white man. They were cheap, so it made as little sense for a white man to capture a black slave himself as it would make for you to grow and refine your own sugar.

But the left has a way to prevent all such arguments. Everything that the most alarmist segregationists said would happen with racial integration has happened with racial integration. Liberals deal with this by simply not allowing anyone to mention the facts. If anyone brings them up, they simply sic the "religious conservatives" on them. These fake Christians shriek their loyalty to Saint ML King, and look back to the libs for approval, the way a dog looks to his master.

I think the left will get its reparations, because, the left doesn't give up, while the right caves in predictably and completely (See October 24, 1998 - LIBERAL SPORES). And remember, when they get that for the blacks, they will get something - - probably a totally open United States border, for Mexicans.

All at our expense, of course.

At the Republican Convention, Colin Powell got up and demanded that the Party back racial quotas to favor his race. With their worship of uniforms and their endless, goofy pursuit of "the Negro vote," respectable conservatives got up and cheered. Obviously, now that racial quotas are secured, it is time to go for more.

"According to one fairly typical source, the present claim for reparations would be around one trillion dollars, if interest is not included."

If liberals get serious in their push for reparations, they can get plenty of money from whites. They need to keep up the drumbeat for hundreds of billion in guilt payments from whites to blacks, and to collect more and more conservative grovels for the record like that of the Baptist Convention. Before long, as always, conservatives will be desperate to compromise.

And soon conservatives will begin to shout down anyone who dares to question reparations.

With blacks demanding more, it will be time for other minorities to get more.

And remember, Bush thinks he can outbid even liberals for the minority vote.