WASHINGTON – President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order today overturning the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, saying former President Abraham Lincoln’s action had been “hugely unfair” to Southern property owners.
“Free enterprise more important than political correctness!” Mr. Trump tweeted immediately after signing the executive order. “Beanpole Abe should know better! Sad!”
After Mr. Trump’s phone was gently prised from his hand by recently named Chief Operating Officer and Grand Vizier of the United States of America and All Its Dominions (Present and Future), Steve Bannon, the President read a prepared statement announcing the formation of a new Reparations Committee to “deal with the gross injustices arising from the abuse of federal power during the War for States’ Rights.”
Mr. Trump named Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Andersonville Sessions as chairman of the committee. Mr. Sessions, present at the signing, told reporters that the Justice Department will create a new Civil Rights Restoration Division, with a staff of more than 5,000, to “locate each and every descendant of those honest, law-abiding American citizens who had their property confiscated from them by an overweening government in Washington, and give them fair recompense for their tragic loss.”
The Trump Administration has set aside an initial $350 billion for the Reparations Fund although Mr. Sessions said the ultimate cost of the program could run as high as “a trillion or more” once estimates of the “projected post-war losses” are factored in.
“We’re talking about families whose property could have multiplied many times over, down through the generations, providing immense economic value — all of which was taken from them,” said Mr. Sessions, his voice shaking slightly with anger. “We will now right this injustice whose pernicious effects have festered for far too long in American society.”
When asked how the reparation program would be funded, Mr. Trump suddenly shouted, “Mexicans!” But after a whispered word from Vizier Bannon, the President deferred to Attorney General Sessions. “This guy, him, the guy standing over there, white hair guy, he knows all about it,” said the president.
Mr. Sessions said the program would be funded by a special surtax on Americans of African descent. The Reparations Fund will be “a model of fairness and diversity,” Mr. Sessions added, due to a “weighted” gradation of the surtax.
“We recognize — indeed, we celebrate — the fact that, in the words of the Negro spiritual often sung by that great conservative leader, Martin Luther King, ‘we have overcome’ the racial barriers that once unjustly separated Americans,” said Mr. Sessions. “We know there’s been a whole bunch of race-mixing going on out there in the woodpile over the years. We certainly don’t want anyone to pay more than their fair share, especially those who may have ancestors unrelated to property and its confiscation.”
Thus the amount of the surtax will be adjusted according to “the ratio of Negro blood to non-Negro blood” in the person’s genealogy, Mr. Sessions said. “If you’re half-black, then you’ll only pay half the surtax. If you’re a quarter black, then only a fourth, and so on down the line. It’s very fair, and it won’t pose an undue burden on anyone. Why, your octoroons probably won’t pay more than a few dollars a year!”
“That’s enough, General Beauregard,” the president said, rising. “Hannity’s coming on. I just want to say that I’m very proud to fix this historic wrong by Mr. Lincoln, a great man to be sure but something of a loser nonetheless, who couldn’t even finish out his second term. I know people say he was the tallest president, but believe me, I’m actually much taller, even when he had that big hat on, OK? I have many African-American friends, many many African-American friends, who are black, and I’m a great friend to all the blacks, and I know they will join me in welcoming this amazing program that will do great things and is getting more and more recognition, I notice. Thank you.”
(Written as a satire, but probably a prophecy....)