Democrats Propose $14 Trillion Price Tag for Black Descendants of Slaves, Sparks Controversy


Photo Illustration: Mark Harris of Yahoo News.Photo: Getty Images

Photo Illustration: Mark Harris of Yahoo News.Photo: Getty Images

what’s happening

States, cities and leaders across the country are calling for reparations to black Americans to compensate for the lasting harm of slavery.Just recently, Missouri Democrat Rep. Cori Bush said Congress would at least $14 trillion in reparations descendants of enslaved Africans.

President Bush said the bill’s trillions of dollars include the value of black-produced cotton and the shortfall in repayments since slavery.

President Bush: ‘We need to push this forward now’ told root. “It’s 2023 and the U.S. federal government has yet to acknowledge atrocities at the hands of this government.”

The figure is in line with estimates by Duke University public policy professor and economist William Darity Jr. who recently concluded Reparations for black Americans of enslaved ancestors could cost $13 trillion to $14 trillion.

President Bush acknowledged that it would be difficult to get the Republican-led Congress to accept or agree on reparations, but said, “We must continue the dialogue.”

In California earlier this month, a nine-member reparations task force approved a final report recommending monetary payments, policy reforms, and public apologies to California blacks.according to new york timesIf California Governor Gavin Newsom agrees to reparations, black Californians could receive nearly $1.2 million per person.

“The extent of the damage is terrible, it’s huge. It’s an astronomical number,” task force member and attorney Donald Tamaki told Yahoo News. “I think people have a certain idea about reparations. [are] Just check email. Yes, you will have to pay compensation. But this includes all other people modifying the systems and cultures that created this in the first place. “

At the federal level, House Resolution 40, a bill that establishes a commission to investigate and develop reparations, has been passed by dozens since it was first introduced in 1989 by the late Michigan Democrat Rep. John Conyers. It has remained deadlocked for years.

Last year, Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee called on President Biden to sign an executive order to create an HR40 committee.

“40 years in personnel is 38 years waiting for someone to say yes,” Lee said at a two-day compensation conference in Evanston, Illinois, last year. “I want the history of the African-American journey to be accepted as a reality in America.”

why the controversy arises

As the debate over reparations intensifies, public opinion still views the concept negatively.2021 Survey by Pew Research Center More than 60% of Americans are against paying back the descendants of enslaved people.a Another poll on reparations A survey by the University of Massachusetts Amherst and WCVB-TV found that 62% of Americans will oppose the idea of ​​reparations starting in 2021.

For many, compensation is a matter of concern and a risky proposition because it is monetary compensation. Some taxpayers argue that they don’t have to pay for their ancestors’ wrongdoings. Reparations may also raise equity issues as it is unclear how city and state level reparations will affect the rest of the country.

“In running reparations programs, when it comes to relying on individual states and municipalities to launch programs, everyone does things differently,” Darity told Yahoo News. “In fact, there will be municipalities and states that do nothing.”

Researchers are also unsure how reparations can be successfully enforced and who should or should not be included. Some critics argue that the pursuit of reparations could open floodgates for other marginalized groups to seek reparations.

But reparation advocates believe America has a duty to fix the harm of slavery that has caused generations of racist laws and practices that keep black Americans from prospering. .


California can’t afford reparations

“The Task Force on Reparations has already committed to reparations for nearly 80 percent of California’s 2.6 million black residents. Even if it were legal, the Task Force would achieve this goal. You can’t, but you really don’t.First, the math simply doesn’t work.Think: if every “eligible” black man in California was given $1,000 in reparations, California It will cost the state over $2 billion. But the compensation is by no means comparable to the astonishing claims made by race activists for reparations. $1,000 is a fraction of what black people have suffered in California,” says Horace Cooper, a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research. to Fox News.

Reparations for Blacks Won’t Correct the Wealth Gap

“Within two to three years, that wealth will be in the hands of white people, because our wealth-building system was designed for black wealth,” said Dorothy Brown, a Georgetown law professor. because it is not,” he said. to NPR.

Critics Suggest Other Solutions

“We must recognize the risk of sowing discord and dissatisfaction, opening a Pandora’s box of grievances that will never be fully addressed. We should focus on positive policies that promote equal opportunity and justice for all,” said political commentator and talk show host Armstrong Williams. journal.

“A smarter approach would be to invest in education, infrastructure and social programs that promote upward mobility and remove systemic barriers to success, rather than indulge in unwieldy and controversial reparations schemes. , we can build a more just and equitable future,” Williams added.

America has already paid the price for slavery

“The reparations for slavery were paid in full by the blood shed by the 110,100 Union soldiers who died and 275,174 were wounded on the battlefields of the Civil War. At that cost, slavery was abolished in this country. 158 years later, we need nothing more.” John A. Cleveland told the Wall Street Journal.

There is no one-size-fits-all compensation

“Our country is very late in addressing this issue. But seeking an agreed answer is like walking in quicksand. I think they believe that, while no one alive today is responsible for past sins, everyone has a responsibility to help correct past sins,” Andrew said. Professor Delbanco (American Studies) at Columbia University, told the Washington Post.

Today’s Racism Proves That Reparations Are Necessary

“I want them to stop acting like it’s too far-fetched, and it’s not happening right now. We understand that we are still having difficulties as a community. No, it’s not over for us,” nonprofit program director Pia Harris told The Associated Press.

A dollar amount is not enough

“Those who think the price is too high consider that the price that all those who call America home are still paying for these injustices is paying in the currency of shorter, sicker lives. It’s time to make a down payment for a healthier future,” Harvard University public health professor Mary Travis Bassett told Yahoo News..