Packie Posts

The Complicated Conversation About Reparations

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Marianne Williamson who has yet to qualify for the third debate wants up to $500 billion for reparations. 

At least two Democratic candidates (Beto O’Rourke and Marianne Williamson) have bought up the case of paying reparations to the descendants of slaves, and idea based upon the Lincoln promise of “40 acres and a mule” for former slaves. Considering that slavery helped fund a number of educational institutions such as Harvard and Yale, and that major corporations such as Lehman Brothers benefitted from slavery, the issue has never been more relevant. With the case of reparations being made with Ta-Nehisi Coates recent testimony at the House of Representatives on the issue, in a modern economic landscape where the disparity of wealth between African-Americans and whites continues to worsen, on average a white home has about 6.5 times the wealth of a black home.

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Kentucky Senator and Senate Majority Leader ancestors owned slaves. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has stated he opposes paying reparations for slavery, arguing “none of us currently living are responsible” for what he called America’s “original sin”. While Senator McConnell may have not been responsible for slavery he has benefited from it. His two great-great-grandfathers, James McConnell and Richard Daley, owned  14 slaves in Limestone County, Alabama — all but two of them female, according to the county “Slave Schedules” in the 1850 and 1860 censuses.

 

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Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke has spoken openly while campaigning about his own privilege — and about inequities facing people of color | Meg Kinnard/AP Photo

While the argument of Right Wing Commentators such as Larry Elder who says it’s  “taking money away from people that didn’t actually own slaves and giving it to people that aren’t slaves”. A fair but also narrow-minded assessment because it doesn’t take into consideration the generational wealth that was stolen. The fact remains that we can acknowledge that slavery was a historic injustice that occurred and that the black community is still suffering from the effects of this evil to this day. However, how the cost of this can be calculated or even who would receive these payments is a complicated issue, but reparations are owed!!

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