I support reparations and here is why

"You may not have owned any slaves but a foundation of your wealth has been enslavement".

Julianne Malveaux

The hearing below is from more than 3 months ago. How long will African Americans need to wait for congress to take this up in earnest. I feel fury about the lack of attention and I can't even imagine the fury and fear and collective grief that people of color in this country must feel around this issue.

I support reparations and I believe people like Ta-Nehisi Coates and Julianne Malveaux have told us what needs be done in this moment of history. The fact that our congress will not consider HR40, a bill that would just study the impact of slavery and discrimination of African Americans, says a lot about the continued complicity of those who do not want to acknowledge what Ta-Nehisi calls "a collective enterprise," a "generational trust" and a "dilemma of inheritance."

White people stole people from another continent and enslaved them for 250 years. A state sponsored apology for slavery has never been offered. An apology would not begin to compensate for the tremendous losses that blacks experience and continue to experience at the hands first of white colonists and now, at the hands of white nationalists. Julianne Malveaux states that "economic terrorism" exists and was perpetuated by Jim Crow laws and people were actively prevented from generating wealth. Malveaux says, "You may not have owned any slaves but a foundation of your wealth has been enslavement." A more insidious system of discrimination continues where blacks are incarcerated in enormous numbers, land ownership and other pathways to survival and wealth are denied and massive inequity continues.

Coates says that enslavement shaped our economy and the use of torture, child trafficking and rape did not end in 1865 but reigned for 100 years. And now, descendants of slaves make up the majority of our prison population, blacks have only 1/10th of the wealth of whites and four times the number of black women die in childbirth than white women. We have models for making reparations and it is time to act on this massive, social injustice that can never be righted or fully repaired, but where some small piece of restoration can be initiated.


Diana Bray