White House adviser Cedric Richmond announced that they will begin to address reparations to African Americans and form a commission to study how the policies can be implemented and target efforts to help minority communities. During an interview on “Axios on HBO” Richmond discussed skipping Congress altogether in the process. That’s the democratic way – keep everyone dependent.
“We don’t want to wait on a study. We’re going to start acting now. We have to start breaking down systemic racism and barriers that have held people of color back and especially African Americans. [W]e have to do stuff now,” Richmond said.
During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden talked about supporting commissions to study for reparations and “break down barriers” in housing to ensure that African Americans can pass down wealth through homeownership.
A House panel heard testimony last month regarding ways to educate the American public of discriminatory government policies that affected former slaves and descendants. They suggested offering financial payments from the government to compensate descendants of slaves for years of unpaid labor by their ancestors.
The idea of reparations has been flagged as problematic for a variety of reasons. Conservative activist and author Melissa Tate tweeted that the best “reparations” you can offer minority communities is school choice. She accuses the left of pinning racial disparities on the “legacy of slavery” and said it couldn’t be further from the truth. She points to measures of success for African Americans before the ’60s and notes that it was Dem’s introduction of welfare that changed the trajectory. When the incentive to work is removed, mass laziness is prompted.
“The best “reparations” you can give blck people is school choice to get them out of the failing Dem run govt. schools that are graduating millions of black youth who can’t read or do math, setting them up for failure. Aka school to prison pipeline. Dems oppose school choice,” tweeted conservative activist and author Melissa Tate.
When asked about the potential panel in early February, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said President Biden is open to naming a group to study reparations. “He understands we don’t need a study to take action right now on systemic racism, so he wants to take actions within his own government in the meantime,” she adds.
Lawmakers have cited the difficulties in how recipients of reparations would be selected, how much would be doled out, who would foot the bill, and how much it would actually cost. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn previously said a debate about reparations would lead to a debate on eligibility and extensive family trees, noting that some white people could end up making claims to reparations as well.
How has this topic made its way back into the national spotlight amidst a pandemic and so many other pressing issues facing the Black community? Just another distraction.