The Movement for Black Lives, a coalition of Black liberation groups, released a platform specifying policy reform. Among their policies is a call for “reparations for past and continuing harms.” But on the other side, some suggest economic reforms are a better solution. Check out the perspectives below and vote!
The Movement for Black Lives is calling for reparations. Should the government pay reparations?
Ta-Nehisi Coates lays out the case for reparations.
He argues that reparations are not just about money, but about healing the American psyche. He says “reparations would mean a revolution of the American consciousness, a reconciling of our self-image as the great democratizer with the facts of our history.”
He goes on to point out that reparations have occurred at a large scale before. And they worked.
He then argues that a serious attempt at reparations would force America to take a long hard look at its past, where it is now, and what sort of future it wants to make.
Kevin D. Williamson at the National Review responds to Coates and concedes that deep reforms must happen, but reparations are not the answer to the legacy of racism in America.
He says that reparations are not the solution for the future because it undoes the notion of equality for the law. What needs to be done is to make sure that economic reforms happen and that they benefit Black communities. Slowly but surely, Americans will be equal.
At the Hoover Institute, Richard A. Epstein argues that the economic gains of slavery did not actually benefit America. The wealth America enjoys today comes from elsewhere.
Epstein then argues that reparations may not be the best or efficient course of action. Instead, other policies should be looked at to address America's past.