The Case for Research

Ta-Nehisi Coates made a very convincing case for reparations in his 2014 article for the Atlantic, but his only policy suggestion was support for HR 40, sponsored by John Conyers Jr. to appoint a commission to examine slavery and our systemic racism and recommend remedies.

But The Case For Reparations also argues for a more personal examination, a participatory reckoning:

What I’m talking about is more than recompense for past injustices—more than a handout, a payoff, hush money, or a reluctant bribe. What I’m talking about is a national reckoning that would lead to spiritual renewal. Reparations would mean the end of scarfing hot dogs on the Fourth of July while denying the facts of our heritage. Reparations would mean the end of yelling “patriotism” while waving a Confederate flag. 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.

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