RESTORATIVE JUSTICE MATTERS
Reparations Are the Only Way To Heal America’s Racial Divide
If there were any other way, we would have taken that route by now. Let’s unpack this
If America is serious about healing from its racial wounds, reparations are the only path forward. The average White family has 6.7 times the wealth compared with Black families. White Americans’ heightened sociopolitical status is not due to superior intellect, strength, or tenacity — this generational wealth was acquired through ill-gotten gains.
Through the institution of slavery, Jim Crow, and racist policies that followed, White families have amassed an enormous amount of wealth, and there is no realistic way for Black people to catch up, other than for Congress to pass HR 40- the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act. And, if a rising tide lifts all boats, then why stop the tide?
Black people have already done their part, building American homes and public buildings like the White House, all for free. In addition, the American economy, fueled initially by the cotton, rice, and sugar harvested by Black enslaved people, shows our nation owes a great debt to Black Americans. Yet, “the ratio of White family wealth to Black family wealth is higher today than at the start of the century.”
As much as folks would like to say things are getting better, statistics and the lived experiences of Black people show they’re not. If our Congress passes HR 40, we can get to the bottom of this racial wealth gap, to find out why it persists. While most modern-day Americans now realize slavery here was especially barbaric, most White Americans oppose reparations.
Imagine you’re on the way to pick up a birthday cake for your son, and all of a sudden, a car rams into you. The driver gets out, asks you if you are okay, and tells you that you are free to go. But, they offer no insurance information to follow up and no apology for ruining your car and almost taking your life. That’s how White people sound when they oppose reparations. If most of us can agree that a wrong was done, then why is it such a leap to offer recompense for the wrongdoing?