I was assisted in writing this post by a bottle of Chateau Mezain Bordeaux 2018. A fruity, full-bodied, medium-dry Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon blend. Slightly sweet back-end, high tannins, elderberry, strawberries. Plummy finish.
“Justice requires not only the ceasing and desisting of injustice but also requires either punishment or reparation for injuries and damages inflicted for prior wrongdoing. The essence of justice is the redistribution of gains earned through the perpetration of injustice. If restitution is not made and reparations not instituted to compensate for prior injustices, those injustices are in fact rewarded.
And the benefits such rewards conferred on the perpetrators of injustice will continue to ‘draw interest,’ to be reinvested, and to be passed on to their children, who will use their inherited advantages to continue to exploit the children of the victims of the injustices of their ancestors. Consequently, injustice and inequality will be maintained across the generations as will their deleterious social, economic, and political outcomes.”
Dr. Amos Wilson
This statement is my opinion regarding recent developments in the quest for reparations. And why the descendants of American Freedmen, as the directly affected group should be opposed to these new developments.
Equity Is Not Reparations
Bringing local equity and economic inclusion for tax paying Black American communities in terms of a fair share of contracts, school funding, city jobs and other necessities is admirable and legislatively correct. But those actions are not reparations and should not be labelled as such. Ever. Those actions are supposed to be designated as equity services that should be performed in the normal course of executing local and state government for all citizens.
Reparations are a separate and different issue. Reparations is named as such to address a unique injury done to a specific segment of citizens. Reparations for slavery, Jim Crow, redlining, and other subsequent injuries are crimes that should necessarily and effectively be federally addressed, and not mixed in with equity issues. Any indemnity for those injustices should be sought federally, not locally.
Federal Versus Local
The federal government should be the only intermediary between the people and any reparational compensation. Properly done, reparations should not and cannot be a state or municipal prerogative. We should be careful in not conflating local equity rights that are for everyone domiciled within a state, county, or municipality with reparations claims that should specifically be reserved for the American Black descendants of American chattel slavery, and specifically demanded at the federal level – no matter where those descendants are presently domiciled.
Both are important but are different. One is pulling the knife of immediate local neglect out of the back of any community so situated. The other is to heal nationally, a long-suffering chronic wound carried by the lineage of a specific Black American group. Reparations are the latter. Does everyone get that?
This is not to say that states and municipalities should not have an assistive role in reparations conversations and actions. They should. But when it comes to local and state participation, that participation should only be from the standpoint of accumulating and providing data regarding locally based companies and other entities, negatively impactive ordinances, and discriminating laws that are now and/or were previously on the books that were sustained and enforced.
Also, states and municipalities should be accumulating and providing information regarding religious organizations, educational entities, unions, associations, and other still existing – long-established institutions that directly participated in, and/or indirectly profited from slavery and post-slavery deprivative actions.
And that data should be provided to the federal entity(s) and organization(s) that are directly involved with researching, evaluating, and negotiating towards enacting and implementing a national reparations Act or Law. Why? Because only this federally-constructed American government has the singular power of equal policy establishment, uniform eligibility assurance, non-resistible extraction, and ubiquity of distribution on a national basis. The federal government is, and should only be, the one intersection responsible for organizing and distributing any and all reparational resources from corporate, institutional, city, county, and state entities. That responsibility being done through a resurrected, finely updated, and better organized “Freedmen’s Bureau” (as a Federal Agency) that mirrors and expands the functions of – let’s say a Federal Agency like the “Bureau Of Indian Affairs.”
There should not be a patchwork of different municipalities doing different things, in different places, with different eligibilities and different outcomes. With some people otherwise eligible for national reparations being excluded, and some people otherwise ineligible for national reparations being included. This is explicitly improper. And all of this confuses and will possibly mitigate the federal demand.
This practice is reparationally dangerous. The latest (as of this writing) “local reparations” attempt is the resolution: “Supporting Community Reparations for Black Asheville” (July 14, 2020). Specifically Asheville, North Carolina. This is classic NAARC (National African American Reparations Commission), N’COBRA (National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America), and FirstRepair of Evanston Illinois “local reparations” nonsense. Understand, all “local reparations” schemes are “false flag” operations. And I absolutely mean this “false flag” claim.
When you read the actual resolution, it starts off with accurately describing the historic injuries to Black people. Then it goes into an apology. Then it calls on folks to create policy and recommendations. Then a “study.” Then it calls on the creation of a commission. More “study.” Then it calls on a report to be created. OK. Then the more specific term “Black” devolves into the less specific – gray area term “minority.” Then an instruction is in there for a bi-annual update to the city council. Then it goes into the blackness of space with no conclusion or deadlines.
A total nothingburger with fries.
OH – and no money.
Reparations should be a clean, uniform, fair, and straightforward federal process. The word “reparations” in this instance should only apply to federal-level redress. Nothing else. Any collected data should never be used as a basis to enact mislabeled legislation that would result in local and state equity resources being expended under the label of “reparations.” Reparations is a FEDERAL issue, responsibility, action, and remedy. A total somethingburger with money.
Data Collection Examples:
LOCAL – The Chicago Slavery Era Disclosure Ordinance (2-92-585) 2002. This made it mandatory for all businesses with city contracts, not just insurance companies, to research and report any slave trade history with documentation to be filed with the city’s Department of Purchasing. Extensive data has been collected and archived.
STATE – The California Slavery Era Insurance Registry (SB2199) 2000. This Act requires insurers doing business with the State of California to disclose their records on slave policies. Data has been collected and archived.
The Use of Data and HR40 Modifications
All of the above-mentioned entities are gathering and archiving data that can properly be used at the federal level. This is something they should continue to do. The scope of data that those entities are collecting can always (and should) be expanded by legislative decree. American Freedmen experts in various disciplines can be consulted as to what specific data should be collected and researched. American Freedmen can also be consulted as to whom should do it – a reliable suggestion could be the research departments at various universities.
If we are sincere about reparations, let us do this properly.
The other thing that municipal, county, and state legislatures can do to help the federal process along is to pass resolutions and legislation to support and adhere to the Dr. William A. Darity Jr. edits to House Bill HR40. Those edits should include his 6 [six] reparations principles and 3 [three] goals, outlined in his testimony to the HR40 hearing held on June 19, 2019. If those edits are not added, I would suggest a trashing of HR40 and a restart from scratch with Dr. Darity at the head of the restart. An HR40 2.0? Let’s do that. Because it must be done.
Reparations Is Not Geographically or Chronologically Limited
Another aspect of reparations that is necessarily disconnected from “equity” issues is that without exception, applicable eligibility for reparations travels with the eligible parties generationally. That eligibility is possessed perpetually, and not limited geographically. Eligibility has no distinction between constituent or non-constituent, citizen or non-citizen. Are there provisions in these local initiatives that will repair or compensate those that lived in those areas previously but now live in other areas? Including foreign countries? This is not addressed (and won’t be).
Would those individuals be perpetually eligible to apply for “local reparations?”
If it can be proven that a resident was governmentally injured that once lived in a certain local area in let’s say the year 1877, would that deceased individual’s descendants that now live in other locations be eligible to apply for compensation? Or, are the “local reparations” scope of reparations “coverage” limited only to living individuals that are domiciled “right there, right now?” If that is so, then “local reparations” cannot be called “reparations” at all. Understand?
Actual justice claims have nothing to do with the current address of a directly injured or descended plaintiff. In a “Pure Reparations” situation, it would not matter if a descended plaintiff is “standing in the shoes” of a relative that was governmentally injured in the late 1800’s, and that descended plaintiff is now living, let’s say, in France as a naturalized citizen. That expatriated person would still be eligible for reparations if they can prove LINEAGE from American slavery. Provisions could also be made for descendants presently living in Canada and Mexico whose antecedents escaped slavery via the Underground Railroad. As long as they can prove LINEAGE from American slavery. Actually – not hard to do.
As an important aside, the CARICOM (“Caribbean Reparations Commission”) reparations policy does not have perpetual portability and “standing in the shoes” provisions for THEIR Caribbean expatriates descended from slavery that are presently domiciled in the United States and other parts of the world, nor does the CARICOM “10 Point Plan” allow for cash payments to eligible recipients. Nothing. Unfortunately, this is not how reparations is supposed to work. A Pure Reparations program should not be circumscribed by location, nor limited to living individuals. No “local reparations” initiatives that we know of have appropriate portability provisions or reasonable geographical extensions.
So what are they doing in Evanston? Really. What are they doing?
Can States, Counties, and Municipalities Have A Role?
Yes, states, counties, and municipalities can and should have a role in compensative justice. But in a different and more appropriate way. Those localities would have to do real and operational history with a practical and fully compensative end.
In addition to incidental and systemic data gathered that will be provided to the federal government, they [local governments] could establish serious commissions and proactively investigate locally-based specific incidents that were committed, witnessed, verified, and documented within their respective borders.
Incidents – such as this very short list of examples:
- The Tulsa Race Riot – Oklahoma (1921)
- The Rosewood Massacre – Florida (1923)
- The Ocoee Massacre – Florida (1920)
- The Wilmington Insurrection – North Carolina (1898)
- The Detroit Race Riot – Michigan (1863)
- The Atlanta Race Riot – Georgia (1906)
- The Springfield Race Riot – Illinois (1908)
- The Birmingham Riot – Alabama (1963)
- The Colfax Massacre – Louisiana (1873)
- Red Summer – 19 States (1919)
And those commissions should (this time) produce monetary compensation, set asides, and other special considerations to those directly injured victims or to their “standing in the shoes” American Freedmen descendants. These compensations should be regarded as locally based “settlements” addressing locally based historic incidents. With fair compensation directed to specific individuals and/or their Freedmen descendants. If disaggregated specificity is too complex or if detailed historic information is unavailable – a group case approach may be necessary.
An example of proper state level commissioning and compensation in this realm is North Carolina, which, in 2013, became the first state to pay reparations to specific descendants of American Freedmen victims of forced sterilization, soft genocide, and eugenics programs through a ten-million-dollar agreement. States, counties, and municipalities should do this. And more. But they should not have called these state-adjudicated and expended settlements “reparations.”
A strict discipline of language is necessary. These local and state level settlements that are sometimes mislabeled “reparations” are not intended to close any “racial wealth gaps” no matter how substantial or extensive those settlements may be. Any American Freedmen recipients of such settlements will and should be fully eligible for federal reparations, with no contentions, modifications, or mitigations.
Special Equity Initiatives And The “Separate File”
If states, counties, and municipalities are sincere about materially atoning for historical local injustices towards Freedmen Americans, they may start by not labeling any special initiatives or proffered policies for them as “reparations.” If I may suggest the term: “Special Equity Initiative(s)” or “SEI(s)”. I believe that would be an improved labeling of such actions. These SEI’s if structured properly, would be immovably specific in practice, precisely worded in particulars, documentation, and law, and their provisions and benefits should never be expanded, modified, or overlapped to include other groups in perpetuity. If you’re sincere. Are you?
SEI’s would be, and would remain in a “Separate File” so to speak.
Terms that should never be used in crafting these initiatives would include: Black, African-Americans, Minorities, and People Of Color. And the newest inclusivity to nothingness term that should not be used is: “BIPOC” or “Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color.” Don’t use those terms. Nothing but lazy Caucasianese. Terms like: American Descendants Of Slavery, Native Black Americans, American Freedmen, Descendants Of American Chattel Slavery, Descendants Of American Freedmen, and Foundational Black Americans, should be used. All those would be descriptionally satisfactory.
That kind of specificity would be needed and acceptable in these actions. That kind of “separate file” specificity would also make it clear what kind of Black person (native or immigrant) would be eligible for SEI benefits. Real important. These are potential benefits that should only go to Black people that have a lineage rooted in slavery and the deprivative historic injustices as practiced in the United States. Not as practiced in Africa. Not as practiced in the Caribbean. Do you understand?
Do You Want That?
Certain legislators will use “local reparations” labeling to hide their legislative and advocacy shortfalls in accomplishing “equity” (which is what they were elected to do) for their constituents. Smokescreening their incompetence. This is unfortunate, for both short and long-term reasons. “Local reparations” can also be used as a self-serving “grant grab” for certain long-standing reparations advocacy organizations (specifically NAARC and N’COBRA) to provide an “advisory role” to those same legislators crafting these counterfeit and ultimately counter-productive initiatives.
Those organizations only provide dead-end guidance based on self-serving research to sincere seekers. They have been doing this “advisory role” stuff for years and have not accomplished one dime of reparations. The reason why they have not accomplished anything is partly a result of conflation in the minds of the public. With that same public being taken in by “Pan-African” visuals. You know – pseudo-African clothing, quasi-religious rituals, communications sprinkled with choice words from various African languages, pouring libations, flying-in African scholars to talk dumb-stuff at their events, drum beating, and other nonsense.
I call it “daishiki-stagecraft.”
They present a veneer of “knowing,” with many officials in those organizations holding and flaunting Master’s Degrees, Juris Doctors, and Ph.D’s. So that the Black public does not feel inclined to question, challenge, or investigate. Because “they know” what they are doing. They don’t. They use the word “international” a lot. But what they present is all deceptive political marketing. Done with the historic reparations figures of Queen Mother Audley Moore and Callie House cynically being used as props in their mis-informational presentations. This being done in total disrespect of, and divergence from, what these figures actually advocated. People – understand that long-term advocacy for reparations cannot rightly be equivalenced to an expert ability to formulate a proper reparations program.
Never. Don’t fall for it.
Those organizations have had a major influence in shaping HR40 into the version that we have now. Understand. It is because of the lack of legal, econometric, and legislative expertise within those organizations that further edits, and further edits, and further edits, are needed to make HR40 reasonably operational (“Operational” meaning HR40 once passed – being beneficial in substance and tangibles for the descendants of American Freedmen). Unfortunately, despite recent modifications, positive operationality of HR40 has not occurred as of yet.
Their lack of expertise also shows in the fact that the Evanston “reparations” eligibility standard is partly attached to one’s credit rating or ability to acquire a loan. Thus – making the true beneficiaries of that program the banks that originally redlined our folks in the first place. Right? Actual reparations should enable you to monetarily separate yourself from your original abuser. In this case – the redlining white banks. This program substantially and mercilessly puts you and yours right back in the hands of the enemy. True reparations have nothing to do with credit, mortgages, or home purchases as a component, pre-existing property ownership requirements, any intent to improve property, nor any relationship with a bank. Anything that is associated with anything you have to pay back is not reparations.
These organizations are dangerous to an actual American Freedmen reparations claim. Because right now, they have the long-standing proximity, familiarity, and influence in the United States Congress and local governments that the descendants of American Freedmen do not have at this time. And the politicians they do deal with – like Congresspeople Sheila Jackson-Lee, Jerrold Nadler, and Steve Cohen are there to make sure that reparations does not happen. Especially Nadler and Cohen (their function is to do NAACP style “nigger management”). Or if it does happen, Jackson-Lee is there to make sure that it is finessed into a “Flat Black” benefit – with Caribbeans and Africans getting the lion’s share. This provisioned through the NAARC created “National Reparations Trust Authority.” This we must change.
We must make and cultivate those political connections.
But even with that. Understand that those same organizations have no real understanding of how a reparations program should be legislatively or legally structured, articulated or accomplished. That is obvious. Or, if they do understand (a strong criminal possibility), then we can only look at HR40 as a bold grifter set-up. With NAARC and N’COBRA using the reparations issue overall and HR40 specifically as a means to cynically accomplish a substantial bag for themselves at our deep and historic descendant of slavery expense. Leaving the grossly injustified thirty-six to forty millions of us behind and wondering what happened. Throw in some ancestor worship, some libation pouring, and they will prove to be an embarrassment by political association in the long run. Do you want that?
The People Shall Not Be Hustled
Understand, property tax reductions are not reparations; filling potholes in low-income areas is not reparations; shifting certain tax revenues to melinated Black but undifferentiated people that live in certain impoverished areas is not reparations. These are things that should be done as matters of equity, the normal course of doing city and state business. But they are not reparations. Many legislators are legally and/or politically trained. They should know and do better. Our presently seated (as of this writing) Black Caucus representatives at local, state, and federal levels everywhere are quite busy with DACA, Asian, and Latinx issues.
They may not have the time.
Caribbeans – N’COBRA – and Evanston
If one dime of local resources under the label of “reparations” goes into the pockets of anyone that is not descended from American chattel slavery – understand, that is not reparations. Reparations for what? Can we explain theft? Evanston Illinois is potentially putting “Local Reparations” resources into the undifferentiated pockets of Caribbean and African immigrants that are domiciled in that city. That’s theft.
The Alderman that sponsored this counterfeit initiative, Robin Rue Simmons confirmed this at an interview done at a Chicago based radio show (WVON 1690) on January 5, 2020. While sitting on the same show with Kamm Howard, a leader (as of this writing) of the Pan-African organization known as N’COBRA that assisted her in crafting this very, very bad initiative.
Afterwards, this was published in the January 11, 2020 online edition of the “Evanston RoundTable” newspaper:
“Alderman Rue Simmons opened the discussion saying that when people think of reparations they often think of reparations for slavery, and think of HR40, a U.S. House of Representatives resolution to form a commission to study reparations for Black people in the United States.
‘In our case, we have a local reparations here in Evanston,’ Alderman Rue Simmons said. In Evanston, she said, her goal and that of many of her colleagues is to focus on ‘the impact of redlining and how that impacted our community.’
She said she had heard from some people that Caribbeans should not get reparations. ‘That’s not where we’re at here, in my opinion. In my opinion, we have to agree on this as a Council. This is a local reparations that is based on damages that were specifically done in Evanston. This is not to compete with or replace HR40. This is specific to Evanston, and we have a rich and extensive Caribbean community here in Evanston, and I have no intention of trying to exclude that community.
‘We have to define that as a community. This is not a slavery reparations. There is much overlap because our discrimination is rooted in slavery because of the color of our skin. It dictates some of the discrimination that we have received, and it dictates the redlining and those damages for reparations in Evanston.
That’s something we need to discuss more …”
And in the June 16, 2020 edition of the same publication. This was published:
“She [Alderman Rue Simmons] added she has heard talk about excluding Black people who have a Caribbean heritage from reparations in Evanston. She said, ‘Those families have had the same negative impact that African Americans have had. There’s no intention of excluding any Black person from our programming based specifically on where their ancestry has come from. We all have come from the continent of Africa. We all have ancestors that were kidnapped and enslaved… We’re not going to be differentiating between Black people in Evanston.’
Alderman Braithwaite (who happens to be of Jamaican lineage) agreed that Black people will not be differentiated based on heritage. ‘We are all one.”
There it is folks. Alderman Rue Simmons and her dismissive statements.
In true Caribbean style: “It don’t matter what you people think – I’m TAKING this!” And without a machete! That’s a Bad Sister. Could any Foundational Black American go to any Caribbean country and hustle resources from THEM in this manner? I don’t think so. I wonder if she asked Sir Hilary Beckles whom is the vice-chancellor of the University of the West Indies and chairman of the CARICOM Reparations Committee when he visited Evanston: “Would there be any kind of reciprocity coming from CARICOM for American Freedmen since we are covering Caribbean expatriates with American reparations resources here?”
No? – OK…
Because of the lack of specificity in eligibility in Evanston, even a glimmer of something called “reparations” will FIRST be going into the households of otherwise ineligible citizens that are not American descendants of slavery. Yes. Caribbean and African immigrants “reparated” ahead of Freedmen, under the undifferentiating umbrella designation(s) “Black” and/or “African-American.” This is NAARC and N’COBRA certified grifter stuff folks.
The Caribbeans have no respect for American Freedmen or their separate and distinct history. Should I rethink my position on Black immigration? I think I should. I’m not liking the way our Diasporan “Brothers and Sisters” are trying to screw over us. It is baffling and disappointing to observe the kind of cold disregard and cynical contempt that The NAARC/N’COBRA Axis practice towards Foundational American Black people as well. Those organizations don’t seem to understand that there is a connection between correct responsibility and proper outcomes.
The Caribbeans in Evanston are dishonestly basing their eligibility for reparations on their ability to blend into a rich and unique American Freedmen history that they were not here to make, receive, suffer through, or change. Period. They are able to commit reparational theft under the undifferentially deceptive racial cover of “Black” and “African American” identity ahead of us. A conversion of history.
This false marketing is being done in the same way that American descendants of slavery are always placed last in line to receive rightful benefits whenever those benefits are flagrantly mis-distributed to others under the “minority” or “people of color” or “disadvantaged community” or “inner city” categories. Same thing. With that, Alderman Rue Simmons can dictatorially say to us Foundational Black Americans in so many confident and magnanimous words: “We all came from Africa – we all this – we all that – we all here – and to hell with you Niggers.” And of course – the “Niggers” she is referring to are the descendants of American Freedmen.
NAARC and N’COBRA have “collectivised” us without our permission.
Just so you may be clear: Under “Minority” – the hierarchy goes:
- White Women
- Native Americans
- Latinx’s (citizens and illegal non-citizens)
- Black Immigrants (new arrivals and citizen-generationals)
- Foundational Black Americans. Last.
Under “Black” and “African American” – the hierarchy goes:
- Caribbean Immigrants (and citizen-generationals)
- African Immigrants (and citizen-generationals)
- Foundational Black Americans. Last again.
Foundational Black Americans should always insist that their political affairs be dealt with and contained within a “separate file.” Just like Holocaust victims and their descendants, and Native Americans are. Everybody stays on subject. No more “Black AND Brown” conjuntioning of our issues. A “Separate File” understanding operationally stops any confusion or “gray areas” when it comes to our Pure Reparations. That way, nobody can be in the room but us. No Caribbeans. No Africans. No Pan African hustlers of ambiguous provenance playing games.
Caribbeans should not get nor have say over American reparations.
Period And Out.
Understand Family, there are no “local reparations.” This newly created label is an N’COBRA created grant hustle. A hustle for politicians to get out of doing the daily equity and resource delivery work that they should be doing. A hustle for certain Pan-African organizations to grab grant money through sham non-profits and newly created consultancies (like Robin Rue Simmons’ FirstRepair and Kamm Howard’s Reparations United) for doing zero-sum research and providing bad advice. Advice which takes a Pure Reparations argument off-track.
A hustle by Caribbean immigrants in concert with legislators and certain Pan African organizations, specifically NAARC and N’COBRA, to accomplish the redirection of resources that should be for the descendants of American Freedmen over to Caribbeans that live here, the CARICOM organization in the Caribbean, and as many undifferentiated African pockets as possible. A hustle by certain political candidates for campaign strategy purposes, dangerously using the reparations issue as a political plaything. A hustle by closeted reparations opponents for expedient political window-dressing. A hustle for strategic white liberals to systematically kill or mitigate the National demand by a thousand cuts.
We see you.
Actual reparations are not income-based, net worth-based, where-you-live-based, who-you-know-based, phenotype-based, DNA-based, or color-based. It is lineage-based only. It is a debt due to a specific ethnic group. The descendants of American Freedmen in this case. To cite an extreme but valid case: Oprah’s lineage is Foundational Black American. Oprah Winfrey is eligible to apply and collect on this American Freedmen reparations claim. So is Michael Jordan. So is Magic Johnson. So is your rich Black brother-in-law. It is a debt, primarily payable in cash. Not innovatively converted into “other forms.” Cash “directly into my hands” is the universal language of America. I don’t understand “other forms” talk. Take that to someone else. Again – not a poverty or relief program. A Debt.
And a Pure Reparations program in fact is not minimizable to city or state resource and governance issues.
Any resources expended under a “reparations” heading should not and cannot be for “everybody,” especially those groups that clearly would not be eligible under a federal claim – like American citizens of Caribbean lineage. How does any “local reparations” end up funding scholarships or programs for Jamaican immigrants? How is this? While conversely, Foundational Black Americans are rightly locked out of the CARICOM reparations claim at all levels. Repeat – AT ALL CLAIMABLE LEVELS. Understand? And we should be, for both legal and logistical reasons.
We Should Have Clarity and Appropriateness Regarding Reparations
To label distribution and equity activities that should be done on the local level as “reparations” is conflicting messaging. “Local Reparations” can be used as a form of nullification through the strategic interposition of lesser initiatives, which, if these initiatives spread nationally, will potentially undermine and/or eliminate the greater national reparations case. Do you understand? Local and state legislators may or may not be aware of this. Or may or may not care. Maybe?
But this is the danger again, this “local reparations” can technically be used as a political tool to destroy the possibility of reparations being expended at the federal level by reparations opponents. One possibility is that the federal government could reduce this federal demand to a “state’s rights” issue (don’t think they can’t). Some local and state monies necessarily and substantially come directly from the federal government. And that federal money – no matter where it goes, who gets it, or how it is used, is always differentiated as “federal money.”
Understand – if even a dollar of that federal money is designated, directed and expended under any “local reparations” labeling – city by city, state by state, everything in terms of potential resource extraction would be reset downward, step by step. Just to illustrate: Every potential thousand dollars in justified recompense from the federal government could potentially be reduced to one dollar. Because federal reparations resources would be already spent at the state and local level. Just to use a hypothetical. This is important: The language we use and the reparational structures we create whether local or federal – are critical.
To reiterate: That reset means that if a bunch of cities and states decide to do this, the ultimate federal reparations liability will over time be severely reduced or possibly nullified. Yes – Zero. Because that federal money would have already been accepted, designated, agreed upon, expended, and spent through and in states and municipalities as reparations. When it is time to talk in reparational substance and finality and the correct money at the apex – the Capitol Hill level – Finally:
The federal government can Simply Say:
“We already paid you reparations, go away.”
For American Freedmen: The time for “getting what we can get” is over.
This “local reparations” is something that we cannot allow to happen as serious advocates for reparations. Let us all as sincere supporters of reparations work together to encourage and accomplish legislation that ensures local and state level equity for all Black communities, while at the same time, vocally supporting workable federal reparations legislation from local and state podiums.
I think American Freedmen should substantively help this along by encouraging our close representatives to enact operational municipal and state legislation that will informatively support the federal case for reparations, like doing research on past and present deprivative practices done locally and gathering data for upload to the federal level. Also, by creating local and state legislation actively supporting a properly drafted or restarted HR40, that will assist in accomplishing reparations exclusively for every surviving descendant of American chattel slavery, residing in every locality nationwide AND elsewhere.
These local reparations initiatives must stop, RIGHT NOW.
OK. This is an interesting quote from Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee given to the July 27, 2020 edition of Yahoo News:
“I am very pleased and thank them for their affirmation, but the country doesn’t run by local cities’ jurisdictions… It’s run by the federal government.” Yahoo News said: “She is one of many advocates who argue that local efforts in cities and states do not amount to the restitution needed for real reparation.”
What does Kamm Howard and Dr. Ron Daniels think of this?