Many Black Americans Remain Skeptical About Reparations And Its Political Viability

Written By BlabberBuzz | Monday, 29 January 2024 10:15 PM
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A recent report has revealed that progressive politicians are struggling to convince Black Americans about the political feasibility and potential realization of reparations within their lifetime.

This comes amid growing concerns from pro-reparation activists that the lack of sufficient support from the Black community could hinder the movement's political viability.

"We have been talking about [reparations] for years, people have been fighting for this for years," expressed Aziza Kamara-Amimi, a resident of California, during a Sunday service at San Francisco's Glide Memorial Church. "And still all we are doing is talking and talking, and I don’t see any real progress being made."

The Washington Post, in an article titled "Black Americans aren't enthusiastic about reparations yet," highlighted the concerns of activists who fear that the reparations movement could stall if Black residents, who constitute 6.5 percent of California's population, do not apply enough political pressure on state leaders.

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A poll conducted by the Washington Post-Ipsos last year revealed that while 75 percent of Black Americans supported compensation for the descendants of slaves, a mere 14 percent believed it would materialize in their lifetimes.

Trevor Smith, head of the Reparations Narrative Lab, told the Post, "If Black folks don’t believe that reparations are possible, then no other community, either other people of color or White people, will really get on board with this."

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As the presidential election in November approaches, some politicians, including Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., argue that reparations are a key issue. "There are people who support this and would be more politically engaged if this were a part of our political discourse," Bowman said, according to the Washington Post. "But it isn’t, so they’re staying home or some are even moving to the Republican Party because it feels like Democrats are taking Black voters for granted."

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Bowman is one of nine sponsors of H.R. 414, a measure introduced in 2023 that seeks to establish the U.S.'s "moral and legal obligation to provide reparations for the enslavement of Africans and its lasting harm on the lives of millions of Black people in the United States." The measure proposes a $14 trillion federal reparations program to support the descendants of enslaved Black people and people of African descent. Blacks constitute 12% of the U.S. population, according to U.S. Census figures.

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During the 2020 election, President Biden expressed his support for a study on reparations for Black Americans. However, he has since resisted calls from advocates to issue an executive order to establish one. "The President has supported Congress’ efforts to study reparations and the continued impacts of slavery," stated White House assistant press secretary Robyn Patterson.

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