Details elusive as cities, states embrace explosive idea of reparations for Blacks

But supporters of the idea have not reached a consensus about how reparations would work.


Democratic presidential candidate and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during an American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees public service forum in Las Vegas, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)

- THE WASHINGTON TIMES - Apr 7, 2021 - Kery Murakami

Several cities and states, including some jurisdictions with White majorities, are backing the explosive idea of giving Blacks reparations in recognition of slavery and racism in the nation’s past.

But supporters of the idea have not reached a consensus about how reparations would work.

The politically charged idea of sending checks to all Black people remains on the table. But most plans, such as a measure approved by the St. Paul, Minnesota, City Council in February and a bill in the U.S. House, do not go that far.

In many cases, the proposals would create commissions to examine questions such as defining what form reparations might take.

Two weeks ago, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, created a Racial Justice Commission to examine the question.

He did not spell out what reparations would mean, but among the possibilities are making payments to Blacks or creating savings accounts for Black infants.

Other reparations proposals, including one approved by the City Council of Evanston, Illinois, two weeks ago, focus on providing redress for specific wrongs, such as city policies that prevented Blacks from buying homes or were aimed at keeping them in poor neighborhoods.

The city will give $25,000 to Blacks who lived in Evanston from 1919 through 1969, when the discriminatory housing policies were in place, or are descendants of Blacks who lived in Evanston during that time. The reparations must be used for housing-related costs such as down payments or home repairs.

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