‘We already have reparations’

Letters to the Editor

6/28/2019, 6 a.m. | Updated on 6/30/2019, 7:43 a.m.
Re “Lawmakers hear the case for reparations,” Free Press June 20-22 edition: There are no block grant monies that have ...

Re “Lawmakers hear the case for reparations,” Free Press June 20-22 edition:

There are no block grant monies that have or will be solely targeted to the African-American community in an attempt to make amends for the wrong the government and others have done. The wrong done was the peculiar institution of slavery that was allowed to be inserted into the U.S. Constitution and state laws that dehumanized an enslaved people for profit by their free labor.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. knew the vast majority of white people rejected any apology for slavery and the impact on the African-American community. For the community to expect any acknowledgement of 1619 to present is a position that dismisses the remedy in the form of Community Development Block Grants. Section 3 of the HUD Act of 1968 provides funding for economic empowerment for upward mobility in being self-sufficient. 

Paul Sniderman, a Stanford University political scientist, endorsed this remedy in the 1990s only if black people were not the sole recipients. The rationale was to help all people who are out of work rather than just African-Americans because of the historic injustices African-Americans suffered.

Federal assistance and the land on which public housing authority residents reside is that 40 acres that was promised but never granted by law.

The struggle for justice continues today because of adopted legislative practices that still deny African-Americans rights and opportunities. The Commonwealth’s Disparity Study in 2015 shows that 98 percent of government contracts are awarded to white firms, while 2 percent of them are split among five racial and ethnic minority groups. 

We already have reparations. They are just not identified as solely for African-Americans. However, we have to take control of the block grant awarding process and demand transparency and oversight in order to get reparations.


Henrico County