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It’s Not Reparations Being Demanded; It’s Something Quite Different

By Vince Coyner

Democrats frequently talk about compensation for slavery and Jim Crow in the form of reparations for black Americans. Indeed, House member Cori Bush recently proposed $14 trillion as a good place to start.

Any reparations plan would be extraordinarily complex. First, if reparations are to be paid, to whom would they be paid? To every one of America’s 45 million blacks? Would that include the 4.5 million blacks who immigrated after Jim Crow was gone? Should the 33 million black Americans age 50 or below whose lives have all occurred since the Voting and Civil Rights Acts passed? How about black families whose ancestors lived in northern states where slavery was largely outlawed before America was a nation, and Jim Crow never existed? How about blacks from states like California and Idaho that had neither slavery nor Jim Crow? Or those of mixed origins with one black parent? Is one black grandparent sufficient, or would it have to be at least 2 of 4? Do black families who earn $200,000 a year still qualify for reparations? How about America’s 1.5 million black millionaires?

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