Has a route to reparations finally been revealed? Last week, Cori Bush, the Democratic Congressman from Missouri, along with a group of other progressive lawmakers, unveiled the “Reparations NOW” resolution, which hopes to pay out $14 trillion to black Americans. Its recommendations echoed those of California’s state-approved Slavery Reparations Task Force, which this month proposed that $1 million should be paid to each applicant.
What constitutes a successful application, however, is not so clear. In a court of law, to claim compensation, you must show that you have suffered harm and associate it with a certain amount of money. Is this criteria met? The slaves who were transported to America obviously suffered harm. But they are not the plaintiffs here. Rather, their descendants — along with people who are not their descendants but who belong to the same racial group — are the complainants. Is there a case that they have suffered harm as a result of historic enslavement?
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