Democratic candidates adopt a new sense of reparations for descendants of slaves


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By Associated press

Several Democratic presidential candidates accept reparations for the descendants of slaves – but not in the traditional sense of the term.

Last week, Senator Kamala Harris of California, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro emphasized the need for the US government to count and compensate for centuries of stolen work and legal oppression. But instead of supporting the direct compensation of African Americans for the legacy of slavery, Democratic candidates are talking about using tax credits and other grants.

Long defined as a type of direct payment to former slaves and their descendants, the changing definition of reparations comes as White House hopes seek to strengthen their ties with African-Americans whose support will be crucial to winning the day. Democratic nomination. But this is likely to elicit both harsh Republican criticism and a shrug of the shoulders of black voters and activists if the proposals are seen as an empty gesture that only renames existing political ideas into reparations.

"Universal programs are not specific to the injustices inflicted on African Americans," said William Darity, an economist at Duke University, a senior repair lawyer. "I want to make sure that everything proposed and potentially promulgated as a reparations program actually constitutes a substantial and dramatic intervention in patterns of racial wealth inequality in the United States – and not some superficial or minor thing called reparations, then politicians say the national responsibility has been assumed. "

Montague Simmons of the Movement for Black Lives, who sought reparations, said the debate was "not just cash payments".

But "unless we talk about something that has to be systemic and transfers power to the community, it probably will not be what we would consider repairing," he said.

For now, this is not the way most Democratic presidential candidates talk about reparations.

Harris offered monthly payments to qualified citizens of all races in the form of a tax credit. Warren called for universal child care guaranteeing the benefit of birth until the entry of a child into school. Families whose income is below 200% of the poverty line would benefit from free access and the others would not pay more than 7% of their income.

These benefits would likely have a disproportionate impact on African Americans. But aside from Marianne Williamson, a long-time candidate, no Democrat White House candidate has demanded financial compensation for blacks.

Harris told Sunday to the press in Iowa that "we must all recognize that people have not started on the same basis and have not had the same chances of success."

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