“It’s not a good idea.” Asked where he stood on reparations in response to an upcoming hearing, Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate Majority Leader, said, “I don’t think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago for whom none of us currently living are responsible is a good idea.” When asked by a reporter about reparations for the descendants of African slaves, he said, “We tried.” A civil war, civil rights legislation and the election of the nation’s first African American president, Mr. Barack Obama, that should make us about even, right? First forty acres and to this was added a mule, but then none of that happened.
Restitution for the brutalities suffered and the benefits of their free and forced labor has never been made. No amount of time will change that.
Author Ta- Nehisi Coates was at that hearing and had this to say: