Tag Archives: reparations

Ta- Nehisi Coates responds to Mitch McConnell on reparations

“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:

Don’t Apologize To Me

Not captured, not mastered
Enslaved only to what I choose
Never stood on an auction block
This freedom I did not lose
Never lived on a plantation
Worked from can’t see to can’t see
Lift your countenance when I approach
And don’t feel sorry for me
Don’t judge me based on history 
And I won’t hold you to yours
Let’s leave it on the pages
To be explained by the sages
So no regrets or shameful looks
My great great great grandparents yours may have took
But, we are both free from their response- abilities
I’m not blaming you
So, don’t apologize for them to me
Those who would have said it remained silent
Those who should have heard it are long dead
Let’s begin a new conversation
The past is enough said