by WorldTribune Staff, July 13, 2020
The U.S. Conference of Mayors on Monday released a letter in support of Democrats who plan to form a commission on reparations.
The plan calls for reparations to 41 million black people at a cost to taxpayers of $6.2 quadrillion. One study suggests a payment of $151 million each.
Sen. Cory Booker and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee have introduced legislation to create the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act.
“We recognize and support your legislation as a concrete first step in our larger reckoning as a nation, and a next step to guide the actions of both federal and local leaders who have promised to do better by our black residents,” said the letter from Conference President Greg Fischer, mayor of Louisville.
In introducing her bill to the House last year, Jackson Lee said, “The commission aims to study the impact of slavery and continuing discrimination against African-Americans, resulting directly and indirectly from slavery to segregation to the desegregation process and the present day. The commission would also make recommendations concerning any form of apology and compensation to begin the long delayed process of atonement for slavery.”
Washington Examiner columnist Paul Bedard noted that a study from three college professors calculated the payout including unpaid hours slaves worked and a price for massacres and discrimination, and adds in interest. It is titled “Wealth Implications of Slavery and Racial Discrimination for African American Descendants of the Enslaved.” It was published last month in the Review of Black Political Economy.
The authors concluded, “We argue that the U.S. government should have paid reparations for enslavement and de jure racial discrimination because the ratification of the 5th Amendment in 1791. Article IV, Section 2, of the Constitution established not only slavery but also the personhood of the enslaved, and the 5th Amendment applies to all persons. Had these reparations been paid, they would have had intergenerational wealth implications for African American descendants living today.”