U.N. Panel Says U.S. Owes Black People Reparations
Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Whenever the idea of reparations is presented, it’s usually met with some sort of racist rhetoric or flimsy excuse as to why descendants of slaves aren’t owed anything. However, a recent report done by a U.N.-affiliated group says that due to recent events and the United States’ history of slavery, Black Americans should receive reparations. 

As part of a study done by the United Nations’ Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, experts concluded that “the legacy of colonial history, enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality in the United States remains a serious challenge, as there has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent. Contemporary police killings and the trauma that they create are reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynching.”

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Experts working on the report included leading human rights lawyers from around the world who cited America’s horrible past, recent police brutality, and the social and economic challenges Black Americans face today as reason for reparations adding that the murder of black people at the hands of police has created a “human rights crisis” that “must be addressed as a matter of urgency.”

The panel wrote, “Despite substantial changes since the end of the enforcement of Jim Crow and the fight for civil rights, ideology ensuring the domination of one group over another, continues to negatively impact the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of African Americans today. The dangerous ideology of white supremacy inhibits social cohesion amongst the US population.”

Suggested forms of reparations included a formal apology, educational opportunities, health initiatives, debt cancelation, technology transfer and financial support, and psychological rehabilitation. However, with Trump and the rise of racist, xenophobic, hateful rhetoric in the United States, reparations are unlikely.