By M. Kita Williams – May 24, 2014
The most widely read and sizzling article in the United States this week has been “The Case For Reparations” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. The explosive interest seems to be fueled by how the article is scholarly written in today’s language and proves to be indisputably accurate. Is America ready to deal with reparations?
Judging by the intensity of readership that ‘The Case For Reparations’ has rattled across all streams of media, the answer just may just be “yes”. In an interview with NPR’s Audrie Cornish , Coates touches upon the concept of white supremacy and its’ direct link to 1) the systemic oppression and disenfranchisement of African Americans to 2) the economic and social privilege of whites in America to present day. Coates also discusses House Bill H.R. 40 regarding reparations for the Trans-Atlantic slave trade of African Americans (which by the way was ruled “A Crime Against Humanity” by the United Nations. The Holocaust of Jewish peoples was another case where the United Nations ruled the same. Per the UN, Crimes Against Humanity automatically warrants reparations for the victims and / or descendants of such crimes), introduced repeatedly by Congressman John Conyers of Detroit, MI, which has yet to make it on the Congress floor. ‘The Case For Reparations’ has touched the tusks of the elephant which simply cannot go away without dealing with it: the enslavement of Africans, the wealth of whites in the United States earned from hundreds of years of free and brutal labor, followed by the Jim Crow era of the 19th and 20th centuries, to ‘The New Jim Crow’ (Alexander) now called the prison industrial complex.
Coates was also interviewed by Bill Moyer and that video is available below. Much more to come.