It isn’t that the first Black president didn’t believe or want to give Black folks their 40 acres and a mule; it’s just the level of white hate he witnessed during his time in office made the push for reparations a “non-starter.”
“So if you ask me theoretically: ‘Are reparations justified?’ The answer is yes,” Obama said during his talk with Bruce Springsteen on their Renegades: Born in the USA podcast, released Monday. “There’s not much question that the wealth of this country, the power of this country was built in significant part — not exclusively, maybe not even the majority of it — but a large portion of it was built on the backs of slaves,” McClatchyDC reports.
Obama said that he would’ve liked to have been the guy that got Black folks what they were owed as the descendants of slaves and America’s free labor, but it would’ve been unsuccessful during his time in office because white people stay hating.
“What I saw during my presidency was the politics of white resistance and resentment, the talk of welfare queens and the talk of the undeserving poor and the backlash against affirmative action,” Obama said on the podcast. “All that made the prospect of actually proposing any kind of coherent, meaningful reparations program struck me as, politically, not only a non-starter but potentially counter-productive.”
Obama instead pushed for “practical policy goals,” a move that he thought was a little more palatable to hating-ass whites.
“I fear that reparations would be an excuse for some to say ‘we’ve paid our debt,’” he said, according to a 2019 interview with the Washington Post.
Because America won’t pay us what we are owed, McClatchyDC notes that there continues to be a huge wealth gap between white and Black folks.
In 2016, the average net worth for a white family in the U.S. was $171,000 — ten times higher than the average net worth for a Black family, according to The Brookings Institution, which pointed to centuries of discriminatory policies against the Black community as a reason for the disparity.
And the wealth gap between Black and white Americans has remained stagnant for decades, The Washington Post reports, with “the black-white economic divide as wide (in 2020) as it was in 1968.”
“The historical data reveal that no progress has been made in reducing income and wealth inequalities between Black and white households over the past 70 years (since World War II),” economists Moritz Kuhn, Moritz Schularick and Ulrike I. Steins wrote in the Journal of Political Economy.
Obama’s comments come as the “House of Representatives heard testimony on the creation of a commission that would be tasked with examining the history of slavery and discriminatory government practices in the U.S.,” McClatchyDC reports.
No matter what Democrats find, you know there is always one hating-ass Black Republican waiting to say, “Fuck reparations” while waiting for a white man to come and pat him on his head.
That person is Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Utah).
“Though it is impractical and a nonstarter for the United States government to pay reparations, it is also unfair and heartless to give Black Americans the hope that this is a reality,” Owens said, noting that his great-great-grandfather arrived in America on a slave ship, according to the Associated Press.
But Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Texas Democrat, said the “government sanctioned slavery.”
“And that is what we need, a reckoning, a healing reparative justice,” she said, according to the AP.
...And a stimmy.