In an interview with ‘Axios on HBO’, the Biden Administration senior adviser Cedric Richmond said that the U.S. government intends to start to compensate Black people for the wrongdoings their ancestors had to endure in the past.
Richmond said that an establishment of the congressional committee that will conduct relevant research is well underway and that certain reparation proposals may soon be developed.
Bidens adviser particularly mentioned an option of offering Black students free tuition to study at historically black universities and colleges.
Even though he expressed optimism about the creation of the committee, Richmond announced that the U.S. administration does not have time to wait and will try to do as much as possible without procedures that involve Congress.
He emphasized that reparations are the way to knock down systematic racism that permeated American institutions, preventing Black people from various opportunities, such as the passing of homeownership and having the equal appreciation of property.
Opposing views on the issue
During the 2020 general election campaign, current President Biden endorsed a kind of compensation for the Black people.
He specifically mentioned direct payment as a way to rectify injustice from the past.
In an interview with Judith Nwandu, Biden expressed his sympathy for the idea of a study that would investigate to what extent Black people should be compensated.
Such proposals have also been supported by some members of Congress.
In 1989, Democratic Representative John Conyers from Michigan was the first lawmaker to put forward reparations for the Black people.
In more recent times, Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson Lee from Texas has been the most outspoken proponent of the black compensation legislation.
Black reparation proposals have faced significant resistance from different sides.
Some people, such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnel and conservative author Candace Owens, pointed out that instituting reparations today would involve punishment of people who were not alive during the time of widespread racism against Blacks and other minorities.
Who should pay? Or should anyone pay?
Retired NFL star Burgess Owens went even further by describing the proposal as a Democratic trick to retrieve Black votes they lost over the years.
An African-American himself, Owens even suggested that the Democratic party pay for the ‘misery it caused to his race’.
The idea of compensation for the historical injustice against Black people does not enjoy much support among the general population either.
The poll conducted by Fox News several years ago showed that 60 percent of American citizens disagree with the proposals to make direct reparation payments to Black people, whereas 32 percent support such moves.
Rasmussen poll brought similar results. Almost two-thirds of Americans opposed, and only 21 percent of U.S. citizens supported reparations.
New measures of public opinion will show whether some recent events affected the ratio.