Move to Pay Reparations to Descendants of Slaves Renewed

Anne Spollen
Lawmakers are looking to determine a dollar amount for reparations due ancestors of enslaved AmericansPhoto byPhoto by Tasha Jolley on UnsplashonUnsplash

New York is following California's lead in renewing efforts to look at a dollar amount due the descendants of enslaved Americans.The figure determined in California is 569 billion; each recipient would receive $223,200. This total also takes into account compensation for discriminatory housing practices that abided after slavery was abolished.

This is not the first time New York has floated the idea of reparation. A proposal to form a committee to study reparations passed in the House, but not in the Senate. The recent news from California has renewed the idea for New York lawmakers.

This country was built on the backs of enslaved people. It has impacted everything — housing, economic development, education." Taylor Darling, New York Assemblywoman told the New York Post

Proponents of the reparation bill are asking for an 11-member task force to be formed to study the issue. There are five types of reparations to be discussed and studied: direct monetary compensation; restitution of victims’ property and rights; psychological or mental health rehabilitation; reformation of laws to prevent or stop discrimination and a government apology, or at least an acknowledgement of guilt, for the inhumanity of slavery that took place in the United States.

The creation of a task force might prove difficult for its supporters. New York Governor, Kathy Hochul, has recently vetoed 39 proposed measures to create commissions and task forces.

Those who oppose the act point out that there are too many thorny issues for reparations to take place. They assert that it is difficult to determine who is eligible for reparations based on their relationship to slavery, as some people are descended from both the slave and the slave owners. The United States is populated by many people who are either recent citizens or whose ancestors did not emigrate to the United States until after slavery had been abolished. Others believe allocating money to people based on race would only further divide citizens.

Governor Hochul Hochul will review the legislation if it passes both houses of the legislature.

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New York City writer interested in urban concerns, lifestyle topics, human interest, all areas of wellness, and social issues. Published novelist and essayist.

Staten Island, NY

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