Systemic Reparations

Today’s post is part 2 of 3 in a multi-part blog series on the subject of Reparations. Please see last week’s post as a starting point if you have not yet read it (America Supports Reparations Part 1 ).

We now continue with part 2: Systemic Reparations and next week we will conclude the series with part 3: Governing the Money.

400 years of systemic racism demands that reparations are also systemic. Too often the most common association with the word “reparations” is “cash payout.”

And though there will be a cash payout, systemic racism demands systemic reparations to address hundreds of years of racism throughout all segments of society that specifically targeted and harmed Black people and which continue to prevent Black people from being fully actualized citizens.

People who are against reparations are often quoted saying “Money can’t solve all the problems in the Black community.”

They are partially correct. Money “alone” won’t solve centuries of systemic racism.

Black citizens have been targeted in every way imaginable in America, from where we live, home loans, credit interest rates, and public school funding, to wages, healthcare, small business loans, and of course enforcement of the laws.

It is for these and other reasons any talk of reparations must involve aggressively addressing the inequities designed into society that have harmed Black people’s ability to earn money, raise standards of living, and to build generational and transferable wealth.

The comprehensiveness and thoroughness of racism necessarily invites remedies that address the inequities we’re all familiar with and which have negative value that can be immediately corrected to provide relief and reparations to Black people who have long suffered the indignities the policies were designed to harm.

We will further explore the “Governing the Money” in next week’s post, but for now we will look at reparations from the areas of society that have harmed, are harming, and which will continue to harm Black people if present inequities are not addressed.

We know Black labor enriched America and much of the western world. Labor that was free to white people but which exacted centuries of wealth and life from Black people.

What is the value of the wealth Black people created during centuries of enslavement, a century of Jim Crow, and another sixty years since the Civil Rights Act was passed when we were and are underpaid?

And it is not only free labor that demand reparations, but also lost lives, low and underpaid wages, lost land, and of course the cost of violence perpetrated on women, men and children. Violence that includes rape, lynchings, and stealing babies/children, among other atrocities.

Some experts have theorized enslavement alone could be worth $10-15 trillion dollars. But as mentioned above reparations demand far more considerations than only enslavement.

We will factor and address the past, current, and future reparations, areas of society that require reparations, and in some cases provide dollar value approximations.

SYSTEMIC REPARATIONS FOR THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE

PAST – Addressing Historical Systemic Racism

Free Healthcare that’s been too often denied us even when we work but also because working Americans mostly depend on employer-sponsored healthcare. And due to racism Black people continue to have the highest unemployment and thus the fewest covered individuals. As a result Black people have specific health issues associated with poverty including lack of access, shortest interactions with medical professionals, high misdiagnose rates, and of course worse outcomes for all ages and ailments, including infant mortality and maternal mortality. Healthcare reparations then will include new health clinics in Black populated areas as a requirement to healthcare providers as a condition of receiving federal funds.

Fully Funded Preschool Through Grade 12, including majority Black private schools. Per child spending must equal per child spending averages for majority white kids in same/nearest district and/or within State, whichever is highest. Education for Black children has never been equal or fully funded at any level. This is perhaps the most lasting and disgraceful application of racial harm to Black children. Linking school funding to local area property taxes is inherently racist and one of many ways Black majority schools remain unequal for students, teachers, and administrators.

Schools Modernization As part of fully funding majority Black schools, money will be designated for modernization of facilities, classrooms, and grounds. And allocations will be made for current books, computerization, art, music, gardens, science, field trips, after school programs and child care, and advanced education counselors, nurses, and social workers. Defund policing in Black majority schools.

Teacher and Administrator Salary Averages and class sizes to be equal to white teacher salaries in same/nearest district and/or within State, whichever is highest.

Redeveloped Curriculum by Black educators and historians, instructors, teacher and Black parent representatives as part of national review & overhaul of text books to fully incorporate all aspects of Black history and achievement for all disciplines into classrooms.

Colleges and Universities that receive federal funding will be required to “adopt” local/closest Black school and/or district (s) and in partnership with district, administrators, teachers, and parents, contribute educational assistance for k-12, including providing teacher recruitment, training, and credentialing and recruitment courses for Black teachers.

Eliminate Black Student Debt which disproportionately affects Black college students and graduates. Free community college for older adults as part of continuing education and skill enhancement.

PRESENTADDRESSING TODAY’S SYSTEMIC RACISM

Eliminate Black Debt which is estimated to be ~$2t – or about $50,000 per person;

*Return $50,000 to each Black person 16+ in the form of a check.

Income Tax Hiatus for Black individuals & families for five years so that Black people are not funding our own reparations.

Raise Wages for Black workers to match wages for white male workers in all industries, and establish national five-year review/correction.

National and/or Regional Grocery Store Chains must either place grocery stores in majority Black communities or finance Black owned grocery store that provides same variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, and at pricing not to exceed pricing averages at partner store that serves white community.

Same requirement for banks, gas stations, car dealers, and other goods and services that are typically higher in Black areas, i.e. the Black tax/poor tax, which the companies use to subsidize lower prices and rates in white areas.

Small Business Loans for majority Black owned small businesses with approval rates that match regional approval rates for white-owned businesses, and at the same interests rates. Make available for current loans and refund the difference.

Credit Lenders required to offer loans for homes, credit cards, and cars at rates that match interest rate of white people with same credit score. make available to current loans and refund the difference.

Law Enforcement – Implement Kamala’s Justice Reform Plan

Early Release for nonviolent weed and drug offenders, plus addiction recovery services; elimination of for profit prisons; end bail bonds for nonviolent offenders; and end majority white juries for Black defendants.

FUTURE REPARATIONS FOR WEALTH BUILDING

Reparations for both past and current needs and issues solve many historical racist-designed roadblocks that prevented Black Americans from fully participating in the promise of America.

Now we look at building wealth so Black people can establish generational and transferable wealth in terms of stock, bonds, real estate, and other investments.

Establish Savings Account for each new born Black baby over a two-year period, with deposits of $10.00 per month per child for eighteen years.

There are approximately 570,000 newborn Black babies each year:

570,000 x $10.00 = $5,700,000 per month x 1 2 months = $68,400,000 annually x 18 years = $820,800,000 x two-year period of Black babies born = $1.6t investment

With the power of compound interest we will build generational and transferable wealth, while also having a cash fund for investing in Black communities, families, school, housing, and small businesses, all without tapping into the principle.

For reference:

Annual US military spending = $858b x 18 years = $18t

Annual police spending = $115b x 18 years = $1.3t

Annual pet spending = $72b x 18 years = $1.3t

Annual mortgage deduction = $70b x 18 years = $1.4t

Top 15 American’s net worth is about ~$1t

Proposed reparations savings accounts for Black babies = $1.6t

Securing generational wealth for Black babies ensures a future financial health for the next generation, who will also be born into a society that allows access to all the other wealth-building and financial supportive programs.

Setting aside the money in standard growth markets will ensure there is a safety net that can withstand market swings over the longterm, while also creating a fund that can be used to invest in Black communities, colleges, small businesses, and so forth.

The fund will be overseen by dedicated wealth management companies with Black representation on the board and in management, and managed by Black asset manager teams.

We will explore oversight next week as we dive into GOVERNING THE MONEY.

© 2020 by Myron J. Clifton. All Rights Reserved.

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