Ohio Congressional candidate Nina Turner isn’t known for being “politically correct” despite the fact that she’s spent much of her life and career dedicated to public service.
Instead, the Cleveland native speaks out boldly for what she believes is right and against what she believes is wrong. Turner was no different when she reiterated her support for reparations for Black American descendants of those who were enslaved in the U.S.
“Let me be clear: I believe that the American descendants of enslaved people deserve reparations. Period. Just flat out deserve it,” Turner said in a recent interview that she shared on Twitter on Sunday, March 20.
Although she is pro-reparations, Turner added that she didn’t think America would ever be able to repay Black Americans for the pain of trauma inflicted upon them during slavery.
“If you were to ask me if I thought that this country could ever repay the debt, my answer is no, Turner continued. “You cannot repay generations of African-Americans for what was done to our forefathers because they can’t get that time back that they lost.”
Gearing up for a rematch for Ohio’s 11th Congressional District, which she lost to Rep. Shontel Brown in 2021, Turner went on to describe the numerous generations of Black men and women who were relegated to doing domestic work, even after slavery.
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“So you limited generations of Black people, even beyond enslavement, from being able to live out their greatness and fulfill their ultimate potential,” she said. “They’ll never be able to pay us back, but I do want a down payment on it. I do want them to at least try because there are too many generations that were lost trying to fight for equality in this country. And unless you have economic justice, you really don’t have a whole lot, right?”
Some applauded Turner, while others challenged her sincerity due to some comments she made in a past interview in which she seemed opposed to cash reparations.
“That word ‘reparations’ still scares a lot of people, including members of Congress,” Turner wrote in an April 15, 2021, USAToday opinion piece co-written with Erika Alexander. “They think that reparations is about cutting a check, when it’s really about repair for a community that has suffered enormously for centuries.”
“Thank you for being very specific about the lineage of American Descendants of slavery,” Twitter user @terrinyc29 responded.
“I appreciated you support for American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS),” @Super Darian wrote.
“Was this not you? And it’s American Descendants of Slavery #ADOS,” Twitter user @TajMarie17 wrote in a tweet that included a clip from an interview Turner did with actress Gabourey Sidibe.
“These are individuals who are so distant from the state and substance of the discussion about reparations for black American descendants of U.S. slavery that they spout the same nonsense as out and out opponents of reparations,” top reparations scholar Sandy Darity replied.
PHOTO: This July 7, 2021 file photo shows Nina Turner speaking with supporters near the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections before casting her vote in Cleveland. Turner is making another run at a Cleveland-area U.S. House seat in Ohio, the former state senator and top surrogate for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign announced Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Phil Long, File)