Many reparations plans are floating about. While the federal government is still debating HR40 — a proposed study of the feasibility of reparations — organizations such as American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS), National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC), and The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’Cobra) have issued plans of their own for reparations for slavery.
However, top reparations scholar Dr. Sandy Darity recently blasted HR40, NAARC, and N’Cobra, claiming that plans these plans won’t result in pure reparations. Darity made no mention of ADOS.
Pure reparations, according to Darity’s own proposed reparations plan, are monetary reparations made by the federal government to native Black Americans. He laid out his plan in his book, “From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century,” which he co-wrote with his wife, reparations expert A. Kirsten Mullen.
The HR40 legislation isn’t really a reparations plan but a call for a committee to study and develop reparation proposals for African Americans. The commission aims to examine slavery and discrimination in the colonies and the United States from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies. In April 2021, the bill cleared the committee for the first time in its history, but it has since been stuck in the House.
Darity and other reparations activists have long called for HR40 to be rewritten as they feel it is not comprehensive enough and not specific to Native Black Americans.
The NAARC plan
The plan from NAARC, which was established in 2015, covers 10 points for reparations for people of African descent in the U.S.
According to the organization’s website, the points are:
- A formal apology and establishing an African Holocaust (Maafa) Institute
- Repatriation back to Africa for those who desire to do so
- The right to land for social and economic development
- Funds for cooperative enterprises and socially responsible entrepreneurial development
- Resources for the health, wellness, and healing of Black families and communities
- Education for community development and empowerment
- Affordable housing for healthy Black communities and wealth generation
- Strengthening Black America’s information and communications infrastructure
- Preserving Black sacred sites and monuments
- Repairing the damages of the “Criminal Injustice System.”
There is no mention in the NAARC plan of direct payments by the federal government to Native Black Americans.
The N’Cobra plan
N’Cobra’s plan for reparations, while also for African descendants of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, includes African people in the U.S. and the prior colonies, according to its website.
Founded in 1987, N’Cobra declares that reparations “can be in as many forms as necessary to equitably (fairly) address the many forms of injury caused by chattel slavery and its continuing vestiges.”
While it does call for cash payments as well as land, economic development, and repatriation, the N’Cobra plan is not specific as to the recipients. It says broadly that people of African descent are due.
“Within the broadest definition, all Black people of African descent in the United States should receive reparations in the form of changes in or elimination of laws and practices that allow them to be treated differently and less well than white people. For example, ending racial profiling and discrimination in the provision of health care, providing scholarship and community development funds for Black people of African descent, and supporting processes of self-determination will not only benefit descendants of enslaved Africans, but all African descendant peoples in the United States who because of their color are victims of the vestiges of slavery,” the N’Cobra site explains.
N’Cobra also calls for reparations to be made by governments and corporations – not the federal government specifically. Darity has said the federal government can be the only source of pure reparations.
“The difficulty here is HR40 does not promote #purereparations. If enacted, in its present form, it will empower NAARC and NCOBRA to pursue their agenda,” Darity tweeted.
He added, “The NAARC and NCOBRA agenda will not result in a reparations plan that will provide direct payments to black American descendants of U.S. slavery. Therefore, there is no reason to support it whatsoever. It’s dangerous.”
Others agree with Darity.
“NAARC and NCOBRA won’t win because they are not lineage base, but we need to still shun these con-artists,” tweeted Amaru-BADOCSKY (@ABadocsKY).
“We have to do whatever it takes to make sure that NAARC and NCOBRA are not in control of our future,” tweeted Sadiku #ADOS #B1 #FBA (@SadikuBey).
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In their book, “From Here to Equality,” Darity and Mullen point out that pure reparations must go to Black descendants of African slaves in the U.S. And since the institution of slavery and the ensuing discriminatory practices and policies — some of which persist to this day — were federally created, the repair must be made solely by the federal government.
In their book, Darity and Mullen present a detailed roadmap for a reparations program, including a substantial payment to each documented U.S. Black descendant of slavery.
Photo: Dr. Sandy Darity, photo by Justin Cook/Minneapolis Fed