The president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Derrick Johnson, went to Twitter on March 22 to clarify the civil rights organization’s stance on reparations. This comes on the heels of a statement tweeted out by the San Francisco NAACP charter president earlier this month that seemed to read that it was against a local reparations proposal that called for $5 million in cash payouts to local citizens who were descendants of slaves.
“To be absolutely clear, the NAACP demands reparations for African Americans who are descendants of slavery and of the Jim Crow era. That’s been our official position dating back to 1991, and was reaffirmed in 1999, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2016, 2019, and 2022,” Johnson tweeted.
On the NAACP’s official website, his stance was reiterated. “African Americans are the only minority that has not received reparations for state-sanctioned racial discrimination, despite the fact that slavery allowed certain white families to amass enormous riches,” the online statement reads.
It continued, “The justification for reparations can be made on economic, societal, and moral grounds. The United States has had several opportunities to atone for slavery, each one a squandered opportunity to make the American Dream a reality, but has failed to take major action.
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The statement also pointed out that the group has long backed reparations.
“The NAACP has long stood in favor of financial reparations to African Americans and those of African Descent in the United States who are descendants of slavery and the Jim Crow Era,” the statement read.
It concluded, “This is the official NAACP position on reparations. Any other position offered is in direct opposition to our aforesaid resolutions.
A recent letter posted by Amos Brown, the president of the San Francisco branch of the NAACP, seemed to indicate that Brown is against the proposed cash reparations plan in San Francisco, which would hand out $5 million to Black citizens who are descendants of slaves. But Brown, who has been the pastor of the Third Baptist Church of San Francisco since 1976 and happens to be Vice President Kamala Harris’ pastor, told The Moguldom Nation on March 16 this is not so.
The Moguldom Nation spoke with Brown via phone, and he clarified his stance on reparations in San Fransisco. Soon after, the NAACP chapter issued a clarification statement on its reparations stance, stating that they are indeed for cash payments but that $5 million is an “arbitrary number.”
During the discussion with The Moguldom Nation, Brown stressed he is not against direct cash reparations but wants more than that, such as community programs that address education and health in the Black community. “Hey, if you don’t have your health, you won’t be able to spend anything,” he said of direct cash payment with social programs.
Also, he seems to feel the $5 million mark may be unrealistic and could cause the whole reparations plan to fail. He pointed out he doesn’t want to set Black Americans up for failure, and that there needs to be realistic repair proposals. He said it’s “not either-or” — he wants both cash payouts and funded programs.
Derrick Johnson (Photo: NAACP website, https://naacp.org/people/derrick-johnson)