Read every word of Nikole Hannah Jone’s piece on reparations, but a few pull outs:
As part of the New Deal programs, the federal government created redlining maps, marking neighborhoods where black people lived in red ink to denote that they were uninsurable. As a result, 98 percent of the loans the Federal Housing Administration insured from 1934 to 1962 went to white Americans, locking nearly all black Americans out of the government program credited with building the modern (white) middle class.
This is my answer, consistently, to the people I grew up with who were largely White, European immigrants to the US in this period.
Reparations should include a commitment to vigorously enforcing existing civil rights prohibitions against housing, educational and employment discrimination, as well as targeted investments in government-constructed segregated black communities and the segregated schools that serve a disproportionate number of black children. But critically, reparations must include individual cash payments to descendants of the enslaved in order to close the wealth gap.
Too many folks focus on the cash payments, which should be made. But it’s important to realize that a large part of reparations is about race-conscious investment. For example, there’s no world in which Baltimore’s Red Line should have been cancelled in favor of the Purple Line, and a part of reparations should be the legal and policy structure to make the reverse decision.