What Will Reparations Resolve?

Though the idea of slavery reparations has been discussed since 1865, Congress again held a hearing June 19 on the topic. There’s a campaign against Donald Trump after all.

The hearing featured intellectuals like Ta-Nehisi Coates and second tier celebs like Danny Glover laying out a long history of horrors. What was missing was what has been missing since 19th century efforts to pay freed slaves directly failed: how handing out money now fixes anything. It will not change the past and no one has made clear how it will positively affect the future.

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Peter Van Buren

Author of Hooper’s War: A Novel of WWII Japan and WE MEANT WELL: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts + Minds of the Iraqi People