Wednesday, December 28, 2016

See What Barack Obama Thinks About African-Americans

Last week, as a part of a series of conversations, President Barack Obama spoke to author Ta-Nehisi Coates about a variety of topics, with one of them being reparations for African-Americans. Many African-Americans have voiced their opinion about the idea of reparations being given to their people, especially considering the lasting impact of the Jim Crow era and slavery on the community. During the interview, Barack Obama mentioned that he felt African-Americans deserved reparations, but that he did not think it would be politically achievable. Obama said that wrongs done to the black community should be acknowledged, and that "society has a moral obligation to make a large, aggressive investment, even if it’s not in the form of individual reparations checks, but in the form of a Marshall Plan, in order to close those gaps [of wealth and education]."

Obama kept it real about getting support from Congress for reparations, saying, "I’m not so optimistic as to think that you would ever be able to garner a majority of an American Congress that would make those kinds of investments above and beyond the kinds of investments that could be made in a progressive program for lifting up all people." He then went on to put his entire idea into a clear perspective, saying, "I have much more confidence in my ability, or any president or any leader’s ability, to mobilize the American people around a multiyear, multibillion-dollar investment to help every child in poverty in this country than I am in being able to mobilize the country around providing a benefit specific to African Americans as a consequence of slavery and Jim Crow."

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