“REPARATIONS: The Debt That Is Owed : An OUR COMMON GROUND Discussion Series”

Saturday, June 5, 2021 OUR COMMON GROUND begin a series of discussion on the topic of reparations for the descendants of the US system of chattel slavery:

“Reparations: The Debt That Is Owed”

Episode #1: “The Debt That Is Owed: Reparations & the Descendants of US Chattel Slavery”

We are very excited to host a discussion with Dr. William “Sandy Darity” once again. We will explore his views found in his book, with Kirsten Mullen, “From Here to Equality” It makes the case for reparations to Black Americans, the descendants of the US system of chattel slavery. This fascinating work confronts economic injustices and continuing wealth disparity for American descendants of the US System of chattel slavery; and, the injustices created in the aftermath. “Sandy” has been an OUR COMMON GROUND Voice since 2009. We invite you to join us.

William A. Darity, Jr., Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African-American Studies, and Economics; Chair, African and African-American Studies; Director, Research Network on Racial and Ethnic Inequality, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.

Dr. William A. Darity, Jr.

His most recent book, coauthored with A. Kirsten Mullen, is From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the 21st Century (2020). Darity’s book inspired the UNC podcast series, “The Arc of Justice” :  through interviews with living descendants of U.S. slavery, renowned experts from Duke University and beyond, historical interviews and other first-person stories.

Tune In LIVE: http://bit.ly/OCGTruthTalk

Listen & Call-In Line: 347-838-9852

“REPARATIONS: The Debt That Is Owed : An OUR COMMON GROUND Discussion Series”

Episode #2: Reparations: Supportive Systems of Wealth Creation

June 12, 2021

Episode #3: Reparations: Black Americans and the Reparations Movements

June 19, 2021

Episode #4: Reparations: The Debt and the U.S. Government

June 26, 2021

Reflections On Recent Controversy And The Case For #PureReparations | Actify Press

This is longer than a 140-character Tweet, but I respectfully ask that all who participated in exchanges over a statement I made on Twitter on February 4, 2021 concerning #PureReparations, that aroused a firestorm of responses, please read this from start to finish.

Background

This is longer than a 140-character Tweet, but I respectfully ask that all who participated in exchanges over a statement I made on Twitter on February 4, 2021, concerning #PureReparations, that aroused a firestorm of responses, please read this from start to finish. Some of the responses to my statement were serious, thoughtful, and critical, but others were so hostile. I am convinced many of them were written by people who only had, at best, second- or third-hand knowledge of the content of my message.

Let me be clear, I remain steadfast that African American reparations in the United States should be designated specifically for black Americans who are descendants of persons enslaved in the United States. It is a position that I have maintained for upwards of 20 years, first articulated with the eligibility criteria I presented in an article published with Dania Frank in 2003 in the American Economic Review. 

The criteria expressed at the time were twofold: 1. An American citizen would have to demonstrate they have at least one ancestor enslaved in the United States. 2. An American citizen would have to demonstrate that for at least ten years before the adoption of a reparations program they self-classified as black, negro, or African American. The first criterion is a lineage standard; the second is an identity standard. Both standards must be met to merit receipt of reparations payments.

Lineage Criteria

In our recent book, From Here to Equality (FHTE)Kirsten Mullen and I modify the identity standard to lengthen the time to at least twelve years (two Senatorial terms) and to include the adoption of a study commission for reparations as one of two events that would trigger the time count on self-classification.

The core objective always has been to include all persons, and their descendants, who have been subjected to the cumulative, intergenerational effects of slavery, legal segregation and white terrorist violence, and post-Civil Rights Era mass incarceration, police executions of unarmed blacks, and ongoing discrimination in the justice claim. This is the community whose ancestors were denied the promised 40 acres as restitution for the years of bondage and as a material springboard for entry into full citizenship in the United States.

Kirsten and I argue further, in FHTE, the best economic indicator of the combined effects of these atrocities is the racial wealth gap.  We propose that elimination of the gap yields the baseline value for a reparations plan—demanding a federal government expenditure of $10 to $12 trillion.  It is a key aspect of our project to generate a research-based standard for determining the size of the bill that is due. We do not identify an upper bound for the bill.

We also insist that priority be given to mobilization of the funds in the form of direct payments to eligible recipients, whether cash transfers, trust accounts, other types of endowments, or some combination thereof.

Necessary Exclusions

The two eligibility criteria necessarily exclude many Americans. The lineage standard will exclude all blacks in the United States who migrated to the United States and became citizens after the end of the Civil War. Their descendants also will not be eligible, in the absence of a parent’s or grandparent’s intermarriage with black Americans having ancestry anchored in US slaveryCounting among blacks excluded would be the relatively small group that migrated to the United States during the Jim Crow years (estimated to be, according to a Smithsonian study, to the right of the decimal point). Also excluded is a much larger group of black immigrants (now approaching ten percent of the nation’s black population) who arrived after 1964, especially coming in large numbers from the 1980s onward.

The identity standard excludes all persons who self-identified as non-black, inclusive of all white Americans, at a point where there was no apparent financial benefit from classifying oneself as black.

Meeting the lineage standard necessitates serious genealogical research. As a result, in FHTE, Kirsten Mullen and I recommend the federal government establish an agency with genealogists with expertise in African American ancestry to provide free services to all persons seeking to establish their reparations claim. Despite that recommendation, we continue to get substantial push back from those who say many black Americans with ancestors enslaved in the US will hit a wall in getting past the 1870 Census to identify their particular ancestors who were held in bondage before 1865. Therefore, I have been giving more thought to modifications in the criterion that would make it easier for all black American descendants of U.S. slavery to be assured of inclusion.

Balloon Reasoning

One possibility that seemed reasonable is the one I advanced that stirred the pot to a boil—include black immigrants who came during the Jim Crow years on the eligibility list. Let me emphasize, I advanced this to prompt discussion. I even referred to this in a later post as a “trial balloon,” which left me open to the somewhat humorous charges that the balloon popped or, quite the opposite, the balloon was made of lead.

Here is the thinking that I pursued: Allowing pre-1950s black immigrants onto the reparations roll eases genealogical proof required of black American descendants of U.S. slavery to establish their lineage claim. You necessarily have a tradeoff between letting a small number of otherwise excluded black folk in the door versus keeping the strong genealogical standard that will demand going past the 1870 “wall.”  Under the former case, with the relaxed lineage standard, a person would have to demonstrate, say, that they have at least two black ancestors who were citizens of the USA before 1950 or 1960.

Then, eligibility would be much easier to establish for all black American descendants of U.S. slavery at the “price” of including a small number of black immigrants who arrived during legal segregation. Let a few in who do not meet the original lineage standard to ensure that all make it in who meet the original lineage standard.

No Mission Creep

I reject the “slippery slope” argument that has it that making this exception opens the gates for every other group to piggyback onto the reparations’ claim. Conditions can be drawn so precisely that no additional groups will become eligible.

Nevertheless, I do take seriously, the following critical response to my “trial balloon”: The limitation of African American reparations to black American descendants of US slavery is a matter of principle that should not be compromised. America’s history of racial injustice has targeted this community so consistently and with such ferocity that we should brook no modification in the criteria, even it remains more difficult for each individual to establish eligibility for the merited compensation.

In fact, I take it so seriously, in a later message, I indicate that I would not advance as an option the proposal any longer, and I will stand committed solely to the original criterion. Unlike what is suggested in a number of messages on Twitter, I never proposed that recent black immigrants should be eligible for reparations from the U.S. government. Nor do I anticipate reneging on that position. . . ”

Additional Considerations

Source: Reflections On Recent Controversy And The Case For #PureReparations | Actify Press

A Moment or a Movement? The Blowback Will Tell | Black Agenda Report

A Moment or a Movement? The Blowback Will Tell

You cannot separate the racist police aggression in the streets of the US and the racist US aggression against Venezuela, Bolivia, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Yemen, Libya and Syria.

“Chauvin was sending a message to the community by holding his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck in broad daylight.”

“George Floyd should not be among the deceased. He did not die of common health conditions. He died of a common American criminal justice malfunction.” Rev. Al Sharpton June 4, 2020

I understand Rev. Sharpton’s point, but to cast this lynching in the context of a “malfunction” is to lose site of the much broader historical context in which African’s in America and later African Americans have existed since 1619.  I am not inferring that it was Rev. Sharpton’s intent, but to cast this horror in the context of a “malfunction,” is to give America a pass.  We can no longer afford to do that.

The total disregard for George Floyd as a human being, coupled with a hatred for the Black Community that Officer Derek Chauvin took an oath to protect and serve, led to the lynching on May 25. Chauvin was sending a message to the community by holding his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck in broad daylight. “Black people, know your place, understand your place and stay in your place.” Even the knowledge that he was being videotaped didn’t deter Chauvin. His inhumanity towards Mr. Floyd as his life was slowly choked out of his handcuffed body emanates from America’s historic inhumanity towards people of color since Tristan de Luna established the short-lived settlement at Pensacola Bay in 1559.

This hatred is woven into the very fabric of America.  It is in the founding documents of this country. It’s evident in Supreme Court decisions and the blowback from America’s dominant culture to any modicum of success achieved by African Americans (The Red Summer of 1919 or Tulsa 1921). A clear and indisputable pattern is obvious. Within this historic context, this atrocity captured on video, this act of domestic terrorism was America in action. The power of the State as carried out through Officer Chauvin was in full effect. This was no malfunction…it was business as usual.

“This act of domestic terrorism was America in action.”

Our ancestors were brought to these shores for only one purpose; free labor. Our task was to perform all the requisite dirty work to build an economy and empire for Europe.  The so-called “christians” who swore in the Mayflower Compact of 1620 that they undertook, “…for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia…” could not reconcile their inhumane treatment of their African captives with their “Christianity.” To absolve themselves of the dilemma posed by the true Christian ethic that God created man in his own image, the Europeans slowly dehumanized their captives and codified this in law and constitution.

Examine the Laws of Virginia:

  • Act XII 1662, “children got by Englishmen upon a Negro woman, is the child slave or free?”  The status of the child shall be determined by the status of the mother.
  • Act II 1667 addresses, “What happens to the status of a baptized slave?” Answer: “the conferring of baptism doth not alter the condition of person as to his bondage…”
  • Act I 1669, a master cannot be charged with murder for the “casual killing of slaves” since no one in their right mind would destroy their own property.

By 1669, the enslaved were no longer persons, they were no longer human; they were property.

The Constitution gave us the Three Fifths Compromise, the Fugitive Slave Provision (the constitutional validation for slave patrols, the early form of American policing) and allowed for the importation of enslaved Africans for twenty years, until January 1, 1808.  In 1857 the Supreme Court via Chief Justice Taney gave us the Dred Scott decision, validating the belief that all blacks — enslaved as well as free — were not and could never become citizens of the United States. The framers of the Constitution, he wrote, believed that blacks“had no rights which the white man was bound to respect…”  

These are a few examples of what is meant by structural or “institutional racism.”  Stripping our ancestors of their humanity, relegating them to the position of property or things and codifying it in the founding documents and court decisions of this country. This is not a malfunction; this is the machine operating as designed!

Yes, there has been legislation and court decisions that have amended and/or eliminated many of these laws from the books. The Brown decision, the 64’ Civil Rights Act, the 65’ Voting Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act were all great legal and legislative advancements. This progress has lulled us to sleep with a false sense of accomplishment and optimism. The reality remains that legislation alone does not do anything to disabuse those in power and those they represent of the controlling mindset of this country, of the notion that African Americans are less than human.

“This is the machine operating as designed.”

For example, banning the chokehold is a great idea, but that same banned chokehold is what killed Eric Garner.  Until we get to the real crux of the issue, the controlling and racist mindset of an entire criminal justice system that turns a blind eye to choking, shooting unarmed suspects and not holding officers accountable when they use excessively violent tactics, nothing substantive will change.  Jury verdicts validating police abuse and police departments staging sickouts to protest fellow officers being charged with crimes is evidence of the machine making corrections to protect itself.

Are the ongoing protests a moment or a movement?  The jury is still out.  The verdict will be determined by the blowback that comes from this moment and how those who are protesting and advocating for change respond to it. The response to judicial and legislative advancements is always substantive blowback.  The Supreme Court has dismantled the Voting Rights Act and conservative groups have escalated voter suppression tactics such as The Crosscheck Program. The Supreme Court has made it more difficult to prove discrimination under the Civil Rights Act.  The election of Donald Trump was blowback to the election of Barak Obama as was Sen. McConnell’s not allowing the nomination of Merrick Garland to go forward.

“The verdict will be determined by the blowback that comes from this moment.”

The American ethos of exceptionalism and the illusion of white supremacy are under attack. The battle is playing out right before our eyes on both the foreign and domestic fronts.  You cannot separate the racist aggression being carried out against people of color in the streets of the US by the State (aka the police) and the racist aggression being carried out by the US against Venezuela, Bolivia, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Yemen, Libya and Syria (just to name a few). Dr. King warned us about the three major evils: “poverty, global racial oppression and militarism”… King told us, “And we must face the hard fact that many Americans would like to have a nation which is a democracy for white Americans but simultaneously a dictatorship over black Americans.”

Too many white Americans are insecure and losing their footing in the shifting sands of the quest for ethnic equality in America.  How those of good conscience and morality respond to the violent blowback will determine if and how the country can move from this moment of unrest and uncertainty to a movement of peace and equality.  I am certain that we will never get there until Congress and others stop wading in the safety of the shallow waters of chokeholds and panels and begin to swim into the deep waters of the real issue… the racist ethos of America.

Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III is the Producer/ Host of the nationally broadcast call-in talk radio program “Inside the Issues with Leon,” on SiriusXM Satellite radio channel 126. Go to http://www.wilmerleon.com or email: wjl3us@yahoo.com. www.twitter.com/drwleon and Dr. Leon’s Prescription at Facebook.com © 2020 InfoWave Communications, LLC

Source: A Moment or a Movement? The Blowback Will Tell | Black Agenda Report

#ShamelesslyHaitian by Raygine C. DiAquoi | NewBlackMan (in Exile)

NewBlackMan (in Exile)

The Digital Home for Duke University Professor and Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal

 

On this day, whenever I walk out of the house, my grandmother reminds me that my ancestors are walking with me.

Toute moun, vin al regle afè Raygine. Ale avèk Raygine/Everyone, go and handle Raygine’s affairs. Go with Raygine.

She always recites these words as I unlock the door to go outside. I imagine my most immediate ancestors forming a protective phalanx around me, accompanied by many ancestors whose names I will never know. They’ve been leaving the house with me for as long as I can remember. I imagine that they walk with me in my journey through graduate school even though I am far from my home in Flatbush, Haiti.

Every time I left the house my grandmother let me know that I was well equipped to overcome any battle that I might encounter outside of our home. She was reminding me that I was her little warrior, the descendant of warriors, and that my ancestors were always around, intervening when necessary. They would help me in all of my battles. She armed me with a sense of connectedness and continuity, locating me within a past that is ever-present. She was making sure that I was familiar with Zansèt yo/The Ancestors, making sure that I would never disremember them.

Haitian culture is a culture of remembering. Haitians celebrate their Independence Day on the first of January and the Day of the Ancestors on the second. After spending a day celebrating its bright and promising future, a newly independent Haiti devoted a day to remembering the sacrifices of foremothers and forefathers. In my family, we continue to do the same. The entire first day of the January is infused with a sense of triumph and victory and the smell of soup Joumou.

The feeling of pride continues into the second day but is tempered by the call to think of those who have come before us, who have sacrificed so that we could have this present moment. For Haitians the idea of revolution, of progress, of change is intricately intertwined with the past and the ancestors. All endeavors that we undertake occur under the gaze and with the aid of our ancestors.  The past is always present. This is apparent in the Desalinyèn, Haiti’s national anthem.

Every January 1st, parts of the Haitian national anthem envelop my parents’ home, weaving in and out of boisterous telephone conversations, seasoning our pumpkin soup, and blaring from the kitchen radio that picks up Haitian radio stations.

Pou Ayiti ak pou Zansèt yo

For Haiti and for the Ancestors
Fo nou kapab vanyan gason

We must be able, valiant men
Moun pa fèt pou ret avèk moun

Men are not born to serve other men
Se sa-k fè tout Manman ak tout Papa

That is why all mothers and all fathers
Dwe pou voye Timoun lekòl

Must send their child to school
Pou yo aprann, pou yo konnen

so they learn, so they know
Sa 
TousenDesalinKristòfPetyon

What Toussaint, Dessalines, Christophe, Petion
Te fè pou wet Ayisyen anba bòt blan.

Did to remove Haitians from under white people’s boots.

The anthem repeatedly invokes the ancestors, reminding Haitians to honor and revere them. However, this stanza speaks specifically to the importance of teaching children about the deeds of those who came before them. Specifically, Haitian parents are charged with making sure that their children get an education that will teach them about what their ancestors have done for them. My parents have been relentless about making sure that I know whom I have been, who I am and who I will become.

Through stories, poetry, songs, prayer and artifacts, my family created a syllabus for remembering. As a child my mother fed me stories about the importance of African indigenous knowledge, in the case of Bwa Kayiman, to the Haitian revolution, and poems that placed Haiti’s achievements against the backdrop of Africa’s many firsts. One of the songs that my grandmother taught me had this repeating refrain, which referenced both a hatred of the French and a removal of the color white from the French flag to create the Haitian flag: Desalin pa vle wè blan/ Desalin wants nothing to do with the white man.

However, for my grandmother it wasn’t just about songs, stories and poems. My grandmother lives in a constant state of remembrance. The words that she would recite as I left the house, the prayers that she made to her mother and father to protect our family, and the dreams that she interprets for us at the kitchen table or over the phone are glimpses of the constant state of being which allows her to live simultaneously in the past as well as the present. These practices were lessons in survival and strength. There was an understanding that I needed these lessons to thrive, to fully understand my place in a world that would relegate me to the margins.

I recognize these practices to be a part of a diasporic indigenous ontology, particular to Haitians who have a penchant for speaking about Dessalines and Toussaint as if they just saw the two men on the platform at the 2/5 Church Avenue train station. My sister and I do this too. We talk about “our man Dessalines” and how “that cat was really not trying to hear anything about slavery”. It is a way of being, particular and native to peoples who live and are at home in the diaspora, people for whom the diaspora has become a place of permanent residence.

This way of being, which is apparent in many facets of Haitian culture, is remarkable considering the fact that the victories of the first black republic are something that history likes to forget. This constant remembering is an act of resistance, a way of ensuring the longevity of a people and their strength in world that wishes that they did not exist, a world that refuses to see them, a world bent on diminishing and distorting their history.

Today I remember Edmé Azaël Henriette Jeanty Delpé Jeanty, Lonpré Jeanty, Lucrèsse Azaël, Marcel Azaël, Antonine Azaël, Mona Brifil, Marie-Marthe Azaël, Marco Jeanty, Ulrique Jeanty, Bosier Jeanty, Hypolite Jeanty, Jiocher Jeanty, Richard Jeanty, Loulouse Jeanty, Inez Jeanty, Diaquoi ainé (present at the signing of the Act of Independence), Zabelite Théophile, Paulimuce S. DiAquoi, Felicia Dubois, Feaux Théophile, Jacqueline Théophile, Bathelmy Théophile, Malgrey Théophile, Cill Théophile, Coléstine Théophile.

Toute moun, vin al regle afè Raygine. Ale avèk Raygine/Everyone, go and handle Raygine’s affairs. Go with Raygine.

#ShamelesslyHaitian

***

 

Raygine C. DiAquoi  Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences Assistant Dean, Office of Diversity, Culture, and Inclusion at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

Source: #ShamelesslyHaitian by Raygine C. DiAquoi | NewBlackMan (in Exile)

Ruby Sales — Where Does It Hurt? – The On Being Project

Civil rights legend Ruby Sales (OUR COMMON GROUND Voice) learned to ask “Where does it hurt?” because it’s a question that drives to the heart of the matter — and a question we scarcely know how to ask in public life now. Sales says we must be as clear about what we love as about what we hate if we want to make change. And even as she unsettles some of what we think we know about the force of religion in civil rights history, she names a “spiritual crisis of white America” as a calling of today.

Source: Ruby Sales — Where Does It Hurt? – The On Being Project  

Ruby Nell Sales is a highly-trained, experienced, and deeply-committed social activist, scholar, administrator, manager, public theologian, and educator in the areas of Civil, Gender, and other Human Rights. She is an excellent public speaker, with a proven track record in conflict resolution and consensus building. Ms. Sales has preached around the country on race, class, gender, and reconciliation, and she has done ground-breaking work on community and nonviolence formation. Ms. Sales also serves as a national convener of the Every Church A Peace Church Movement.

Along with other SNCC workers, Sales joined young people from Fort Deposit, Alabama who organized a demonstration to protest the actions of the local White grocery-store owners who cheated their parents. The group was arrested and held in jail and then suddenly released. Jonathan Daniels, a White seminarian and freedom worker from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts was assassinated as he pulled Sales out of the line of fire when they attempted to enter Cash Grocery Store to buy sodas for other freedom workers who were released from jail. Tom Coleman also shot and deeply wounded Father Richard Morrisroe, a priest from Chicago. Despite threats of violence, Sales was determined to attend the trial of Daniels’ murderer, Tom Coleman, and to testify on behalf of her slain colleague.

As a social activist, Sales has served on many committees to further the work of reconciliation, education, and awareness. She has served on the Steering Committee for International Women’s Day, Washington, D.C.; the James Porter Colloquium Committee, Howard University, Washington, D.C.; the Coordinating Committee, People’s Coalition, Washington, D.C.; the President’s Committee On Race, University of Maryland; and the Coalition on Violence Against Women, Amnesty International, Washington, D.C. She was a founding member of Sage Magazine: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women. Sales received a Certificate of Gratitude for her work on Eyes on the Prize. Additionally, she was featured in Broken Ground: A Film on Race Relations in the South, by Broken Ground Productions. From 1991-1994, Sales founded and directed the national nonprofit organization Women of All Colors, dedicated to improving the overall quality of life for women, their families, and the communities in which they live. Women of All Colors organized a week-long SisterSpeak that brought more than 80 Black women together to set a national agenda.

In 2000, Dan Rather spotlighted Sales on his “American Dream” Segment. In 1999, Selma, Alabama gave Sales the key to the city to honor her contributions there. In 2007, Sales moved to Columbus, Georgia, where she organized: a southern summit on racism; a national write-in campaign to save Albany State from being merged into a White college; a grassroots and media campaign to shed light on the death of seventeen year old, Billye Jo Johnson, who allegedly killed himself on a dark road in Lucedale, Mississippi when a deputy stopped him for speeding; Long Train Running Towards Justice, which celebrated the work of Black teachers during segregation and explored the ways that the Black school culture has been destroyed by White officials under the guise of desegregation; and a meeting with students at Savannah State to assist them in organizing and mobilizing a move by officials to merge Savannah State with a White college.

“Ruby Nell Sales is an African-American social justice activist. She attended local segregated schools and was also educated in the community during the 1960s era of the Civil Rights Movement. She has been described as a “legendary civil rights activist” by the PBS program “Religion and Ethics Weekly” Wikipedia
BornJuly 8, 1948 (age 71 years), Jemison, AL

Overdue reparations is the key to closing the racial wealth gap II Dr. William “Sandy”Darity

Overdue reparations is the key to closing the racial wealth gap

Dr. William Darity‘s congressional testimony lays a path to fix historic inequity that produces unequal outcomes for blacks

Dr. Willliam “Sandy” Darity, Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University.

The case for black reparations must be anchored on three phases of grievous injustice inflicted upon enslaved blacks and their descendants. First is the atrocity of slavery itself.

The case for black reparations must be anchored on three phases of grievous injustice inflicted upon enslaved blacks and their descendants. First is the atrocity of slavery itself. Second are the atrocities exercised during the nearly century-long period of legal segregation in the U.S. (the “Jim Crow” era). Third are the legacy effects of slavery and Jim Crow, compounded by ongoing racism manifest in persistent health disparities, labor market discrimination, mass incarceration, police executions of unarmed blacks (de facto lynchings), black voter suppression, and the general deprivation of equal well-being with all Americans. Therefore, it is a misnomer to refer to “slavery reparations,” since black reparations must encompass the harms imposed throughout American history to the present moment — both slavery and post-slavery, both Jim Crow and post-Jim Crow — on black descendants of American slavery. It is precisely that unique community that should be the recipients of reparations: black American descendants of persons enslaved in the U.S.

Second are the atrocities exercised during the nearly century-long period of legal segregation in the U.S. (the “Jim Crow” era).

In a 2003 article written with Dania Frank Francis, and, more recently, in work written with Kirsten Mullen, we have proposed two criteria for eligibility for black reparations. First, an individual must demonstrate that they have at least one ancestor who was enslaved in the U.S. Second, an individual must demonstrate that for at least 10 years prior to the onset of the reparations program or the formation of the study commission, whichever comes first, they self-identified as black, Negro or African-American. The first criterion will require genealogical documentation — but absolutely no phenotype, ideology or DNA tests. The second criterion will require presentation of a suitable state or federal legal document that the person declared themselves to be black.

iStockphoto.

… it is a misnomer to refer to “slavery reparations,” since black reparations must encompass the harms imposed throughout American history to the present moment

I also recommend, like the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, the commission on reparations proposals commission should be appointed exclusively by the Congress. The commission appointees should be experts in American history, Constitutional law, economics (including stratification economics), political science and sociology. These appointees must have expert knowledge on the history of slavery and Jim Crow, employment discrimination, wealth inequality, health disparities, unequal educational opportunities, criminal justice and mass incarceration, media, political participation and exclusion, and housing inequities. The commission also should include appointees with detailed knowledge about the design and administration of prior reparations programs as guidelines for structuring a comprehensive reparations program for native black Americans.

Where do we go from here?

What would it take to bridge the black-white wealth gap?
A Q & A with Duke University economist William ‘Sandy’ Darity, who has some radical—yet doable—ideas
mlk50.com
Reparations well-intentioned, but insufficient for the debt owed
City of Memphis gives $50,000 each to the 14 living black sanitation workers from the 1968 strike
mlk50.com
The Loebs : Exploited black labor and inherited white wealth
Penny-pinching Loeb ancestors kept wages flat for 25 years as black laundresses did “miserable” work
mlk50.com

Source: Overdue reparations is the key to closing the racial wealth gap

Roots of Transformation International

Roots of Transformation International (“Roots”), now an international non-governmental organization (NGO)

peace

Roots of Transformation International (“Roots”), founder, Carmen delRosaario, announced earlier today that Roots of Transformation International has been recognized as an international non-governmental organization (NGO).

She writes,

“Dear Friends,
I am happy to share with you that Roots of Transformation International (“Roots”) has been recognized as an international NGO, and it up and running! As many of you know, I have spent years reflecting and talking about creating Roots. This idea has been in the making for many years, and this idea is now a reality. 
Roots is committed to equipping people with the knowledge, wisdom, and tools needed to make decisions that will positively impact their futures- as individuals, for their families and for their nation. 
Roots is guided by knowledge and experience acquired from over 25 years working in different parts of the world, learning and sharing knowledge in diverse cultures and communities, working with men, women, and young people from all walks of life. The focus of Roots’ work is on how violence, including genocide, female genital mutilation, child soldier, sexual violence, racism and more affects the physical and mental health of so many people around the world. However, we do not stop there. The goal of Roots is to engage and empower individuals, families and communities to interrupt the cycles that perpetuate these forms of violence, starting with the self. 

DSC00577

Roots of Transformation working with men for non-violence in the DRC

According to a popular quote from Einstein, “the world as we have created it is a process of our thinking, and it cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
Roots is creating sustainable change in behavior by renewing individual, community and group minds.  For example, in my experience working on prevention of female genital mutilation with the people who cut the girls (sometimes as early as 2 months old), some of them are telling me that “well, they also did it to me” or “I want my girl to get married”, reasons based on a mindset that they have not themselves fully understood or agree with . I call this the cycle of knowledge, information, and practices that repeat from generation to generation, and which can be interrupted- not by simply telling or asking people to stop, but through transformational processes that result in people wanting and creating a different outcome for themselves and their children.

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OUR COMMON GROUND Voice, Carmen del Rosario, Founder, Roots of Transformation International

About Roots of Transformation International

Roots of Transformation International is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that facilitates organizational stability, change, and transformation by the renewal of individuals’ minds through individual and institutional capacity building. Roots works in collaboration and partnerships with a wide range of government, religious and civic organizations, as well as both national and international NGOs. These partnerships are the means to provide technical assistance and support to local communities by increasing their knowledge of themselves in a holistic manner; a tripartite definition of self as being (1) physical, (2) mental, and (3) spiritual. Roots is committed to equipping people with the knowledge, wisdom, and tools needed to make decisions that will positively impact their futures-as individuals, for their families and for their nation. 
At this point, Roots needs your help in order to continue this work. This Mother’s Day, please consider supporting Roots in our efforts to support hundreds of women and girls of all ages in their struggle to survive the consequences of female genital mutilation, and in our work to bring an end to this harmful practice.

There is no such thing as too small, even just $10 or $20 can go far in some communities.
With much appreciation,
Carmen” del Rosario
Donations can be made via PayPal

OCG encourages you to donate. No where else has the need for non-violence work and transforming the meaning of community taking a deep meaning in the lives of each citizen more needed.  Roots has been there fighting a culture of non-violence in communities struggling to survive the cultural remnants of war and genocide.

You can listen to Carmen delRosario sharing her passion and hopes for Roots (ROT) here:

http://bit.ly/ROOTSCarmendelRosario

03-29 Carmen

INCREASING PUBLIC POWER TO INCREASE COMPETITION: A FOUNDATION FOR AN INCLUSIVE ECONOMY

INCREASING PUBLIC POWER TO INCREASE COMPETITION:  A FOUNDATION FOR AN INCLUSIVE ECONOMY

ISSUE BRIEF BY WILLIAM DARITY JR., DARRICK HAMILTON, AND RAKEEN MABUD
MAY 2019

Executive Summary

The United States needs an economy grounded in justice and morality, where everyone, free of undue resource constraints, can prosper. To achieve this, citizens ought to have universal access to undeniable economic rights, such as the right to employment, medical and health care, high quality education, sound banking and financial services, or a meaningful endowment at birth (Paul, Darity, Hamilton 2018). Currently, our system provides these rights primarily through the “free market” by private providers, but these private companies often fail to meet the following criteria:

•   Quantity: Are goods adequately supplied?
•   Quality: Are the goods high quality?
•   Access: Do people have adequate access to these goods?

Because of the failure of America’s markets-first approach to policy, the federal government should intervene by introducing public options that provide these essential goods and services in direct competition with private firms. Doing so will set “floors” on wages and quality and “ceilings” on price for private actors who are intent on providing important economic rights at a cost. In employment, this might mean providing a federal jobs guarantee (FJG); in financial services, this could mean access to bank accounts and safe, nonpredatory loans. Throughout this issue brief, we explore what public options might look like in employment, health, housing, education, and financial services. We argue that in these sectors, public options are necessary to combat high-cost, low-quality provision by private actors and ensure universal and better quality access to all Americans.

Full Report here.   https://rooseveltinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/RI_Increasing-Public-Power-to-Increase-Competition-brief-201905.pdf

CREATIVE COMMONS COPYRIGHT 2019 | ROOSEVELTINSTITUTE.ORG

The report features the work of OUR COMMON GROUND Voices, Drs. William “Sandy” Darity and Darrick Hamilton

Darity Hamilton