Rev. Jesse Jackson Criticizes Kamala Harris On Reparations, Wants Details

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Written by Dana Sanchez
LIFT Act
This July 5, 2018 photo shows the Rev. Jesse Jackson in Chicago. As the Poor People’s Campaign launches a massive initiative to sign up people to support the movement and to vote, its leaders are working with the generation of civil rights activists who stood with the Rev. Martin Luther King and have continued his work. The Rev. William Barber is co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign. He says he turns to those who came before him: leaders such as Jackson, children’s advocate Marian Wright Edelman, and attorney Al McSurely. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford)

Sen. Kamala Harris, a frontrunner in the 2020 race for the Democratic presidential nomination, has said she believes in reparations for slavery.

She is proposing The LIFT Act, a tax credit plan and cash income program that will provide up to $500 per month for qualifying working families and single people.

The problem with the LIFT Act (Livable Incomes for Families Today) is it’s not reparations, critics say.


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With LIFT, “Everybody gets lifted,” Harris said during an interview with The Grio. “You lift up the economic status of that family, that neighborhood, that community and society as a whole.”

The Grio interviewed Harris at Power Rising 2019 in New Orleans. Asked if she had a race-based policy beyond the LIFT Act, Harris said “no.”

Kamala Harris
OAKLAND; CA – JAN 27: U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks to her supporters at the official launch rally for her campaign as a candidate for President of the United States in 2020 in front of Oakland City Hall at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza on January 27, 2019; in Oakland, California. Credit: Christopher Victorio/imageSPACE/MediaPunch /IPX

Harris has been criticized because in her plan, all families will benefit, not only Black families or descendants of slavery. The Grio aired a clip of the interview.

“The backlash from the clip was instant and most pronounced from self-described members of ADOS (American Descendants of Slavery), a growing movement of Black Americans who advocate for a separate policy agenda and reparations for descendants of slavery in the U.S.,” The Grio reported.

https://twitter.com/tariqnasheed/status/1100515883305189376

The LIFT Act will directly benefit Black children, Black families, Black homeowners, Harris said. “I’m not gonna sit here and say I’m gonna do something that’s only gonna benefit Black people. No. Because whatever benefits that Black family will benefit that community and society as a whole and the country, right?

Astead W. Herndon, a national politics reporter at The New York Times, tweeted that he got a call from Rev. Jesse Jackson, who wanted to share thoughts on the reparations conversation happening among 2020 Dems.

“By invoking (the) LIFT Act, Kamala Harris discussion of reparations ‘has no depth of analysis to it,'” Jackson said, according to Herndon’s tweet.