So what is #ADOS, which stands for the American Descendants of Slavery? Well, the organization isn’t really what it seems. On the
The group was founded by social media figures Yvette Carnell and Antonio Moore late last year. The ADOS hashtag aims to get the government to address the plight of African Americans who were directly connected to U.S. slavery through a list of a number of reparation demands, according to ADOS website.
ADOS was formed to reclaim and restore the national character of African American identity, and the group experience of being enslaved in the U.S.A. The organization uses YouTube and Twitter to promote reparations. Supporters see reparations as a way to address the wealth gaps that persist to this day from slavery and systemic discrimination against African Americans. ADOS sees a debt owed to African Americans after 400 years of slavery in the U.S. and the damages that it did to African Americans. ADOS is credited with creating a national dialogue that has entered into the mainstream media.
The movement has its critics.
“The ADOS movement goes against everything; whether you want to call it Pan-Africanism, or seeing the Black world as a united family, ADOS goes against all of that,” said Dr. Ray Winbush, a research professor and director of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University, in The Final Call. “They have no understanding of how the Black Diaspora throughout the planet is united. So for them to come in and try to divide Black Americans against Jamaicans, Black Brazilians, and even other Africans is ridiculous.”
Here are 10 things to know about the #ADOS position on reparations.
Among the forms ADOS wants to see reparations in are: reinstituting voting protections, offering a healthcare credit, forgiving student loan debt, and securing 15 percent of Small Business Administration loans for descendants of slaves. These, among others on the list, are reparation demands many Black Americans would find reasonable, according to the organization’s website.
ADOS has studied just how much would be due to Black Americans in the form of reparations. And it examined all the angels going back to slavery. According to its website, “While the sum owed in reparations for the entirety of anti-Black discrimination in the United States is undetermined, the amount of the claim just evaluating slavery in isolation — without the era of Jim Crow that followed — is in the trillions. The market price of the average slave was roughly equal to the price of a house; using relative earnings, a single slave worth $400 in 1850 would today be worth $195,000,” the group states on its website.
They point to the studies by Professor Sandy Darity Jr. — an economist and premiere scholar in the area of American reparations — and Prof. Dania Frank who using the previous studies illustrated that the gains in wealth to white southerners from ownership of Blacks back in 1859 was $3.2 million. I”n today’s dollars, the value of that debt is estimated to be somewhere between $5 to $10 trillion dollars, depending upon the interest rate used for compounding purposes…Using an interest rate of 5 percent, that’s a total of $8.4 trillion in today’s money just in lost wages,” ADOS noted.
While ADOS seems on the outs with Black progressives over the reparations issue, white conservatives like Ann Coulter are coming to the defense of ADOS. And as followers of ADOS rev up anti-immigrant talk against Blacks who were not America born, they seem to be aligning themselves with white supremacists groups such as MAGA.
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“I’m focused on Black people’s issues, on reparations for Black people,” 43-year-old Jerome Jackson, a Chicago-based #ADOS follower, told the Daily Dot. “My grandparents lived here, they suffered, they got cheated out of what they were supposed to have…And it trickles down to my son. So, me trying to get reparations for Black people…That’s what ADOS is about. I don’t see how immigrants or any of that has anything to do with it.”
According to #ADOS, “America only owes reparations to slave descendants, not to Black people whose families freely immigrated to America.”
“This statement draws a line between people of sub-Saharan African descent who can trace their lineage to slave plantations in the United States, and other peoples of African lineage,” The Samuel Dubois Cook Center For Social Equity reported.
ADOS “sets out to shift the dialogue around the identity of what it is to be African American in an effort to move the discussion from melanin, and properly center the discussion around lineage.” For ADOS reparations should not include Jamaican immigrants are not ADOS or folks like Barack Obama nor Kamala Harris.
Those behind the ADOS movement say they are the reason why reparations talk is being taken seriously. That their tweets and supporters have brought reparations into the spotlight, even though many of the 2020 Democratic candidates have been discussing the idea for reparations.
“I think that it [ADOS] has attracted a degree of credibility because at this point, [reparations] is now a political issue,” ADOS follower Trevon Logan said. “You can’t run for the Democratic nomination without a statement, positive or negative, about reparations.”
“As ADOS explains on its policy page, the group is in favor of reparations for the descendants of slaves who were held in captivity in the United States, affirmative action for slavery descendants, and government subsidy of education and health care. Notably, ADOS stresses that benefits should be given only to American slavery descendants,” Media Matters reported. On its policy page, the group states, “Black immigrants should be barred from accessing affirmative action and other
ADOS has focused its policies. “As a specific group with a specific justice claim, the #ADOS movement demands a specific agenda with policy prescriptions that address the losses stemming from the institution of slavery, Jim Crow, redlining, convict leasing, mass incarceration and immigration,” according to the group.
Carnell and Moore proposed a series of policy prescriptions. “The thread running through all of these prescriptions is that they are not targeted at an abstract population of ‘minorities’ — which would include religious minorities, sexual minorities, women, and other people of color — but specifically ADOS,” he Samuel Dubois Cook Center For Social Equity reported.
ADOS wants pro-reparations minister and radio host Mark Thompson fired from Sirius XM. “ADOS supporters’ attacks on Thompson began after he criticized the group during an appearance on MSNBC. Beyond online harassment, earlier this month, Thompson was confronted in person by an ADOS supporter who aggressively invaded Thompson’s personal space and got in his face while calling him ‘Uncle Tom,’ a ‘house nigger,’ and a ‘sellout coon.’ A physical altercation ensued, and ADOS supporters are reportedly using the incident in an attempt to get Thompson fired from his Sirius XM radio show,” Media Matters reported. The group has also been critical of rapper Talib Kweli and it has turned into an all-out beef.
ADOS seems to have attracted Blacks who feel they have been left behind by other groups. “If you need evidence that Black Americans are politically ignorant as a group, then just look at their loyalty to the Democratic Party without reciprocal, tangible benefits, in the form of programs that specifically target ADOS,” Hayden Jamal, and indie hip-hop artist from Atlanta who first heard of #ADOS three months ago, told The Final Call. “I had a huge spike in my interest in politics about five months before learning of #ADOS. I consumed a ton of different political shows and podcasts, but a lot of it didn’t speak to me personally. I learned about #ADOS browsing Tariq Nasheed’s YouTube account and saw a video where he was talking about foundational Black Americans. Once I listened to that, it led me down a pathway of exposure to #ADOS, as the core message is essentially the same thing. Once I saw the actual data from Sandy Darity, Darrick Hamilton, Thomas Shapiro as well as other intellectuals in the same space, [being #ADOS] was a complete no brainer.”