The idea that reparations have already happened is one that John McWhorter has been defending for 20 years. A Columbia University linguistics professor and author or editor of 20 books, McWhorter is distrustful that reparations can work. Reparations have already happened in the form of the Great Society domestic policy initiatives, McWhorter said.
President Lyndon B. Johnson designed the Great Society programs in 1964 and 1965 to eliminate poverty and racial injustice. “What happened in Bedford Stuyvesant during the Great Society, you look at all the programs and how much money was put in — those were reparations,” McWhorter said. And they didn’t work, he added during an interview with Harvard philosophy professor and activist Dr. Cornell West and CNN commentator Don Lemon. McWhorter predicted that “new reparations” won’t be effective either. However, McWhorter tweeted that he doesn’t think reparations are a bad idea. “I think we’ve already had since the 1960s, and still have, them. They were just never titled ‘reparations.'”
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