Joe Biden Wants To See Studies About Feasibility Of Reparations For Slavery

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Written by Dana Sanchez
slavery reparations
Joe Biden wants to see studies about the feasibility of reparations for slavery. He said he’d be in favor of paying reparations to African Americans but only if it includes reparations for Native Americans. Vice President Joe Biden at the Duke Georgetown NCAA college basketball game, Jan. 30, 2010, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Joe Biden has been criticized in the past for ignoring questions about reparations, changing the subject when it comes up in debates, and failing to include it in his plan for Black America beyond supporting a study.

However, the former vice president said on Wednesday that he was in favor of paying slavery reparations to African Americans but only if it includes reparations for Native Americans. 

A study should be done, the presumptive Democratic nominee said, and his support for cash reparations “would depend on what it was and if it will include Native Americans as well.”

If studies found direct cash payments to be a viable option for reparations, Biden said he’d consider it, Newsweek reported.

“If, in fact, there are ways to get direct payments for reparations, I want to see it,” Biden said Thursday during a virtual town hall meeting hosted on social media by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). “But why are we waiting around for the study? We can deal with this stuff.”

During the NAACP virtual town hall, Biden responded to questions that the moderator said were from young voters concerned about his role in writing the 1994 crime bill when he was a Delaware senator.

The tough-on-crime bill disproportionately targeted African Americans, contributing to mass incarceration that continues to devastate families to this day.

But Biden said he doesn’t think that will deter voters. During the town hall, he said that he has been “told all along” that young people oppose his past stances on criminal justice issues, but “there is no polling evidence to sustain that. Nor is there voting evidence thus far to sustain that”, Guernsey Press reported.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 72: Jamarlin Martin    Part 2. J Edgar Hoover, the first director of the FBI, may not be around but his energy is present in new Black politics.FBI agents and informants were used to weaken Marcus Garvey, the Nation of Islam and the Black Panthers — in ma ny cases for money and career advancement. How could this energy metastasize into the “New Blacks” politics in 2020? Jamarlin goes solo to discuss who is doing the trading and what is being traded to weaken the aggregate Black political position.

Biden has said he does not support defunding the police, but he’s in favor of police reform and withholding federal funding for police departments that violate national standards. 

Democrats raised the idea of reparations on Capitol Hill on Junteenth 2019 at the first hearing in 10 years on H.R. 40, the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act. H.R. 40 is named after the 40 acres and a mule promised to freed slaves after hundreds of years of slavery.

Slavery reparations could carry a $17.1 trillion price tag or $51 trillion. It depends who’s doing the math. Read more here.