Two reparations groups are pushing back against the move toward lineage-based reparations. The National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC) and the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA) remain steadfast in believing reparations need to be issued across the board to all Blacks.
Still, many experts say that this race-based reparations ideology is not only dated but is much more likely to be legally challenged.
Basing reparations on race could be deemed unconstitutional, according to Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California Berkeley Law School. He noted that lineage-based reparations would be much less likely to be challenged in court.
So are NAARC And N’COBRA trying to block a modern, lineage-based reparations claim?
Some say they are.
“The NAARC and NCOBRA agenda will not result in a reparations plan that will provide direct payments to black American descendants of U.S. slavery. Therefore, there is no reason to support it whatsoever. It’s dangerous,” reparations scholar William Darity tweeted on Jan 5, 2022. Darity is the co-author, with A. Kirsten Mullen, of “From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century.”
“In its 30-year reign, N’COBRA has been an organization that has operated ineffectively as a reparations organization, proving itself incapable of advocating for reparations or even the facilitation of the National conversation on reparations,” wrote Kofi Changamire, in an article entitled “Dereliction of Duty; The 30-year tenure of N’COBRA” for Medium.
Changamire is a American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS) supporter who ran for a seat on Baltimore City Council District 9 in Baltimore, Maryland, in 2020 as an ADOS candidate.
According to Changamire, he believes this to be so for every reason, inkling the group’s “excessive use of contradictory language, terms, and concepts in legislative and legal documents, memorandums” as well as its “inability to define what reparations is and who it should go to and its refusal to specify Native Black Americans as a distinct ethnic group separate from other groups of Black people.”
Changamire also says N’COBRA actions “have been detrimental to the pursuit of a justice claim by the victims of American chattel slavery and Jim Crow. The organization, either dormant or negligent for the majority of its 30-year history only came out of hiding to oppose the #ADOS reparations movement.”
According to activist Morgan Malachi, who represents the Tubman House Center for Reparative Justice, NCOBRA and NAARC “are acting as reparation oppositionists.”
“Who gave NAARC…permission to assert themselves as the leaders in this movement…” asked self-described Freedman Malachi in Actify Press. He added that “NAARC is an organization that has not been relevant to American Freedmen in thirty years.”
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ADOS believes reparations should be issued only to Black Americans who can trace their ancestry back to a former slave.
The plan from NAARC, which was established in 2015, covers 10 points for reparations for people of African descent in the U.S.
According to the organization’s website, the points are: Funds for cooperative enterprises and socially responsible entrepreneurial development; resources for the health, wellness, and healing of Black families and communities; affordable housing for healthy Black communities and wealth generation.
N’Cobra’s plan for reparations, while also for African descendants of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, includes African people in the U.S. and the prior colonies, according to its website.
Founded in 1987, N’Cobra declares that reparations “can be in as many forms as necessary to equitably (fairly) address the many forms of injury caused by chattel slavery and its continuing vestiges.”
Photo: In this March 20, 2019 file photo Tamara Lanier attends a news conference near the Harvard Club, in New York. Lanier, of Norwich, Conn., is suing the Harvard University for “wrongful seizure, possession and expropriation” of images she says depict two of her ancestors. Descendants of a Harvard professor who commissioned a series of 1850 photos of slaves say they’re backing the lawsuit against the university. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)