Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has once again given his stance on reparations for Black Americans–and the GOP has out a twist to his statements to try and use them for the Republicans advantage.
During a recent interview with The Breakfast Club, he said he was for reparations-inspired programs, not outright cash payments. He said he didn’t think the country would ever pass cash reparations but that issues such as education, community grants and other programs targeted at Black people could be something the government could push through, and this would be what he’d focus on.
RFK Jr., who recently switched from a Democrat candidate to an independent candidate, previously said pretty much the same thing during a recent one-on-one interview with the Black Press of America. During that interview he said he was not for cash reparations but other forms of repair.
Kennedy has spoken out in favor of issuing federal money to “rebuild black infrastructure” like banks and businesses, and as well as “direct redress payments or tax credits” rather than no-strings cash giveaways, The New York Post reported.
RFK’s campaign website introduced a policy of “racial healing.” This policy advocates for “targeted community repair” and suggests that federal funds should be allocated to “rebuild Black infrastructure.” However, Kennedy denies that this policy supports race-based reparations.
“Communities that were specifically targeted for destruction need to be specifically targeted for repair,” he states on his campaign website.
“During Jim Crow, Black banks, businesses, hospitals, schools, and farms were targeted for destruction. Racists knew that without these, the Black community had no chance of building wealth. We must set federal dollars aside to rebuild Black infrastructure,” the website says.
“These programs complement direct redress payments or tax credits to the descendants of the victims of Jim Crow and other victims of persecution,” the pledge continues. “RFK Jr. will find ways to offer this redress that are legal, fair, and win the approval of Americans of all races.”
It’s pretty much what he said during his Breakfast Club interview.
But conservatives are running with The Breakfast Club appearance and pushing the narrative on social media that he is for cash reparations. The effort by MAGA forces are being done in hopes of luring away Black votes from Biden to RFK Jr., which would leave a wide space for Donald Trump to sail between the Democrat voting divide.
President Biden has been mainly silent on the issue, and all efforts for a reparations study have stalled.
Kennedy’s proposal aims to rebuild Black infrastructure that includes banks, businesses, hospitals, schools, and farms. Kennedy also said he supports initiatives like the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, originally founded in 1967 by his father, Robert F. Kennedy, then-New York City Mayor John Lindsay, and then-New York Senator Jacob Javits.
Meanwhile far-left independent candidate Cornel West has also expressed support for reparations.
While the GOP is hoping that RFK’s statements will lure away Black voters from Biden, some also wonder if RFK’s stance along with West’s push for reparations would lead Biden to finally put forth cash reparations before the elections.
Social media was abuzz with discussions and reactions to RFK Jr.’s stance on reparations.
Tanner Henley tweeted, “RFK Jr.’s support for reparations is a game-changer. Whether you agree or not, it’s shaking up the political landscape.”
Larry Elder, a Republican candidate for president, tweeted: “Reparations debate is on the rise. RFK Jr.’s position could have far-reaching consequences. What are your thoughts?”
A tweet by Pranjalk526 read, “The reparations discussion just got a whole lot more interesting. RFK Jr.’s proposal has sparked nationwide conversations.”
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on The Breakfast Club, Twitter/X screenshot, @tannerhenley17 (https://twitter.com/tannerhenley17/status/1715947309916209491)