Starling of the Month - June 2019
Coinciding with the annual observance of Juneteenth, the House Judiciary Committee heard testimony from several prominent black leaders including the likes of Sen. Cory Booker and Danny Glover. The topic at hand, reparations for America's "original sin" as it was referred to by many. While there were many points forayed into the mix, the highlight of the three-hour-long hearing was the testimony of none other than writer Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Most recently serving as national correspondent for The Atlantic, Coates previously visited the issue of reparations in his 2014 article, “The Case for Reparations" in which he won a George Polk award for commentary. In the article, Coates delves deeply into the unaddressed history of the United States. Where it's common practice to hear someone retort, "slavery ended in 1865," Coates addresses this misconception. He looks into the period of disarray and chaos that followed the "original sin."
However, in his appearance before Congress, Coates shared the floor with other black leaders in order to rain the point in.
“And so for a century after the Civil War Black people were subjected to relentless campaign of terror — a campaign that extended well into the lifetime of Majority Leader McConnell," he replied to the aforementioned senator's analysis that reparations are not necessary because "none of us currently living are responsible" for the injustice.
Coates continued, at length, to explain the very backbone of the American economy was molded by slavery and that its blood-relatives still thrive to this day.
Coate's steady reasoning was revered on social media as many users praised the writer for taking the time to put pen to paper, and then show up for presentations.
The case for reparations admittedly is not a simple one. It is not an issue that will be solved overnight. However, it has been over 150 years since the end of slavery, and promises have been broken. While the country propped up itself as an economic superpower families and lives were destroyed in the process. It is about time the conversation be had and the legislation be signed.
See what Twitter had to say about Ta-Nehisi Coates, and the reparations hearing below: