Reparations Leaders Rip Bank’s Scholarship Offer

Fran Spielman, Chicago Sun-Times, Jan. 23

Champions of the slave reparations movement are denouncing as “insulting” and a “joke” an offer from JPMorgan Chase & Co.—parent company of Bank One—to create a $5 million scholarship fund for African-American students in Louisiana to make amends for the banking behemoth’s past ties to slavery.

Conrad Worrill, chairman of the National Black United Front, said Friday that the $5 million offer doesn’t begin to repair the damage created when two of JPMorgan Chase’s predecessor banks in Louisiana allowed 13,000 slaves to be used as collateral on loans and took ownership of 1,250 slaves when those loans defaulted.

“The Bill Daley/JPMorgan Chase [offer] is insulting. It’s a joke. To admit they owned 13,000 slaves and say they’re only going to come up with $5 million? What is $5 million over five years? That’s like no money,” Worrill said.

$5 mil. ‘nowhere near enough’

“Calculate how much money they made off 13,000 slaves. This is a way to appease and get themselves off the hook. This is not addressing the profits they acquired from owning slaves. It’s nothing. It’s an effort to dilute and diminish the issue. They should sit with the leadership of the reparations movement and negotiate.”

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