Allison Kite, Kansas City Star, April 10, 2018
Concerned about the plight of black people in her Missouri district, a Democratic state senator on Tuesday called for reparations for former slaves and criticized her own party for taking African-American votes for granted.
Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, criticized white Democrats, such as U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, saying there’s “no difference” between them and Republicans. Both parties, she said, have failed black people.
Chappelle-Nadal spoke against the use of tax benefits for corporations in the hopes they’ll hire people, saying they don’t benefit people in her district. Black children in her district, she said, may not have food or stable families but are expected to learn in school despite coming from unequal footing.
One thing that would help, she said, is reparations. Chappelle-Nadal said her family members were slaves in mid-Missouri.
She didn’t expect any legislation supporting reparations would be successful. In 2016, a United Nations working group suggested the U.S. consider reparations for slavery.
Chappelle-Nadal said she’d like to see McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, fight for reparations. Her constituents, she said, see McCaskill as similar to Republicans.
McCaskill called on Chappelle-Nadal to resign last year over a Facebook post saying she hoped President Donald Trump would be assassinated. Chappelle-Nadal later apologized for the post.
Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, said Chappelle-Nadal was entitled to her opinion, but she thought McCaskill had been fighting for black people’s interests on issues like health care, protection for veterans and student loans.
Nasheed questioned why critics would lob complaints at McCaskill six months before Election Day as she seeks her third term. She faces a tough race against likely Republican nominee Josh Hawley, the Missouri attorney general.