Posted on May 18, 2023

Squad Demands $14 Trillion in Federal Reparations for Descendants of Slaves

Morgan Phillips, Daily Mail, May 17, 2023

A number of House Democrats led by Rep. Cori Bush introduced a resolution Thursday to reignite a push for federal reparations that would amount to over half the U.S. GDP.

The resolution states that the U.S. has a ‘legal and moral’ obligation to provide reparations for the enslavement of black people and calls for $14 trillion to be paid – ‘at least the amount of the black white wealth gap,’ Bush told during a press conference.

The entire U.S. GDP was $25 trillion in 2022. The U.S. is already $31.4 trillion in debt and lawmakers are currently engaged in tedious negotiations over where to cut the budget so they can raise the debt limit.

The $14 trillion figure is in line with the findings of Duke University professor and economist William ‘Sandy’ Darity, who estimates the wealth gap is in excess of $300,000 per person and there are roughly 40 million black people whose ancestors were enslaved in the U.S.

Asked about the funding source of such a program, Bush suggested the nation reduce its spending abroad and on defense.

‘We’re working with this administration, we’re talking with other members of Congress, but I’ll say this,’ she said. ‘If we can continue to fund these endless wars, or we can continue to put trillions of dollars into these forever wars, into the Defense budget even beyond what they asked for, if we can send money abroad to help elsewhere, then we have to make sure, because we’re talking about things that are happening now.’

The Pentagon has requested a budget of $824 billion for fiscal year 2024.

Biden, on the campaign trail, said he supported a study of the idea of reparations.

‘Uncomfortable as it may be, our country was not founded on the principle that all people are created equal,’ Rep. Bush said, to raucous affirmations from the crowd behind her.

‘It was founded at the expense of the lives, freedom and well being of black people, African folks who they stole, whose enslavement, exploitation and dehumanization. were written, written into the Constitution.’

‘The truth is slavery and discrimination are not a minor or insignificant part of our country’s development. They are integral.’

Bush was flanked by activists and a number of other House Democrats – Summer Lee, D-Pa., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., and Barbara Lee, D-Calif., who is running for Senate.

Bush cited a litany of ways in which black people ‘continue to live under slavery,’ citing the black-white wealth gap, voter suppression, segregation, red lining, and disparities in health.

‘Trauma lives in the black body,’ said Bowman.

‘Research has shown this from generation to generation trauma lives in the body and lives in the blood vessels and lives in the DNA and the cells and the mind.’

He went on: ‘So when we talk about disproportion impact of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and so on, stress, when we talk about that, it’s directly connected to our historical oppression in this country.’

Bowman then compared black people fighting for ‘freedom’ to other nations defending themselves.

‘I watch with pride and support when I see the Irish fight for Ireland, and the Italians fight for Italy and Jews fight for Israel and Palestinians fight for Palestine. I love that. Black people are fighting for our sovereignty in the same way.’

California Senate candidate and current House member Lee praised her home state, where a reparations task force recommended the state formally apologize for slavery and the legislature consider direct payments.

‘It’s far past time for the federal government to catch up.’

The California task force was created to study the economic effects of slavery and discrimination in the state back in September 2020, making California the first state to embark on studying the possibility of reparations for black Americans — even though slavery was banned in California even before it joined the union.

The group formally approved its final recommendations to the California Legislature last weekend – some of which have been seen as controversial.

The suggestions include payments of a minimum of $360,000 for black Californians, though the payments may go up to $1.2 million.

Another recommendation would give the control of local land use decisions to a state agency – that would approve plans based on whether they maintain or decrease segregation.

Around three in 10 U.S. adults say descendants of slaves should be repaid in some way, according to 2022 Pew Research polling.

‘Our ancestors may not be here but we are their descendants and we deserve to have compensation … for everything they’ve lost,’ Bush concluded.