Bernie Sanders: Define ‘Empowerment’ Before Reparations

Robert Valencia
Mar 8, 2019 - 5:00
Bernie Sanders: Define ‘Empowerment’ Before Reparations

On Monday morning, Senator Bernie Sanders, who recently launched his 2020 presidential candidacy, sat down with New York City morning radio show “The Breakfast Club” to address an array of topics including mass incarceration and Medicare for All. The Vermont legislator discussed how his economic initiatives would benefit African American voters, but things started to get a bit testy when "The Breakfast Club" host Charlamagne Tha God asked Sanders whether he was “dodging” the issue of reparations for Black Americans after centuries of segregation and discrimination. “I’m not dodging the question. The question is ‘What do we mean by reparations?’”

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7 Replies to “Bernie Sanders: Define ‘Empowerment’ Before Reparations”

  1. It is appreciated: The clarity with which this article has been written. Straight-forward, solutions-oriented, and non-emotional (I am emotional enough as it is) – these qualities of the article have helped me to better understand how different forces are perceiving and connecting on reparations. Gratitude to this platform . . .

  2. I like that question “What does that mean.” I’m a fan of reparations and think that we as Black Americans are owed something. However, I’m thinking from the idea that although we may have more money, if the systematic inequalities aren’t dealt with then wouldn’t it just put us back in the same environment. Think of Native Americans who receive some type of reparation, but still have really tough lives because the system doesn’t allow them much mobility. I thinking of a yes, and, in this situation. Like yes, we need reparations and we need to continue to work to dismantle this racist system for people to most fully access this reparation they would receive.

  3. I think this article is a great start for a deeper conversation on this platform around reparations. I am a fan of reparations and think that could come in many forms (economic, institutional, social, political). I like the comment from a previous member… I think both/and thinking is a great way to look at these complicated issues.

  4. I support reparations. I think the fear surrounding it is the knowledge that the debt is too large to be legitimately repaid. Then, what’s left? An insulting stipend? A symbolic gesture? It’s a conversation that needs to happen, but it will be subject to massive criticism regardless of what is said. I imagine it’s probably a lose-lose topic for 2020 candidates. I think we could start with debt forgiveness.

  5. I appreciate how various sides of the reparation debate were presented without bias towards either perspective. While I support the idea of reparations, I agree that an effort to create real systemic change that will allow African-Americans to have economic equity long-term is just as critical.

  6. I really like his response, “what does that mean?”, asking a question goes further with me than giving lip service support. The system is corrupt and cutting a check won’t do anything but further increase the wealth gap. Bernie mentioned some very strong policy positions right before the sound bite moment of the breakfast club interview. Thanks for the article

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