1. Shouldn’t reparations be one of the next big progressive causes?
Everywhere I look, people are singing the praises of Ta-Nehisi Coates, including many white liberals. Perhaps they are having “tough conversations” about the “difficult” issue of racism. But not many of these people – ostensibly, allies of African-Americans – are loudly demanding that their political representatives take one simple action to advance the cause of racial justice: co-sponsor the Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act. It’s a simple bill. Coates wrote “The Case for Reparations.” He says this bill is “the vehicle” [emphasis added] for moving toward reparations. If every person who read Coates’ books or attended his talks or fell all over his or herself to celebrate his writing – or, for that matter, every person who attended a Black Lives Matter protest this past year – e-mailed, petitioned, or protested to get the Obama administration, Congress, and presidential candidates to support it, we might get somewhere. Progressives have made causes out of gay marriage, pot legalization, and gun control in recent years. Reparations – if the bill were to pass, a mere study of how to reparations should work to begin with – should join this roster. Enacting them would certainly set the bar for taking further national action on the scale needed to deal with racism and brutality in policing.