I’m a little surprised about the hypothetical pay-for here — shouldn’t the banks and corporations that directly profited from slave labor be subject to a special tax (or maybe legal settlement?) to help fund a reparations program? And what can be learned from the UK government’s decision to pay slaveowners reparations or other reparations programs that have been implemented abroad (Germany paid Israel reparations for the Holocaust, for example)?

To be clear, I’m not against taxpayer-funded reparations. But the idea of using taxes collected from Black Americans today to fund a reparations program and at the same time not imposing some kind of financial penalty on firms that are still around today that directly participated in and profited from slavery doesn’t seem right to me. Making companies that profited from slavery help pay the cost of reparations would I think help make such a proposal more popular as well.

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