After the slaughter of eight people inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015, the national African American Reparations Commission decided enough was enough.
Making the Case
The organization sent a letter to President Obama demanding reparations for African Americans:
“From Ferguson to Baltimore to Charleston this most recent period has revealed that white supremacy, in all of its individual, institutional and structural manifestations, is a deadly disease that remains deeply [e]mbedded in the American psyche and the social, economic and political fabric of this society.
Therefore, Mr. President, in the name of the esteemed Dr. John Hope Franklin, whose father Buck Franklin defended Black survivors of the horrific 1921 Tulsa race riots that destroyed ‘Black Wall Street,’ and who himself was the victim of racial insults and discrimination on numerous occasions, and in honor of Dr. Franklin’s 100th birthday, we call upon you to have the vision to create a Commission on Reparatory Justice in his name.”
The organization, also known as the Reparations Labor Union, created an online petition for people to sign to demand reparations. The petition, created September 9, 2016, is posted on the White House’s We the People website.
The group seeks a presidential executive order to enact Detroit Congressman John Conyers’ H.R.40 reparations legislation. Additionally, they propose fundraising through a National Jubilee Lottery or sweepstakes.
According to the proposal, anyone of any race could win the lottery or sweepstakes, but proceeds from the ticket sales would go toward reparation funding.
100,000 Signers Needed
The petition has 274 signatures, to date, but 100,000 signatures are needed before the president addresses the issue. The deadline to reach 100,000 signatures is October 1.
The group just released an app to make it easy for iOS and Android users to sign the petition, available from Google Play and iTunes, or you can sign the petition on the Reparations Labor Union website.
Anita Belle, president of the Reparations Labor Union, said in an issued statement, “We see reparations as a means of repairing race relations in America. White police officers killing unarmed blacks is a headline that occurs too frequently, as if a race war is being waged against African Americans. If we truly want peace and truth and reconciliation in America, then reparations must be paid. It isn’t a handout. It’s a debt owed.”