Georgetown’s slavery announcement is remarkable. But it’s not reparations.

Friday, September 2, 2016

"For admissions to Georgetown to come close to equaling payment for unpaid labor, its credential would have to be worth its weight in income. The evidence suggests that for blacks that simply is not the case. An education buys one an extra chance at income and wealth. It doesn’t guarantee it. You don’t admit you owe someone money and repay them with lottery tickets. Examples abound of what reparations could look like. It could be an endowment for every African American child born in the United States, as Darrick Hamilton and Sandy Darity argue in their 'baby bonds'proposal. That kind of individual reparations plan would be paired with institutional reparations programs, including tuition assistance to colleges like Georgetown but also business financing and community development. The key to these plans is that they quantify the debt owed and then they pay it. Without restitution, acknowledgement cannot lead to closure. And without closure, reparations haven’t been made. And without reparations, true reconciliation — restoring wholeness — cannot happen."

Read more: