By Emma Goldberg
June 21, 2020
“This is a nation that has gone through slavery, Reconstruction, lynching, Jim Crowism,” Ms. Jackson Lee said Thursday. “We’re in a new era. We have the hearts and minds of the American people. That’s why I think reparations will pass.”
But few political candidates have featured the issue front and center in their campaigns. “It was somewhat of a verboten topic for political figures in the past,” said William Darity, a public policy professor at Duke University and author of “From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century.” “There’s been a real fear that there could be a political penalty from the white electorate from any intimation that you might seriously consider it.”
In the past year, that attitude appears to have shifted: “It’s striking to me that people campaigning to be elected officials are mentioning the word at all,” Mr. Darity said. “There seems to be a sea change.”
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