In an interview with Bill Moyers, senior editor for The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates, explains his case for reparations- which he defines as, “the full acceptance of America’s collective biography and its consequences.”
In his cover story for The Atlantic, Coats makes reference to Congressman John Conyers’s HR40 bill, also called the Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act. Coates argues,
“No one can know what would come out of [HR40] Perhaps no number can fully capture the multi-century plunder of black people in America. Perhaps the number is so large that it can’t be imagined, let alone calculated and dispensed. But I believe that wrestling publicly with these questions matters as much as—if not more than—the specific answers that might be produced. An America that asks what it owes its most vulnerable citizens is improved and humane. An America that looks away is ignoring not just the sins of the past but the sins of the present and the certain sins of the future. More important than any single check cut to any African American, the payment of reparations would represent America’s maturation out of the childhood myth of its innocence into a wisdom worthy of its founders.”
Watch the interview and share your thoughts below on Coates’s case for a study of reparations.