The Biden administration is considering asking African Americans on government forms, including the census, whether their ancestors were enslaved, a move that could lay the groundwork for a system of federal reparations distribution.
The administration is asking for public input on how to differentiate blacks descended from slaves in America from those who have emigrated from places like Africa and the Caribbean, the Wall Street Journal reported. The White House is also torn between labeling the former group “American Descendants of Slavery,” “American Freedmen,” or “Foundational Black Americans.” Questions about African Americans’ ancestry would appear on forms including home and student loan applications.
The move is part of a push among Democrat politicians across the country to consider paying reparations to black citizens. San Francisco this month moved to create a $50 million office that could pay out a proposed $5 million payment to each black resident. One reparations committee member suggested a $500 million payment per person.
“Well, why not $500 million?” Daniel Landry, the policy subcommittee lead for the city’s African American Reparations Advisory Committee, asked earlier this month. “Because you can never repay the damage that’s been done to black people in America.”
Economists advising a California state reparations panel said last week that California owes black residents at least $800 billion, which is nearly triple the state’s annual budget.
Last week, the White House refused to answer whether President Joe Biden supports reparations. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said it’s for “Congress to decide.”
“We understand that there’s a legislation on the Hill currently on this, on the study of reparations and we think Congress is the appropriate venue for consideration on such action,” Jean-Pierre said last week.
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