Michael Eric Dyson, professor of sociology at Georgetown University, and author of “Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America,” reveals his plan for reparations, IRAs: Individual Reparations Accounts. The idea is that instead of the government issuing checks to descendants of slaves, white people today can do small things to help the black community. Following is a transcript of the video.
One of the things I suggest, one of the most controversial, is white people engaging in giving an IRA. Individual Reparations Account. I don’t mean for white people to give up their money to black people. What I’m suggesting is that reparations in America are certainly due as a result of the systemic and denial of opportunity to black people.
And even though it’s a morally compelling argument, Martin Luther King Jr, in his book “Why We Can’t Wait” said, “If America’s done something special against the Negro for three and four hundred years, America must not do something special for the Negro for 300, 400 years. So when I talk about individual IRAs however, I’m talking about individual things that individual white brothers and sisters can do without waiting for the government. Pay the lawn person who’s black that you pay, a little bit extra. Find young people in your school or in your city who need computers. Take them to visit places they would never ordinarily go.
In other words, there is an individual way in which white brothers and sisters who are well-meaning, well-intending, who desire to change American society for the best, can enable people of colour, especially black people, and especially for black kids, to be advantaged by and benefitted by some of the gestures of not only philanthropy but of recognition of the injustices that black people have suffered and therefore address them. All I’m suggesting is that white brothers and sisters be creative about ways in which they can address the racial miasma, the racial suffering, that we see confronting American culture.
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