Donations and pledges of hundreds of millions of dollars are coming in from many companies to support racial justice programs, but it all feels like a lot of empty promises to the poor and working-poor who may never receive a dime. This money is changing hands in the middle of an unprecedented financial downturn, spurred by the global corona virus pandemic, that has left millions of people unemployed.
As Black Americans, tax-paying, armed-forces serving, hard-working Americans, we live daily with a legacy of lack, and we blame ourselves for not “hustling hard enough” if we cannot fulfill the promise the American Dream. Truly, it is hard to smile when Apple pledges $100 million to fight structural racism…which feels like an abstract concept…that cannot truly be quantified. Meanwhile, we take our meager resources and stretch them out to cover everything they must, while halfheartedly applauding the new-found sense of altruism that has been born out of the tragic death of George Floyd.
Black people, who are the descendants of enslaved Africans, in this country are entitled to reparations. Reparations are the debt that is owed to us which has never been fulfilled. Reparations are the only large sums of money that can infuse an affected individual, family, or community with the money necessary to make them whole.
It is inspiring to realize how many people have mobilized behind the cause of ending racial injustices. Once that phase has been exhausted, we want those same concerned parties to support a reparations package for the descendants of enslaved Africans with the same amount of exuberance and fervor. I am not a “cause”.