Nikole Hannah-Jones, the New York Times writer who authored the controversial "1619 Project," is arguing that the time is now for America to pay "what is owed" to black Americans for its years of economic profiteering off racism.
What are the details?
The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist wrote in an essay published by New York Times Magazine on Wednesday that "if black lives are to truly matter in America" then the country must confront its "sins" by doing what it is "just" — that is, by paying up.
"It is time for this country to pay its debt," Hannah-Jones wrote. "It is time for reparations.
"Financial restitution cannot end racism, of course, but it can certainly mitigate racism's most devastating effects," she added.
Hannah-Jones recently drew fire after claiming that the destruction of property taking place across the county in the aftermath of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis was "not violence."
We are left with a choice. Will this moment only feel different? Or will it actually be different?… https://t.co/x5ph4ADUkC— NYT Magazine (@NYT Magazine)1593001765.0
In the essay, in which she referred to police as "the oldest and most terrifying tool in the white-supremacist arsenal," Hannah-Jones credited the Black Lives Matter movement in America for moving the needle on the issue of race to the point where it presently stands.
Which is — following the videotaped killing of George Floyd — "widespread acceptance of the most obvious action we could take toward equality ... reforms and laws that ensure that black people cannot be killed by armed agents of the state without consequence."
"But," she argued, "on its own, this cannot bring justice to America."
To do that, the nation must get to the root of the matter, which, according to her, is the "lack of wealth that has been a defining feature of black life since the end of slavery."
Critics of Black Lives Matter and its related coalitions have long denounced the organization (not the ontological statement, "black lives matter") for its promotion of financial restitution, among other things.
In a petition following George Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter formally called for the "national defunding of police" as well as "investment in [black] communities and the resources to ensure Black people not only survive, but thrive" — itself a form of economic socialism.
In 2016, a coalition affiliated with BLM, called The Movement for Black Lives, formally called for "slavery reparations" in its first policy platform release.