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2020 Dems calling for race-based reparations — and Warren says don't forget Native Americans


One progressive presidential hopeful has offered a detailed plan

Scott Eisen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Four 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls have come out in support of reparation payments to black Americans, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) upped the ante on Friday by suggesting Native Americans should receive compensation, too.

What are the details?

Warren, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, and Oprah's little-known spiritual advisor Marianne Williamson have all said the U.S. should pay black Americans to compensate for the country's history of slavery and racism.

Williamson has touted a proposal for committing $100 billion "to be disbursed over ten years" by "an esteemed council of African-American leaders (who) would determine the educational and economic projects to which the money would be given."

According to The Washington Post, when Warren was asked Friday whether Native Americans should receive some type of relief, too, she responded, "I think it's a part of the conversation. I think it's an important part of the conversation."

Warren apologized last month for falsely claiming she was Native American for decades.

Outside of Williamson's plan, details from candidates have been scant as far as how a reparations program would work, or what the price tag might be.

According to InTheseTimes senior editor Salim Muwakkil, calls for reparations have reemerged in recent years. Muwakkil argued in 2017 that the current political climate in the age of Trump provides the "best chance since 1865" to make good on the federal government's former promise of "40 acres and a mule" to freed male slaves,

Muwakkil wrote that "reparations for African-Americans were once a boutique demand from fringe groups of black nationalists." But the movement has also gained traction among socialist facets of the far left, the ideals of which are reshaping the Democratic candidates' platforms.

Anything else?

In 2016, a United Nations working group issued a scathing rebuke of America's treatment of African American citizens, after touring the country on a visit arranged by the State Department under former president Barrack Obama.

Among its litany of recommendations, the panel determined:

"There is a profound need to acknowledge that the transatlantic slave trade was a crime against humanity and among the major sources and manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and that Africans and people of African descent were victims of these acts and continue to be victims of their consequences.

"Past injustices and crimes against African Americans need to be addressed with reparatory justice."
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