Biden’s Senior Advisor Cedric Richmond announces White House to act on reparations without congress

Biden’s senior advisor, Cedric Richmond, in an Axios interview on Sunday night, hinted that the Biden Administration will soon begin tackling racial issues in the country, especially regarding the topic of reparations for Black Americans.

Chief Advisor Cedric Richmond, when asked whether the Biden Administration would be acting soon or waiting until more information was available on reparations for Black Americans, claimed: “We don’t want to wait on a study. We’re going to start acting now.” He continued, saying, “We have to start breaking down systemic racism and barriers that have held people of color back and especially African Americans. We have to do stuff now.” 

However, when the Chief Advisor was asked whether or not such a plan would directly give payments to those who were actual descendants of slaves, he did not answer. Instead, he expressed dissatisfaction with Congress’s timeline in addressing the issue, saying, “If you start talking about free college tuition to [historically black colleges and universities] and you start talking about free community college in Title I and all of those things, I think that you are well on your way.” 

A close ally of Richmond’s in the House of Representatives, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX– D), has repeatedly proposed legislation on reparations and has recently partnered with the ACLU in creating their 2021 “Systemic Equality Agenda.” Additionally, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has said that Biden “would support a study of reparations’ and pointed to an executive order the president signed that begins to address racial inequality.” The main critique of such a proposal deals mostly with the “racial foundation” of implementing such a plan.

While most of these plans for reparations are attempts to ‘right the wrongs of American slavery,’ yet also focus on reparations for solely Black Americans, it opens up a debate in deciding whether recipients of such reparations would be decided by ethnic or familial ancestry. Furthermore, many debates whether or not such reparations should be expanded to other marginalized groups have been brought up as well– such as Japanese Americans in WWII, Jewish immigrants who fled the Holocaust, current immigrants fleeing the Syrian Civil War, Uyghur Muslims fleeing Chinese persecution, etc.




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