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Reparations for Slavery?

Shivani Tripathi

Posted on March 12, 2019 15:15

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The government should increase funding for public schools in low income neighborhoods.

In light of the 2020 election, several Democratic presidential hopefuls have entertained the idea of reparations for slavery. For example, Cory Booker has suggested implementing “baby bonds” while Kamala Harris has also expressed her support for the objective.

Indeed, statistics show a dire need to rectify the legacy of racial injustice. Due to a lack of economic opportunity in the past, African Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanics are the lowest earning racial groups in the nation.

At the same time, directing financial aid towards certain races would generate immense resentment amongst impoverished Whites and Asians. In my opinion, the most effective way to avoid these potential divides and to combat income inequality would be to fund lower income public schools. With opportunity, support, and resources, lower income students will be well equipped to break out of the vicious cycle of poverty.

Approximately 50.7 million children in the US attend public schools. However, the education that students receive is inherently unequal because public schools receive half of their funds from local taxes. Students in low funded educational institutions are disproportionately Black and Hispanic.

As a result of the economic disparity, educational materials in low income neighborhoods such as textbooks are worn out and outdated. Extra-curricular activities are scarce, and basic facilities such as ventilation are of poor quality as well.

Furthermore, parents in predominantly White and Asian areas have the time and resources to invest themselves in their children’s academics. However, parents in low income minority neighborhoods may not be able to go these lengths if they are working multiple jobs.

Several children in inner city areas do not even have reliable adults at home to support them on an emotional or financial level. Neither can they seek this vital support elsewhere, as poorly funded public schools are short staffed and rarely have counselors. Given these disadvantages, it is easy for kids to lose faith in themselves. Or, families desperately turn to institutions such as T.M. Landry, which many think is a scam, for a quality education.

If the Democrats want to better the lives of those affected by slavery and historical injustice, they should definitely consider funding a universal human right than can elevate millions -- education. Realistically, a reparations bill would take years to pass due to multiple complications.

Would African Americans of a high economic status also benefit from reparations? Where are the trillions of dollars supposed to come from? What is the best method to give reparations? Would other instances of historical injustice against minorities, such as the Native American genocide and culture erasure, also warrant reparations?

Instead of spending years working out the various nuances of this unfeasible proposal, the government should provide compensation in the form of counselors, new textbooks, and the general sentiment that our leaders care about disadvantaged populations' futures. Our nation’s increasing income inequality will never be solved without education equality.

Shivani Tripathi

Posted on March 12, 2019 15:15

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Source: 1030 KVOI AM

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