Americans Can't Even Stomach An Apology For Slavery, Much Less Reparations

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tags: reparations



In a cover story in The Atlantic last week, Ta-Nehisi Coates built a powerful argument for the U.S. government making reparations to black Americans, not just for the impact of slavery but also for the generations of legalized (and in some cases legally mandated) discrimination that made it impossible for most black families to amass wealth.

But a new set of HuffPost/YouGov polls suggests that most Americans aren't prepared to take the step of making reparations, either for slavery alone or for the century-plus of institutionalized racism that followed.

In one survey, Americans said by a 68 percent to 15 percent margin that the government should not make payments to black Americans who are the descendants of slaves. Americans were somewhat more likely to say they would support reparations for slavery if they came in the form of education or job training programs, but still rejected the idea by a 57 percent to 27 percent margin. Public opinion on the issue appears unchanged in the past decade: In a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll conducted in 2002, just 14 percent of Americans said they would support making cash payments to slaves' descendants.




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