Congress Reparations

Actor Danny Glover, right, and author Ta-Nehisi Coates, left, testify about reparations for the descendants of slaves during a hearing before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, June 19, 2019. — (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The majority of Americans are not in favor of the Black community getting cash reparations, according to the results of a new poll.

The research, which was conducted by Gallup and released earlier this week, surveyed a random sample of 2,543 Americans via phone interviews taken from June 19 to July 12 of this year. Among the U.S. residents who took the poll, 67% say they are opposed to the government issuing cash to Americans who are descendants of enslaved Africans. Still, the majority of Black Americans are in favor of such a payout making up the bulk of the 29% of people who say cash reparations should be doled out.

Other findings in the poll reveal that overall support for monetary reparations is up by 15% compared to 2002 when only 14% of Americans favored the move. Back then 81% of people said they did not support cash reparations.

The poll comes at a time when several Democratic presidential candidates have voiced backing for looking into reparations or other methods of tackling racial disparities in the U.S.

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New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg are among those who’ve claimed to back the idea of reparations, although the latter has explicitly said he is against giving cash for them. Buttigieg unveiled a plan in support of the Black community that would go hand-in-hand with other reparations solutions. Meanwhile, Booker introduced a reparations bill as a companion to HR 40 that would establish “a commission to study the impact of slavery and continuing discrimination against African-Americans and make recommendations on reparation proposals for the descendants of slaves,” a press release issued by the senator stated.

Still, there is some division among Democratic voters on their feelings about reparations focused solely on money. The poll reveals 49% of Democrats say the government should give cash to descendants of enslaved people but 47% oppose that. On the Republican side, however, support for cash reparations is tiny. Within the party, 5% are for it while the overwhelming majority — 92% — is against it. While support for cash reparations on the Democratic side has grown, it has remained stagnant on the Republican front.

In general, however, there has been an increase in the number of people who recognize Black Americans face lesser treatment in the U.S. A Gallup poll conducted in 2018 revealed a 7% overall increase in people who felt Black Americans face less fair treatment compared to white Americans.

— (Chicago Defender via NNPA)

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