Op-ed

Reparations: A Cashless Approach to Address Institutional Racism

Disclaimer:
About me: Average guy. African American. I use my version of common sense, morals and values when thinking about complex topics. I'm not a politician, economist or statistician.
About this article: Read this if you believe reparations are due to African Americans. If you fundamentally don't think the injustice and profits from slavery require reparations this article is not for you.

Why Reparations:

The impact from slave labor has had a lasting impact on society and has a direct link to injustices today in America. The major impacts can be broken down into: Education, Crime & Imprisonment, Wealth and Health.

Before we list what we are proposing for reparations let's define who qualifies first.

Who Qualifies for Reparations:

While thinking about who should be eligible for reparations I tried to simplify it and ask the question differently and that led me to asking; Who was qualified to be a slave?

In the era of slavery and segregation it was simple; the one drop rule.

I'd use this same approach for identifying who would qualify for reparations. The 44 Million people identified as Black or African American would be eligible.

Now that we have defined who was qualified to be a slave we can answer the question who qualifies for reparations.

Answer: Anyone who has “one drop” of black blood (African Ancestry).

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Reparations $ Value:

First and foremost there are numerous news articles that have the price tag of reparations up to $17 trillion. Although I agree with this number; it will not fix the institutional racism that exists today. 

To break it down let's see how much each person would be entitled to:

$17 Trillion – SRC 40 Acres and A Mule Reparations.
44 Million people identified as Black or African American – SRC U.S. Census

$17 Trillion / 44 Million = $386,363.64 per African American (1 Drop)

Don't get me wrong nearly $400K is a large amount of money and the ramifications would be huge in a positive way. However I don't fundamentally believe this would fix the problem. Although income equality would greatly change with $17 Trillion of individual black wealth there is no guarantee this would extend past a generation.

There are numerous studies that show lottery winners (often in the millions) or those “given” money don't have the financial knowledge and often end up in deeper debt. $400K can easily be spent on a home and vehicles or school loans. What we need is the framework that sets us up to be successful for the next 500 years.

Reparations Proposal:
I propose that the following are put into place at the federal and state level. 

  1. Education & Childcare
    • K-12 School Choice:
      • Every public school must have 20% open enrollment available for African Americans
    • Community, Trade & Technical Colleges:
      • $500 Cost Annually
    • Public Universities:
      • $1k Cost Annually
    • Loan Forgiveness:
      • Wipe out 100% of student debt for any African American who has existing debt.
  2. Crime & Imprisonment
    • Jury Selection:
      • Every Jury must have at least 50% of the jurors African American if the defendant or victim is of African American descent.
    • Existing Crimes:
      • Create an unbiased panel of African American to reassess every sentence of African Americans
        • Must be complete in 5 years
        • Start with non-violent crimes
  3. Health Care
    • $5 prescriptions for all African Americans
    • 5% copay for all medical treatments and hospitalization with a max of $2000
  4. Wealth & Employment
    • Home Ownership
      • Down payment match of 2x from the Federal Government up to $500K; 1 time.
      • 1% Interest Rate for anyone who has a 20% down payment on a home or investment property.
      • $2 Trillion will be set aside for federal loans and down payment match.
    • Equal Pay
      • Public Companies will have an annual financial audit to ensure that all African American's are paid no less than 10% compared to their counterparts with similar skill and experience.
    • Business Loans
      • 1% interest rate for African American's approved for a business loan.
      • $2 Trillion will be set aside for federal loans.
    • Taxes
      • 1 – 3% max Federal & State Tax Rate based on income for African American's and African American owned businesses.
      • Business who employ 80% African Americans can get 100% tax forgiveness

How Long should reparations be applied:

  • Policies should be in place an equal amount compared to:
    • When slavery started in 1619 to when Reparations are in place.
  • Any financial obligation should run until the funds are no longer available.

Anticipated Impact of Reparations

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About Mario Millions

Mario Millions is a media & apparel company, founded by Mario Millions in March 2018. Instagram-based, Mario Millions offers celebrity gossip on an hourly basis, predominantly within the African American community. In addition Mario Millions releases 6-12 highly exclusive apparel launches per year featuring everything from baseball caps to sneakers.