How Reparations Help Fix the Mess We Inherited | Sojourners

How Reparations Help Fix the Mess We Inherited

Making restitution is our generation’s task.
Illustration by Michael George Haddad

IN MAY, DELEGATES at the annual convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland voted unanimously to affirm the principle of reparations for the uncompensated labor of enslaved persons. In a diocese that is more than 90 percent white, there was not a single nay vote. How did this happen?

The issue of reparations is mired in emotion, often mischaracterized, and largely misunderstood. The economic, political, and moral dimensions are difficult to grasp. Some of us have an emotional response to the word, but when reparations are fully and fairly explained, Americans want to do the right thing.

Everyone living in our great nation has inherited a mess created by the institution of slavery. None of us caused this brokenness, but all of us have a moral responsibility to fix it.

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