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Black Lives Matter asks state Dems for 'reparations'

Will Black Lives Matter revive the debate over reparations?

Will Black Lives Matter revive the debate over reparations?

The case for reparations is typically made as a form of economic compensation to descendants of slaves. These days, some racial activists also make the case for reparations as compensation for systemic discrimination in law enforcement.

Several black leaders addressed Democratic state legislators Friday at the State Innovation Exchange in Washington, D.C.

"Thinking about decriminalization with reparations," Marbre Shahly-Butts, deputy director of racial justice at the Center for Popular Democracy, said. "The idea is we that have extracted literally millions of dollars from communities, we have destroyed families. Mass incarceration has led to the destruction of communities across the country. We can track which communities, like we have that data. And so if we're going to be decriminalizing things like marijuana, all of the profit from that should go back to the folks we've extracted it from." That comment received widespread applause from the crowd of Democratic state legislators. Shahly-Butts was referring to decriminalizing more than drug crimes, but also loitering, bans on saggy pants and thousands of other laws that disproportionately affect blacks.

Shahly-Butts added, "'Reparations' makes people kind of uncomfortable, so we can call it 'reinvestment' if you want to. Use whatever language makes you happy inside."

Fellow panelist Dante Barry, executive director of the Million Hoodies Movement for Justice, also called for a type of reinvestment. "In terms of response around black youth unemployment, it gets back to this whole piece around reinvestment," Barry said. He spoke about New York City's plan to spend $100 million on 1,000 new cops. "What would you do with $100 million? How would we better use that money to provide jobs for unemployed youth, to provide housing, to have mental health access. … It's really about how do we rethink some of our budgetary needs and how we're putting power behind the way that we can really incorporate reinvestment in communities."

Barry must have decided "reinvestment" made him happier inside than "reparations."

When asked if she could pick just one policy change for state legislators to work on, Shahly-Butts replied, "State budgets and then reparations are my two go-to [ideas]." In response to the same question, Barry called for banning all guns on campus.

Source: Washington Examiner