Democratic 2020 candidates raising the issue of reparations are making illogical arguments on the issue, Wall Street Journal columnist and Fox News commentator Jason L. Riley argues.
Riley, who is also a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, critiqued recent remarks made by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., on the topic.
“Sen. Elizabeth Warren told a town-hall audience in Jackson, Miss., Monday that ‘it’s time to start the national, full-blown conversation’ about slavery reparations for blacks. Come again? Compensating black Americans for past oppression has been a subject of discussion for decades. The senator’s problem is that large majorities of the public have consistently opposed reparations, not that we don’t talk about it,” Riley wrote in the Wall Street Journal.
READ JASON L. RILEY’S FULL COLUMN IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL HERE
On Sen. Harris, he wrote: “Ms. Harris wants to hold slavery responsible for black America’s contemporary problems. But that requires ignoring the progress made by blacks—both in absolute terms and relative to whites—who lived much closer to the era of slavery. For example, the soaring violent-crime rates that produce so much “trauma” in poor black communities today did not exist in those communities in the first 100 years after emancipation, even though poverty rates at the time were much higher and racism was still legal and widespread.”
In a statement last month, the California Democrat explained why she supports reparations.
“We have to be honest that people in this country do not start from the same place or have access to the same opportunities,” the statement read.
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During a town hall event on Monday, Warren also voiced support for reparations and said she would back the creation of a panel “to examine slavery and discrimination in the colonies and the United States from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies.”
“I believe it’s time to start the national, full-blown conversation about reparations,” Warren said on CNN, before adding: “ignoring the problem is not working.”
Read Jason L. Riley’s full column in the Wall Street Journal