A British professor argued in a Monday op-ed that many of the calls for reparations don’t go far enough when addressing the history of slavery.
Birmingham City University Associate Professor Kehinde Andrews wrote in a Guardian op-ed that proposals for free college education for black people and canceling debt in third world countries aren’t good enough calls for reparations.
“In many ways the calls for reparatory justice do not take go far enough. Caricom includes a demand to cancel third world debt, and the Movement for Black Lives for free tuition for African Americans,” Andrews wrote. “Both of these are examples of removing the knife from our backs, rather than healing the wound. Third world debt was an unjust mechanism for maintaining colonial economic control and allowing free access to a deeply problematic school system will not eradicate the impacts of centuries of oppression.”
The best way to solve the issue of reparations would be for developed countries to transfer their wealth to less developed nations, Andrews argued.
“Nothing short of a massive transfer of wealth from the developed to the underdeveloped world, and to the descendants of slavery and colonialism in the west, can heal the deep wounds inflicted … But real reparatory justice would allow the developing world to build strong, sustainable economies that could eradicate global poverty,” Andrews wrote.
The professor also said that reparations are still necessary because the wounds of slavery have not healed yet, as evidenced by conditions in sub-Saharan Africa and police brutality against black people.
“Make no mistake, the knife is still planted firmly in our backs and it is time we not only removed it, but healed the wound. The only way to do this is for reparations to be paid to wipe out the unmistakable debt the west owes,” Andrews wrote.
The United Nations previously called on the United States to offer reparations to its black citizens to atone for the legacy of slavery and recent police shootings of black people.
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