Reparations Advocate Mehrsa Baradaran Joins Biden Transition Team

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Reparations advocate Mehrsa Baradaran is ready to “hit the ground running on Day One” after joining President-elect Joe Biden’s Department of Treasury review team.

Baradaran, a professor at the University of California Irvine School of Law, has called for reparations for black Americans to combat “white supremacy” and close the racial wealth gap.

The professor has argued that while a “full reparations program is necessary and theoretically justified,” a “housing grant might work as one solution to closing the racial wealth gap.”

Baradaran even called on Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to support reparations during the primary cycle.

“Dear Kamala, Reparations or go home,” she tweeted.

During the primary cycle Harris said she supports a study on reparations but did not commit to any specific plan, according to Fox Business. (RELATED: California Gov. Gavin Newsom Signs Law Creating Task Force To Consider How Slavery Reparations Would Be Distributed)

“When you are talking about the years and years and years of trauma that were experienced because of slavery, because of Jim Crow and because of all that we have seen in terms of institutional and legal discrimination and racism, this is very real and it needs to be studied,” she said. “And we need to look at exactly how the response should be played out.”

She also took a swipe at Biden himself in December, saying Biden “dodged” questions about reparations “like a much nimbler and younger man.”

Like Harris, Biden has also refused to commit to a specific plan, but a spokesperson told Vice in 2019 that Biden believes there should be a study to address the issue of reparations.

In her book The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap, Baradaran said that a reparations program is needed, according to the Free Beacon.

“A reparations program could take many forms from simple cash payments or baby bonds to more complex schemes such as subsidized college tuition, basic income, housing vouchers, or subsidized mortgage credit.”