In 2016, the United Nations’ Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent did a report that determined the United States of America owes African-Americans reparations for past and recent events that led to the destruction of the Black community.
The study that was picked up by the Washington Post cites slavery, racial segregation, racial inequality and white supremacist terrorism organizations like the Ku Klux Klan are a few of the challenges that African-Americans have had to overcome in a fight for equality.
Even to this day, there are elements of American society that affect minority communities such as mass incarceration and heavy police presence in Black neighborhoods.
“Contemporary police killings and the trauma that they create are reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynching,” the report reads. This report came out following the tragedies of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old from Ferguson, Missouri who, despite being unarmed, was shot by officer Darren Wilson. This case from 2014 was one of many similar cases that made national headlines. Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland were all victims to similar police-involved tragedies. No police were convicted in any of the incidents.
“Despite substantial changes since the end of the enforcement of Jim Crow and the fight for civil rights, ideology ensuring the domination of one group over another, continues to negatively impact the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of African Americans today,” the Office of the High Commissioner for U.N. Human Rights said in a January 2016 statement. “The dangerous ideology of white supremacy inhibits social cohesion amongst the US population.”
In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a Civil Liberties bill for Japanese-Americans who were forced into internment camps during World War II. The payout as reported by NPR was $20,000 for each surviving victim.
Throughout history, African-American organizations like the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense have fought for reparations for Black people, namely the “40 Acres and a Mule” that was promised to Black people after slavery. This promise remains unfulfilled.