Ta-Nehisi Coates Explains Reparations & Systematic Racism To Sen. Mitch McConnell At House Hearing
Ta-Nehisi Coates had TIME for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell when he tried to come for reparations.
On Wednesday, Coates testified at a House hearing on the bill known as H.R. 40, which would create a commission to study the history of slavery, its continual effects on Black people, and the practical implementation of reparations.
Republican Senator McConnell is not about reparations, however, saying:
“I don’t think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago for whom none of us living are responsible are a good idea.”
Um…have a seat malignant McConnell.
Mr. Coates will school you now.
The author of “A Case For Reparations” went into a well detailed and quite powerful testimony on Wednesday, explaining how reparations for slavery and systematic racism is, in fact, America’s responsibility.
He started off by using taxes as an example:
“Many of us would love to be taxed for the things we are solely and individually responsible for. But we are American citizens, and thus bound to a collective enterprise that extends beyond our individual and personal reach.”
Next, Mr. Coates beautifully laid out how Black Americans have BEEN having our wealth stripped away and yes, we are owed da fuq our money. In response to McConnell’s “no one alive” is responsible claim, Coates explained:
“It is tempting to divorce this modern campaign of terror, of plunder, from enslavement, but the logic of enslavement, of white supremacy, respects no such borders and the guard of bondage was lustful and begat many heirs. Coup d-états and convict leasing. Vagrancy laws and debt peonage. Redlining and racist G.I. bills. Poll taxes and state-sponsored terrorism. We grant that Mr. McConnell was not alive for Appomattox. But he was alive for the electrocution of George Stinney. He was alive for the blinding of Isaac Woodard. He was alive to witness kleptocracy in his native Alabama and a regime premised on electoral theft. Majority Leader McConnell cited civil-rights legislation yesterday, as well he should, because he was alive to witness the harassment, jailing, and betrayal of those responsible for that legislation by a government sworn to protect them. He was alive for the redlining of Chicago and the looting of black homeowners of some $4 billion. Victims of that plunder are very much alive today. I am sure they’d love a word with the majority leader.”
Knock, knock. How’s your schedule looking Mitch?
To watch more of Ta-Nehisi’s reparation choppas fly, check out his whole spiel below.