In his interview with Bill, Ta-Nehisi Coates, a senior editor at The Atlantic, writes that it’s time for America to have a national conversation about the legacy of slavery and racism. In “The Case for Reparations,” his cover article for the magazine’s June issue, Coates says we need to reconcile the moral debt and economic damage inflicted upon generations of black Americans — from the advent of slavery all the way to the institutional racism that continues to this day.
“I believe that wrestling publicly with these questions matters as much as — if not more than — the specific answers that might be produced. An America that asks what it owes its most vulnerable citizens is improved and humane. An America that looks away is ignoring not just the sins of the past but the sins of the present and the certain sins of the future,” Coates writes.
So let’s talk about it. What are your thoughts about the systemic racism of our recent past that Coates details in his article and Bill’s interview? Should reparations be considered? If so, what should they be, and if not, what are the alternatives? If you’re African-American, what have you and your family personally experienced? Why is our racist past such a difficult topic for us to discuss?
Please share your stories and opinions below in the comments. And know that we are going to be extra vigilant in our moderation of this thread. We want to cultivate a productive, meaningful conversation on this page. So please only join this conversation if you are truly interested in having one.