On his radio program yesterday, right-wing pastor E.W. Jackson asserted that there is no need to have a discussion about reparations because black Americans “have already gotten reparations” by virtue of having the right to live in America.
The idea of paying reparations in an effort to atone for America’s centuries of slavery and racial discrimination has become an issue among those seeking the Democratic nomination for president, but Jackson insists that the discussion is “a bunch of nonsense” because the descendants of slaves have already benefited tremendously simply by being lucky enough to live in this nation to begin with.
“Americans of African descent, whose ancestors were here during slavery,” he said, “have already gotten reparations. And the reparations are not welfare payments, the reparations are not affirmative action, the reparations are not any other kind of wealth redistribution scheme … Here’s the reparations that we Americans of African descent have gotten: the right to be here.”
“Being an American, that’s your reparations,” Jackson added, arguing that black Americans have already been well compensated merely by being born in America instead of in Africa.
“Do you know what life is like for most people in most countries in Africa?” he asked. “That’s why I say the reparations is the right to be here.”
“We have our reparations,” Jackson said. “Our reparations are you’re an American now … For those ancestors who died in the Lord, as they look down, as they get the reports of what’s going on down here, that’s the kind of thing that must fill them with joy, that they paid an awesome price to be able to have their posterity born into citizenship in the greatest nation in human history.”