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Racial reparations is a concept that has long been a focus of debate, although no viable plans of implementation have been articulated or agreed upon. Here I offer a workable plan that would wholly address the issue of cultural injury to African Americans, and such as would be a model for reparations to other minorities who have suffered cultural injury as a result of racial discrimination, a plan that would recompense and mend social injury all on the token of bolstering the economy.

Background

During antebellum slavery, African Americans were forbidden to read and write; in some places literacy was forbidden to even free Blacks. No one—Whites included—could lawfully teach a slave to read and write or give a slave a book, not excluding a Bible. Blacks were further subjected to substandard education during the Jim Crow era and face disparate treatment [3] to this day when pursuing higher education at particularly predominantly White colleges and universities. African Americans are more likely than Whites to be part-time [4] students, to need financial assistance (which has been severely cut since the 1980’s), and to drop out of school altogether.

*Educational (Racial) Reparations

Seeing that cultural injury to African Americans can be traced back to educational deprivation, racial reparations should hinge significantly on education.

Educational reparations for all African American and other students who are demonstrably descended from American slaves would entail student loan forgiveness, reduced tuition, and/or reparative credit for determined amounts up to full tuition for four years or for 120 credit hours minus awarded Pell and/or other non-repayable grants.

Students receiving education reparations would be strongly encouraged to attend state funded colleges or universities, as they are less expensive than private colleges and/or universities and are more racially diverse.

Ancestral Searches for the Purpose of Determining Reparative Eligibility

Students would be capable of performing ancestral searches, optionally free of charge or at reduced student rates, for the purpose of establishing eligibility for reparative credit, loan forgiveness, or reduced tuition at internet sites as may be endorsed by their specific schools and/or they may perform independent searches at other sites and/or at public libraries (Ancestral searches would also help to reduce episodes of children born with birth defects due to incestuous relationships).

Reparative Small Business Awards

Reparative small business awards would be available as an alternative or in addition to educational reparations to qualifying candidates with existing businesses or who submit viable business plans with applications to the Reparations division of the Small Business Administration or other relevant agencies, and who have completed relevant educational programs and obtained necessary licensing, where applicable. Dual (education & business) awards would be granted to those with residual funds from either an educational or business award source.

Reparative Refunds

Reparative refunds would be awarded to candidates with residual funds after completion of an educational program and/or after disbursement or in lieu of a business award (Collegiate retention specialists should be staffed at all colleges [and schools generally] to help address any issues that may hamper student attendance and program completion).

Reparative Monetary Awards for Senior Citizens and Disabled Candidates

Reparative monetary awards would be granted to senior citizens and/or disabled qualifying candidates. These awards would generally be disbursed in increments, i.e. increases in monthly SSI or other government payments, though lump sum amounts would be awarded to candidates who are homeowners and owe balances on their homes that would be inherited by family members (such amounts would be paid directly to the relevant mortgage realtors or banks). Senior and disabled candidates would receive a modest lump sum that would not disqualify them for other government income that they’d already be receiving.

Debt Garnishment

Appropriate amounts of reparative awards would be garnished from awardees with delinquent outstanding debt as disclosed by credit reporting agencies, the Internal Revenue Service, child support services, traffic violations bureaus, etc. The proposed would help to mend negative credit and child support and/or other traffic violations issues that may have resulted in loss of driving and/or other privileges, and prevent tax liens and other synonymous legal remedies.

Conclusion

Reparations would be great for the economy in that award requirements would empower recipients for good/great paying jobs, and reparative small business awards would help to create jobs. Additionally, creditors would be paid in massive proportions; and both awardees and creditors would be appropriately taxed. Awardees would as well be equipped with greater buying power, which would be great for business.

[3] Historically Black colleges and universities are purported in some wise to shield African Americans students from hostilities as they may experience at predominantly White colleges. Yet, HBCUs tend to be more expensive than state funded colleges and universities, landing students attending them in greater debt. Notwithstanding, African American and all students should be treated with the same level of decency at any and all schools.

[4] Part-time enrollment translates to more costs in the long-haul, as with extended attendance.

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