Not long ago, Raphael Bostic made history as the first Black man to lead the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Now, he's using his position of power to advocate for reparation for the descendants of slaves. During a recent interview, Bostic pointed out the merits of offering reparations in the United States. With this move, he becomes one of the highest-ranking members of the financial sector to publicly advocate for reparations.
"There are definitely merits to it in the sense that, if people have been harmed by laws, then there should be a discussion about redress," Bostic said.
"The legacies of past racism are still present in our society. We have to think about what things are necessary to offset the impacts of those old systems that still flow through."
Bostic argues that the United States should offer reparations because of the institutionalized obstacles that prevent marginalized communities from building wealth. He pointed to redlining and housing discrimination as examples of how Black communities have been prevented from building financial foundations in America.
"We have African Americans today who have a lot less wealth in part because they have not been able to inherit the wealth that would have accrued had their ancestors been able to accrue that wealth," he added.
Reparations have been a topic of discussion within American society for decades now, but the conversation has gained steam in recent years. In 2019, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee brought H.R. 40 before the House floor and it has garnered support from more than 160 members of Congress. More recently, city officials in Evanston have launched a housing program to assist the descendants of slaves within the area. This week, students at Brown University voted overwhelmingly in support of offering reparations to the descendants of slaves connected to the university.
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