After nearly a month of voting on NewsOne’s Reparations Survey, with between 500 and 700 voters making their voices heard, NewsOne brings you the results of the survey.
In the first and second installments of our NewsOne’s Reparations Series, we discussed how much money Black Americans whose ancestors went through the American slave experience have lost and presented the political and legal opinion of former attorney and current U.S. congressman, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN).
“No one wants to stare this thing in the face,” said Ellison. “From a White standpoint, it’s ‘look, that happened a long time ago, let’s move on.’ From an African-American standpoint, it’s ‘it happened a long time ago and it still affects me today, but I don’t want to be reminded of the pain.’”
In order to get to the crux of the matter and determine how people in the Black community felt about the nuances of Reparations, then we presented a survey with questions covering the gamut from who exactly is responsible to should we even get reparations at all. The following results might surprise you.
1.) What form would you like to see reparations take?
27.46 percent of our participants voted “We want a check.”
23.37 percent voted “Free higher education for all Black Americans and employment opportunities.”
8.43 percent voted “Improved conditions in predominately Black communities.”
40.74 percent voted “I don’t want reparations.”
2.) Do you think criminal charges should be filed against the U.S. government for crimes against humanity?
43.16 percent of our participants voted “Absolutely, they profited from the enslavement of Africans.”
26.14 percent voted “No, I don’t. The U.S. government didn’t enslave us; they fought against the Confederacy and won. “
30.7 percent voted “No, the government doesn’t have any money; it’s taxpayers’ money, so we’d have to pay twice.”
3.) Should reparations be paid through public and social services?
31.23 percent voted “Yes, all descendants of slaves should be eligible for financial assistance, with no restrictions.”
68.77 percent voted “No, reparations are separate. If people need additional help, then they should be able to get it.”
4.) Should President Barack Obama speak out publicly in support of reparations for the African-African community?
42.71 percent of our participants voted “Of course, he speaks out for every other ‘special interest’ group, why not African Americans?”
57.29% voted “No, he can’t do anything anyway. We don’t need another political speech.”
5.) Should Black people who owned slaves be liable to pay?
42.74 percent voted “No, how do we know if they really owned slaves or had to free their families by purchasing them?”
57.26 percent voted “Yes, they’re no better than White people who owned slaves.”
6.) The Cherokee Nation owned slaves as well. Should we also petition the tribal governments for reparations?
53.55 percent of our participants voted “Yes, we should.”
46.45 percent voted, “No, we were not subjected to the same atrocities within the Cherokee Nation as Whites.”
7.) Should the African empires who contributed to the enslavement of Africans pay up for reparations?
69.78 percent of our participants voted, “Yes, the beginning of “Black-on-Black” crime in the United States began with that betrayal.”
30.22 percent voted, “No, they had no idea what vicious and dehumanizing conditions they were selling our ancestors into.”
8.) Do you believe that reparations, in any form, will ever be paid?
9.32 percent of our participants voted, “Yes, it’s inevitable.”
58.17 percent voted, “No, and it’s time that we moved on.”
32.51 percent voted, “Anything is possible if we fight for it.”
The standouts in the survey indicate that about 40 percent of you do NOT want reparations in any shape or form. Still, more than 40 percent believe that criminal charges should indeed be filed against the U.S. government.
Almost 70 percent of NewsOne readers did not think reparations, if given, should be a part of any public or social services programs, and more than 50 percent and nearly 70 percent believe that involved Native American and African groups should also be forced to pay reparations, respectively.
Finally, nearly 60 percent of NewsOne readers do NOT think reparations will ever be paid out to African Americans.
Check back with NewsOne next week as we conclude the series with analysis of these results with insight from Dr. Ivory Toldson, associate professor at Howard University School of Education, senior research analyst for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Negro Education.