Amy Klobuchar on Reparations: ‘Doesn’t Have to Be a Direct Pay for Each Person’

Heartland Democrat Klobuchar set to join 2020 White House race

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) on Sunday said that reparations for the descendants of slaves do not have to be in the form of direct financial payments.

When asked on Meet the Press about “reparations for the descendants of slaves,” Klobuchar said it is a good debate to have and spoke about investing in communities “hurt by racism.”

“I believe we have to invest in those communities that have been so hurt by racism. It doesn’t have to be a direct pay for each person,” she said. “But what we can do is, invest in those communities, acknowledge what’s happened. And that means better education. That means looking at, for our whole economy: community college, one-year degrees, minimum wage, childcare, making sure that we have that shared dream of opportunity for all Americans.”

Though numerous Democrats have come out in support for studying the issue of reparations, only former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro has expressed an openness to giving financial payments to the descendants of slaves.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) has vaguely spoken about the need for reparations to help African-Americans deal with the “trauma” of slavery while Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-CA) has dodged numerous times when asked about whether descendants of slaves should receive financial payments. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke also punted on the question last week.

Recently on The View, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said he wanted to “address the crises facing the American people and our communities” and added that he believes that “there are better ways to do than than just writing out a check.”

In response to Sanders’ comments, Castro, during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union last week, said that it is interesting to him that “when it comes to Medicare for All, health care, the response there has been, ‘We need to write a big check.’ When it comes to tuition-free or debt-free college, the answer has been, ‘We need to write a big check.’”

“And so, if the issue is compensating the descendants of slaves, I don’t think the argument about writing a big check ought to be the argument that you make, if you’re making an argument that a big check needs to be written for a whole bunch of other stuff,” Castro said. “So, if, under the Constitution, we compensate people because we take their property, why wouldn’t you compensate people who actually were property?”

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