Speaking Monday to CBS This Morning, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson cast doubt over the feasibility of reparations for the descendants of slaves, calling the logistics “unworkable.”
“What I would say about reparations is, you know, show me a mechanism that works,” Carson challenged interviewer Jericka Duncan when asked about the concept. “You know, I did my DNA analysis. OK. I’m 77% sub-Saharan African, 20% European, 3% Asian. So how do you proportion that out to everybody?”
Ben Carson calls the concept of reparations for descendants of slaves "unworkable" in an interview with @CBSNews. "No one is ever going to be able to work that out" https://t.co/1AxTtTUe5T pic.twitter.com/4OO55RkWNP
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) December 23, 2019
“If you can prove you’re a descendant of a slave, though, do you think it’s worth having a conversation?” Duncan asked the Trump administration official.
“Yeah, but what percentage of money do you get? What percentage of reparation? No one is ever going to be able to work that out,” Carson responded.
“Proportionately, you’re not going to be able to figure it out. And where do you stop it? It’s unworkable,” he then added. “I would much rather concentrate on how do we provide the opportunities for people to get into a better economic situation now.”
Earlier this year, House and Senate Democrats introduced measures to approve studies to examine reparations proposals with 2020 White House candidate Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) leading the charge.
In June, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties held a hearing on the idea and heard testimony from Booker, actor and left-wing activist Danny Glover, author Ta-Nehisi Coates, and others.
Booker told the panel that the United States “yet to truly acknowledge and grapple with the racism and white supremacy that tainted this country’s founding and continues to cause persistent and deep racial disparities and inequality.”
“The stain of slavery was not just inked in bloodshed, but in policies that have disadvantaged African Americans for generations,” added the senator.
A 2016 Point Taken-Marist survey shows 68 percent of Americans oppose paying cash reparations to address slavery and racial discrimination. Nearly 8 in 10 white Americans said they were against reparations, while roughly 6 in 10 black respondents said they support it.
Carson’s comments come after Evanston, Illinois, approved a bill last month to fund a local reparations program with proceeds from the purchase of recreational marijuana.