Philadelphia Pastor Calls for Reparations: 200 Years of Free College for Black Students

Epiphany Fellowship / YouTube

Dr. Eric Mason, pastor of Epiphany Fellowship Church in Philadelphia, suggested reparations including centuries’ worth of college tuition during his sermon Sunday morning.

Dr. Mason argued that the United States need to adopts a variety of social reforms to address race-based disparities, preaching a sermon titled “A Biblical Case for Reparations.” He proposed a series of policies that would go beyond mere welfare because, according to the preacher, programs like Social Security were “created for white people.”

“Reparations has to be comprehensive because the offenses were everything from emotional to economic,” he argued. As such, necessary parts of reparations include “psychological reparations” — paying for counseling — and “telling the history properly,” presumably through reductionist narratives like the New York Times’ 1619 Project.

Mason zeroed in on education, saying that the United States government should fund historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) fully for 200 years, pay the tuition costs for descendants of slaves for the the next 200 years, and cancel student loan debt for all black graduates, even compensating those that have already paid off their debts.

“HBCUs funded for the next 200 years. Next 200 years. And right after that? You ain’t get this, did you? Descendants of slaves not paying for college for 200 years,” he said. “Nobody. And canceling every black person’s student loan debt. And repaying blacks who paid for student loans.”

Mason conceded that reparations will not resolve all racial issues. “Now, I’m not saying that reparations is gonna bring peace on earth. Jesus will bring peace on earth. However, while we’re on earth, we gotta make the most of our time, make the most of our minas… ‘To whom was given more, more will be given to him,'” Mason added.

That closing statement is a misquote of Jesus’s words in Luke 12:48: “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required (NRSV).”


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