Group Calls For Boston Reparations

An activist group in Boston, Massachusetts called for reparations for the descendants of slaves, despite Boston being home to a number of prominent abolitionists. The move also came after a reparations panel in California recommended that the Golden State distribute about $1.2 million per Black resident.

The move came after an agreement between Mayor Brianna Wu (D) and the Boston City Council to study the effects of slavery in the northern city.

Following the creation of the reparations panel, activists have now sought $15 billion as reparations for slavery. The advocates called upon the city to “fully commit to writing checks,” according to Rev. Kevin C. Peterson.

He said during a press conference last week that the potential payment would go “towards making right the wrong perpetuated on Boston’s Blacks. The wealth of this city was built on slavery.”

The reverend is the chair of the self-declared Boston Peoples Reparations Commission, in which he called for a “specific initial monetary payout to Boston’s Black residents.”

Peterson said that the group levied a “demand” from the mayor for “full monetary compensation for wages and lost lives through slavery and anti-Black institutional oppression. Today we call on a full and robust reparations process.”

Among the possible ways of paying out such a reparations plan, Peterson recommended using $5 of the $15 billion for direct payments to the city’s Black residents, as well as $5 billion for new financial structures to “address the racial disparities in education” as well as changes to law enforcement.

Despite the demands, the chance of such a reparations plan succeeding may not come to fruition. The overall proposal is almost four times the size of Boston’s annual budget. Despite this, Peterson said that the “debt must be paid in dollars.”

The advocate said that it was “not enough to alk about the vagaries of healthcare, housing and public education reform for Blacks in Boston as part of a reparations bill.” He said that “labor and lives were stolen from Blacks in Boston. Money is owed.”