Reparations commission ‘step in right direction,’ but education is key to understanding

New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation creating a new commission to study reparations and racial justice.

Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò is an expert in Africana studies at Cornell University. He wrote about how America should respond to its history of racism in an opinion piece in The Washington Post. He advocates for the creation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Táíwò says: “Any step designed to repair the damage done by chattel slavery in any part of these United States is always a step in the right direction. But this should not make us unmindful of why such steps often attract vehement opposition, scorn even, from many segments of the population. And this is by no means limited to right-wing hacks and other types who refuse to embrace, warts and all, the true history of what this country has done to its Black citizens through the better parts of its history.

“While it is to be hoped that this proposed commission would educate the public about what happened that necessitated the remedy of reparations, there is the danger that it may not execute this education that we, especially immigrant cohorts, need to reconcile more of us to the idea of reparations.

“The latter task is the province of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission which, I remain convinced, this country needs and should precede the institution of reparation remedies.”

For interviews contact Kaitlyn Serrao: cell (607) 882-1140,

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