Black Lives Matter + How We Can Do Reparations Right Now

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to share something important with you: Black Lives Matter.

I don’t know who “We” is. It’s just me here. But sometimes things sound more official when you say, “we”, you know?

While we’re here, I also want to tell you that I believe in reparations for Black people and Native Americans. This is something we could implement tomorrow if large corporations paid their taxes. Especially if we raised the tax rate back to 50% for those companies, which is where it was before President Reagan.

Here’s how it would work: Every American citizen, regardless of age, would receive a Universal Basic Income of $1,000 a month. This way, you don’t get (white) people bitching and moaning about one group of people getting money over another. Everyone gets $1,000. No questions asked. No strings attached.

But if you’re Black or Native American, you would automatically receive an additional $500 a month. I know money won’t, and can’t, solve every problem, There should still absolutely be a public apology by the US government for slavery. There should absolutely be free job training and college for Black and Native people in addition to this enhanced Universal Basic Income.

But this would be a start. A good one. And an easy one to distribute since everyone has a social security number and, assuming the IRS was properly funded and staffed (which it isn’t right now under Trump), getting money to people would be straightforward.

In fact, I would take it a step further. The money could go every month to a savings account, operated by the Postal Service, so you wouldn’t have to worry about any of the predatory, and often racist, practices of the bank to get between you and your money.

And if you’re not white, and you’re like, “I’d like an additional $500 a month” then I have good news. If you complete two years of national service, which could be anything from helping deliver food to the elderly to helping people register to vote and volunteering at polling places, you could qualify for that $500 too. The point here is that you have to put in the work to make things right. Or maybe not right, because we’ll never be able to make what we as a country did right, but better. A step toward a better America. As citizens and residents, we should all want that for the next generation.

That’s all I got for now. I’ll be back with our regularly scheduled blog posts soon. But if you like what I have to say here, now’s a good time to remind everyone that I have a podcast with my dear friend Rosie Tran, where we talk about solutions to problems plaguing the world. You can listen to it here on Spotify.

Published by B.J. Mendelson

Author, Editor, and Mall Santa

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