In an interview with New York Times Magazine, Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson said white people should open up “individual reparations accounts” to pay back African Americans for slavery.
While discussing Dyson’s new book, “Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America,” interviewer Ana Marie Cox brought up a section where Dyson talks about paying reparations at the individual level, such as paying “the black person who cuts your grass double what you might ordinarily pay.”
Dyson’s response was the following:
“Look, if it doesn’t cost you anything, you’re not really engaging in change; you’re engaging in convenience,” Dyson said. “You’re engaged in the overflow. I’m asking you to do stuff you wouldn’t ordinarily do. I’m asking you to think more seriously and strategically about why you possess what you possess.
“That is what I meant by an I.R.A.: an individual reparations account,” he continued. “You ain’t got to ask the government, you don’t have to ask your local politician — this is what you, an individual, conscientious, ‘woke’ citizen can do.”
When asked if he would consider the Koch Brothers ‘woke’ for giving $25 million to the United Negro College Fund, Dyson responded by saying “No. Martin Luther King Jr. believed that charity is a poor substitute for justice. But I ain’t turning $25 million down.”
Since Dyson’s book is a “Sermon to White America” Cox asked Dyson, “Which part of white America do you envision reading it?”
Dyson said he envisions the audience to be “that ocean of white folk I encounter who are deeply empathetic to the struggles of minorities.”
The full interview can be seen here.
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