Amy Klobuchar on Reparations: Doesn’t Have to be ‘Direct Pay’ but Invest in Communities ‘Hurt by Racism’


Minnesota Senator and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar became the latest in her field to weigh in on the issue of reparations for slavery, saying that she supports investing “in those communities that have been so hurt by racism,” and that a reparations plan “doesn’t have to be a direct pay for each person.”

On Sunday morning’s edition of NBC’s Meet the Press, an apparently skeptical Chuck Todd noted “there apparently is going to be another conversation in the Democratic party about reparations for descendants of slaves,” and asked Klobuchar “Where do you come down on that?”

“I believe we have to invest in those communities that have been so hurt by racism,” Klobuchar replied, but added “It doesn’t have to be a direct pay for each person.”

“But what we can do is, invest in those communities, acknowledge what’s happened,” she continued. “And that means better education. That means looking at, for our whole economy: community college, one-year degrees, minimum wage, childcare, making sure that we have that shared dream of opportunity for all Americans. And I’ll tell you this. You know, we may look different. We may pray different. But we all have that shared dream of America. And that is not being sent to many communities right now in this country. And it is hurting not just them. It is hurting our whole country.”

“Is a reparations debate a good debate, or is it one that could get, that could get taken out of context?” Todd asked with the delicacy of Edward Prosciuttohands.

“I think these debates are actually good to have,” Klobuchar said, then rattled off a lost of other good debates to have.

Klobuchar went on to say that “We have to have a debate on race, yes. But what I am tired of doing is admiring the problem. Let’s get the solutions in place.”

Klobuchar’s position on reparations is essentially the same as every other Democrat’s, and although she singled out direct payments as not necessarily required, she didn’t entirely rule them out the way Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has. At the same time, none of the other candidates have ruled in direct payments, or even race-specific policies, to address the effects of slavery and Jim Crow.

Watch the clip above, via NBC News.

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