Mayor Pete Buttigieg Comes Out Against ‘Cash Transfer’ Reparations for Slavery


South Bend, Indiana Mayor and buzzed-about Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg became the latest candidate to weigh in on reparations for slavery, saying he supports addressing “racial inequities,” but knocking down the idea of a “cash transfer” for reparations.

During a lengthy interview on Wednesday’s edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, co-host Willie Geist asked Buttigieg “Do you support reparations for slavery?”

I haven’t seen a proposal for a cash transfer that people would be able to come together around and view as fair,” Buttigieg replied, adding “But I absolutely believe that we need to have some kind of accounting for the persistent racial inequities today there by design because of part and present racism.”

“So it means our policies and our policy interventions, on everything from criminal justice to housing, need to be designed in such a way they’re targeting those areas in our economy and our society where racial inequity, largely driven by the legacy slavery, but again, not just something that came out of the past, but something reinforced by present racial attitudes, where those are most persistent,” Buttigieg said.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) made news earlier this week at a CNN town hall meeting by explicitly endorsing HR 40, a bill which would create a commision on reparations that would include determining how “any form of compensation to the descendants of enslaved African is calculated,” and “What form of compensation should be awarded, through what instrumentalities and who should be eligible for such compensation.”

“I support the bill in the House to appoint a congressional panel of experts, of people who are studying this, who talk about different ways we may be able to do it, and to make a report back to Congress so that we can as a nation do what’s right and begin to heal,” Warren told the crowd.

When asked if that might “include direct payments, direct financial transfer of money?”, Warren said “Let’s see what ideas people want to put on the table, and let’s talk them through, because I got to tell you, ignoring the problem is not working.”

While several other Democrats have expressed support for reparations without endorsing direct payments, a few have discouraged the idea. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has consistently said he’s opposed to “writing a big check” to address the issue. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) said, this week, that reparations “doesn’t have to be a direct pay for each person,” but did not explicitly rule it out.

Watch the clip above, via MSNBC.

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