White Knight book cover

Reparations and Bernie Sanders

I’ve thought and written a lot about reparations. Last year, I developed a blog called The Reparations Fund. To be honest, I became somewhat discouraged when I put a copy of my blog in the hands of Cornell West when he spoke in Oakland and never heard from him. I’m glad the issue has come up in the campaign. 

I agree completely with Ta-Nehisi Coates in his Atlantic article that “Reparations is not one possible tool against white supremacy. It is the indispensable tool against white supremacy.” I agree that Bernie should have responded differently when asked about reparations by Chuck Todd. He could have advocated what Coates advocated in his original article on reparations in June 2014, which was that Congress pass the Conyers bill calling for a commission to study proposals to redress the grievous consequences to Black people of 350 years of slavery and 100+ years of discrimination.

One statistic says it all: in 2013, the median wealth (not income) of white households was 13 times that of Black households, $141,000 to $11,000.

At the same time, I agree with Killer Mike that Sanders will be far and away the best candidate for the Black community. What Bernie Sanders is offering is authentic democracy, nothing more, nothing less. This has never been a democratic country. Even in its most progressive years under Franklin Roosevelt, Blacks (domestic workers and farm workers) were frozen out of the reforms like social security and unemployment – as well as the vote. The Sanders campaign has already expanded democracy and promises to spread it all over the land. As Leonard Cohen so presciently sings it, “Democracy is coming to the USA.”When we have elected Sanders and reached a sufficient level of democracy, issues like reparations, like aid to Israel, like disarmament can come to the fore and be debated with the fervor that they deserve.


Meanwhile, my book has been published, White Knight, or how one man came to believe that he was the one who caused the San Francisco City Hall killings and the Jonestown Massacre. It’s a comedy. Best-selling novelist and literary gadfly Clifford Irving says about my book: “A powerful tale set in San Francisco during the turbulent late ‘70s. Hitz makes you feel that you were there, and shows how we came to grasp that ‘the personal is political’ and, alas, vice versa. An elegant debut novel.” Available on Amazon. Please buy it, read it, review it, and recommend it to friends.

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