CNSNews reports presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Wednesday declined to say whether or not he supports reparations for African Americans, telling a NAACP virtual town hall event it would depend on the details and whether Native Americans are included in a reparations program.
The event moderator, television journalist Ed Gordon, noted that Black Entertainment Television founder Robert Johnson said recently that African-Americans should get $14 trillion in reparations for slavery to try to eliminate the racial wealth gap.
“I know you’ve said before that you want to see studies, that you weren’t necessarily ready to say you were for reparations but you’d be willing to at least look at studies,” Gordon said to the former vice president. “There are a lot of people who’ve suggested that these studies have been going on for a mighty long time, and why not say now whether you would be for reparations or not?”
“I know what has to be done now and you know it too,” Biden began. “Let’s not wait.”
While studies continue into the issue and into whether direct cash payments should be made, he said, “in the meantime you know what has to be done.”
Biden then spoke for about a minute and a half about the need to change things relating to housing ownership, home equity, and education for black Americans – before Gordon pressed him again.
“We can find that on Biden.com, but I’m not sure what your answer is to the reparations question.”
“If in fact there are ways in which to get direct payments for reparations, I want to see it,” Biden said. “But why are we waiting around for the study?”
Gordon said the two weren’t mutually exclusive, and Biden agreed, adding that he could not believe the African American community would not support the policies he’s proposing.
Gordon tried again: “If in fact a calculation comes to you that you are satisfied with, would you then say, ‘I’m for reparations’?
“The answer is it would depend on what it was, and will it include Native Americans as well.”