A 2016 report by a U.N.-affiliated group found that the United States's history of slavery and racial segregation warrants reparations for African Americans.
The United Nations' Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent concluded that “the legacy of colonial history, enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality in the United States remains a serious challenge, as there has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent.”
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The group drew comparisons between lynchings of earlier decades and contemporary police killings. It recommended “urgent action” through “improving the reporting of violations involving the excessive use of force and extrajudicial killings by the police.”
This conclusion was reached after a fact-finding mission in Washington in January. The group's recommendations are non-binding, yet echo a similar call for reparations by a coalition of Caribbean nations, the main tenets of which the United States should adopt, according to the U.N. group.
“Past injustices and crimes against African Americans need to be addressed with reparatory justice,” the group declared in a statement. Reparations could take the form of “a formal apology, health initiatives, educational opportunities, an African knowledge programme, psychological rehabilitation, technology transfer and financial support, and debt cancellation.”
Awareness should also be raised through monuments, education, and memorials that are accompanied by “acts of reconciliation," the group detailed. This would work to counteract "the dangerous ideology of white supremacy [which] inhibits social cohesion amongst the United States population.”
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