By Danette Clark July, 2012
In previous articles in this Reparation Agenda series, I named several religious appointees to President Obama whose work it is to guilt white America into believing it is our moral obligation to pay reparations for slavery. There is also a great deal of pressure being placed on churches across the country to make reparation for their ‘complicity in slaveholding’ more than 200 years ago.
I had originally planned to discuss, among other things, the push for reparations through the social justice education that our president is so fond of — a form of education that teaches our kids to loathe their country and promotes the idea that white supremacy is the cause of ‘achievement gaps’ between whites and minorities. However, there are more immediate issues surrounding this agenda that should be brought to light before it’s too late.
In addition to those chosen by Obama to White House appointments, several others very close to our president have conspired to squeeze billions out of universities, corporations, and even the government because of their supposed ‘ties to slavery’. I will discuss those pit bulls next in the series and then move into the meat of this agenda by showing the work being done to twist previously failed reparation lawsuits into claims that will better fit the rule of law. This work includes attempts to change history, selling lies as the truth, and bullying corporations and government entities into submitting formal apologies.
I will also reveal steps President Obama has taken as well as those he appears dangerously close to taking that could ensure future reparation claims will be successful.
But first, here is a rundown of a few more appointees, White House fellows and/or nominations and their connection to the reparations movement:
. Ruth Simmons, former president of Brown University and chair ex officio of the Annenberg Institute’s Board of Overseers. As president of Brown University, Simmons created a Committee on Slavery and Justice to investigate “Brown’s historic ties to slavery; arrange seminars, courses and research projects examining the moral, legal and economic complexities of reparations and other means of redressing wrongs; and recommend whether and how the university should take responsibility for its connection to slavery.”
. James Wagner, president of Emory University. Last year Wagner issued a formal ‘statement of regret’ over Emory’s historical involvement with slavery and hosted a national conference titled Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies.
Emory University, under Wagner’s leadership, is home to and participated in the creation and launching of Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database and The African Origins Project. These projects are used to track slave trade voyages, “trace the geographic origins of Africans transported in the transatlantic slave trade”, and to locate the names of slaves. President Obama’s friend, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (think White House beer summit) was instrumental in obtaining initial funding for Voyages. The relevance and importance of these projects to the reparations movement will be discussed later in the series.
. Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League and former Mayor of New Orleans, is a regular participant of the State of the Black World Conference. The conference is held annually to push further discussion on the issue of reparations and other issues relevant to the black community. Participants and speakers include Louis Farrakhan, Rev. Jessie Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, and Obama friends Conrad Worrill and Charles Ogletree. The conference is sponsored by the Institute of the Black World 21st Century, an organization founded by reparations activist Ron Daniels.
Although it has been said the group avoids the word “reparations” as too vague and highly charged, the National Urban League has always been a strong advocate for reparations.
The National Urban League publishes an annual report titled The State of Black America, which measures disparities between blacks and whites in areas of economics, education, health and social justice. With regard to those disparities or gaps outlined in it’s 2008 report, Marc Morial stated that he “expects his members to press Obama on how he intends to close those gaps….”.
. Rahm Emmanuel, Mayor of Chicago and former Chief of Staff to President Obama, stated last year that he would support slavery reparations.
. Cynthia Hale, founding and senior pastor of Ray of Hope Christian Church, was chosen by then-Senator Barack Obama and the Democratic Party to give the opening invocation at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
Hale’s Ray of Hope Christian Church is a “partner in ministry” with President Obama’s church of 20 years, Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ.
Hale is chair of the 21st Century Vision Team of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), which is an anti-racist/pro-reconciliation ministry. See the first article in this series for more about Disciples of Christ.
Hale also served as co-chair of a social justice organization, the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference. The conference, which was co-founded by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is led by Dr. Iva Carruthers, a long-time reparations activist. A current trustee of the conference is Father Michael Pfleger, who, along with Rev. Wright, made headlines in 2008 for his outlandish and crude racial comments against whites and America. Conference partners include George Soros’ Open Society Institute and the Gamaliel Foundation, where Obama worked in community organizing.
. Goodwin Liu, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California, believes in constitutional welfare rights, including affirmative rights to “education, shelter, subsistence, health care and the like, or to the money these things cost”. In other words, reparations should be made part of the Constitution.
In 2008, while discussing the issues of racial justice and reparations at the screening of Traces of the Trade, a PBS documentary on the transatlantic slave trade, Liu said he believes every person who inherits this nation has “a personal responsibility” and “a moral obligation to make things right” and that “it’s going to require giving up something”.
Every person mentioned in this series should be taken very seriously. They are all pieces of a puzzle, each doing his or her part to fulfill an agenda, that if successful, could bring down hundreds of American corporations, result in the loss of land, and even threaten our national sovereignty.