The cause of reparations is having a moment of resurgence in the United States. Author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates reinvigorated the idea in a sweeping and influential essay, “The Case for Reparations,” published in The Atlantic in 2014. In 2016, after more than a decade of rigorous investigation, the United Nations’ Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent determined that “past injustices and crimes against African Americans need to be addressed with reparatory justice.” In the United States, the term reparations is most associated with the idea of compensation for slavery, but the idea has also been explored by Coates and others as an integral part of redressing racial discrimination and injustice in our own times.
The map’s creators say they envision an equitable distribution of land and resources in the country.
Because ecological destruction affects both friend and foe, the use of bombs, drones and missiles is akin to shooting oneself in the foot…and the lungs and the spirit. War undermines that which most of the world’s people aspire to: physical and financial security; satisfying work and social ties; clean air, food and water. Perhaps we can skip the violence and tragedy and blowback and move directly to restitution: reparations for damage sustained.