Former President Barack Obama said that reparations for African Americans are “justified” in theory. However, he also claimed that “politics of white resistance” caused it to become a “non-starter” during his time in office.
In a podcast with singer Bruce Springsteen, he said that a significant portion of the country’s wealth and power was built on “the backs of slaves.”
During his presidency, Obama said that “the politics of white resistance” prevailed. He added that there were talks of “welfare queens” or of the “undeserving” poor. Obama also mentioned that affirmative action received criticisms instead of support.
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Because of this, Obama revealed that, politically, proposing reparations became a “non-starter” or even “counterproductive” during his presidency.
The former president then explained that, even after formal slavery ended in the country, oppression and discrimination of African Americans still existed. Because of this, Obama said that many Black families did not have the opportunity to build up wealth. He also said that this has a “generational effect.”