The Wall Street Journal

By Jacob M. Schlesinger

July 26, 2020

Duke University economist William A. Darity Jr., a leading reparations scholar, agrees. He says slavery descendants have the strongest claim on compensation, due to the government’s broken promise to compensate freed slaves at the end of the Civil War.

Mr. Darity’s book “From Here to Equality” published this spring argues that the federal government must belatedly fulfill that pledge. It also reviews the wide range of other reparations options floated over the years, such as one to tax companies proven to have benefited from slave labor—akin to “superfund” cleanup sites paid for by polluters.

Mr. Darity says the fact that the congressional legislation doesn’t commit to limiting reparations to slavery descendants, among other reasons, has prompted him to oppose the measure in its current form.