We owe a debt of gratitude to the Black Lives Matter movement across the country, which has exposed the way in which local, state and federal governments, the corporate media, and the judicial system actively participate in exonerating the police and demonizing the victim.
The U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, comprised of top human rights lawyers from around the world, told the U.N. Human Rights Council last week that the United States owes reparations to African-Americans as compensation for "the legacy of colonial history, enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality."
The working group concluded that U.S. slave labor would be worth about $5.9 trillion today. But reparations could be provided in the form of "a formal apology, health initiatives, educational opportunities ... psychological rehabilitation, technology transfer and financial support, and debt cancellation."
Our society continues to be plagued by the legacy of slavery -- the "peculiar institution" -- as well as Jim Crow and continuing, pernicious racism. Calls for "law and order" and stop-and-frisk will not heal the wounds, and will only exacerbate the tensions. Yet, that is what Donald Trump has prescribed.