The Roosevelt Institute, a “think tank and campus network that works to move the country toward a new economy and democracy by the people, for the people,” sponsored the report, titled “Resurrecting the Promise of 40 Acres: The Imperative of Reparations for Black Americans.”
In the report, Darity and co-author Kirsten Mullen pointed to the U.S. government’s failure to deliver on a promise to give 40 acres to every former slave. The two said that this failure is the cause of the current wealth gap between Black and White households. If this policy had been enacted after the Civil War, the authors “speculate that there would be no need to consider the case for black reparations today.”
As the “culpable” party, the report said that the federal government “must pay the debt” of $10 to $12 trillion dollars in 2016 dollars. The couple arrives at this figure by calculating that a payment of $800,000 to each Black household would close the current wealth gap.
Furthermore, the authors stated that incremental reparations programs will not adequately resolve the problem of systemic racism.