The conversation on racial justice has moved from “equality of opportunity” when i was younger towards “there is no such thing of equality of opportunity so we must have equality of outcome”
One of the primary drivers behind this argument is the legacy of slavery and jim crow (and the much less mentioned genocide of american indians) but the .
ISTM that Coates may be onto something, there can never really be an end to this conversation until we do something to try to make the victims of america whole to some degree.
One of the primary advantages that white people have over blacks is wealth and familial land ownership. Frequently this land was received for free from the government as a homestead that was only available to white people.
Most of the western USA is still owned by the federal government. Much of it is very suitable for solar farms and wind farms.
Could reparations be structured as a renewable energy homestead act open to the descendants of american slaves and american indians? The government could be a guarantor in power purchase agreements that might last for the entire useful life of the solar panels and wind turbines (and presumably the panels/turbines would only improve over time). Sure heathcliff huxtable’s family wouldn’t get anything out of it but with government sponsored training, ongoing support and guidance we could some of the wealth gap we see between blacks and whites while we increase the population of underpopulated states like Montana and Nevada and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
The price tag would be enormous but I don’t know if it would be more than the trillions of dollars we are using to mitigate the economic effects of the coronavirus and at the end we might have fundamentally changed our economy for the better and perhaps moved past this historical injustice.