ADOS Leader Yvette Carnell: Local Reparations Effort Is To Avoid National Confrontation With Democratic Party
Many longtime reparations advocates are concerned over local reparations plans taking away the momentum from a federal reparations program. And, American Descendants of Slavery leader Yvette Carnell, a former Democratic staffer, says there’s an alarming reason behind the increase in the number of cities and states looking in to issuing reparations.
In an interview with Fox News Digital, Carnell, who co-founded ADOS in 2016, said the move by local governments to tackle reparations is a way for the Democrats to avoid a national confrontation on the issue.
“This push for local reparations has always been a way for relic reparations organizations like NAARC [National African American Reparations Commission] and N’COBRA [National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America] to avoid any confrontation with Democrats in Congress who refuse to make reparations a legislative priority,” Carnell, president of the ADOS Advocacy Foundation, told Fox News Digital said. “When Democrats in Congress had a majority and the first Black president, they refused to engage the issue of reparations.”
Racial justice organizations have been pushing for President Joe Biden to establish a national reparations commission through an executive order, but he has been mostly silent on the issue and legislation has been stalled.
While there has been no movement on the national reparations front, cities and states have moved forward. San Francisco, for example, could be the first major U.S. city to reparations. The Chicago suburb of Evanston in 2021 became the first U.S. city to fund reparations, issuing money to qualifying people for home repairs, property down payments, and interest or late penalties due on city property. At the state level, New York and California have passed bills to formally create a commission to consider reparations., Fox News Digital reported.
However, Carnell argued such efforts are more indicative of surrender than progress.
“These local reparations initiatives are a way for NAARC and N’COBRA to symbolically advocate for reparations while giving Democrats a pass for refusing to move the needle on any meaningful reparations legislation,” she said. “Both organizations are putting the needs of politicians ahead of the needs of their community. Black voters are the base of the Democratic Party, and at ADOS AF, we believe that voting is an exchange, not a gift.”
She added, “At the ADOS Advocacy Foundation, we view local reparations programs as an oxymoron because it is unlikely that any of these programs can achieve the goal of compensating American descendants of chattel slavery. States have enormous budgetary constraints when confronting cash payments, the most materially significant component for repairing past harms anchored in the institution of American slavery.”
Veteran reparations advocate William Darity has long said that local reparations programs are not feasible, that only the federal government has the budget to pay the total reparations due to Black Americans. According to Darity, the federal government should pay $14 trillion in reparations to Black Americans.
According to experts, reparations are also a financial dilemma for Democrats.
“Few Democrats in positions of power take seriously the possibility of spending billions of dollars to redistribute wealth to the descendants of slaves. But that reality is putting party leaders eager to retain the allegiance of Black voters in the uncomfortable position of finding ways to say no, or not yet, or to change the subject entirely pending some dramatic improvement in the economy,” The New York Times reported.
“As long as people are talking about this, it’s a positive for Democrats,” David Townsend, a Sacramento-based consultant to many of the moderate Democrats in the California Legislature,told The New York Times. “The problems don’t start until you have to start writing the checks.”
Yvette Carnell, president of the ADOS Advocacy Foundation (Screenshot / YouTube)