Liberal Education Group Uses Capitol Riots to Push Reparations

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January 15, 2021

A liberal education group is using last week's Capitol riot to push reparations for black Americans.

The Zinn Education Project, a progressive network that develops teaching resources, sent an email to its 125,000 followers on Wednesday recommending a lesson plan in which students craft their own reparations legislation. The email says the activity will help students reflect on "what a path toward justice might look like" following the riots. It also compares the Capitol riots to the Civil War and claims that following the war, the United States cared more about "traitorous Confederates" than African Americans.

The lesson plan's instructional materials suggest that reparations are the only way to rectify the violence committed against enslaved people.

"What would it mean to count up all the violence, theft, harm, and injustice inflicted on black people in the last 400+ years of white settlement of this land?" the lesson plan reads. "It would be a first step in calculating what is owed."

The plan also cites the Black Panthers' "Ten-Point Program," which demands compensation for "stolen wages and genocide." It does not, however, include any references to the police officers killed by various Black Panthers.

The lesson has already been incorporated into Portland Public Schools. In a blog posted to the Zinn Education Project website, a group of Portland teachers say that they discuss the issue of reparations with students multiple times throughout the year. The project's other educational materials include a lesson that blames the coronavirus pandemic on racism and capitalism instead of China.

In the wake of Jan. 6, education associations and universities have issued statements alleging the riots were racially motivated. The Common App—a service used by more than one million students to apply to universities—issued a statement claiming that minority protesters are treated differently than white protesters due to systemic racism.

The Zinn Education Project did not respond to requests for comment. The author of the lesson plan could not be reached for comment.