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Bernie Sanders Opposes Reparations in the Form of Cash Payouts

Dem 2020 hopefuls Harris and Warren support some form of reparations

• March 4, 2019 10:57 am

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) on Monday morning said he does not support reparations in the form of cash payouts while appearing on the "the Breakfast Club," a New York City radio show.

As other Democratic presidential hopefuls Sens. Kamala Harris (Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) have come out in support of some form of reparations in recent weeks, Sanders has been asking what form reparations would take when asked about the topic.

Sanders has now been asked directly about reparations in the form of cash payouts.

"Now, why does it seem like this week you've been dodging the reparations question?" the host asks. "Senator Harris and Senator Warren both kind of spoken out and said they agree with some form of reparations."

"The question is, what is—I'm not dodging the question—the question is, what do we mean by reparations?" Sanders said. "It seems to be a lot of people doing a lot of different things. In my mind, it means we have to deal with the fact that there is enormous disparity between the black community and the white community and that issue has got to be addressed, and I've indicated to you some of the ways to you I think it should be addressed."

"I think they mean some kind of economic empowerment to the African descendants of slaves," the host followed up.

"What does that mean, economic empowerment? I just talked about the fact that I would do my best to change the banking system to make sure that we end racism, that we pay a pension to distressed communities, that people get the loans they need to make the investments they need."

Sanders was then asked about the cash payouts, in which he replied, "No."

Sanders did not support reparations during the 2016 presidential campaign. At the time, the idea of reparations for black Americans who are descendants of slaves was not as mainstream as it is today among Democratic presidential candidates.