New Poll Shows a Majority of Millennials Are Open to Reparations – Older Folks Not So Much

A relatively new poll from a little over a month ago showed the continuation of certain trends that could have a positive impact on the push for reparations in a decade or so. I read about this poll in a PBS article that I want to break down and unwrap for you guys.

The article is entitled, 'Millennials May Eventually Shift Public Opinion On Slavery Reparations' and was written by Jesse Holland. It can be written (HERE) in its full context.

One of the most aggravating aspects within the debate about reparations being paid to descendants of kidnapped Africans is the lack of historical knowledge about the role centuries of forced labor played in propelling America and the Western world to the heights of power it currently enjoys today. Pre-integration, around the time when folks like Claude Anderson (working via the W.P.A.) were compiling the narratives of former slaves, there was this very pseudo-historical agenda pushed forward by Whites on all sides to white-wash the impact of slavery. Despite the fact that many today will acknowledge the horrors of plantation life, there is still a major disconnect between admitting to the brutality of slavery and being honest about the extreme profits that the system of slavery generated. Profits that bankrolled an entire nation and radically transformed America from a small-time European trade partner to having one of the largest, most vibrant economies in the world.

The Millennial generation however may turn out to be the light at the end of the tunnel and the source of a new age movement for reparations. It should be considered a travesty that Blacks have suffered as much as we have to never benefit from the economic and industrial power that is America. Things have changed sure and there are more success stories now than ever before. However this article shows why we might one day be able to envision more.

WASHINGTON — A vast majority of white Americans say there should not be reparations for African-American descendants of slaves, but more than half of blacks say it’s a good idea and Hispanics are almost evenly split, according to a new poll.

Time may bring about a shift in those numbers: More than half of millennials questioned say they are willing to at least consider the idea of paying reparations to the descendants of slaves.

The Exclusive Point Taken-Marist Poll was released Wednesday in conjunction with the PBS debate series “Point Taken.”

Overall, 68 percent of Americans say that reparations should not be paid to descendants of slaves, according to the poll.

Among the races polled, 81 percent of white Americans said no to reparations for slave descendants, the highest number among all races. The numbers were much closer among blacks and Hispanics, with 58 percent of blacks supporting reparations and 35 percent against the idea. Hispanic Americans were almost evenly divided, with 47 percent against and 46 percent for providing money for slave descendants.


So from the very beginning we see the continuation of a trend that I wrote about in the blog entry called 'Freddie Gray and the Culture of State Violence Apologizing' (read HERE). This is a trend that I have noticed throughout several different polls with regards to how incredibly different Whites and non-Whites view different problems and issues in America. I go into a couple in that entry, but with this poll we see that yet again White Americans have a much different view on repaying for slavery than Black and Brown people. The people who historically were more likely to be victims of slavery than benefactors of it.

81% of White Americans rule out reparations with only a mere 19% supporting it. A staggeringly high number it is! Compared to 58% support in the Black community and 47% in the Hispanic community. At a nearly 60/40 split it's obvious why Blacks support reparations. Our entire community has been shaped by slavery in all its various forms and we are the source of the beginning wealth of America.

It also states however that more than half of Millennials are open to the idea of reparations. As I will show in a second though, much of that has to do with the fact that some 44% of Millennials in America are non-White and come from melanated groups that already support it more than Whites.

Americans over age 69 say by an 80-12 margin that reparations should not be paid to those related to slaves. Baby boomers between ages 51-69 are similar, with a 79-17 percent margin against reparations.

The numbers start changing when it comes to Generation Xers, with Americans between the ages of 35-50 breaking 73 percent to 25 percent against reparations. The biggest shift comes with millennials, with a majority — 51 percent — saying that reparations should be paid or they were unsure of whether reparations should be paid. Forty percent of millennials were in favor of reparations and 11 percent were unsure, compared with the 49 percent of the millennials questioned who said reparations should not be paid to slave descendants.


So here we see the great age gap where older Americans are highly unlikely to support reparations. The younger you get however, the higher the level of support becomes. 40% of millennials are in favor with 49% against...a number that will continue to trend in favor of reparations as non-Whites grow in population size. 11% of Millennials are on the fence, so when added to the group that is in favor, it's 51% either supporting or on the fence and 49% against.

This is the other trend that I was talking about above, but this one involves millennials and how a large number of us are some of the most liberals voices in the country right now. I believe it's a product of coming of age in the Information Age and the New Gilded Age that we currently live in. It's millennials by larger percentages who are open to the most ideas and are the most progressive. As millennials get older however, that trend has to remain in place while at the same time we teach our children to continue the same trend we're on. So one day the majority of the voting public will be closer to where we are now.

Researchers say the differences in opinion may have something to do with the increasing diversity of millennials. According to the Census Bureau, millennials are more diverse than the generations that preceded them, with 44.2 percent being part of a minority race or ethnic group.

Conversations around reparations have increased lately, with the U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent recommending in January that the United States consider reparations to African-American descendants of slavery.

“The colonial history, the legacy of enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality in the U.S. remains a serious challenge as there has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent,” the U.N. report said.


This is where the 44% number came from that I mentioned above. Part of the reason millennials are open to ideas such as reparations more than older generations has a lot to do with the fact that a huge chunk of the millennial population is non-White. From what I can tell, this study doesn't go into the number of white millennials who support reparations. It seems to lump all age groups of Whites together to get the 81% disapprove and 19% approve stat. If I'm a betting man, I'd say support for reparations among white millennials is higher than the overall number of 19% for the entire group. That would just make more sense with regards to what we already know about millennials and how liberal some of us are (which is a good thing).

This also means that the millennial generation could be the last or second-to-last generation that is predominantly White. Due to population changes that are occurring, the generation that is post-millennial will likely be the first minority-majority generation.

The article also mentions what's going on within the United Nations that for all intents and purposes is being deliberately ignored by the media in America. It is the opinion of the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent that contemporary police killings are similar to the racial terror lynchings of the past. Speaking in Washington D.C. it was expressed that, "Congress should pass the Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act, establish a national human rights commission and publicly acknowledge that the Atlantic slave trade was a crime against humanity."

Americans are not even taught to look at the slave trade as a crime against humanity. We've learned to accept the intellectualizing of American slavery and white supremacy specifically so that the crime against humanity that is was is not part of the official record. Make no mistake, slavery and all of its post-Civil War bastardized replacements are human rights crimes and literal holocausts. The idea that Black Americans don't "deserve" reparations is insulting and devoid of historical context. The radical position here IS reparations and should be a major issue within the Black left space. It already has been for some for many years already. I'm speaking more to those who need some convincing.

Black Americans have never had truth and reconciliation. Instead we've had apologizing, white-washing, outright ignorance and a dismissal of our history by people who are like Cypher from The Matrix. People who choose to live a lie, rather than living in truth. The truth is Blacks are owed reparations and have been owed them since the end of slavery. It's not a question of whether or not we "deserve" reparations. To continue to pretend otherwise just isn't historically accurate and intellectually dishonest.

Sources (click links below)

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