President Obama Announces Plans to Pay Reparations for Slavery-Reported as Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Reports have gone viral that President Obama has announced plans to pay black people reparations for slavery.
There’s no truth to reports that President Obama has announced plans to pay black people reparations for slavery.
The rumor started in April 2015 when Charles Payne, the host of the Fox Business Network show “Making Money” predicted that President Obama would push forward plans to pay reparations for slavery.
Charles Payne’s prediction came after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel backed a proposal to pay $5.5 million in reparations to victims of Jon Burge, a former Chicago police commissioner who was convicted of torture in federal court. The Chicago Tribune reports:
“The proposal, negotiated with a key plaintiff’s attorney and supported by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, would offer free city college tuition for victims and their families, free counseling for psychological issues and substance abuse as well as other assistance to more than 50 potential victims. The city would also issue a formal apology, create a permanent memorial recognizing the victims and ensure that eighth- and 10th-grade students attending Chicago Public Schools would be taught about the Burge case and its brutal legacy, cementing the scandal’s role in city history.”
Following news of Chicago’s plans for reparations, Charles Payne predicted that federal reparations for slavery would be next on the docket:
“The news in my mind is a glimpse of really much bigger news that is going to come from the White House. I think that there’s going to be an official apology from the White House for slavery in America and then there’s going to be a major push to get cash. And I’m talking lots of cash.
I actually think it would be a major mistake. Instead, Obama should really discuss and focus on all of the progress we have made and how all Americans need to move forward for better days for all of our kids.”
After the story went viral in April 2015, it re-surfaced again in June 2015 when the website American News re-posted a story from April 2015 on its Facebook page with the message, “BREAKING: Obama Just Announced That He Will Be Forcing To Compensate Black For Slavery.” The post also said:
“Obama pushes reparation for slavery on all non-black Americans.
Slavery is over and has been over for hundreds of year.
Do you think we should have to compensate blacks for slavery?”
As Charles Payne’s comments have been recycled across the web, the fact that he was expressing his personal opinion and not reporting fact-based news was quickly lost. Soon, readers commented on the story as though President Obama had actually taken steps to approve reparations. One reader commented:
“I have never owned slaves! Why should my tax dollars go to compensate blacks for slavery? On the other hand, not one single black living today was a victim of the acts of slavery present in the past history of the United States. So, someone please explain to me why they should receive reparations.”
The legislature has introduced various bills that would explore reparations over the years, but President Obama has not been personally involved with any of them. In 2013, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) introduced a bill that would establish a commission to study reparation proposals for African-Americans. The bill was referred to a committee and no action has been taken on it since.
As for President Obama, he was asked about his views on reparations in a debate during the 2008 presidential election. The president responded:
“I think the reparations we need right here in South Carolina is investment, for example, in our schools. …I did aa town hall meeting in Florence, South Carolina, in an area called the corridor of shame. They’ve got buildings that students are trying to learn in that were built right after the Civil War. And we’ve got teachers who are not trained to teach the subjects they’re teaching and high dropout rates.
We’ve got to understand that there are corridors of shame all across the country. And if we make the investments and understand that those are our children, that’s the kind of reparations that are really going to make a difference in America right now.”