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Professor explains difficulty of implementing reparations policies in Chicago

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(The Center Square) – The mayor of Chicago may have difficulty implementing reparations policy.

Mayor Brandon Johnson signed an executive order establishing a Reparations Task Force to develop a Black Reparations Agenda.

Tio Hardiman, executive director of Violence Interrupters, says the time for more talk has long passed.

“I’m thinking about organizing another shutdown of one of the major streets in Chicago to really bring more attention to the reparations struggle,” Hardiman told The Center Square. “It appears that everybody has received some sort of resources or benefits except African American people.”

DePaul University Professor of Philosophy Jason Hill said it will be a challenge for the mayor to put reparations policies in place.

“Like I’ve said, reparations are very, very difficult unless you can ostensibly point to someone who has suffered real damage,” Hill said.

Hill said there are a lot of variables besides slavery that contribute to disparities between and among the races.

“The reparations program presupposes that there is a monocausal factor phenomenon called ‘residual effects of slavery’ that account for all the disparities between the races, and I think that’s a very faulty line of reasoning,” Hill said.

Johnson said his administration will work with allies to rectify decades of deliberate disinvestment in Black communities.

Hill said an argument for reparations could be made in specific cases.

“If you can actually point to people who are individuals who were the victims of housing discrimination, redlining, then I think reparations are in order,” Hill said. “But to just have this sort of mass, reparative justice scheme for all Black Americans is a logistical nightmare, and I think there are ethical problems to it.”

Hill is the author of five books, including “What do White Americans owe Black People: Racial Justice in the Age of Post-Oppression.”

Glenn Minnis contributed to this report.

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