National AARC Sends Urgent Letter To Obama

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National African-American Reparations Commission (NAARC) Sends Urgent Letter to Obama

Calls on him to establish the ‘John Hope Franklin Commission on Reparatory Justice’

A group of young women who joined protestors at the 95th Street Station after hearing organizers explain the reparations ordinance. (Photo: Kelly Hayes)

In the wake of the recent massacre in Charleston, South Carolina, the National African-American Reparations Commission (NAARC) is calling on President Obama to issue an executive order that establishes a Commission on Reparatory Justice to address white supremacy “in all of its individual, institutional and structural manifestations.”

The letter describes white supremacy and racism as “a deadly disease” that remains deeply imbedded in the American psyche and the social, economic and political fabric of US society.

“As you prepare to deliver the eulogy at the home-going service of Rev. Clementa Pickney on the occasion of the unspeakable tragedy of his murder and that of eight other members of the historic Emmanuel AME Church

The National African-American Reparations Commission (NAARC) is comprised of eminent black leaders from the legal, academic, health and faith-based communities across the country.

NAARC is requesting that President Obama name the Commission in honor of the esteemed historian and academic Dr. John Hope Franklin who had chaired President Bill Clinton’s Commission on Race some 22 years ago. “In honor of Dr. Franklin’s 100th birthday, we call upon you to have the vision to create a commission on reparatory justice in his name. This is only fitting as it also offers an opportunity to complete the unfinished work of President Clinton’s Commission on Race”, states the letter.

Dr. Ron Daniels, convenor of the NAARC and President of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW), said that from Ferguson to Baltimore to Charleston, this most recent period has revealed that white supremacy is alive and well in the United States.

“As you have related, Mr. President, despite progress since the era of enslavement, Jim Crow and de fact discrimination/segregation the ‘badges and indicia’ of the long-standing exploitation and oppression of people of African descent are reflected in the devastating disparities in health, education, housing, employment, economic development, wealth and incarceration rates which harm large numbers of Black people each and every day in this land of enormous opportunity,” the letter states.

“Despite these realities, polls and studies indicate that a substantial number of white Americans fail to see or are in denial about the stubborn persistence of racism and its effects on Black people”, said NAARC Commissioner Dr. Iva Carruthers, general secretary of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference.

“This year marks the beginning of the United Nations Decade for People of African Descent. We believe there can be no more perfect union in the United States until there is a thoughtful, frank, thorough and uncompromising examination of white supremacy as a malignancy which must be cured,” added NAARC commissioner Dr. Patricia Newton, CEO of the Black Psychiatrists of America.

“The American nation cannot heal until it confronts and addresses the injustices of the past and those that are being perpetrated today on people of African descent as a consequence of systemic/structural bias that inflicts every are of life in this society,” said NAARC Commissioner Rev. JoAnn Watson, former member of the Detroit City Council. “There can be no real peace until there is justice, repair, restitution and healing for black people in this country.”

Meanwhile, several national Black professional organizations are supporting the NAARC’s call to President Obama and are encouraging the broader civil rights and human rights communities to join their voices in requesting that he establish the Dr. John Hope Franklin Commission for Reparatory Justice as a matter of national urgency.