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2020 Dems back idea of reparations for descendants of slaves

February 25, 2019

Several Democratic presidential candidates are embracing reparations for the descendants of slaves — but not in the traditional sense.

Over the past week, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro spoke of the need for the U.S. government to reckon with and make up for centuries of stolen labor and legal oppression. But instead of backing direct compensation, they are talking about more universal policies that would also benefit blacks.

The shifting definition of reparations comes as White House hopefuls seek to solidify their ties with African-Americans whose support will be crucial to winning the Democratic nomination. But it risks prompting withering criticism from Republicans and a shrug from those seeking meaningful substance that backs up their support.