Jul. 22, 2019

Why Didn't President Obama Sign An Executive Order For A Reparations Commission? Who Will?

Our black communities had our chance for a presidential administration that should have been favorable to establishing a National Commission for Black Reparations and Empowerment. While the votes of many of us lead to the election of President Barack Obama in 2008. We didn't actually hold President Obama's feet to the political fire to implement at least the John Conyers bill of establishing this Nation Commission for Reparations. Even after his reelection in 2012 when he no longer was in danger of losing his position as President. Our communities didn't address the issue to President Obama for establishing this vital instrument that was designed to research whether the United States owed to the descendants of ancestors who were held in slavery from 1619-1865.

Of course, I know what most people will say this, President Obama couldn't get a reparations bill through a contentious republican Congress and Senate from 2012-2016. However, that isn't the case for one strategy that we didn't ask President Obama to utilize was the tool specifically given to President to bypass the parties opposition. That tool, the Executive Order. The Execution Order has been utilized by numerous Presidents in this nation's history. Did you know that the Emancipation Proclamation was an Executive Order? Yes, it freed all slaves in territories in all the confederate rebel states not held by Union forces. It didn't apply to slaves held in the so-called border states of the Union by it did apply to the states in rebellion.

Did you also know that The New Deal was an Executive Order that was enacted by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1935 when he created the Works Progress Administration? Did you know that Harry Truman integrated all the armed services through an Executive Order signed in 1948? You see an Executive Order once signed by the President carries the power of law and compels all U.S. citizens, agencies, and businesses to follow the Executive Order. We were fooled into thinking that only Congress and the Senate had the power to implement a bi-racial panel or commission to research the possibility of securing reparations. That was simply not true. President Obama had the means and the opportunity to sign an Executive Order but simply didn't do it. Now, we are proceeding into the fifth century since the establishment of slavery and we are closer to securing reparations than we were when slavery was abolished in 1865.

Do you think we should hold President Obama responsible for his lack of support for a Reparations Commission Executive Order? Or did President Obama feel that the opening on the National Mall of the African American Museum was our reparations? I mean you have republicans saying that the election of Obama was this nation's payment for reparations to the descendants of slavery. What do you say? What do you think about the lack of presidential initiative from President Obama to move John Conyers bill from congressional action to an Executive Order? As I read The Debt which was written before President Obama took office. I wonder why we didn't press this issue more stridently during the last four years of his administration. Maybe if our communities had we wouldn't have been saddled with Donald Trump as President. Our voters would've been motivated to secure an election of a viable democratic candidate in 2016.

Just a thought? What do you think of the absence of President Barack Obama's Executive Order related to that needed Commission for the Study and Research of Reparations?