From the New York Post to The Washington Post, written and electronic mass media across the country have broadly covered the report of a United Nations working group’s call for reparations for Black people, but has imposed a news blackout on the fact this issue has been injected into the U.S. presidential election since the beginning of the year.
The December 12th Movement International Secretariat (with consultative II status at the U.N. and a Cooperation Agreement with the African Union) has sponsored and led a Black vote campaign, The Choice, advocating a “Write-in Reparations Now!” for president in 2016.
Only the Amsterdam News, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected Black periodicals, has consistently covered The Choice campaign’s challenge to Black people to not follow the historical limitations of being forced into choosing the lesser of two evils and not voting their own interests.
The United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent issued a report on the historic and contemporary conditions of Black people in America, recommending the U.S. government pay reparations for human rights abuses and crimes against humanity.
After 14 years of investigation and analysis on the heels of the United Nations World Conference Against Racism 2001 in Durban, South Africa, the Working Group of International Human Rights Attorneys painstakingly gathered data that connecting the trans-Atlantic slave trade, Jim Crow, prison labor, mis-education, poor health care and police murders.
“The demand for reparations began with the first African encounter with the destructive exploitation by Europeans,” said human rights attorney Roger Wareham of the International Association Against Torture and founding member of the Working Group. “This report is important and has been covered by many national and international media outlets. We must move it forward with concrete actions. For the past year and a half, The Choice campaign organized by the December 12th Movement has been pushing for our people to write in Reparations Now on the 2016 presidential ballot line. The campaign focuses on self-determination and voting in our own interest. It is crucial for us to seize this time.”
The organizers of Black voter write-in for Reparations Now have held many community forums and rallies across New York City and are spreading the word nationwide.
“People understand the seriousness of this presidential election, and neither of the candidates running are speaking or listening to issues facing Black people,” campaign organizer Kamau Brown explained. “We are now making our own choice. We chose Reparations Now! The Choice campaign also introduces the idea of a plebiscite/referendum that addresses the question of self-determination for oppressed people in the U.S. The response has been tremendous.”
The Choice campaign will continue throughout New York City through the general election Nov. 8, 2016. For more information, call the December 12th Movement at 718-398-1766.