The idea has always seemed like a no-brainer to me. In other words, yes. Hell, yes.
Sure, some black people have become very successful, wealthy and influential. There are a few in every crowd. But I would wager that more than a few white folk would STILL not want to live next to blacks, even if the black folk were wealthy and famous.
After reading Ta-Nehisi Coates' writing in the June 2014 issue of The Atlantic magazine, I am further convinced that reparations is the right thing to do. At the very least, there should be a national discussion about what we have put black people through in this country, but we can't even get there.
The article is called "The Case for Reparations." I know blacks already had suffered tremendously. Coates suggests that it was worse than that.
Maybe you are white and you feel that you have not done anything against black people, but you are collectively guilty of what the white establishment has done. Emancipating the slaves ushered in a century of discrimination, marginalization and outright lynching of blacks, and we are but one generation removed from the Civil Rights Act. Some in the GOP whisper about wanting to repeal it. Not surprised.
Just because the United States has a (half) black President doesn't mean this is a colorblind nation. Far from it. All you have to do is look at the white reaction from the right to Barack Obama to see this is still a deeply racist country.
Reparations would entail America take a good long look at itself in the mirror, and that's something that America has never been willing to do. Shit, we can't even charge Bush and Cheney with war crimes.