Reparations Debate Distracts From Real Issues, Says Longtime Civil Rights Activist

“Our time and attention should not be on reparations–the assumption that money is the solution–but we should be investing in people that are engaged in self-help and self-restoration,” civil rights icon Bob Woodson told Defend American Ideals president Ying Ma in a virtual conversation on reparations on Wednesday.

America’s social maladies today are moral and spiritual in nature, said Woodson, founder of the Woodson Center. “We have to address the real problems,” Woodson continued. “We can’t do that if we have to be sitting here talking about reparations.”

Woodson’s social activism dates back to the 1960s, when he fought for civil rights in the era of Dr. Martin Luther King. In his remarks, Woodson expounds on how Dr. King might view today’s reparations movement and its accompanying social justice demands.

The conversation between Woodson and Ma took place during “The Rise of Reparations,” a virtual forum co-hosted by Defend American Ideals, the Pacific Legal Foundation, and the Pacific Research Institute.