Click this link for Brooks' column on reparations.
Kamala Harris, another Senator - and another presidential candidate - also seems ready to commit.
Other Democratic candidates for president don't seem to be in quite in the same position, or so it would appear. Ryan Lizza, writing in Esquire, suggests that a fight over reparations might tear the Democratic Party apart. Right-wing columnist George F. Will thinks so, too, and Will doesn't seem to be any too upset about that, either!
More than anything else, the stories I have been reading about reparations remind me of the statement attributed to William Faulkner, who is pictured above. "The past isn't dead," Faulkner is supposed to have said; "it isn't even past."
The system of human slavery upon which this nation was founded - and it was founded on that system - continues to impact us still. That is the point of the Coates' article, which is lengthy. It is the reason that Brooks has become a "slow convert" to a "national reckoning" with that past.
When the past "isn't even past," we need to confront that past as though it were a present reality.
Because it is. Both the roots and ramifications of slavery are still profoundly present today, and they affect us all.
Here's the thing about any and every present reality: we need to "reckon with it." That's what Brooks is talking about, and I think he's right.