David Lyons

Document Type

Symposium Article

First Page



This paper offers a sympathetic interpretation of reparations claims made on behalf of African Americans and suggests how they could properly be honored. It reviews the federal government's role in supporting racial subordination and its continuing failure to address the inequitable consequences, which public policy now largely ignores. It sketches a national rectification project, comprising a comprehensive set of public programs that would attack the persisting legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. The programs can be justified by the government's duty to insure equal opportunity for our society's children and, most urgently, by corrective justice. because the inequities are attributable to the government's own policies.