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SPLC Rejects Bernie Moreno’s Notion of Reparations for White Civil War Descendants

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) issued the following statement from Tafeni English-Relf, director of the Alabama State Office, in response to Bernie Moreno’s call for reparations for white descendants of Civil War soldiers.

“We are appalled, but not surprised, to see reasserted white supremacist ideals continued by the propaganda campaign that made the Confederacy infamous. Black and white soldiers died to end the South’s disgraceful reliance on slavery, but their experiences are nowhere near comparable. Black soldiers faced prejudice and discrimination from both North and South. Most were relegated to service jobs, and those who saw combat had to make do with inferior equipment. Captured Black soldiers were treated with unimaginable contempt. Unlike white soldiers, Blacks had to pay for their uniforms and received lower pay and benefits.

“Until Black descendants receive reparations for the generational and retraumatizing aftereffects of slavery — the vilest chapter in American history — reparations for white descendants should not even be up for discussion. The mere suggestion is either uninformed, grounded in privilege, or willfully ignorant.”