Thanks for your comment. I wrote this piece mainly as a starting point for myself to think about these ideas so I appreciate insightful comments like yours.
Anyway, I believe governments should get in the habit of apologizing more. Full stop. It's an important first step for many communities. But for many, this public admission of guilt from our government needs to also be pared with action. What that action looks like will obviously vary on a case-by-case basis, but that action's goal is about making affected people whole.
That's why I brought in reparations as a related piece in all of this. Reparations isn't a new thing. It's been enacted in various forms to various communities usually following an official apology of some kind and usually in the form of compensation.
Now, the issue of slavery and America's role in it is somewhat unique, but not so much so that reparations in some form should be automatically dismissed. The easy and somewhat lazy argument is to dismiss slavery as something that was righted a long time ago when that is simply not true. The effects of slavery are still felt today in a huge variety of ways. The first step in any effort of reparations I think would be to commission a serious study by government with the goal of truly analyzing slavery and its knock on effects and then making recommendations based upon that exhaustive study.
For many, a serious effort by government to at least confront these issues could be more important than any lump sum of money and would give weight to any form of reparations that might come afterwards. Additionally, while I don't think anyone is really talking about telling individual white people to pay money directly to the black community, reparations can take many forms from compensation doled out by Congress to including public programming and agencies designed to right historical wrongs. It doesn't necessarily have to be one thing.