Howard U. law professor calls for ‘reparations tribunal’ via the UN, wants to ‘create a new community of legal thinkers’

Led by Howard University School of Law professor Justin Hansford, a group of black academics recently begged the United Nations to form a “reparations tribunal” to force the U.S. government to pay upwards of at least $5 million per person in reparations to every black American.

“I come to you today with a novel proposal, that we begin to think our own thoughts, propose our own vision of justice, and implement that justice,” Hansford said during the U.N. Permanent Forum on People of African Descent late last month in New York City.

“So I also propose today that we create a new bar association, including layers and non-lawyers, to discuss what it means to be repaired in 2023 for crimes that have been done to us and are continuing to be done to us for over 500 years,” he added.

“So for your consideration … I propose that today we create a new community of legal thinkers that’s not limited to lawyers but includes anyone who’s passionate about justice, and we come together and demand that many of the states in this room that have benefitted from the legacy of our oppression start the process of apology and reparation but not on their terms, but on our terms,” he continued.


That being said, the “reparations tribunal” wasn’t his idea.

“The ‘special tribunal’ was formally proposed by David Comissiong, representing Barbados, a Caribbean island state. Hansford quickly endorsed the plan. He later told that many African and Caribbean UN members were behind the scheme,” the Daily Mail reported Thursday.

Also, the U.N. only has so much power.

“The UN General Assembly in 2005 created a five-point legal framework for reparations for victims of slavery and other abuses, which can lead to payouts, apologies, and demand policy changes,” according to the Daily Mail. “But like much of the UN system, decisions are not legally binding, and it remains unclear whether a tribunal could do anything other than add some external pressure to buoy racial justice activists in the US.”

As to the nature of the proposed reparation payments, Hansford, who himself is a descendent of slaves, told the Daily Mail that each case should be judged separately, but stressed that $5 million would be “on the low end of what’s appropriate.”

Interestingly, the reparations proposal was not supported by the head of the U.S. mission to the U.N., Ambassador Linda Thompson-Greenfield, who herself is black. But other than for this discrepancy, she sounded about as “woke” as Hansford.

“Let us dismantle structural racism, brick by brick. Let’s leave our children a cleaner, fairer, more just world,” she reportedly said during the forum last month.

The forum occurred around the same time that a member of both California State’s reparations task force and San Francisco’s reparations advisory committee said it’s on every white American to pay their so-called “sin bill.”

Dr. Amos Brown of the Third Baptist Church made the divisive remarks to Fox News while arguing why even the white residents of San Francisco, where slavery was always illegal, are obligated to pay their fair share of the reparations “sin bill.”

“Unfortunately, that evil group called the Ku Klux Klan in California was founded here in San Francisco. So San Francisco’s hands are not clean. They have been complicit in this evil system, and all we’re saying is let’s just chill and pay your debt, your sin bill of enslavement, of discrimination, of intimidation, of terrorizing of black people,” he said.

He continued by defending the decision by the reparations task force and reparations advisory committee to recommend millions of dollars in reparations payments.

“This is not an opinionated document. This is a document that came from the labors of scholars, and social analysts. So we should just chill and reason, come together, think and refrain from just emoting,” he said.

“The crime bill is so high, so astronomical, and all we did was to evaluate the harm and to state the case of what it might mean in terms of dollars and cents. And when you look at it deeply, the horrors, the hellishness, and the harm that was done to African Americans and their descendants,” he added.

The reparations task force and committee in California are one of many that have sprung up across the country. Boston has its own committee, as do Detroit, St. Louis, and a number of other cities.

However, not a single committee’s work has yet been approved by lawmakers. The same applies to California, where even Gov. Gavin Newsom, a rabid Democrat, has dismissed the idea of paying out cash reparations.


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