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Brazile: We Need ‘Some Reconciliation’ for African-Americans in U.S.; Follow South Africa Model

Donna Brazile speaks at the inauguration of New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell

WASHINGTON – CNN political analyst April Ryan, Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks, said past U.S. presidents like Bill Clinton and George W. Bush refused to formally “apologize for slavery” because it would lead to some form of reparations for descendants of slaves.

“In my first book, I tackled the issue of reparations as a healing, as a possible healing, asking people… from the time I started at the White House, when the race initiative happened with Bill Clinton, oh my God, everybody was saying that’s the girl who is always asking, ‘Mr. President, will you apologize for slavery?’ But it’s real. When he started that race initiative issue, people were thinking about, OK, if you are talking about race and healing, there’s this black-white dynamic that has to be healed and also a Native American dynamic that really wasn’t on the table like it should have been,” Ryan said during a recent Race in America Today discussion to mark Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.

“But when it came to the black-white issue – will there be an apology for slavery – there were some blacks that were for it and some blacks that were against it. He was listening to a cross-section of black people and they never apologized. You know why? And this is the truth. It never came to that formal ‘OK, we’re going to apologize or not.’ You know one of the main reasons why? Because if you say I’m sorry then you have to come out with some kind of healing – that is reparations,” she added.

Ryan continued, “How do you determine reparations, now or in, what is it? 1997, 98. What is it? It is not 40 acres and a mule – and 40 acres and a mule now would equate to a house in Potomac and a Land Rover. So then you get into the question: Who is black now? And all of that was, yes, I am African-American, period, end of story. And if I do, what is it? Twenty-two or 23 [percent] in me, OK, fine, but I’m African-American.”

Ryan explained why she isn’t going to ask President Donald Trump if he will apologize for slavery.

“I have asked that question over and over again. George W. Bush said, well, Africans participated so they deal with it, yes, President Obama’s administration thought, well, why would the black president apologize for slavery? The optics of it did not look right and you know what the answer is with this president. I’m not even going to ask,” she said during the event.

“I’m not going to ask anything anymore about, are you racist? You just watch and see what it is. If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, walks like a duck, it’s a duck,” she added.