Maxine Waters Talks Reparations in Selma

Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Slavery was the darkest chapter in American history. No reasonable person thinks otherwise. I wish we could undo it so it never existed, but that's not possible. It happened.

But it's also been gone for more than 150 years.

So why is Maxine Waters talking about reparations?

"If we want to get to the point where we can get reparations, we’ve got to have the power to do that, number one, by having a supportive president would be wonderful, but taking back the House would be absolutely wonderful," Waters said at an event in Selma, Alabama, home to one of the most contentious civil rights battles of the 1960s.

No one alive today in the United States has "legally" owned another human being here. Because of that, there's no one to actually pay reparations. Not a single living person is responsible for the sins of that era. No living person can be forced to pay for the sins of that era without violating his or her rights.

There aren't any living victims of slavery who are owed reparations. The last living person who lived as a slave in the United States died a long time ago. Sylvester Magee claimed the title of last living former slave, and he died in 1971, though it's probable that he was lying about his status.