Boston reparations lobbyists call on ‘white churches’ to pay billions to build low-income housing

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The Boston Task Force on Reparations called on “white churches” to step up and pay the black community back for racial inequities that root back to the trans-Atlantic slave trade, according to reports.

The Boston Globe reported that black and white clergy members met in Roxbury for a press conference intended to be held outside, though it was instead held in the basement of the Resurrection Lutheran Church on Saturday because of rain.

The commission was established through a 2022 Boston City Council ordinance and made up of 10 members, including two from the youth community.

In February, the Boston activists called for the city to “fully commit to writing checks” and for a $15 billion payout since the city’s wealth was built on slavery.

“We call sincerely and with a heart filled with faith and Christian love for our white churches to join us and not be silent around this issue of racism and slavery and commit to reparations,” Rev. Kevin Peterson said. 

Peterson is a minister and is trying to rename Faneuil Hall because of its ties to the slave trade in the 18th century.

“We point to them in Christian love to publicly atone for the sins of slavery and we ask them to publicly commit to a process of reparations where they will extend their great wealth — tens of millions of dollars among some of those churches — into the black community,” said Peterson.

Boston clergy leaders announced that they want “white churches” to pay reparations. CBS Boston

Sixteen religious leaders signed the letter and sent it to several churches in the Boston area, seeking support for reparations.

Specifically, in a letter obtained by the Globe, the group calls on churches to provide cash payments while also helping to create affordable housing and back new financial institutions “in black Boston.”

The letter was reportedly sent to Arlington Street Church, Trinity Church and Old South Church in Back Bay, King’s Chapel in downtown Boston. All four churches were established in the 17th and 18th centuries, Peterson told the publication.

During Saturday’s press conference, Rev. John E. Gibbons of Arlington Street Church told reporters multiple churches are researching their history and discussing reparations.

“That is not enough,” Gibbons said. “Somehow we need to move with some urgency toward action and so part of what we’re doing is to prod and encourage white churches to go beyond what they have done thus far.”

The money would pay black Bostonians, build affordable housing, and try to solve educational inequality. CBS Boston

King’s Chapel senior minister Rev. Joy Fallon said the congregation at the church is establishing a memorial to people who were enslaved while also working to establish a fund to support social justice and reconciliation.

The Globe reported last year that the church paid for research which identified 219 people who were owned by ministers and members of the congregation.

Fallon, as well as representatives from Trinity Church and Old South Church did not immediately respond to inquiries from Fox News Digital about the reparations.

In February, the commission held a news conference, where Peterson demanded full monetary compensation for wages and lost lives through slavery and anti-black institutional oppression.

During the conference, Peterson reportedly advocated for the $15 billion to come in three distinct types of payments.

One form of payment would be $5 billion of cash payments to Boston’s black residents, another would be $5 billion to invest in new financial institutions, and the remaining $5 billion would go toward addressing the racial disparities in education and anti-crime measures.

The amount is more than three times the annual budget in Boston, which was set at $4.28 billion for fiscal year 2024.

Before the press conference last month, Peterson released a statement claiming the “debt must be paid in dollars.”

On Saturday, Danielle Williams, the director of a social justice group called Prophetic Resistance Boston, reportedly said her great-great-grandmother was taken into slavery in Africa and shipped to North Carolina.

The reparations ask is more than three times the annual budget in Boston, which was set at $4.28 billion for fiscal year 2024. Fox

Williams also spoke about the holy tradition of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet.

“Black people, the descendants of slavery, have been washing the feet of our oppressors for well over 400 years,” Williams reportedly said. “Now it’s time for you to wash our feet. The descendants of slavery, we want our reparations. We want it now.”

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