Why do African American people pay taxes in this country?
When conversations around Reparations happen, there are familiar things that are brought up each time.
40 Acres And A Mule is mentioned. The costs and money made from slavery is brought up. But seldom taxes.
There’s always the argument that Reparations would be too challenging to implement, because it’s too hard to track down ancestry.
(I don’t actually believe that, but whatever)
There’s also the argument that Reparations is unprecedented, which isn’t true either... a LOT of people have received Reparations in the US.
Most of the people who’ve received Reparations in this country have been white; @SceneOnRadio has an excellent episode about this.
But anyway. There’s already precedent for this. Indigenous people in the US do not pay taxes.
Like, it’s already a thing. There are systems and laws and policies in place that already allow for this to happen.
Nothing would have to be invented. No new experiments would need to be done. No tests would be required to see if it worked.
Indigenous Peoples completely deserve not paying taxes. No question. And they also deserve their treaties honoured, which isn’t done.
Black Americans completely deserve Reparations. And this would not completely fulfill it.

But taxes would be a good place to start.
Indigenous peoples are exempt from State taxes if they live on a Rez, and are required to pay Federal taxes.
I’d argue they should be exempt from both. Because that’s the bare minimum. But imagine...
Canadian Indigenous peoples can keep receipts and get refunded by the government for any purchases that charged them tax.
Imagine what would happen if we did that here.
The reality is that the US government screws Indigenous people over and forces them to live in confinement on a Rez to get the break.
On #IndigenousPeoplesDay, it’s important to remember that the US government is doing Indigenous peoples no huge favor.
Many tribes do not even have land at all, having it ALL stolen from them, and therefor don’t even have the option of State tax breaks.
The system is unjust and poorly implemented. But what I’m pointing out is that there is the precedent to make this happen.

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More from @benjancewicz

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