An Ohio Republican Senate candidate publicly wondered why white Americans don’t get reparations if they’re descendants of white Union soldiers who died during the Civil War.
During a campaign rally last week in which he announced his 2024 candidacy, Republican Bernie Moreno asked why white people don’t get, or are asking for, reparations. He’s campaigning for the seat currently held by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).
“We stand [on] the shoulders of giants, don’t we? We stand on shoulders of people like John Adams, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington … [who] took on the largest empire in history. They said no, we will not stand for this. And won,” Moreno told supporters last week, according to video footage of his campaign event.
“That same group of people later—white people—died to free black people,” he said, referring to the outcome of the four-year Civil War. “It’s never happened in human history before, but it happened here in America. That’s not taught a lot in schools much, is it?” he asked.
The GOP candidate then floated the idea of reparations for the descendants of Union soldiers who fought against the Confederacy.
“They make it sound like America is a racist, broken country. You name a country that did that: that freed slaves, died to do that,” he said. “You know, they talk about reparations. Where are the reparations for the people in the North who died to save the lives of black people?”
In comments to several media outlets later in the week, Moreno campaign spokesman Conor McGuinness said his candidate was making a point about political correctness run amok. He characterized media reports asserting that Moreno suggested reparations should be paid out to white people as false.
“Bernie was right when he said political correctness is killing our country, and the crocodile tears from the left expose the Democrat hypocrisy he was referring to in the clip,” the campaign said. “However, it’s unsurprising that the liberal media missed his point, since they’ve been complicit with the identity politics charade for years.”
Moreno, a businessman, is the second Republican candidate to enter the race, facing a primary from state Sen. Matt Dolan. Republicans are vying to pick off Brown in Ohio, a state that went for Trump both in 2016 and 2020, while Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) notched a win against former Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) last November.
Reparations for black people have been floated in a handful of municipalities and states, namely California, where a state-backed task force is saying it is aiming to pay the descendants of black U.S. slaves who live in California. California entered the union in 1850—about a decade before the Civil War—and never allowed slavery.
Earlier this month, economists estimated that black Californians could receive upwards of $800 billion dollars in total, even though California’s yearly budget totals only $300 billion. Meanwhile, Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom said in January that the state was facing a projected budget deficit of $22.5 billion.
In San Francisco, some officials are considering lump sums of $5 million for each eligible black resident of the city. Amos C. Brown, a committee member, suggested that the payout isn’t enough.
“Our position is through all the hell, the horror, and the harm that we’ve gone through,” he said. “If it were a matter based on a sensible, factual plan for reparations, it would even possibly be more than $5 million cash given out to individuals.”
But critics have said the recent proposals are unreasonable.
“The City of San Francisco proposal is completely delusional,” John Dennis, Chairman of the San Francisco Republican Party, told The Epoch Times on March 29. “It’s a $50 billion price tag on a city with a $14 billion budget. We can’t afford it on a per capita basis.”
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