John W. Miller’s discovery of an enslaver ancestor led him to grapple with the question of how best to atone. He considers different current efforts other enslaver descendants have tried and offers economist William Darity’s description of “white acts of private atonement” as ‘conscience salves that do little to close the black-white gap.” . . . . He calls symbolic actions “laissez-faire reparations” and argues that people who discover they have slave-owning ancestors are morally obliged to campaign for national reparations. Because slavery was a societal institution, enshrined in the Constitution, and had societal consequences that have not been fixed, its reparation must be societal.” To read the complete article, click here.