Mercy & Justice Round-Up: May Edition
What could reparations for slavery look like today? What is it like for disabled and elderly New Yorkers who rely on Access-a-Ride? Which neighborhoods offer children the best chance to rise out of poverty? You’ll find articles, podcasts, and resources that speak to these questions and more in this month’s Mercy & Justice Round-Up.
As always, this is a collection of content that got us thinking lately and includes a range of perspectives— some we agree with, others we might not. We hope you’ll read, listen, learn and love better with us.
- What could reparations for slavery look like today? This New York Times article lays out potential paths to making economic amends for past injustices—injustices that led to things like the median wealth of black households being $16,000 while that of white households is $163,000. “Reparations are not likely to eliminate the racial wealth gap, but could narrow it somewhat,” the author writes. “Low-income families, with the fewest assets, would benefit the most.”
- "Access-a-Ride is notorious among the people who rely on it for being inefficient and unreliable," says Britney Wilson, who uses NYC's paratransit service daily. "People call it Stress-a-Ride. I've been fighting this system since I was a kid." Listen to “The Longest Distance Between Two Points” on This American Life to learn what it’s like for disabled and elderly New Yorkers who rely on Access-a-Ride.
- "When God’s people live under God’s rule, there will be no poor among them," writes Tim Chester in a Crossway article that looks at Jesus’ words in Mark 14:7, which are rooted in the words of Deuteronomy 15. It is a challenging reminder that the continued presence of the poor is not grounds for apathy, but necessitates continued open-handedness on the part of God’s people.
- The Opportunity Atlas is an interactive tool that answers the question: Which neighborhoods in America offer children the best chance to rise out of poverty? The data traces affluence and poverty back to the neighborhoods where people grew up by following 20 million Americans from childhood to mid-30s. Look into income, employment rate, incarceration rate, and more for all of NYC, specific neighborhoods, and even granular census tracts.
- It was five years ago that Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote “The Case for Reparations” for The Atlantic, an article that ignited a national conversation on reparations for slavery and the racial inequalities that have persisted since emancipation. David Remnick interviews Ta-Nehisi Coates for The New Yorker Radio Hour on what reparations are and whether Americans are ready to make them.