Barack Obama opposes offering reparations to the descendants of slaves, putting him at odds with some black groups and leaders. The man with a serious chance to become the nation's first black president argues that government should instead combat the legacy of slavery by improving schools, health care and the economy for all.
"I have said in the past—and I'll repeat again—that the best reparations we can provide are good schools in the inner city and jobs for people who are unemployed," the Illinois Democrat said recently. Some two dozen members of Congress are co-sponsors of legislation to create a commission that would study reparations. The NAACP supports the legislation, too.