Activist Calls for Reparations as Step Toward Healing

Omorede “Rico” Hamilton addresses a demonstration at City Hall on June 9. Laura Wenus / Public Press

Omorede “Rico” Hamilton addresses a demonstration at City Hall on June 9. Laura Wenus / Public Press

Omorede “Rico” Hamilton, a street violence intervention program coordinator and community organizer, has been addressing crowds of hundreds at recent protests against police brutality and racism at San Francisco’s City Hall. In this interview, Hamilton expands on remarks made at one demonstration and makes a case for addressing some of the damage done by racism with reparations.

“One, an apology. That would be amazing, for someone to openly say for all of the things that has ever happened, we apologize. Two, I would say reparations. Some type of reparations to give people the same advantages that other people have. I don’t know why mainstream America don’t want to give these reparations or want to dictate on how it’s going to look — I hear there’s going to be a reparations task force — but to me it’s like, you have to fix what you started.”