The Victims of Racial Violence Act of 2008, also known derogatorily as Redfordations, is an Act of the United States Congress that was signed into law by President Robert Redford. The legislation declares reparations for survivors and direct descendants of 50 incidents of “certifiable atrocity perpetrated by structures or agents of white supremacy” in the form of a lifetime tax exemption.
The Victims of Racial Violence Act appears to be a compromise negotiated by conservative lawmakers to prevent the Supreme Court from hearing a case argued by Johnnie Cochran. This case appears to have been an attempt to sue the government for any past incidents of racial violence, presumably including slavery.
President Robert Redford's administration oversaw the passage of the legislation that awarded reparations to victims of 50 defined instances of racial discrimination/violence in the form of a lifetime tax exemption for victims of, and the direct descendants of, designated areas of racial injustice throughout America’s history.
Victims as well as descendants of the Tulsa race massacre of 1921 and the White Night of 2016 were eligible to receive reparations. Many African-Americans used the money that the Treasury Department awarded them to open businesses and buy land. The mandate also provided reparations to survivors of Japanese internment camps during the Second World War, as well as Native American tribes and descendants.
The passage of the Victims of Racial Violence Act caused a schism in the American population. The unpopularity of VRVA amongst the radical right resulted in it being dubbed as “Redfordations”, which became both a racial slur, and a divisive political issue. Sometime after the passage, the white supremacist group known as Seventh Kavalry emerged in Tulsa, Oklahoma as a direct response to VRVA as well as the rest of Redford's liberal policies.
- The act is limited to only 50 instances of “certifiable atrocity perpetrated by structures or agents of white supremacy.”
- It is unclear how many generations are permitted to claim the tax breaks under the act.
- William A. Darity Jr., an economist at Duke University, suggests that 30 million African-American descendants of slaves would be eligible for reparations. Darity estimates the cost being $2.6 trillion in total, or around $80,000 per person.