The Georgetown University campus in Washington. (Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images)

The April 12 Metro article “Georgetown votes on reparations for descendants of slaves reported that students at Georgetown University voted to urge the university to establish a reparations fund that would benefit the descendants of slaves. I think that was definitely a step in the right direction. However, I believe, as a nation, we need to acknowledge that the horrors of slavery were equivalent to the Holocaust and establish a fund for payments of reparations on a national level.

A commission could be set up to decide what forms this would take; for example, there could be funds for higher education, job training and housing assistance. Obviously, this would be expensive. But it is time to “pay the piper,” so to speak. For never in our “great America” has there been anything comparable to this abhorrence and its continued aftermath on many levels.

As a white person, I have been haunted all of my life by remembering what it was like growing up in the 1950s in the small, segregated town of Herndon. The black community within the town had no running water, electricity or paved roads. High school students had to ride a bus to Manassas for school. There was also, of course, no library, restaurant or movie theater for them.

The time to compensate for these injustices is now.

Allyn H. Trautman, Alexandria