Recently, Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) called slavery a necessary evil. Citing the writings of both the founding fathers and Abraham Lincoln. There are, absolutely, considerable writings of the founders (many of whom were slave holders) regarding slavery as an institution part of the country, but that it eventually would end: surely an obtuse statement to those held in bondage.
What strikes me as odd is that Senator Cotton seems to have just laid out a case for reparations. Senator Cotton is an Evangelical Christian. While it would be naive at best, and woefully ignorant at worst, to assume that all Evangelical Christians believe the same thing it is safe to assume that the God of Evangelical Christians is one that punishes and requires piety. If this is correct, then Senator Cotton admits that the country perpetrated an evil, which we must atone for.
Naturally, I could very well be missing part of the argument made by Senator Cotton. Perhaps to him the perpetration of an evil requires no punishment. It is curious to wonder how Senator Cotton feels about punishing others that have committed acts of evil; murderers, robber-baron corporations, terrorists, and just about anything else that we communally hold as unacceptable.