The House Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, will conduct a hearing next week to discuss the topic of reparations for slavery.
The hearing, being held next Wednesday, will feature speakers Ta-Nehisi Coates and actor Danny Glover covering “the legacy of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade” and examining a “path to restorative justice.”
Earlier this year, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) re-introduced House Resolution 40 which would create a reparations commission.
The text of the resolution, co-sponsored by 55 Democrats including Reps. Maxine Waters (CA), Ilhan Omar (MN), Rashida Tlaib (MI) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), states that it would “establish a commission to study and consider a national apology and proposal for reparations for the institution of slavery.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates and actor Danny Glover will testify in Washington, D.C., on the topic of slavery reparations. https://t.co/kuJEaDFHe3
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“The impact of slavery and its vestiges continues to affect African Americans and indeed all Americans in communities throughout our nation,” Jackson Lee declared.
Waters vowed that Congress would take up the battle if Democrats were successful in the 2018 midterms, which they were at least partially.
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“It’s important to tell the story of where we’ve been and what others are doing as well because we look at, for example, Germany, and how they’ve been able or they’re attempt to try to heal after the Holocaust,” she asserted.
“Germany paid reparations and they went through that process and they had that truth-telling process. And until America tells the truth about itself, we’re not going to heal.”
Democrat Candidates Support Reparations
It isn’t just these House Democrats who support the notion of forcing America to pay for the sins of their forefathers during a time period nobody currently living was around for.
Some of the top contenders for the White House have also voiced support for reparations.
Kamala Harris, the Senator from California, was asked directly if she is “for some type of reparations” during a radio interview in February, to which she responded, “Yes, I am.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren said America “must confront the dark history of slavery and government-sanctioned discrimination in this country … including undermining the ability of black families to build wealth in America for generations.”
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has said he supports the idea of reparations, while Senator Cory Booker offered similar legislation in the Senate alleging a reparations committee “is a way of addressing head-on the persistence of racism, white supremacy, and implicit racial bias in our country.”
Slavery was abolished in 1865 with the ratification of the 13th amendment. Some policy experts say the idea could cost trillions of dollars in an effort to offer financial backing to those who have never actually experienced slavery.
“Nobody today has a grandparent who was a slave, and in that sense I think you reach a point where you need to move on,” political commentator Mark Steyn has explained.
A poll conducted in 2016 showed nearly seven in 10 Americans oppose paying reparations.