The controversial topic of national ‘reparations’ for America’s history of slavery prior to the Civil War will be held at the US Capitol next Wednesday for the first time in more than a decade.
“The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties is scheduled to hold the hearing next Wednesday, its stated purpose ‘to examine, through open and constructive discourse, the legacy of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, its continuing impact on the community and the path to restorative justice.’ The date of the hearing, June 19, coincides with Juneteenth, a cultural holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved black people in America,” reports the Associated Press.
Actor Danny Glover and writer Ta-Nehisi Coates are expected to testify before the committee.
Texas Rep. Shiela Jackson Lee sponsored the new resolution last year. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says she supports a “study” regarding the controversial topic.
Outspoken Senator and 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Cory Booker introduced similar legislation weeks ago that would create a federal panel to study the implementation of reparations for the descendants of enslaved Americans prior to the Civil War in the mid-19th century.
“This bill is a way of addressing head-on the persistence of racism, white supremacy, and implicit racial bias in our country. It will bring together the best minds to study the issue and propose solutions that will finally begin to right the economic scales of past harms and make sure we are a country where all dignity and humanity is affirmed,” said Booker.
“Since slavery in this country, we have had overt policies fueled by white supremacy and racism that have oppressed African-Americans economically for generations,” Booker added. “Many of our bedrock domestic policies that have ushered millions of Americans into the middle class have systematically excluded blacks through practices like GI Bill discrimination and redlining.”
The issue of federal reparations has taken center stage in the 2020 Democratic primary fight in recent weeks, with top candidates -including Beto O’Rourke and Elizabeth Warren- saying new legislation is required to study the potential payments.
Read the full story at the Associated Press.