Reparations has been a major talking point for the Democratic candidates for president. But while most of them appear to be for reparations, none has created any action. On Monday, Sen. Cory Booker became the first one.
“I am proud to introduce legislation that will finally address many of our country’s policies—rooted in a history of slavery and white supremacy—that continue to erode Black communities, perpetuate racism and implicit bias, and widen the racial wealth gap,” Booker tweeted.
He also wrote, “I’ve been unapologetic in my belief that this can’t just be about acknowledging the past. It needs to be about actually confronting racist policy that persists right now in the present. Because if we don’t, we cannot guarantee that our future will be any different than our past.”
USA Today reported that Booker would “file a bill in the Senate that would form a commission to explore reparations proposals for African-American descendants of slavery, according to a statement. The bill is a companion version of a House bill introduced by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas. The bill was first introduced in 1989 by former Rep. John Conyers.”
Jackson Lee’s bill is called H.R. 40. If passed, it would create a commission to study the impact of slavery and continued discrimination then recommend reparation proposals. It is not clear what the reparations would look like but this is a start.
Now might be the time for reparations. Last month, the Associated Press reported that a growing percentage of Americans believe the federal government doesn’t spend enough money on improving the conditions of African-Americans, according to the 2018 General Social Survey.
“According to the General Social Survey, a trends poll that has measured attitudes about race in America since the 1970s, 52 percent of Americans say the country spends too little on improving the conditions of Blacks, up from 30 percent who said so in 2014. Just 7 percent — an all-time low — say the country spends too much,” the AP said.
It is good to see action behind the sound bites at a town hall. Let’s hope this reparations bill gets traction considering it dates back to 1989.