US: Centuries-old reparations promise renews debate on Capitol Hill, campaign trail - PressFrom - US
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USCenturies-old reparations promise renews debate on Capitol Hill, campaign trail

11:55  19 june  2019
11:55  19 june  2019 Source:   abcnews.go.com

House panel to hold hearing on reparations for slavery next week

House panel to hold hearing on reparations for slavery next week A House panel will hold a hearing next week on the topic of reparations for slavery. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties is setto hold a hearing June 19 on legislation that would establish a commission to study the consequences and impacts of slavery and make recommendations for reparations proposals. The hearing is titled "H.R. 40 and the Path to Restorative Justice.

The old slave market still stands a few blocks from the harbour, where up to 60% of enslaved ‘It can’t be superficial’: Democrats and the debate around reparations . It is against this backdrop that an It marks a significant contrast to previous Democratic campaign cycles, as both Hillary Clinton and the

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Centuries-old reparations promise renews debate on Capitol Hill, campaign trail© J. Scott Applewhite/AP, FILE Morning clouds cover Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, April 12, 2019, as Congress leaves for a two week recess. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Steps away from the U.S. Capitol -- a building built by slaves -- the House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties will hold its first hearing in more than a decade on the hot-button topic of reparations for the descendants of Africans brought to America, enslaved and impacted by discriminatory policies including segregation.

The hearing, timed to coincide with "Juneteenth," a date when the last slaves in Texas learned they were free, brings to the forefront the centuries-old debate over what, if anything, is owed.

McConnell: Reparations aren't a 'good idea'

McConnell: Reparations aren't a 'good idea' Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday said that he does not support reparations for descendants of slaves, a topic that has become a point of debate in the 2020 election cycle."I don't think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago for whom none us currently living are responsible is a good idea," McConnell said. "We've tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation. We elected an African American president.

Yet the debate about reparations for slavery is not a new one — and the history of the idea shows In fact, around the turn of the 20th century , the federal government exercised its power to silence the voices of thousands of formerly enslaved African Americans who sought restitution for their two and a

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At the end of the Civil War formerly enslaved families were promised by Union leadership 40 acres and a mule -- an offer never fulfilled. Centuries later, the debate over reparations is playing out on the campaign trail as many 2020 presidential presidential candidates weigh in on the topic and lawmakers press the case with perennial legislative efforts.

The appearance actor Danny Glover and award-winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose 2014 essay "The Case for Reparations" thrust the divisive topic onto the national stage, are expected to testify, lending celebrity status to an issue that has been wending through Congress for decades.

Former Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., first introduced reparations H.R. 40 legislation in 1989 aimed at creating a commission to "make recommendations concerning any form of apology and compensation to begin the long-delayed process of atonement for slavery." The measure has been reintroduced every congressional last session since then and was re-introduced this year by Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas.

Democratic panel to open debate on reparations for slavery

Democratic panel to open debate on reparations for slavery WASHINGTON (AP) — After more than a decade's absence, the case for reparations is returning to Capitol Hill, this time amid a growing discussion in the Democratic Party about what the country might owe to the descendants of slaves in the United States. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Actor and activist Danny Glover and writer Ta-Nehisi Coates are among the witnesses expected to testify at a hearing Wednesday of a House Judiciary subcommittee.

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The measure has drawn support from NAACP President Derrick Johnson whose organization backed the measure starting in 2014.

"Here we are in 2019 talking about it again. It is a sore spot for this nation," Johnson told ABC News in April. "It is something that we must address, so we can get past this moment in time in a way in which the legacy of slavery, the legacy of segregation, the legacy of institutional racism can once in for all be done away with and we can all prosper as a nation as one whole community."

Centuries-old reparations promise renews debate on Capitol Hill, campaign trail© J. Scott Applewhite/AP, FILE Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Dr. Julianne Malveaux, an economist who will speak at the hearing, told ABC News that "reparations is an idea whose time has come."

Many 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have tackled the issue head-on, with the majority weighing in at several presidential forums this year including Rev. Al Sharpton's annual National Action Network convention.

Booker set to testify on reparations before House subcommittee

Booker set to testify on reparations before House subcommittee Subcommittee is expected to hear testimony from Booker and other witnesses, including actor Danny Glover and author Ta-Nehisi Coates , a leading advocate for reparations. According to prepared remarks provided to CBS News, Booker will say it is "fitting" that the House is scheduled to hold the hearing on Juneteenth, the day that commemorates the abolition of slavery. Booker will then argue that the country has not fully grasped the ramifications of policies that have disproportionately affected minority communities.

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Jackson Lee's bill has more than 50 cosponsors, including at least three House Democrats running for president: Eric Swalwell of California, Tim Ryan of Ohio and Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii.

Gabbard was one of the earliest 2020 candidates to sign onto H.R. 40. She worked as a congressional legislative aide to her mentor the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, who in 1993 spearheaded a resolution, passed and signed into law by President Bill Clinton, apologizing for America's illegal role in overthrowing Hawaii's Queen Lili'uokalani in 1893.

Centuries-old reparations promise renews debate on Capitol Hill, campaign trail© Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images Al Sharpton speaks during a gathering of the National Action Network, April 3, 2019, in New York. Gabbard, in an interview in New Hampshire with WMUR, talked about reparations: "I think something similar needs to take place for other indigenous people and for the dark tragedy of slavery that occurred in our country's history.”

In early April, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., held a joint press conference with Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., to promote a 10/20/30 funding bill outside of the U.S. Capitol, a measure that seeks to allocate 10% of federal funds to invest into counties that have had a poverty level of at least 20% for over 30 years.

House Democrats, With Pelosi’s Support, Will Consider a Commission on Reparations

House Democrats, With Pelosi’s Support, Will Consider a Commission on Reparations The idea of reparations for African-Americans is gaining traction among Democrats on Capitol Hill.

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Democrats vying to be the party’s nominee for president in 2020 are in the spotlight for their stances on reparations — the idea that African-Americans should receive financial compensation for the legacy of slavery and the Jim Crow era.

When asked by ABC News if the bill was a form of reparations Booker declined to comment, but Clyburn, the dean of the South Carolina congressional delegation, said that he "absolutely" feels it is.

Days later, Booker, who also will testify on Wednesday, tweeted that he planned on introducing H.R. 40 in the Senate as part of a companion bill.

Another 2020 candidate who's been talking about reparations since 1997 is spiritual leader Marianne Williamson, who told ABC News Monday, "The whole idea of reparations, to me, has been an extension of a moral principle."

Williamson said reparations tackles "the economic gap that existed at the end of the Civil War and has never been closed."

Williamson added: "The reason I feel strongly about reparations is because there is an inherent mea culpa, there's an inherent acknowledgment, that a wrong that has been done."

While support for the measure has gained momentum among several 2020 candidates, the Senate's most prominent Republican, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, voiced blunt opposition to the idea of reparations on Tuesday.

"I don't think reparations for something that happened 150 years for whom none of us currently living are responsible is a good idea," McConnell told reporters at a press conference. "We've tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a Civil War, by passing landmark civil rights legislation, by electing an African American president."

He said that another issue is that it would be hard to "figure out" whom to compensate.

"We've had waves of immigrants, as well, who have come to this country and experienced dramatic discrimination of one kind or another," he said. "So, no, I don't think reparations are a good idea."

ABC News' Briana Stewart, Miriam Khan and Lissette Rodriguez contributed to this report.

The Call For Reparations Isn’t About Justice, It’s About Power.
Forget about how we’d pay for reparations or who would be eligible. The point isn’t to make things right, but to re-make America.

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