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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – House Democrats are once again considering the idea of reparations for African Americans.
They reintroduced a bill that would create a federal commission to study the effects of slavery and develop solutions to bridge the economic, educational and health disparities between descendants of slaves and white Americans.
“The government must be held to account for its continued role in perpetuating, sustaining and sustaining white supremacy,” Representative Cori Bush, D-Mo, said at a hearing on Wednesday on the matter, the second in two years.
She said that for generations black families have been systematically denied their rights.
“When the white soldiers returned from fighting overseas, they received housing preferences and education grants,” Bush said. “My grandfathers Ulysses and Clifton Blakney were denied these benefits.”
Kathy Masaoka, a civil rights specialist, said reparations were “long overdue,” arguing that descendants of slaves deserve the same as Japanese Americans who got reparations after being forced to be. placed in internment camps during World War II.
“It is a chance for many black voices to be heard and for the black community to discuss what kind of reparations are due,” Masaoka said.
Republicans do not support the bill.
“I cannot imagine a more confrontational, polarizing or unfair measure,” said Representative Tom McClintock, R-Calif., Saying it would be unfair to punish white Americans today for the mistakes of their ancestors.
Herschel Walker, a retired athlete and supporter of President Donald Trump, agreed the reparations would be counterproductive and lead to division.
“Who is black?” What percentage of black do you have to be to receive reparations? He wondered.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday that President Joe Biden supported the idea of a commission but did not support the bill.
Democrats are also presenting a plan to write off up to $ 50,000 in student loan debt, a move that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y. says will help black people and could help bridge the gap. the pay gap. Biden argued $ 10,000 in student loan forgiveness.
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