U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN-09) said the U.S. House Judiciary Committee is sending legislation to the floor of the U.S. House that would, if enacted into law, create a commission to study slave reparations for African-Americans.
• The history of slavery in America
• The role of the federal and state governments in supporting slavery and racial discrimination
• Other forms of discrimination against the descendants of slaves
• The lingering effects of slavery on African Americans
• Whether to recommend appropriate ways to educate the American public about its findings and appropriate remedies in light of its findings
“An honest reckoning with the federal government’s role in protecting the institution of slavery has been a leading priority of my congressional career,” Cohen said.
“Back in 2007, less than two months into my tenure as a member of Congress, I introduced H. Res. 194, an apology by the House of Representatives for its role in perpetuating both slavery and its noxious offspring, Jim Crow. The House ultimately passed this resolution by voice vote. As Professor Charles Ogletree of Harvard Law School once noted, the concept of reparations does not mean payments to individuals, but, rather, a focus on the ‘poorest of the poor,’ including efforts ‘to address comprehensively the problems of those who have not substantially benefited from integration or affirmative action.’”
As reported in 2019, U.S Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA-04) said he respects the beliefs of those who support reparations. He called America’s history with slavery “regrettable and shameful.” But he said paying monetary reparations for the “sins of a small subset of Americans from many generations ago” would be unfair, difficult to carry out in practice and, in his view, likely unconstitutional.
Former Vanderbilt University professor Carol Swain told The Tennessee Star Report last year that reparations would only worsen race relations in America.
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