Democrat presidential candidates Andrew Yang, Beto O’Rourke and Julián Castro voiced strong support for reparations for the descendants of slaves to a packed gathering of civil rights activists and African-American voters on Wednesday.
“I have said several times during the last several weeks that I have long believed that our country will never truly heal until we address the original sin of slavery,” Castro, the former secretary of U.S. Housing and Development under former President Barack Obama told the affirming crowd at the Rev. Al Sharpton’s annual National Action Network convention in Manhattan.
“If under our Constitution we compensate people if we take their property, why wouldn’t we compensate people who were considered property and sanctioned by the state? I support Congresswoman Jackson-Lee’s HR 40 to appoint a commission to make a recommendation to the president of the United States on how we can do reparations in the country and I believe that for the black community, for the white community, for every other American, that it’s important to address that original sin. And until we do, we may feel like we’re moving forward as one nation but I don’t think we ever will,” Castro said.
Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee introduced the H.R. 40 bill in January called the Commission to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals for African Americans Act.
“This legislation is intended to examine the institution of slavery in the colonies and the United States from 1619 to the present, and further recommend appropriate remedies. Since the initial introduction of this legislation, its proponents have made substantial progress in elevating the discussion of reparations and reparatory justice at the national level and joining the mainstream international debate on the issues,” Lee noted in a statement. “Though some have tried to deflect the importance of these conversations by focusing on individual monetary compensation, the real issue is whether and how this nation can come to grips with the legacy of slavery that still infects current society. Through legislation, resolutions, news, and litigation, we are moving closer to making more strides in the movement toward reparations.”
O’Rourke, a former Texas representative who currently enjoys somewhat of a rock star status among some Democrats, said during an interview with Sharpton at the convention that he would sign Lee’s bill into law as president.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair