Proponents demand action on bill to study US compensation for African Americans

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee in the row of microphones in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) addresses reporters after oral argument in Merrill v. Milligan at the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 4. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

House bill supporters Create a committee to study and develop compensation African Americans are working to move this law forward 30 years after it was introduced.

Texas Democrat Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a co-sponsor of the bill, called on President Biden to sign an executive order creating a House Resolution 40 committee. We introduced this law in 1989 and have advocated for it for many years.

Last week, a two-day conference in Evanston, Illinois brought together Congressional leaders, experts and organizations to discuss ways to advance HR 40.Last year, cities north of Chicago Japan’s first Start enforcing compensation for black residents.

“HR 40 is 38 years on the books waiting for someone to say yes,” said Lee At a meeting“Today we apologize for the executive order being issued.

“I want the history of the African-American journey to be accepted as an accepted reality in America once and for all,” she added.

according to 2021 Pew Research Center A survey found that 68% of Americans believe that African Americans should not receive compensation.

George Pataki holds a photograph of three American flags and the Chrysler Building in New York in the background.

Former New York Governor George Pataki in an interview with Bloomberg Television in New York in June 2017. (Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“I don’t think it’s right to write checks based on race. It’s probably illegal,” ex-Republican New York Governor George Pataki told the New York PostSome New York legislators are working on a bill similar to the House bill that would create a compensation committee.

Thomas Cramer, an associate professor at the University of Connecticut, told Yahoo News that it’s not unusual to oppose reparations. “While some opponents of slavery say that abolishing slavery with great blood and treasure is sufficient reparation, ending injustice will compensate for its lasting effects. I argue that it is not the same as

bill support grown Since it first started decades ago. “Today, 196 members of Congress are co-sponsors of the bill, and I am proud to be one of his original co-sponsors,” said Rep. Jan Schakowski (Democrat, Illinois). state) told his Yahoo News.

Shakovsky district Including Evanston Allowing Black Residents apply for a grant from city compensation. “Implementation was the really hard part. The city of Evanston has a long history of hiring African Americans as part of the founding of the city hundreds of years ago, so there was public resistance to the idea. not,” Schakowski said. he told Yahoo News.

Wearing lime green tops and scarves, Rep. Jan Schakowski and Rep. David Cicillin leave the Senate side of the US Capitol.

Rep. Jan Schakowski and Rep. I. David Cicillin of the Illinois House of Representatives at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, May 11. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Experts say compensation initiatives have surged across the country as cities such as Asheville, North Carolina, Providence, Rhode Island, and St. Louis, Rhode Island have introduced compensation programs. At the state level, Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom of California signed the bill into law, reparations task force The panel plans to issue its final recommendations next year.

But some argue that local and state level reparations are not enough and that the debt should be borne entirely by the federal government. “States and local governments are incapable of meeting the scope and scale of compensation programs that would close the racial wealth gap in the United States.” Author William Darity From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the 21st Century, told Yahoo News.

Darity says the outstanding amount should be enough to close the racial wealth gap in the United States. “That gap equates to about $840,000 per household per black and white household. will be,” Darity told Yahoo News.

Darity says that’s not the only reason the federal government should cover the costs. “The federal government is the ultimate guilty party,” he said. “So when you think about this series of atrocities that began with the enslavement of the ancestors of the descendants of today’s freedmen, it was highly immoral, but perfectly legal under the laws of the United States.”

Surrounded by other African Americans seated in the hearing room, Walter Foster wears a surgical mask with an African design and purple reflective sunglasses, holding a sign that reads

Walter Foster, 80, a longtime Los Angeles resident, held up a placard as the reparations task force met to hear public opinion on reparations on Sept. 22 at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images )

President Ron Daniels National African American Compensation CommissionA rally of reparations advocates told Yahoo News that reparations are about more than offering money. It’s also about the interests of the communities that help repair and rebuild the country, he said.

“We are talking about policy. We are discussing how to build infrastructure for healthcare,” he said.

Still, experts say it will be difficult to decide who will receive compensation.

“There are many African Americans who are not descendants of slaves, but are hurt in other ways by redlining or by systematic de facto discrimination in private spheres,” Ruff said. Donelson said. Associate Professor, University of Chicago-Kent Law School, Illinois Institute of Technologytold Yahoo News.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee addressed a press conference showing a black and white photo of a black man seen from behind, inflicting a horrific scar on his back.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee at a press conference on the HR 40 bill on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, Nov. 16, 2021. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

With the federal compensation structure uncertain, Shakowski says the establishment of the HR 40 Commission is essential. “It’s about figuring out how to actually implement it for real people,” she said. “These issues will come up nationally, who is actually eligible to apply for compensation. These are things that take time to discover and come to terms with.”

Although slavery was abolished in 1865, African Americans do not receive compensation for their labor, but HR 40 supporters hope the situation will change. “We’ve faced a lot of things that people say are absolutely impossible, and you keep fighting, you keep organizing, you keep growing the number of supporters, and suddenly it becomes inevitable. ‘ said Shakowski.