Reparations have a new ally in the House Judiciary Committee as was evidenced by their intention to vote on a bill that would create a commission to study the possibility of reparations for slavery in the United States.
The Committee, who announced their decision to delve into the issue and vote on Wednesday, is typically tasked with issues regarding the judiciary, however, the primarily Democrat House of Representatives have taken it upon themselves, as a whole, to contend with what they see as widespread problems enacted by the previous administration.
To address the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery in the United States and the 13 American colonies between 1619 and 1865 and to establish a commission to study and consider a national apology and proposal for reparations for the institution of slavery, its subsequent de jure and de facto racial and economic discrimination against African Americans, and the impact of these forces on living African Americans, to make recommendations to the Congress on appropriate remedies, and for other purposes.
It is possible that the bill will see changes, however, since the judiciary committee is going to propose potential adjustments before their vote.
However, this isn’t the first life cycle of a measure of this kind. According to The Daily Wire, this measure was first introduced in 1989 by Democratic Representative John Conyers, and if it makes it out of the committee, it will have its first vote on the House floor since then.
Not surprisingly, Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), an openly progressive leftist representative from the Houston area, is the bills’ current sponsor and described it as “enabling legislation to address the deep-seated racism and historic and systemic elements of mistreatment of African Americans through the centuries, according to NPR.
“We think it will be cleansing for this nation, and we think that it will be a step moving America forward to see us debate this question on the floor of the House,” she said.
Discussion of the bill before the House earlier this year saw Jackson Lee call out Republicans for choosing lack witnesses to speak out against her proposed legislation as The Daily Wire reported at the time.
“Like our last hearing, the minority has selected two African-American witnesses to speak against HR 40. That is their privilege. But we know that justice, facts, and that life that was led and continues to be led by African Americans is on our side.”
One Black Republican Representative, Burgess Owens of Utah argued that reparations would amount to “socialism” and were “impractical,” and that it is “unfair and heartless to give black Americans the hope that this is a reality.”
Owens asked, instead, that politicians should “give us back our history” and that “as we accept our lineage as victors, the same history will command the respect of our fellow Americans — an example of how to overcome the most overwhelming odds.”
The bill, which could pass the Democratic majority House alright, would have a harder time getting a 60 vote majority to overcome a likely filibuster in the Senate.
Reparations ties into the idea that the country should ask the taxpayer to pay for the sins of slavery. This is, as Owens so poignantly pointed out, one of the first steps to slavery. Opportunity isn’t enough, equality must be enforced, no matter the cost, and anyone whose family doesn’t have direct ties to slavery must have their own monetary gains passed along to those whose families originated from Africa and were brought here for the purpose of slavery.