Cory Booker Introduces Slavery Reparations Bill

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Matt M. Miller Contributor
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Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker introduced a bill Monday that would establish a commission to study the impact of slavery on the black community and propose slavery reparations initiatives.

The bill is a companion bill to the HR 40 bill, introduced in the House by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee in January and first drafted in 1989 by Rep. John Conyers. If passed, the bill would create a commission dedicated to conducting research on the modern effects of slavery and continued discrimination against black people, as well as recommend reparations proposals to be enacted by the United States Government, according to theGrio.

Sen. Booker tweeted in reference to the bill he will be backing in the Senate, saying, “I am proud to introduce legislation that will finally address many of our country’s policies—rooted in a history of slavery and white supremacy—that continue to erode Black communities, perpetuate racism and implicit bias, and widen the racial wealth gap.”

Booker hinted at the bill’s announcement at a CNN town hall event last month, arguing that the issue of slavery reparations has been “reduced to a box to check on a presidential list, when this is so much more of a serious conversation.” (RELATED: CNN Host Don Lemon Congratulates Sen. Cory Booker On ‘Nice Job’ At Town Hall)

When asked directly if he supported slavery reparations legislation, he answered, “Do I support legislation that is race-conscious about balancing the economic scales? Not only do I support it, but I have legislation that actually does it.”

Supportive attitudes towards slavery reparations have been expressed on the campaign trails of at least eight other 2020 Democratic candidates, including Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, former HUD secretary Julian Castro, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Andrew Yang. (RELATED: Cory Booker Says He Will Repeal ‘Un-American’ Transgender Military Ban ‘When Elected’)