According to npr.org, U.S. Rep. Cori Bush (D, Missouri) has introduced new legislation calling for $14 trillion in reparations for Black Americans, in an effort to see the federal government atone and attempt to compensate for the practice of chattel slavery for over 250 years and the generations of racist policies that have followed.
To quote from npr.org:
“The United States has a moral and legal obligation to provide reparations for the enslavement of Africans and its lasting harm on the lives of millions of Black people,” Bush said in a Wednesday news conference attended by Reps. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., as well as other stakeholders.
“America must provide reparations if we desire a prosperous future for all,” Bush said.
Rep. Bush’s resolution is the latest in a long line of congressional efforts by Democrats to compensate Black Americans for centuries of racial inequity. Similar language about reparations has been introduced in every legislative session since 1989.
“We know that we continue to live under slavery’s vestiges. We know how slavery has perpetuated Jim Crow. We know how slavery’s impacts live on today,” Bush said, citing the racial wealth gap, voter suppression, infant mortality rates and other negative health outcomes for Black people.
“It’s unjust and it wouldn’t happen in a just and fair and equitable society,” Bush also remarked. “Those are not the natural consequences of human society… They are directly caused by our federal government’s role in the enslavement and exploitation of Africans and Black people throughout our history.”
California is currently exploring reparations on a state level, San Francisco is proposing reparations to bring Black people back to the city, while Evanston, Illinois started offering a form of reparations in 2019 through its Restorative Housing Reparations Program.