On Wednesday, a House Judiciary subcommittee held a hearing to examine H.R. 40. H.R. 40 is commonly known as the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act and is commonly tied to reparations for the descendants of slaves. However, it is important to note that this bill would not provide reparations for the descendants of slaves. Instead, it would create a task force to study the possible implementation of reparations for the descendants of slaves. Furthermore, it does not indicate in what form reparations would be distributed.
“[H.R. 40 would] examine slavery and discrimination in the colonies and the United States from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies," the bill states, according to The Hill.
Simply considering reparations for the descendants of the transatlantic slave trade has remained a polarizing topic within Congress. Thus far, the bill has earned 162 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives and only 17 co-sponsors in the U.S. Senate.
If reparations were to be provided to America's most marginalized communities, it would have an undeniable impact on society moving forward.
“One: It is the right thing to do. Two: It is long overdue. And three: Because we know it is possible,” Kathy Masaoka of Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress told the HuffPost.
“Reparations for slavery is about reckoning with the institution itself which we haven't fully documented and accounted for, but very much about the present day and how most of our inequities today are connected to the legacy of slavery when thinking about how racism has harmed the black community,” Dreisen Heath of the Human Rights Watch added.
Thus far, California has approved similar legislature at the state level. Now, millions of Americans wait for H.R. 40 to come to a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.
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