The senator’s office announced that U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Cory Booker secured 12 co-sponsors for his reparations bill. The purpose of the bill is to push a commission to study the impact of slavery on African Americans.
The official title of said bill is “HR 40 Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-American’s Act.” The bill aims to offer proposals that would help repay descendants of slaves for the costs of racial discrimination, which has lasted for centuries.
In his statement, Senator Booker said: “We cannot address the institutional racism and white supremacy that has economically oppressed African-Americans for generations without first fully documenting the extent of the harms of slavery and its painful legacy.”
“It’s important that we right the wrongs of our nation’s most discriminatory policies, which halted the upward mobility of African-American communities. I’m encouraged to see this legislation to study the issue gain support in Congress and the shared commitment my colleagues have in doing our part to repair the harm done to African-Americans,” he added.
The 12 co-sponsors of the bill are; Senator Kisten Gillibrand, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Richard Durbin, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Bob Casey, Senator Tammy Duckworth, Senator Edward Markey, Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Mazie Hirono, Senator Christopher Coons, and Senator Chris Van Hollen.
Several civil rights groups have shown their support for the bill, namely; The National Action Network and Rev. Al Sharpton, The United Church of Christ, Society and the Detroit Board of Education, The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, TransAfrica Forum, and The United Methodist Church General Board of Church.
The bill’s journey started in the House of Representatives with former Congressman John Conyers and was later picked up by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee. Since then, the conversation involving reparations has garnered extensive media attention, as presidential candidates are eyeing the votes of the African-American community in South Carolina and other such Super Tuesday states, where a majority of African-Americans live.