The Long Journey of Reparations For Slavery

The conversation around slavery reparations has gone nowhere for decades — but this could change with Democratic candidates making it a platform issue for 2020.

U.S. Debt to the Past

The idea of reparations for slavery is going mainstream ahead of the 2020 election. HR-40, a bill that would call for a commission to study and consider reparation proposals for African Americans has been repeatedly introduced since 1989 — but never passed. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee reintroduced the bill in 2019 and spoke at the first congressional hearing on reparations in more than a decade.

Here is what some notable politicians and advocates are saying to push the conversation:

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) I find myself, once again, in the same position as President Obama. We both oppose reparations, and we both are the descendants of slaveholders.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) – “I believe having good faith conversations about repairing for past harm in our country in the context of reparations is really important, but this conversation cannot just become a political box checking exercise or litmus tests without meaning.”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) – “I firmly support Congresswoman Jackson Lee's bill to create a commission to study reparations.”

Beto O'Rourke (Former TX Rep.) – “Foundational to reparations is the word 'repair.' Foundational to repair is the truth.”

Former Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-MI), HR-40 Bill sponsor – “As a member of the judiciary committee, the first African American on the House Judiciary committee, it became very clear that as we struggle with the question of civil rights, there must be some historical cognition on our part about the whole question of reparations.”

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) – “HR-40 is in fact, is in fact the response of the United States of America long overdue. Slavery is the original sin. Slavery has never received an apology.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Writer – “Enslavement reigned for 250 years on these shores. The matter of reparations is one of making amends and direct redress, but it is also a question of citizenship. In HR-40, this body has the chance to make good on its 2009 apology for enslavement and reject fair weather patriotism.”


07/11/2019 10:19 AMupdated: 07/11/2019 1:09 PM


  • Jeremy C.
    07/11/2019 13:51

    Start with the native Americans first then move your way up... Just saying

  • Edward K.
    07/11/2019 13:46

    Since the Democrats invented Jim Crow, the Democrats should pay.

  • Brut
    07/11/2019 13:21

    "While emancipation deadbolted the door against the bandits of America, Jim Crow wedged the windows wide open." Listen to journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates's compelling response to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell about reparations. 👀

  • Wassi W.
    07/11/2019 13:00

    This will mean a power shift and they won't give it. Make ur own money (print)

  • Martin T.
    07/11/2019 12:23

    Who will receive payments, and how ill they be identified. Who will pay?

  • Brian S.
    07/11/2019 12:18

    Good way to ignite a civil war

  • Terry R.
    07/11/2019 11:45

    HR-40 is BS. What is there that needs to be studied? Without the free labor for 200+years there is no America.

  • Peter C.
    07/11/2019 11:29

    All democraps should pay the reparations.

  • Brendin M.
    07/11/2019 11:24

    Funny how some whites say "We were slaves too, your not special" So mam are you in the country where your people were slaves........uhhhh no that's in Ireland.....we talking about America.....Only slaves that ever step foot in America were blacks and maybe a few whites lol IDK hahaha

  • Marit M.
    07/11/2019 10:43

    What about the indigonous people...

  • Jon S.
    07/11/2019 10:27

    Good way to get republicans reelected.

Stay informed and entertained, for free with myBrut.

Stay informed and entertained, for free with myBrut.

By continuing, you agree to receive emails from Brut.