WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) today testified on H.R. 40, legislation to study and develop reparations proposals, during a hearing in the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties.
Senator Booker’s reparations bill, S.1083, is the Senate companion to H.R. 40 and was introduced in April. It is the first bill introduced in the Senate to study proposals for reparations for African-Americans. The landmark bill has reached 12 cosponsors in the Senate.
“We as a nation have not yet truly acknowledged and grappled with racism and white supremacy that has tainted this country’s founding and continues to persist in those deep racial disparities and inequalities today. This a very important hearing. It is historic, it is urgent. I look at communities like mine and you could literally see how communities were designed to be segregated, designed based upon enforcing institutional racism and inequities… The stain of slavery was not just inked in bloodshed but in the overt state-sponsored policies that fueled white supremacy and racism and have disadvantaged African Americans economically for generations. Many of the bedrock policies that ushered generations of Americans into the middle class were designed to exclude African Americans — from the G.I. bill to Social Security — intentionally designed to exclude blacks — as was school segregation, redlining – in neighborhoods like the one in which I live, which were by design walled off and disinvested in.”
“These injustices do not just cause injustice for African Americans. It enforces a deep injustice in our nation as a whole. It is a cancer on the soul of our country and hurts the whole body — making us all less wealthy, making us all less just, making us all fall far short from being who we say we are when we swear an oath that this will be a nation of liberty and justice for all.”
Senator Booker's full remarks are available here.