“We Don’t Want to Wait on A Study,” says a Senior Administration Official
A member of the Biden Administration says the White House is ready to act now on the issues of reparations.
In a new installment of the cable news documentary program titled “Axios on HBO” White House senior advisor Cedric Richmond said, “we have to start breaking down systemic racism and barriers that have held people of color back and especially African Americans. We have to do stuff now.” Richmond added, “We don’t want to wait on a study, we’re going to start acting now.”
Tho he he thinks a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations (direct payments from the Federal government to African Americans) will pass, he also stressed that he expects more steps to be taken to address systemic racism ahead of the completion of any studies by Congress.
The House of Representatives is currently considering the creation of a commission that would examine the history of slavery in the U.S. to determine how specific policies economically affected former slaves and their descendants. The commission would consider ways to remedy previous actions–including direct financial payments from the U.S. government to help compensate descendants of slaves for the unpaid labor from their ancestors.
President Joe Biden has also been positive on the idea of reparations and now says he backs the studying of the issue. The President’s spokesperson, Jen Psaki, said in a briefing last week that, “he certainly would support a study of reparations. He understands we don’t need a study to take action right now on systemic racism, so he wants to take actions within his own government in the meantime.”
Advocates of reparations, including politicians like Sheila Jackson Lee who held the hearing last week, argue that reparations would help bring the country together. “The government stationed slavery,” Jackson Lee said at the hearing last week.
“And that is what we need, a reckoning, a healing reparative justice.”
However, Representative Burgess Owens from Utah calls it a redistribution of wealth and says, it’s “impractical and a nonstarter for the U.S. government to pay reparations.”
Meanwhile, Larry Elder, a conservative radio host agrees with Owens. He told Congress that, “figuring out who owes what is going to be a hell of an achievement.” He pointed to the success of Black Americans in the U.S., pointing out that Barack Obama was elected to the presidency twice.