Q93: Do you support establishing a Commission to Study and develop reparations proposals for African Americans that examines slavery and discrimination in the colonies and the United States from 1619 to the present and recommends appropriate remedies and/or other reparations proposals?
Biden: We must acknowledge that there can be no realization of the American dream without grappling with the original sin of slavery, and the centuries-long campaign of violence, fear, and trauma wrought upon Black people in this country. As president, I will immediately take action to address the systemic racism that is persistent across our institutions today. That’s why I have developed education, climate change, and health-care policies, among others, that will root out this systemic racism and ensure that all Americans have a fair shot at living the American dream. While my administration takes major actions to address systemic racism, it will also study how reparations may be part of those efforts and ensure the voices of descendants are central when gathering data and information.
Bloomberg: Yes. Mike supports legislation to create a commission to examine the issue of reparations. There is no reason not to study possible remedies – but we also can’t wait for the results.
Buttigeig: Yes. I support creating a commission to study reparations policies for Black Americans, but there are a number of things that we don’t need to wait on. My Douglass Plan (https://peteforamerica.com/policies/douglass-plan/), which is a complement to any potential reparations proposals, aims to provide the scale and scope necessary to pave the way for true nationwide restorative justice with policies that can be implemented right now. This comprehensive set of plans- -including proposals on voting rights, education, economic empowerment, and the criminal legal system–is meant to intentionally dismantle racist structures and systems and represent an equally intentional and affirmative investment of unprecedented scale in the freedom and self- determination of Black Americans.
De La Fuente: Yes. Because education, facts, and data are essential for any reparation program. We must move forward.
Klobuchar: Yes. Senator Klobuchar is a co-sponsor of Senator Booker’s and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s legislation to establish a commission to produce a report and recommend to Congress compensation to African Americans for slavery and subsequent discrimination.
Sanders: Yes. For centuries, America’s economic rise relied on treating millions of Black people as literal property. We have still not come to terms with the horrors of legalized slavery and its continuing impacts on our society. Bernie is proud to co-sponsor the H.R. 40 Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act to finally bring the truth about slavery into the open.
Steyer: Yes. A debt is owed to the descendants of formerly enslaved Africans – a debt we have yet to settle as a nation. In order to start the process of healing, Americans need to understand that institutional racism has robbed generations of African-American families the ability to acquire and accumulate economic wealth. We are long overdue to have an honest conversation about how this has disadvantaged the black community and fueled inequality. There are still outstanding questions about what form a reparations program would take, who would benefit, and how it would be financed. I support creating a Slavery Reconciliation Commission to analyze the lasting effects of slavery and how to provide redress for the centuries of oppression, rape, torture, and murder inflicted upon generations of African-Americans. This work will be difficult, but necessary, and way overdue.
Warren: Yes. I strongly support legislation to create a commission of experts to provide recommendations to Congress on reparations, including on questions about what kind of reparations are appropriate and how best to provide them. America was built on the backs of slaves and we must acknowledge this history and confront it head on.