A House subcommittee heard from actor Danny Glover and presidential candidate Cory Booker on Wednesday during a congressional hearing on reparations.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) — who sponsors a measure to study reparations — said the hearing “is not a symbolic action,” but about legitimate legislation that should be signed into law.
Glover testified, declaring that America needs to acknowledge the impact of slavery.
“James Baldwin, the great writer once said, ‘if we can’t tell the truth about the past, we become trapped in it,’ ” Glover told the panel.
“This country is trapped in not telling the truth.”
Booker (D-NJ) echoed Glover’s sentiments, claiming the US has “yet to truly acknowledge and grapple with the racism and white supremacy that tainted this country’s founding and continues to cause persistent and deep racial disparities and inequality.”
“The stain of slavery was not just inked in bloodshed but in policies that have disadvantaged African Americans for generations,” he said.
The American public, however, might not be sold on the idea of reparations.
In a Point Taken-Marist poll conducted in 2016, 68 percent of Americans said the country should not pay cash reparations to African American descendants of slaves to make up for the harm caused by slavery and racial discrimination.
About 8 in 10 white Americans said they were opposed to reparations, while about 6 in 10 black Americans said they were in favor.