The idea of reparations goes far beyond just any form of compensation and such in modern-day. Reparations must also include an address by the government addressing its own past; its part, and its role in what led to if not the most terrifying set of centuries in American history. The terror inflicted by people who acted as if their skin colour somehow made them supreme over others.
This is where H.R 40 appears to be coming into play. With Democrats now holding more power in Washington than they did four years ago, a new bill has been introduced in an effort to begin to address the idea of reparations and a formal apology centuries in the making. An apology that must also address the current U.S lawmakers who hold anti-Black and racist sentiments towards modern Black people.
The idea of reparations is important not because it includes compensation but also because the system that caused these problems still exist today. America may not outright still have slavery — but the institutions and the policies that helped white people one-up Blacks for centuries largely remains untouched.
Dem Rep Sheila Jackson Lee, who is spearheading the effort, launched the first of many committee meetings over Zoom this week as Black History Month continues. Lee ‘s efforts are important because after four years of Donald Trump and even before, Republicans, have desperately tried to downplay the idea that racism and slavery ever existed at all.
A feat that couldn’t be any furthest from the truth considering more lives than probably actually known today was actually lost or traumatized by what happened.