Representative Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Renewed the call for reparations on Saturday as the country recognized June 17 as a federal holiday for the first time.
President Biden made June 19, or June 10, a federal holiday on Friday to celebrate the emancipation of black slaves after the Civil War,
“Proud #June is now a federal holiday, “Omar wrote.” As we reflect on the meaning of what this day symbolizes, let us continue to fight to face the lasting consequences of slavery. Next step: repairs. “
Omar is a member of “the squad” – a group of progressive women lawmakers, including Democratic Reps Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, who previously sought reparations after George’s murder. Floyd in May 2020.
While the idea of paying reparations to descendants of black slaves in the United States or to those wronged by the criminal justice system is not new, federal and local lawmakers have been scrambling to introduce new legislation focused on reparations in the wake of Floyd’s death as the country faced a cultural calculation.
Evanston, Ill. In March became the first state to approve a plan to offer remedies to black residents for past discrimination and the lingering effects of slavery.
The plan, reportedly the first of its kind in the United States, is to distribute $ 400,000 to eligible black households. The Associated Press reported that eligible households in the city of 73,000 residents would be eligible to receive $ 25,000 for home repairs or down payments on the property.
California launched a task force in June to study reparations for descendants of slaves.
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Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, pledged $ 2 million in a reparations-like equity program to help black residents buy homes and get small business grants. Asheville, North Carolina, also committed more than $ 2 million to a similar program in June, according to Axios Charlotte.
Critics argue that repairs may be ineffective in creating meaningful change.
Utah Representative Burgess Owens – a black lawmaker, Republican, and former NFL player – likened the reparations to “redistribution of wealth, or socialism” and argued that the idea “is not the means to right the wrongs of our country ”.
Edmund DeMarche of Fox News contributed to this report.