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Sen. Elizabeth Warren Does Not Commit to Financial Reparations

“It’s time to start the national, full-blown conversation about reparations.”

Iowa City, IA/USA-02102019: The day after launching her presidential campaign, Elizabeth Warren addresses enthusiastic crowd of over 2000 on a snowy afternoon | Credit: Paul Boucher / Shutterstock.com

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) announced her support of a House bill to establish a congressional commission for slave reparations on Monday night.

During a CNN Town Hall in Jackson, Mississippi, the 2020 presidential candidate responded to questions regarding what “a public apology for 400 years of free labor in the South” would look like through her administration.

“America was founded on principles of liberty and freedom and on the backs of slave labor,” Warren responded. “This is a stain on America. We’re not going to fix that or change that until we address it head on.”

The Democrat explained how years of discrimination through many parts of society has translated to Black households having approximately $5 in comparison to $100 held by White families.

She went on to say she supported H.R. 40, a House bill to create a commission to address reparations, which was originally introduced by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) in 1989.

“I support the bill in the House to appoint a congressional panel of experts [and] people who are studying this to talk about different ways we may be able to do it, and make a report back to Congress so that we as a nation can do what’s right and begin to heal,” the senator explained.

Following her answer, CNN moderator Jake Tapper asked Warren to expound on her support of direct financial payouts to the African-American descendants of slaves and Native Americans.

“There are a lot of ways to think about how reparations should be formed,” she said before noting that original question was about an “apology.”

Warren continued, “We have a lot of experts around the country, a lot of activists, who have a whole lot of different approaches to it. And I think the best we can do right now — I love the idea of this congressional commission. Let’s bring people together, and let’s open that conversation as Americans. Let’s see what ideas people want to put on the table, and let’s talk them though, because I gotta tell you, ignoring the problem is not working.”

Last month, Warren and other Democrats vying for the presidency, including Sen. Kamala Harris and spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson, voiced their support of reparations for Black Americans.

Williamson, however, is the only one among the group who proposed $100 billion in direct payment to the African descendants of slaves.

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