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Reparations for Black Americans.

I've supported and worked on reparations for Black Americans for years.

Now, there is a renewed sense of urgency on this issue. That's part of what the tremendous racial justice protests of last year were about — making things right for people who've been discriminated against for hundreds of years.

Beyond America's original sin, housing discrimination has had horrendous consequences for Black Americans. For years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and its many agencies actively discriminated against Black farmers by denying them access to programs and financial support. The failed war on drugs has targeted communities of color – especially young, Black men – widening our already horrific racial divide.

We have legislation pending to support Black homeowners, farmers, and those targeted by selective enforcement of drug laws. But if we are determined to fully confront these racial injustices, it's also time to deal directly with the challenge of reparations.

I support Congressional legislation to create a commission to develop reparation proposals for Black Americans. We've seen similar efforts as other countries have reckoned with national trauma, conflict, or crimes against humanity — South Africa, Canada, Germany, Colombia, and dozens of others have taken steps to right the wrongs of their past.

This commission would be a step in the right direction as we continue to take other concrete steps right now to combat systemic racism and the poisonous legacy of slavery.

Our nation has looked away or excused these racial injustices for too long. We must confront them head-on if we're going to create a better future for everyone.

Courage,

Earl

Posted on February 13, 2021.