Dianne Feinstein On Reparations: Some Things Are Just Better Left Alone

Written by Dana Sanchez
Democratic lawmakers acknowledge that slavery was the original sin of the country’s history, but some just want reparations to go away. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, (D-Calif.), speaks with a reporter on Capitol Hill, Feb. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Democratic lawmakers acknowledge that slavery was the original sin of the country’s history, but some just want reparations to go away, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who has an estimated net worth of $58.5 million.

In June 2019, author Ta-Nehisi Coates testified on reparations for the descendants of slaves at a historic Juneteenth congressional hearing. The Hill asked several Democrat and Republican leaders at the time what they think about reparations in an article published June 26, 2019.

Not all were willing to comment, including Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), who said “No comment” and punctuated his answer with a slice of his hand, Alexander Bolton reported for The Hill.

Feinstein, the senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said she understands why Coates and other thought leaders are calling for reparations but warned the issue is divisive.

“I understand why. I also understand the wound that it opens and the trials and tribulations it’s going to bring about. Some things are just better left alone and I think that’s one of those things,” Feinstein said, according to The Hill.

“This is a major blemish on American democracy that has lasted for over 100 years now,” Feinstein said. “It’s not going to change and we have to learn from it and I think we have.”

Feinstein sounds like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who said Barack Obama was a form of reparations.

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“We’ve tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a Civil War, by passing landmark Civil Rights legislation, we’ve elected an African-American president,” McConnell told reporters at a press conference in June. “I think we’re always a work in progress in this country, but no one currently alive was responsible for that and I don’t think we should be trying to figure out how to compensate for it.”

McConnell says his strategy for keep GOP control of the Senate is to tie Democratic candidates to liberal proposals being pushed by White House hopefuls, The Hill reported.

Coates criticizes McConnell for his comments on reparations. “For a century after the Civil War black people were subjected to a relentless campaign of terror, a campaign that extended well into the lifetime of Majority leader McConnell,” Coates said at the hearing.

Feinstein has a multimillion-dollar stake in Carlton Hotel Properties, leading to her estimated $58.5 million net worth, Fortune reported.