For years, activists Dr. Sandy Darity and Kirsten Mullen fought for the passage of federal reparations to Native Black Americans through grassroots and educational means, but now they’ve taken the fight mainstream.
Darity and Mullen have written an op-ed for The Boston Globe discussing the problems with proposed H.R. 40 reparations bill as it is worded and structured. The bill was first introduced to Congress in 1989 by the late Rep. John Conyers of Michigan. Conyers pushed for its passage until his retirement in 2017. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee re-introduced H.R. 40 in 2019. The U.S. House held the first-ever reparations hearing on Juneteenth 2019 with testimony from Ta-Nehisi Coates, Danny Glover and others.
The bill needs to be re-written, according to Darity and Mullen, a husband-and-wife team of authors and educators who co-wrote the book, “From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the 21st Century.”
Darity is an economist and wealth inequality expert. He is the director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University and a senior fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. Mullen is a writer, arts consultant, folklorist and lecturer whose work focuses on race, history, and politics.
“Unfortunately, the bill, as last revised in 2017, gives the proposed commission complete discretion over the content of the reparations proposal it reports to Congress. This increases the possibility that it will fail to deliver justice,” Darity and Mullen wrote.
In the 30 years-plus since the bill was introduced, “we have learned a great deal about how best to structure a plan for Black reparations,” they added. “If a Congressional commission on reparations is established, it should be directed to produce a plan that meets what we now know are essential requirements.”
Twitter seems to agree with Darity and Mullen. Some users point out edits and requests for changes have been met with resistance.
“Democrats that don’t want to fix HR40 should be compared to the Dem’s that backed the Clinton-Biden crime bill or Iraq War. The DNC machine doesn’t like to listen.Not wanting to discuss & debate structure implies a lack of sincerity, career trafficking, & outright corruption,” The Moguldom Nation founder Jamarlin Martin tweeted.
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 73: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin makes the case for why this is a multi-factor rebellion vs. just protests about George Floyd. He discusses the Democratic Party’s sneaky relationship with the police in cities and states under Dem control, and why Joe Biden is a cop and the Steve Jobs of mass incarceration.
Darity and Mullen are calling for three components of a Black reparations plan to be included in HR 40. These are: