Journalist Roland Martin has always been opinionated about reparations, often not agreeing with pure reparations advocates who want financial reparations to be extended to only native Black Americans who can trace ancestry back to a former slave. Martin has also been a longtime advocate of voting Democrat. And recently Martin reportedly said to reparations advocates who don’t vote Democrat not to expect anything from a Republican senate–no H.R. 40, H.R. 39 or H.R. 42.
Martin, who has worked with NewsOne and CNN, hosts his own podcast #RolandMartinUnfiltered.
H.R. 40, the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act, would establish a 15-member commission to study the effects of slavery and discriminatory policies on African Americans and recommend appropriate remedies, including reparations. The commission would report its findings and recommendations to the Congress 18 months after its first meeting and terminate 90 days after the report is submitted. H.R. 40 – the House bill that has been languishing in Congress for more than 30 years.
On April 14, 2021, Congress made history when the House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee voted to move H.R. 40 to the House floor for full consideration. Since then, the proposed legislation has been stalled.
The H.R. 39, also yet to be passed, requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to distribute a payment of $25,000 to U.S. merchant marines who engaged in qualified service during World War II. To be eligible, an individual must apply for the benefit and must not have received benefits under the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, which is commonly known as the G.I. Bill. The bill sets forth what constitutes qualified service, including time frame of service and licensing requirements. (The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act provided a range of benefits for some of the returning World War II veterans.)
H.R. 42 is the Judicial Administration and Improvement Act of 2021, which was introduced on Jan 4, 2021. This bill is in the first stage of the legislative process. It is sponsored by Andy Biggs, a Republican Representative for Arizona’s 5th congressional district.
Photo: Roland Martin attends the premiere of Dave Chappelle’s documentary at the Tribeca Festival, Radio City Music Hall, June 19, 2021, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)