On Wednesday, February 17th, House committee members discussed the H.R. 40 bill created to give reparations to descendants of enslaved Black Americans. After the Civil War, Black Americans were promised “40 acers and a mule” for reparations, but Andrew Johnson revoked the promise, so to compensate House Democrats have reintroduced this idea, hence the name “house resolution 40” to symbolize the lost promise. This bill first came to Congress in 1989, but it has never been brought to a vote.
Since the racial awakening this summer and the President’s pledge for racial equality, house members are working hard to pass the bill. Right now, about 170 Congress members as well as 300 organizations including the NAACP and the ACLU support the bill. While running for President, Biden and Harris both said they support reparations. This bill is a crucial moment in America’s history to see if the government will acknowledge and repair their wrongs toward Black Americans.
Of course this one bill is not going to completely undo the country’s systemic racism, but the bill is a great starting point. The ACLU has set up an easy way to email your representatives to show your support of the bill. Use this link. I encourage you to also send the link to friends and family outside of the DMV, so they can encourage their representatives to support the bill.