Understanding well the power of pop culture and the impact celebrities can have on pushing destructive agenda items like “restorative justice,” the Democrat-led House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties presented their star witnesses at Wednesday’s hearing.
Hard-left actor Danny Glover and writer Ta-Nehisi Coates were rolled out to present testimony as Democrat members on the panel set out to “examine, through open and constructive discourse, the legacy of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, its continuing impact on the community and the path to restorative justice.”
This being progressive code for slavery reparations — the issue is on the radar of some of the more radical 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls.
Glover, 72, an admirer of deceased Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, the socialist Venezuelan dictator who died in 2013, testified that he is the great-grandson of a slave who was freed by the emancipation proclamation — the actor said he met his great-grandmother as a child.
“This hearing is yet another important step in the long and heroic struggle of African Americans” to obtain equality, Glover said, according to CBS News.
“White America must recognize that justice for black people can’t be achieved without radical change to the structure of our society,” he added.
Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., was booed when he cited former President Barack Obama in saying that reparations for slavery would be “unconstitutional on their face.”
“Barack Obama opposed reparations when he ran for president in 2008, and Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders did, as well, eight years later,” Johnson said.
“In addition to all this, here in the Judiciary Committee, we have an obligation to acknowledge that any monetary reparations that might be recommended by the commission created by HR 40 would almost certainly be unconstitutional on their face,” Johnson said.
The room erupted in boos, as subcommittee chairman Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., tried to restore order with his gavel.
The Republican tried to explain over the boos that his reasoning is “a legal question.”
For the record, the Right Reverend Eugene Taylor Sutton, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, appeared before the panel to inform white people they’ve been “forgiven.”
“We’ve forgiven you,” Sutton said, eliciting some laughter and mutterings from attendees.
As for 2020 presidential candidates, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., who has introduced a companion bill to a measure that would create a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for application, was also at Wednesday’s hearing.
The measure, HR 40, is sponsored by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas — it’s named for the post-Civil War promise to former slaves of “40 acres and a mule.”
Booker told the panel the United States has “yet to truly acknowledge and grapple with the racism and white supremacy that tainted this country’s founding and continues to cause persistent and deep racial disparities and inequality. These disparities don’t just harm black communities, they harm all communities.”
.@CoryBooker, who is running for President, says at a house hearing on reparations:
"We, as a nation, have not yet truly acknowledged and grappled with racism and white supremacy that's tainted this country's founding."
"This is a very important hearing. It is historic." pic.twitter.com/2A8cjGTy8k
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) June 19, 2019
Jackson Lee said in her opening remarks H.R. 40 would be a “long overdue” response to slavery, according to the network.
“Slavery is the original sin. Slavery has never received an apology,” Jackson Lee said.
An assessment that may come as a slap in the face to the descendants of hundreds of thousands of white Americans who died to free black Americans.
Wednesday’s panel was set to coincide with “Juneteenth,” which commemorates the day of emancipation for slaves in the U.S.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opposes paying reparations for what he called America’s “original sin.”
The Republican lawmaker put forth the sensible argument that “none of us currently living are responsible” for slavery.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he is against reparations for slavery in part because it would be hard to know whom to pay.
— ABC News (@ABC) June 19, 2019
“I don’t think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago for whom none of us currently living are responsible is a good idea,” he said on Tuesday.
The enormous cost aside, determining who may be eligible for compensation and how much, and who’s on the hook to pay would be an almost impossible task.
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