The U.S. Congress will vote next week for the first time in its history on a bill that will open the door to compensation for black slave heirs, a sensitive issue in a country where inequality is high.
“This text, first submitted almost 30 years ago, provides for the formation of a commission to study slavery and discrimination in the United States from 1619 and to recommend appropriate responses,” the commission wrote Friday. The House of Representatives is governed by the judiciary, the Democrats.
She was in talks and voted on the committee on Wednesday.
This unprecedented step will pave the way for a vote in the Plenary Session in the Chamber, but no date has been set. The future of this text is uncertain in the Senate.
“Long after the abolition of slavery, the segregation and slavery of African Americans determined the policies of this country, which shaped its values and institutions,” said Democrat Jerry Nadler.
“Today we live with racial inequalities in access to education, health, housing, insurance, employment and other social assets, which are directly attributed to the legacy of slavery and racial discrimination with the support of the authorities,” he said.
The ACLU, a powerful civil rights organization, has praised the “historic” committee study of this law, known as HR40.
“Congress has been sitting on HR40 for 30 years, and this review and vote shows that our elected officials are finally listening to the will of millions of people who are demanding that racism and oppressed communities begin to be compensated.”
“Although this is an important step in the right direction, it is only the beginning,” she said, “fight until the HR40 vote in the plenary session.”
In late March, Evanston, a small suburb of Chicago, voted to grant funding to compensate its African-American residents for the damage caused by housing discrimination, the first city in the United States to implement such a measure.