HR40; $8Million Commission On Slavery Reparations

Monster readers, are you ready for this from another email? I have bolded the sections that are relevant.  This is not the complete text as much of it is redundant, but rest assured; I read it.

From GovTrack:

HR40

Cosponsors [as of 2009-03-07]

Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act

To acknowledge the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery in the United States and the 13 American colonies between 1619 and 1865 and to establish a commission to examine the institution of slavery, subsequently de jure and de facto racial and economic discrimination against African-Americans, and the impact of these forces on living African-Americans, to make recommendations to the Congress on appropriate remedies, and for other purposes.

Sections of the text that you may find interesting:

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.

(a) Findings- The Congress finds that–

(1) approximately 4,000,000 Africans and their descendants were enslaved in the United States and colonies that became the United States from 1619 to 1865;

(2) the institution of slavery was constitutionally and statutorily sanctioned by the Government of the United States from 1789 through 1865;

(3) the slavery that flourished in the United States constituted an immoral and inhumane deprivation of Africans’ life, liberty, African citizenship rights, and cultural heritage, and denied them the fruits of their own labor; and

(4) sufficient inquiry has not been made into the effects of the institution of slavery on living African-Americans and society in the United States.

(b) Purpose- The purpose of this Act is to establish a commission to–

(1) examine the institution of slavery which existed from 1619 through 1865 within the United States and the colonies that became the United States, including the extent to which the Federal and State Governments constitutionally and statutorily supported the institution of slavery;

(2) examine de jure and de facto discrimination against freed slaves and their descendants from the end of the Civil War to the present, including economic, political, and social discrimination;

(3) examine the lingering negative effects of the institution of slavery and the discrimination described in paragraph (2) on living African-Americans and on society in the United States;

(4) recommend appropriate ways to educate the American public of the Commission’s findings;

(5) recommend appropriate remedies in consideration of the Commission’s findings on the matters described in paragraphs (1) and (2); and

(6) submit to the Congress the results of such examination, together with such recommendations.

SEC. 3. ESTABLISHMENT AND DUTIES.

(a) Establishment- There is established the Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African-Americans (hereinafter in this Act referred to as the ‘Commission’).

(b) Duties- The Commission shall perform the following duties:

(1) Examine the institution of slavery which existed within the United States and the colonies that became the United States from 1619 through 1865. The Commission’s examination shall include an examination of–

(A) the capture and procurement of Africans;

(B) the transport of Africans to the United States and the colonies that became the United States for the purpose of enslavement, including their treatment during transport;

(C) the sale and acquisition of Africans as chattel property in interstate and instrastate commerce; and

(D) the treatment of African slaves in the colonies and the United States, including the deprivation of their freedom, exploitation of their labor, and destruction of their culture, language, religion, and families.

(2) Examine the extent to which the Federal and State governments of the United States supported the institution of slavery in constitutional and statutory provisions, including the extent to which such governments prevented, opposed, or restricted efforts of freed African slaves to repatriate to their homeland.

(3) Examine Federal and State laws that discriminated against freed African slaves and their descendants during the period between the end of the Civil War and the present.

(4) Examine other forms of discrimination in the public and private sectors against freed African slaves and their descendants during the period between the end of the Civil War and the present.

(5) Examine the lingering negative effects of the institution of slavery and the matters described in paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4) on living African-Americans and on society in the United States.

(6) Recommend appropriate ways to educate the American public of the Commission’s findings.

(7) Recommend appropriate remedies in consideration of the Commission’s findings on the matters described in paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4). In making such recommendations, the Commission shall address among other issues, the following questions:

(A) Whether the Government of the United States should offer a formal apology on behalf of the people of the United States for the perpetration of gross human rights violations on African slaves and their descendants.

(B) Whether African-Americans still suffer from the lingering effects of the matters described in paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4).

(C) Whether, in consideration of the Commission’s findings, any form of compensation to the descendants of African slaves is warranted.

(D) If the Commission finds that such compensation is warranted, what should be the amount of compensation, what form of compensation should be awarded, and who should be eligible for such compensation.

(c) Report to Congress- The Commission shall submit a written report of its findings and recommendations to the Congress not later than the date which is one year after the date of the first meeting of the Commission held pursuant to section 4(c).

SEC. 4. MEMBERSHIP.

(a) Number and Appointment- (1) The Commission shall be composed of 7 members, who shall be appointed, within 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, as follows:

(A) Three members shall be appointed by the President.

(B) Three members shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(C) One member shall be appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate.

(2) All members of the Commission shall be persons who are especially qualified to serve on the Commission by virtue of their education, training, or experience, particularly in the field of African-American studies.

SEC. 8. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

To carry out the provisions of this Act, there are authorized to be appropriated $8,000,000.

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Comments
36 Responses to “HR40; $8Million Commission On Slavery Reparations”
  1. Jenn S. says:

    $8 million for a commission to determine whether African Americans should be paid reparations for slavery… How many African Americans do you know that have ever, in this lifetime, been a slave to the Americans? What about a commission to determine if people of Scottish and/or Irish descent should be paid reparations because their own ancestors were shipped off to “The Colonies” as slaves in the hundred-odd years before the Revolution earned them the freedom they should not have been stripped of in the first place! Look at your American history, you’ll see. Entire cities were built in this country by the sweat and toil of men and women of the Isles. The Scottish Highlands and much of Ireland would not be as unpopulated as they are now if it had not been for slavery. So why should we not also be awarded reparations on behalf of our own ancestors who lived and died for what would eventually become the American Dream? Cities, people, not cotton fields. Think about that.

  2. Kathy says:

    This is just another attempt to make certain people feel that they are entitled and more deserving of recognition for the past.

    I believe every ethnic group could come up with reasons why they might be entitled to reparations. But I have just on question , if it so bad here why are so many coming illegally or willing to risk their lives to get here.

    The past is just that unless we are going to dig up the former slaves and give them the reparation what the hell is the point. I am not entitled to any compensation for any wrongs that had done to my ancestors so how is this any different.

    The truth of the matter is the ancestors of the slaves are much better off here than they would be if their ancestors had be left in Africa.

    Of course slavery was and is wrong but sometimes the unintended consequences of the wrongs in the past benefit those in the present.

  3. Kathy says:

    Meant to say:

    The truth of the matter is the descendants of the slaves are much better off here than they would be if their ancestors had been left in Africa.

  4. Silent Kate says:

    I had read about this before. Unfortunately, I think this type of legislation ends up being divisive. Our country has a checkered past at best dealing with many different ethnic groups but if we want to talk about repaying a debt what about the native Americans? Personally, I think we have to start working together to accomplish the best for this country. We aren’t going to do this by rewarding any one group. We can only do it by recognizing the sacrifices of all people that have built this country, from the Chinese that died building railroads to the Japanese interred during WWII to the African Americans that were enslaved during our early history. We would be bankrupt as a country if we tried to financially reward every wrong. I think we need to concentrate on what is currently happening in our government through the transfer of our money to the banks and corporations. If every person would stop this insane bickering about the past we would recognize the wolf at the door. He isn’t black, white, yellow or red but corporate. He picks your pocket and then tells you to say “Thank You!” Our legislators have been taken over by these corporate interests. They are owned by them and they have become “family”. We need to pool our resources regardless of our past or we will continue to be derailed by political bait and switch programs such as this.

  5. Delores says:

    I have always believed that any tpye of slavery is wrong, but I have had nothing to do with it and will not pay any of my hard earned money for it. I will not appolize for something I did not do. If you need money go to your own people and homeland for it. They sold you out for beads. They helped round up their own people and put them on the boats. My ancestors paid the price of their life for starting this country. What do you owe me? I have lost 2 sons, so who is going to pay me for my pain and sufering? I do not hold everyone responsible and have chose to move on and live in the present. Lord help us. Get over yourselves.

  6. lee M. says:

    To Jenn S.- You wrote exactly what I was thinking all the time I was reading the post. My Celtic heart is very happy to find a kindred spirit. My Scots-Irish ancestors dealt with every bit as much pain as did the African slaves, in addition to fighting in the Revolutionary War.

    And what about the bonded servants? Aren’t their descendants just as deserving of any reparations money that is floating around?

    And to Silent Kate – we’re already bankrupt, thanks to the usurper in the White House and his partner in crime, George Bush, who with the help of Henry (Goldman Sachs) Paulson, along with those corporate robbers that you mentioned, put this country on the slippery slide to devestation.

    John Conyers has had this bee in his bonnet for a long time and just feels the time is ripe to spring it when we are all sidetracked by the financial crisis, and he has a like thinking cohort in the White House.
    Good timing, Conyers. Just spend a little more money to fund a commission to spend even more money to take from us more tax money to pay for some imagined harm our ancestors may have done to the slaves.

    We need to mount a determined protest against even spending the $8 million much less the amount of reparations they will want. Start calling and typing again people. Let’s demand our reparations, too. Maybe they will then let well enough alone.

    ATTENTION, Diamond. I sent you an email on Snowe. Hope it helps a little. More later, I hope.

  7. lee M. says:

    P.S. Diamond, I sent a second email. This one regarding Siemens and Debevoise and Plimpton. The thing is they went to two slightly different email addresses. I didn’t notice until they were sent. Hope you get them both ok. I don’t know why I have two email addresses.

  8. Leaping Spark says:

    Slavery was abolished a hundred and fifty years ago and unless I’m wrong they were freed. If those low lifes in DC want to pay reparations to people who deserve them, how about the Native Americans, they were murdered by the millions and their country was stolen from them. Africans were sold into slavery by and large by their own countrymen, if anyone owes them anything its their African and Eyptian brothers. Those morons in DC will suck up to anyone, or support all kinds of ridiculous causes to garner votes.

  9. David Gagin says:

    Well…that sure sounds good, in a totally PC kind of way, but what will it prove? I have read the Constitution, and I don’t find that slavery was mentioned. Readers, have I missed something? And what about the slavery currently being perpetrated by the Obama administration? When can we expect reparations for that? This bill is as bogus as the day is long as well as being insulting! By what stretch of the imagination do they think that handing out money will EVER give back what has been taken??? Now that it’s been printed, the paper is worthless, except for reprocessing into pulp, or into insulating material. and this is for Conyers: Ever wonder why politicians get so little respect? This is a good for-instance!

  10. SFIndie says:

    My family didn’t come to this country until long after slavery was abolished. My grandparents came from “the old country” to escape pogroms and persecution. I’m second generation American on my dad’s side, third generation on my mom’s. My family had nothing to do with slavery, and I’ll be damned if my hard-earned money is going to be used to give welfare to someone who may or may not be descended from slaves.

    As others have said, if we’re handing out “sorry we screwed your ancestors” check, how about including Native Americans, Chinese, Irish, and WOMEN. Women were (and still are, as far as I’m concerned) subject to discrimination, treated as chattel, enslaved, and abused.

    Do we REALLY need to spend $8 billion to understand the effects of slavery? This is just another way to feed white guilt and control the masses through that guilt.

    Conyers, you can count me out. Slavery’s done with. Get over it. Teach people to take responsibility for their own lives. Work to eliminate discrimination against ALL people if you want to change things. Handing out my money to people who haven’t earned it is unacceptable. And won’t help to create change. It’s only going to foster anger.

  11. SFIndie,

    You are right on the money. The only people that should be paying reparitions are the descendants of the slavers and slave owners, which I’m sure a little research would show are basically the same people raping our economy now!

  12. Donnie Roberts says:

    I feel & agree with everyone here. But I think it is just another way to keep the people apart in this country and keep discrimination alive

  13. 1sgboom says:

    All of that happened BEFORE you and I were born. It is where it belongs…in the history books. Now they want to pay all the descendants of the slaves? They need to get over it. “Oh, you enslaved my great great grand daddy, and now you owe me for all the embarrassment I experienced in my life.” It’s just another mass “welfare program” for all those “poor people” who refused to make something of themselves, and live off the public assistance.

  14. Dulcy says:

    First, unlike Congress, thanks for even reading the bill, Diamond Tiger and then thanks for posting it.
    I was so appalled when I read this, but even just reading the comments restores my equilibrium. So thanks to those who took the trouble.
    This is mind-boggling. And as Silent Kate says, if we reparate, shouldn’t we start with the American Indians?
    It is still astonishing to me that AAs always consider themselves so much more important, so much more put-upon, than “people of color”. which is how other American “races” identify themselves.
    And I think it’s important to remember, as someone else has said, that AA “pundits” and journalists speak only to their own AA experience. People of color are not consulted on racial matters by AAs.

  15. I am second generation American and my spousal unit is a native american….I will stop paying taxes if this crap passes. Come get me.

  16. 1sgboom says:

    The way things are happening so fast, we might just as well sign over ALL of our income to NObama. After all isn’t that what they want? Then again,Diamond, maybe you should use “Turbo tax” after all it worked for “Tax Cheat Timmy”. Not only did he not pay his taxes, he got hired on with the Government.

    • 1sg – I already changed my w-4 so that I am not paying federal withholding. if this keeps up I will stop fighting for my company, get laid off and let bambi take care of me while I do other things. Frakkin’ idiot.

  17. sportinlife10 says:

    So “they” want to appropriate $8 Million? Well, once the White House and Acorn are through with the Census, that means each AA will get $1.00

  18. 1sgboom says:

    The rumor has it that all the tea parties will be infiltrated by Acorn and the “Obamaites” on the 15th….sounds like fun!

  19. How about reparations to the current slaves. We are all slaves to the IRS and the Federal Reserve Bank. Our birth certificates are their chattel on us and our Social Security number is our serial number. If reparations are to be paid, then give us our constitution back, kill the Federal Reserve, go back to real money (silver and gold- not paper) and I’ll call it even!

  20. Delores says:

    It is so great to hear that we are strong and still willing to speak our minds. Something we should never lose. Great Americans with great strength and our hearts will not be broken by this fake. Hold our heads high. If he were a true American he would not try to distroy this great nation.

  21. Pit Bull says:

    I am all for giving them $8 Million with one condition!!

    We follow their ancestors back to when they were slaves and any welfare money that they or their ancestors have received is subtracted from the $8 million. If the money they and their ancestors have received is more than the $8 million then they owe the American tax payers who have been supporting their lazy asses for the last 80 years the difference!

    I am so sick of people feeling like they are owed something no matter what color they are. Stand up people take responsibility for your lives and quit sucking on Uncle Sam’s Teet!

  22. James Jordan says:

    This must be the racist corner of the web. Or perhaps it’s just a nesting place for ignorance. The U.S. Supremem Court has recognized recently that the evil effects of slavery continue, as do most sociologists and educators. Clarnece Thomas helped himself to the benefits of affirmative action, then voted against it, calling it demeaning. Many Native Americans are today enriched by gambling, yet wrongs to them were still wrong. We paid the Japanese survivors of the internment camps $20,000 each and spent more than $8,000,000 on a comission to study FDR and his racist cohorts. Surely we can convene a high-level nonpartisan commission to study this issue. That is all this bill does. Why are you bloggers afraid to find out how the unfathomably evil institution of slavery in this nation affects our citizens today?

  23. Three Knocks says:

    First and foremost you ppl,everyone except Practical Madman, need to start thinking for yourselves and do as you know and not what youve been told. History is just that his-story.If you knew the true history of this country and how it became what it is today it would terrify you. The issue on in re reparations is just a chip off the iceberg of lies and deceit that consumes the entire nation. If youve studied reparations you would know that anyone that was ever awarded such relief had a nationality. African American is not a nationality, black is not a nationality its an adj./color, negro is not a nationality, and colored is not a nationality .If studied, one will find that these names were given to the Moors by the europeans during the slavery era in order to strip them of thier inalienable and indigenous rights to the land. The Geneva Convention,Pan American Conf.,Bustamante Code and the Morrocan treaty of Peace and Friendship with the United states 1787 proves the info revealed to you. It should further be noted that Obama is not the first so black president of the country, hes the 8th,with the first president ever being John Hanson, whom was also a Moor,dark skinned Asiatic. Dont think youre going to find this guy in your local library either,oh no we cant let that out. however you will find him on the back of the $ 2 bill sitting at the table wearing a fez, Moorish religious garb.QUESTION:why does the $1 bill bear the Moorish Pyramid w/ the All Seeing Eye of Allah?thats something one should also think about if they really believe that they were all slaves and brought here on ships. The truth is they were here and have been here centuries before we ever came. The Moors are the oldest living race of ppl on the earth and were dark skinned not black. You might wonder exactly what im trying to say, the point Im trying to make is that the land we know today as south, central and north America technically belongs to the Moorish Americans known today as African Americans. Unfortunately, they dont know who they are, in order for them to be recognized by the other nations of the earth (UN) they must first have a nationality without this they are nothing to us but mere property. We’ve done well for ourselves by keeping them in captivity, but according to the scriptures the 400 years of captivity was over last year in 2008. This is why Obama,whom we put in office, was elected. We need them now for the earth is getting closer and closer to the sun. They are the true Gods and Godesses of the earth the so called black woman is the mother of virtue and the matriarch of civilization.They taught us civilization and allowed us to live amongst them long enough to carry out our mission now it is time for us to go back to which the caves we descended (caucasoid mountains). If they had a clue of how wealthy they truly are and how much debt we are in to them for doing business on thier land we may see an uprising. Yes the Practical Madman is absolutely right, every working class or unemployed citizen are alike whether you gross $100,000 per year or $100 per year, you are all slaves and owned by the government thru the Social Security Ad. and the birth certificate. This was one of the greatest if the greatest scheme in all of our history.This fraud not only allowed us to strip them of thier land but also of every inalienable and indigenous right they have as sovereign kings and queens. I can go on and on revealig the truth now,because our ruling and oppression of the moorish empire here in said USa is almost over. In fact Obama will be the last president ever believe it or not. The land must be returned to the original man and its inhabitants according to scriptures otherwise the Creator/Creatress will continue to inflict the wrath upon us. The problem is how are they going to run their own independent government when they cant even stand to look at each other? They know nothing of their holy Prophet whom we know wasnt Yawshur/Jesus as so many of them continue to believe and worship faithfully.They dont even realize what they are doing but one day soon they are going to run like wild animals away from the church and return to being spiritual not religious because religion is law.

  24. And I thought I was out there…

  25. bj worlds says:

    I think if one white man could be a black man for just one day he would then understand what it is all about!

  26. move along now, nothing to see here.

  27. Aisha says:

    I respect everyone’s opinion and will say that as a black person (African-American if you will) am not 100% sold on either side of this issue. However, please stop the madness with assigning every black person to welfare and comparing that to reparations. Statistically, there are more white people on welfare than blacks. Welfare is a class issue, not a racial issue. Please.

  28. Aisha – you are talking apples and oranges here. And I would say that you are an american. I personally wish everybody would stop putting a race before “american” but that’s gonna take another 200 years before people get it.

    I understand what you are trying to say though.

  29. JR says:

    I do not and have never owned any slaves. The same is true of my parents and grandparents on each side of my family. I do not owe any human being anything because of something that happened 400 years ago. I know some slaves were treated badly which is very unfortunate. I also know that some slaves were treated very well and preferred to stay with their masters because they had a comfortable place to live and plenty to eat. I no longer feel that we need to provide food and shelter to any race free of charge.

  30. ozz says:

    If you think losing culture ,name , your god just for the food nobody wanted is nothing, you try living like a black for one day then you will understand how we are all affected by this wrong that has never been addressed in this country.we are the only race of people that was brought here in chains out of fear, and that same fear is still instill in people like you today. that what hold us back today we still have to work twice as hard to be even. people like jr can’t see that there scared to lose there place over blacks in this country. that what this whole thing is about. no white person wants to see blacks as a whole wealthy.that why its easy for them to tell us to get over it .I read something by a black conservative, his last name was king and i quote “there no such thing as a free lunch” this country has had a free lunch and now they should pay for eating so well off the backs of my forefathers . my grandparents parents was born slaves, i was born 1965 only 100yrs after emancipation was signed . and the effect of slavery are real take it from me we need to be made whole again as a people.

  31. Jeremy says:

    Hey OZZ, you are a racist. How dare you have the nerve to generalize white people. Based on your incoherent ranting, and horrific writing ability, I assume you are not very intelligent, which is probably why you think you have to work twice as hard as every one else to be even. The fact that you would even think that “no white person wants to see blacks as a whole wealthy” is the reason racism still exists today. I take extreme offense to that comment. Do you in fact know every white person in the U.S.? Obviously you don’t know me! Do you even understand the difference between a German and a Russian? Or a Spaniard and a Pollock? We may all look the same to you, but I assure you we are just as different as an African and an Englishman. And by the way, go tell a Chinese person or an Irishman that blacks were the only race brought to the U.S. against their will and see what happens. And as far as “living like a black for a day” whatever that means, I grew up in an all black neighborhood, and I am still living in a predominantly black neighborhood, the majority of them have nicer homes and cars than I do! So what’s your point? Do you think just because I am white that I am automatically excepted where ever I go? That’s a nice fantasy, but it’s no truth. And by the way, which black person would you want us to live like for a day? How about Obama and Michelle? Yeah I see your point, that must be awful. They seem soo persecuted… I know that you were raised to never forget the atrocities that happened to blacks in the U.S. so many years ago, but as long as we continue to have black history month in our face, and black television, and black scholarship funds and groups like the NAACP, and black churches, etc. etc. then there can be no equality. The fact is, when you have members of the black community, deliberately alienating themselves from the rest of society; there can be no social equality? Separatism creates un-trust. You have to free yourself from the chains of color. There are just as many racist blacks as there are whites, or any other race. The apology was made to those who were oppressed. You say that this wrong has never been addressed in this Country!! What in the hell was the Civil War all about? Do you realize how many Americans died in that war because of this issue? What was the civil rights movement all about? Why are there laws in place such as affirmative action that assures that blacks have a place at the table even when they are FAR less qualified! And the fact that you would want me to pay you for something that happened over 100 years ago that had nothing to do with me or my family is BULLSHIT! By the way, I should mention that I am half Native American, Cherokee and Mohawk, although you cant tell by the color of my skin. I can tell you about injustices this country has inflicted on every race, especially my ancestors. But I’m not looking for anything other than my liberty, and to be left the hell alone by the Government. Life is rough for all of us who live below the poverty line, regardless of color. If you truly want to end racism in this country, start fighting for human rights rather than black rights, and stop blaming the white man for your failures and hardships. It is the rich man, as well as your own insecurities and social ignorance that’s causing you that pain, not me.

  32. Afro-descendant says:

    A reparations committee is putting the cart before the horse. Reparations is only given to human beings. The first thing that descendants of America’s slaves must do is regain human rights. Our human rights were snatched away and never returned. Generation after generation born and we are still 3/5’s of a human being in the U.S. Constitution.

    Can we get that back first?

  33. The only thing that Americans of “Afro-descent” are a slave to in this country is the democratic party.

    Open your mind and think! What have the democrats (or republicans for that matter) done for you when they’ve held the White House and both houses of Congress? Not.A.Freaking.Thing.

    It’s about keeping us all enslaved and fighting with each other. Wake up!

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  • Thomas Jefferson

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