AFRICANGLOBE – House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said that he takes issue with using reparations to lessen racial inequality, as 2020 candidates have come out in favor of the idea, The Post and Courier reported Tuesday.
Clyburn, the highest ranking African-American congressman, told the newspaper he thinks “pure reparations would be impossible to implement.”
He also said he was opposed to “opportunity zones,” an idea promoted by Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.). He told the Post and Courier that this concept, giving tax incentives to developers who work in low-income neighborhoods, “smoke and mirrors.”
The Hill has reached out to Clyburn’s office for comment.
Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), as well as former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro are all paying lip service to the idea of giving reparations to Black Americans who were affected by slavery. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is also running for the Democratic nomination, said he opposes the idea.
Does the quasi support for reparations among major candidates indicates a leftward shift since 2016? In that election, nominee Hillary Clinton did not express support for reparations. Former President Barack Obama also did not promote the idea.
Black voters are expected to be a key demographic in the Democratic primary and the crowded field of candidates are likely to fight hard to win Black votes.
Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden, who has not announced a 2020 bid, appear to be leading the field in recent polls. Harris placed third in a poll released Tuesday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday that she supports studying the issue of reparations for slavery.
By: Rachel Frazin
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