Democratic presidential candidate and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren upped the ante on the subject of reparations Friday by calling for Native Americans to be included in any effort to atone for the past.
Previously, three Democratic presidential candidates — Warren, Sen. Kamala Harris of California and Obama-era Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro — have expressed support for the concept of reparations for black Americans due to the impact of slavery, The Washington Post reported.
None have offered specific proposals for how reparations for slavery would be structured.
On Friday, Warren — who has previously claimed that she has Cherokee ancestry — was asked in Manchester, New Hampshire, about including Native Americans.
— National Review (@NRO) February 22, 2019
“I think it’s a part of the conversation,” she said, according to The Post. “I think it’s an important part of the conversation.”
“America has an ugly history of racism,” Warren said when later asked to expand upon the concept. “We need to confront it head-on. And we need to talk about the right way to address it and make change.”
As reported by The Western Journal, Warren’s long history of claiming she has Native American ancestry has already caused her to take heat on the campaign trail.
Warren’s comment was augmented by a statement issued Saturday.
“I fully support the federal government doing far more to live up to its existing trust and treaty responsibilities and that includes a robust discussion about historical injustices against Native people,” Warren said.
Warren, who apologized to the Cherokee Nation after taking a DNA test to document her claims, something the tribe resented, said Indian nations “deserve a seat at the table in all decisions that will affect the well-being of their people and their communities.”
But some on social media were not fans of the idea of paying reparations.
As an Irish American I would like reparations for my ancestors indentured servitude. Also from the English for starving my people. Also I would like reparations from the Vikings for killing my people hundreds of years ago.
Do you see how stupid this is?https://t.co/l35r2plb4D
— Will Witt (@thewillwitt) February 22, 2019
If Democrats want to give the children of former slaves reparations then I suggest that they take those reparations from the children of former Democrats who were the slave owners.#Reparations
— Roy Bryant (@RoyGBryant) February 22, 2019
Harris, meanwhile, has not outlined how reparations would work, though the California senator has called for targeted investment in black communities.
“Centuries of slavery, Jim Crow, legal discrimination and segregation, and discrimination that exists today have led to a systemic wealth gap between black and white Americans that demands attention,” Harris said in a statement.
“We have to be honest that people in this country do not start from the same place or have access to the same opportunities, and I’m serious about taking an approach that would change policies and structures and make real investments in black communities.”
Castro also told The Root he agrees with the concept, though he does not have a concrete proposal to implement reparations.
In addition to the three front-running Democrats who have supported reparations, Marianne Williamson, a self-help author who’s also seeking the White House, has proposed a $100 billion program of reparations to African-Americans.
A Marist poll from 2016 found that 68 percent of all respondents surveyed opposed paying reparations to those whose ancestors were enslaved.
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