“The View” host Whoopi Goldberg offered her own take on reparations for slavery Thursday after a contentious House subcommittee hearing on the issue, pointing the finger at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties heard testimony on a bill to study how reparations for slavery might be structured.
“I don’t think we should rule out cutting checks. There are people who deserve checks,” writer Ta-Nehisi Coates said at the hearing.
Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, the sponsor of the bill, said it was needed to address America’s “original sin” and that “slavery has never received an apology,” according to the Texas Tribune.
“The role of the federal government in supporting the institution of slavery and subsequent discrimination directed against blacks is an injustice that must be formally acknowledged and addressed,” she said.
Prior to the hearing, McConnell had voiced his opposition to reparations, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported.
“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,” the Kentucky Republican said.
“We’ve tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation. We elected an African American president.”
“I think we’re always a work in progress in this country, but no one currently alive was responsible for that, and I don’t think we should be trying to figure out how to compensate for it. First of all, it would be pretty hard to figure out who to compensate,” he added.
His comments landed him in hot water with the hosts of “The View.”
Co-host Ana Navarro interjected McConnell into the discussion by saying, “Yesterday, Mitch McConnell got asked this question and he said, ‘you know, electing Barack Obama is reparations. Barack Obama is not even a descendant of slaves. His daddy was an intellectual, an exchange student from Kenya.”
Goldberg then said McConnell should pay for his opposition to Obama.
“Can I point something out? You know, Mitch, you said that you would make him a one-term president. And you did everything you could to not help him in the first four years. Maybe you should pay reparation for that,” she said.
Goldberg was willing to indict society in general, saying that the wealth of black Americans had been stolen for generations and that the extent of racism goes far beyond Republicans and President Donald Trump.
“It’s not them,” she said. “This is much bigger than Trump.”
Host Sunny Hostin said that the actual bill before Congress would not cost anyone a nickel.
“I hope people will read this bill, H.R. 40 because the bill is not actually asking for outright reparations, cash reparations. That’s a very, very small portion of it. It’s asking for a combination of things, but what the bill is about is just a study of the issue. Just a study. It calls for a commission to study the reparations issue. So what I am shocked at is all the backlash to a study,” she said.
But host Joy Behar noted that once a study exists, action can follow.
“Because they know it’s a slippery slope, that’s why,” she said.
Not everyone is on board with the current movement to support reparations.
Unless you are a 155 year old Black Person in America, you were never a slave.
— Saladino for Congress (@JoeySalads) June 21, 2019
If #reparations are so vital to “heal” race relations and to address “inequality,” why didn’t dems push for it when @BarackObama was president and democrats controlled the House and Senate for his first two years? pic.twitter.com/9HxO5NrfVd
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) June 22, 2019
The bill being debated has the support of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and 60 Democrats, The New York Times reported, with multiple Democratic presidential candidates backing either the concept of reparations or taking a closer look at the issue.
“We have not had a conversation about reparations on this scale or level since the Reconstruction Era,” William A. Darity Jr., a professor of public policy at Duke University, told The Times. “To be blunt, I am more optimistic than I have ever been in my life about the prospect of the enactment of a reparations program that is comprehensive and transformative.”
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