House Democrats will immediately start introducing laws to compensate and assist African Americans who claim they were wronged.
Joe Biden’s administration confirmed it will fast-track reparations for African Americans who believe authorities targeted them based on race.
The proposed process will be so dramatically accelerated that it might skip a large part of the usual regulatory process, which involves establishing a government commission to investigate exactly how to distribute money and support services.
“We do not want to wait on a study,” White House Office of Public Engagement director and senior adviser Cedric Richmond told Axios. “We are going to start acting now.”
Richmond, who formerly chaired the Congressional Black Caucus, suggested giving away taxpayer money as quickly as possible to let African Americans buy their own homes and help prevent property values from declining in black neighborhoods.
“[This is about] breaking down barriers in housing, making sure that African Americans can pass down wealth through homeownership,” he said. “[It would also ensure] that their homes are not valued less than homes in different communities just because of the neighborhood it is in.”
He also wants to divert major government funds and resources toward offering free higher education in parts of the nation where there are large African American populations.
“If you start talking about free college tuition to [historically black colleges and universities] and you start talking about free community college in Title I and all of those things, I think that you are well on your way,” he said.
Any such move would completely back pedal on the previous Barack Obama administration’s policy of preventing African Americans from receiving financial compensation.
President Obama recently blamed white representatives for preventing his administration from passing any reparations legislation through Congress.
“What I saw during my presidency was that the politics of white resistance and resentment,” he said in a Spotify podcast. “The talk of welfare queens and the talk of the undeserving poor … [that] struck me as politically, not only a nonstarter but potentially counterproductive.”
He then accused the white community of not showing enough interest in the past and focusing too much on the future.
“[They] would not be thrilled with the idea of a massive program that is designed to deal with the past but is not speaking to their future,” he said.
Richmond echoed this criticism and accused the federal government of being prejudiced against people belonging to another race.
“We have to start breaking down systemic racism and barriers that have held people of color back and especially African Americans,” he said. “[W]e have to do stuff now.”