Mitch McConnell shuts down reparations talk

Jon Stewart and Mitch McConnell

Actor and activist Danny Glover appeared before a House Judiciary panel on Wednesday, and spoke out in favor of a measure that would establish a committee to look into the impact slavery has had on the African-American community.

Coates rose to literary stardom in 2014 when he laid bare the case for reparation in The Atlantic.

"I think we're always a work in progress in this country but no one now alive was responsible for that", McConnell said.

"I look at communities like mine, and you can literally see how communities were created to be segregated, designed based on enforcing institutional racism", he said.

"Well, that frequently happens, because members have a lot of things going on at the same time", McConnell said.

"I feel like an a*shole", Stewart said sarcastically. It was an emotional speech from Stewart that demonstrated his disappointment, anger, and sadness towards Congress for waiting so long to take care of firefighters and others who developed an illness as a result of responding to the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The hearing comes amid a growing discussion in the Democratic Party about reparations.

Reparations have often been interpreted as direct financial payments to black Americans.

The country has "yet to truly acknowledge and grapple with the racism and white supremacy that tainted this country founding and continues to cause persistent and deep racial disparities and inequality". And in a conversation Coates had earlier this year with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., the popular progressive endorsed reparations. Her platform calls for a $200 billion to $500 billion investment, over 20 years, in various educational and economic projects to be selected by "an esteemed council of African-American leaders".

The American public, however, might not be sold on the idea of reparations.

McConnell had argued Tuesday that he opposes reparations in part because "none of us now living are responsible" for slavery. "We've spent a year compiling bipartisan co-sponsors and advocates for this bill, all in the hopes that when it finally gets to the great Mitch McConnell's desk, you won't jack us around like you've done in the past", he said.

Republicans invited Hughes and also Burgess Owens, a former Oakland Raiders football player and Super Bowl champion, who recently wrote a Wall Street Journal editorial eschewing reparations.

A resolution to study reparations was first proposed in 1989 by Democratic Rep. John Conyers of MI.

Juneteenth is a holiday that celebrates the day slaves in Texas found out they were free.

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