Congress Must Pass H.R.40

Jarrett Smith
April 20, 2021

Luke 19:8-10

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

On Wednesday, April 14 history was made in our country when the H.R.40 Bill – Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposal for African Americans Act received a favorable vote at the House Judiciary Committee markup. This is the first time a House committee has considered the bill for recommendation to the House floor since it was first introduced in 1989 by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI).

Reparations is a matter of racial and social justice. The case for reparations is 400 hundred years in the making when the first enslaved Africans were sold in Virginia in 1619. The questioning of the humanity of Africans  throughout the world as Africans and their descendants are always treated and portrayed as if they are inferior to human beings or not even being human by the hundreds of years spent dehumanizing them, and treating them as though they were property to be bought and sold.

Now is the time for reparations. Congress must act and pass H.R.40. NETWORK applauds Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18), the bill sponsor, for her part in bringing this bill forward and successfully getting it out of the Judiciary Committee. Currently, the bill has 180 co-sponsors. We need your help getting the remaining 38 other members of Congress to support H.R.40.

H.R.40 allows us to take the first steps towards dismantling systemic racism, cultivating a more inclusive community, and rooting our economy in solidarity so that we can Build Anew together.

This is a historic and rare opportunity to advance a federal policy that seeks to address and rectify the sinful effects of slavery in the United States. Therefore, NETWORK calls on Congress to pass H.R.40 now. It is time for the most in-need to receive recompense as many times as necessary for there to be justice.

Read the statement on H.R.40 from NETWORK’s Executive Director, Mary Novak.