President Joe Biden will pursue free college tuition for students who attend historically black colleges, universities and community colleges as a form of slavery reparations.
President Joe Biden’s administration will move forward with policies beneficial to African-Americans as Congress considers creating a commission to study the merits of direct reparation payments, White House adviser Cedric Richmond told Axios in an interview.
The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Feb. 17 regarding legislation that would create the commission.
“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,” Richmond said when asked about reparations, according to Axios.
“We have to start breaking down systemic racism and barriers that have held people of color back and especially African-Americans,” he continued.
“We have to do stuff now.”
He added that there is urgency to begin pursuing policies that “break down barriers” immediately regardless of how Congress decides to proceed with direct payment reparations.
“We don’t want to wait on a study,” Richmond said, according to Axios.
“We’re going to start acting now.”
The legislation working its way through Congress is sponsored by Democratic Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.
Biden endorsed the legislation during the 2020 presidential election.
“Truth and reconciliation about the ‘original sin of American slavery’ is necessary to light the way to the beloved community we all seek,” Jackson Lee said in a statement on the day of the hearing.
“The uncomfortable truth is that the United States owes its position as the most powerful nation in the world to its slave-owning past.”
We want to isolate white supremacy. White racism, domestic terrorism, we want to look at each other as our fellow bros/sisters, and as have been said to the ages, our fellow Americans, I want H.R. 40 to be in the minds and hearts about fellow Americans, pass it and signed @POTUS pic.twitter.com/a4KUDI7wUh
— Sheila Jackson Lee (@JacksonLeeTX18) February 17, 2021