Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren was undoubtedly looking to make a splash during her campaign stop to Jackson, Mississippi and she may have done just that in laying out a number of far-Left policy proposals.
The CNN town hall on Monday night included her telling the Mississippians that they ought to change their state flag due to its reflection of the Confederate flag. She pitched an “ultra-millionaires tax,” criticized “giant financial institutions,” and told the crowd that Congress should mandate White Americans pay money to Black communities to atone for slavery.
As Politico reports, Warren became the first 2020 presidential candidate to back the idea of reparations.
“I love the idea of this congressional commission,” Warren told a crowd at Jackson State, a historically black university. “I believe it’s time to start the national, full-blown conversation about reparations.”
Here’s more, from Politico:
The bill, which former Rep. John Conyers first introduced in 1989, was re-introduced by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) this past January. “The commission would also make recommendations concerning any form of apology and compensation to begin the long delayed process of atonement for slavery,” Jackson Lee said earlier this year.
Warren and most other 2020 candidates have cautiously approached the topic of reparations, wary of alienating voters by fully embracing the idea or being dismissive of it. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has endorsed the concept of reparations but has not provided details. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) have not endorsed the idea but have said that robust steps must be taken to combat systemic racism.
Warren’s endorsement of the reparations commission bill was just one part of her broader pitch Monday night to voters of color, especially African Americans. She called for Mississippi to change its state flag to no longer include the Confederacy’s stars and bars, talked up her housing bill that would give special assistance to formerly redlined communities, and said that white supremacists are as great a national security threat as “any other terrorist group — like ISIS, like al-Qaida.”
Warren attempted to combine that appeal with her more familiar economic populism. She criticized oil companies, payday lenders, “giant financial institutions,” and called for the implementation of her “ultra-millionaires tax.”
She also received a positive reaction from the crowd when she discussed the role of faith in her life. Warren said she was raised Methodist and referenced the story of the Sheep and The Goats in the book of Matthew. She said a Bible school lesson on the story taught her that “there is God, there is value in every single human being” and that “we are called to action.”
The idea of reparations has been pitched by presidential candidates in the past and has been similarly proposed in Congress without much traction.
Some ideas of the reparation include a specific, or targetted tax, while others include voluntary calls for donations to organizations and community groups.
Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar told NBC’s “Meet The Press,” that there should be an effort to payback for historical wrongdoing but that the payment did not have to be direct payments.
“I believe we have to invest in those communities that have been so hurt by racism. It doesn’t have to be a direct payment for each person,” Klobuchar said, as Politico reports.