Reparations Matter Part V: Cong. John Conyers – HR # 40 Legacy


US Congressional Representative from Detroit, Michigan, the Hon. John Conyers introduced the “Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act” (H.R. 3745) in January 1989. He has re-introduced this bill each congressional term.

It calls for establishing a commission to research the history of slavery in the United States and its effects on current society, which is to recommend ways to remedy this injustice against African Americans.

The current version was introduced and referred to committee on January 3, 2013.

Conyers first introduced the proposed resolution in 1989, and has stated his intention to annually propose this act until it is approved and passed. Since 1997, the bill has been designated “H.R. 40,” most recently, H.R. 40. If passed, the commission would explore the longstanding effects of slavery on today’s society, politics, and economy.

“My bill does four things: It acknowledges the fundamental injustice and inhumanity of slavery; It establishes a commission to study slavery, its subsequent racial and economic discrimination against freed slaves; It studies the impact of those forces on today’s living African Americans; and the commission would then make recommendations to Congress on appropriate remedies to redress the harm inflicted on living African Americans.”

Ironically, as the member of the Democratic Party, the political entity primarily responsible and culpable for the 245 years of enslavement of American blacks in the peculiar institutional industry of chattel slavery, Black Codes, KKK (Ku Klux Klan), Jim Crowism, etc., Mr. Conyer has presented this bill to Congress through the Hon. Presidencies of Ronald W. Reagan, George H.W. Bush, William “Bill” J. Clinton, George W. Bush, Barach H. Obama; and now via Congressional Representative, Shiela Jackson Lee of Texas, under that of Donald J. Trump.

This is a total of 40 years in which three (3) Presidencies were Republican, while two (2) were Democratic.

Conyers served as the ranking Democratic member on the House Committee on the Judiciary from 1995 to 2007 and again from 2011 to 2017

From 1995-2007, Mr. Conyer’s Reparations bill was under the Presidency.

From from January 3, 1995, to January 3, 1997, Republican Party controlled the House of Representatives, while Bill Clinton was President, therefore, apparently HR # 40 would not make it to committee, and subsequently the Floor for debate and vote, then to the Presidency.

Note: Apparently, and unjustifiably so, the Republicans were afraid to take the matter into Committee for discussion and vote to the Floor.

Then in 2008, for the first time a descendant of the chattel slaves, et al, and i.e., Mr. Conjers became the first US black citizen toChair of the House Judiciary Committee. Previously, as Ranking member, he promised that should he ever become Chair, he would committed HR # 40.

However, with the election of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party taking over the House, thereby, pushing Conyers into Chair of Judiciary, it was expected by all Reparations watchers and advocates, that with such “black power”, HR # 40 would indeed make committee which he chaired, to pass onto the Floor for debate, warranting an assured “yes” vote, then on to the desk of the first African-American “black” US President to sign into law.

Curiously, it NEVER HAPPENED!

Nevertheless, this year, under a Republican President, considered by Democratic Party to be racist, the Hon. Sheila Jackson Lee (named after two southern confederate Generals of Andrew Jackson who birthed it, and Robert E. Lee of confederacy army.  Hmmmmm!), has reintroduced HR # 40 as

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