Missouri Democratic Rep. Cori Bush has introduced a bill calling for $14 trillion in reparations for Black Americans to compensate them for the reverberating effects of slavery.
“The United States has a moral and legal obligation to provide reparations for the enslavement of Africans and its lasting harm on the lives of millions of Black people,” Bush said on Wednesday (May 17) during a press conference, per NPR. “America must provide reparations if we desire a prosperous future for all.”
During Wednesday’s press conference, Bush highlighted the long-lasting impact slavery has had on Black Americans as seen with the racial wealth gap, voter suppression, infant mortality rates, and more.
“It’s unjust and it wouldn’t happen in a just and fair and equitable society,” she said. “Those are not the natural consequences of human society.”
“They are directly caused by our federal government’s role in the enslavement and exploitation of Africans and Black people throughout our history,” the Democratic lawmaker added.
The conversation around reparations has picked up steam in the past couple of years, with dozens of cities and states considering their own reparation programs. However, over 90 percent of Republicans say they oppose reparations, while Democrats are split nearly evenly on the issue, according to NPR.