A conservative activist believes a scheduled House panel hearing on slavery reparations is all about politics.
The stated purpose of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties' upcoming hearing is "to examine, through open and constructive discourse, the legacy of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, its continuing impact on the community, and the path to restorative justice." The date of the hearing, June 19, coincides with Juneteenth, a cultural holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved blacks in America.
The reparations debate is already part of the 2020 presidential race, as several Democratic presidential primary candidates have signaled their support for some kind of compensation for the descendants of slaves. But Chris Arps, a spokesman for the Project 21 Black Leadership Network, says this is a complete waste of taxpayers' time.
"I think it's part of the Democrats' overall 2020 presidential strategy," he submits. "They want to make sure that their most loyal constituency is ginned up and excited. In 2016, Donald Trump won the presidency in a lot of states because black turnout was down because Barack Obama wasn't on the ballot. So I think this is an overall strategy for 2020."
"I think it is a waste of time," Arps adds, "but it provides great soundbites for the evening news and for their allies in the cable news networks."