Jackson, MS– Massachusetts Democrat Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren took the podium Monday night in Jackson, Mississippi. Boston.com reports that while speaking to audience members at Jackson State University, Warren was asked what a “public apology for 400 years of free labor in the South” would look like under her presidency. In response, the presidential candidate stated, “I believe it’s time to start the national, full-blown conversation about reparations in this country.”
Senator Warren has previously called the country's history of slavery “a stain on America.” In front of a mostly black audience, Warren stated that generations of people had faced discrimination in the United States, specifically in areas like housing and employment. She stated her support for a House bill that would “study and consider a national apology and proposal for reparations.”
During and after Monday night’s meeting in a CNN-sponsored town hall, Warren claimed that all races should be acknowledged in conversations around reparations, including Native Americans. The Democratic Senator called for more discussion, saying, “Let’s bring people together, and let’s open that conversation as Americans. Let’s see what ideas people want to put on the table, and let’s talk them through, because I gotta tell you, ignoring the problem is not working.”
As the night went on, Senator Warren discussed her proposed housing bill for all Americans. Her plan includes financial assistance for down payments for first-time homebuyers in redlined communities. Warren claimed that a failure to provide such support would further strengthen the status quo in which black Americans do not have the same housing opportunities.
At the same town hall, Warren gave a personal answer to a question from moderator Jake Tapper of CNN. Tapper asked about how her family's financial challenges during her childhood have shaped her policies as a senator. Warren responded with an emotional story about how after her father was too sick to work, her mother re-entered the workforce in a minimum wage job at age 50. She became teary as she recounted her mother's strength, giving voters some insight into who she is as a person and where she's come from.
Image via Wikimedia by Edward Kimmel