Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) on Wednesday called for the passage of a bill to study slave reparations and how distribution would occur. Originally proposed in Jan. 2019, the bill has gained traction since the killing of George Floyd.
The Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act would investigate if Blacks should get reparations and what the process would look like. The Congressional Black Caucus has taken the lead on getting the bill in front of the House.
Jackson Lee said there is “no better time” for the bill to be in the national conversation.
“We now have an opportunity, through H.R. 40, to have the highest level of discussion about systemic racism and race,” Jackson Lee said on Tuesday according to The Hill. “And we are able to do it in a manner that is bringing people together; that acknowledges that Black lives matter; and acknowledges that there has to be a response.”
Since the May 25 killing of Floyd, the House has passed bills to address racial disparities and a large number — 131 Democratic representatives — have signed on to the Reparations Bill.
“The key question here is that as the slaves were free, there was no tangible wealth given for their work of over 200 years,” Jackson Lee said in a Tuesday press conference with the Congressional Black Caucus. “That lack of wealth, reflected in the anger and anguish of those who received them, that led into a broken reconstruction, Jim Crowism, 4,000 African Americans lynched and then a period of attempt at civil rights and the loss of the civil rights battlers, in essence on the civil rights battlefield.”
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said on Wednesday the slave reparations bill is under consideration for a vote by the House.
“The purpose of this Act is to establish a commission to study and develop Reparation proposals for African-Americans,” the bill reads. “To address the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery in the United States and the 13 American colonies between 1619 and 1865 and to establish a commission to study and consider a national apology and proposal for reparations for the institution of slavery.”
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The Tate Brothers and Associates Face Human Trafficking Charges in Romania
In a recent development, the Tate brothers, Andrew and Tristan, along with two associates, find themselves at the center of a high-profile case involving human trafficking allegations.
The charges leveled against them indicate the formation of an organized criminal group in 2021 with the intent to carry out human trafficking operations not only in Romania but also in the United States and the United Kingdom, according to the BBC.
The investigation, which led to their arrest in December last year, has culminated in an indictment filed with the Bucharest court. According to the indictment, the Tate brothers are accused of luring their victims with false promises of love and marriage. Seven individuals have been identified as alleged victims, who were later coerced and subjected to a harrowing ordeal.
Prosecutors contend that the victims were taken to locations in Ilfov county, Romania, where they faced constant surveillance, intimidation, and control. The defendants allegedly forced the victims into debt and coerced them into participating in pornographic activities, with the explicit material subsequently shared on social media platforms. Shockingly, one of the defendants is accused of raping a woman on two occasions in March 2022, further amplifying the gravity of the charges.
While the trial is not expected to commence immediately, as a Romanian judge is granted 60 days to inspect the case files, it is anticipated to be a protracted legal battle. The complexity of the case and the severity of the charges will undoubtedly result in a lengthy trial process, with several years potentially passing before a verdict is reached.
Representatives for the Tate brothers released a statement acknowledging the unsurprising nature of the news but maintaining their belief in their innocence.
As reported by the BBC, the Tate brothers media team stared, “While this news is undoubtedly predictable, we embrace the opportunity it presents to demonstrate their innocence and vindicate their reputation.”
They expressed their eagerness to present a comprehensive body of evidence meticulously collected over time, which they believe will substantiate their claims of innocence and restore their tarnished reputation.
However, it should be noted that additional charges, such as money laundering and trafficking of minors, are still under investigation. If evidence is uncovered to support these allegations, a separate indictment could be filed, further complicating the legal proceedings for the defendants.
Andrew Tate, who gained notoriety through his participation in the reality television show Big Brother, has a controversial past, having been removed from the show in 2016 following a video that appeared to depict him assaulting a woman.
Despite subsequent bans on social media platforms due to his contentious statements, he has managed to amass a following, particularly among young men, by promoting an ostentatious and hyper-masculine lifestyle.
As the case unfolds, public attention will undoubtedly be drawn to the trial, with many eagerly awaiting the outcome and hoping for justice to be served for the alleged victims. The complex web of charges and the high-profile nature of the defendants ensure that this trial will be closely monitored and scrutinized by the media and the public alike.
Follow Alexander Carter on Twitter @AlexCarterDC for more!
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