New Jersey considers task force to look into reparations for slavery

New Jersey’s African American lawmakers want to start studying how the state could make reparations for slavery.

News 12 Staff

Nov 14, 2019, 11:41 PM

Updated 1,710 days ago

Share:

New Jersey’s African American lawmakers want to start studying how the state could make reparations for slavery.
The New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus introduced a bill Thursday that would establish a Reparations Task Force. The task force would investigate the lingering effects of slavery and the role of state government.
“The great national stain of this country's history is this conversation around slavery. And the conversation has never been fully vetted and fully explored,” says state Sen. Troy Singleton.
The task force would also research the legacy of slavery in New Jersey and its effects, from racial wealth disparities to mass incarceration.
“While whites living today were not responsible for what came before, they have nonetheless benefited. Just as black Americans have been experiencing the lingering effects of the slave system,” says New Jersey NAACP president Richard Smith.
If the panel recommends reparations, the funds could come from taxes or through another source.
“We don't know how much is enough. We know right now we're getting basically nothing,” says state Sen. Ron Rice.
Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake says that the reparations don’t necessarily mean money given out directly to individuals.
“Whether or not it be through education, housing, opportunities, economic opportunities, money - We will, through this commission, come up with different methods to make sure that African Americans are made whole,” she says.
Rice says that he has experienced the lingering effects of racism and discrimination as a legislator, calling out current and former members of the Legislature, including those in his own party.
“I didn't say it was racist. Let me tell you about some of the people who don't look like me - Some of them have good intent, but they do things that are harmful to us because they don't know the difference,” says Rice. “They don't understand it. It's unintended racism sometimes and they need to be educated.”
The lawmakers say that the Reparations Task Force could be the first step in righting one of America’s greatest wrongs.
“We will never see true equality if we do not take full responsibility for the many ways slavery has shaped the socio-economics of our country,” says state Sen. Sandra Cunningham.
Gov. Phil Murphy says that he is open to the idea of reparations. He says that he wants New Jersey to lead the nation on social justice issues.


More from News 12
0:27
Delta: Unaccompanied minor travel paused following global technology outage

Delta: Unaccompanied minor travel paused following global technology outage

2:00
Sun, clouds and a possible stray shower in New Jersey

Sun, clouds and a possible stray shower in New Jersey

0:34
Over 1,600 U.S. flights canceled Saturday due to global technology outage

Over 1,600 U.S. flights canceled Saturday due to global technology outage

0:19
Police: 4 people injured in East Windsor crash

Police: 4 people injured in East Windsor crash

1:30
Officials: Calls to 988 have increased since its creation 2 years ago

Officials: Calls to 988 have increased since its creation 2 years ago

1:59
Flight disruptions persist at Newark Liberty Int’l Airport due to global technology outage

Flight disruptions persist at Newark Liberty Int’l Airport due to global technology outage

1:49
Toms River firefighters headed to national competition

Toms River firefighters headed to national competition

0:17
Police: Man fatally shot inside car in Clifton

Police: Man fatally shot inside car in Clifton

0:29
Fire leaves several residents in Lakewood displaced

Fire leaves several residents in Lakewood displaced

0:26
Police: Egg Harbor Township man accused of fatally striking bicyclist while driving drunk

Police: Egg Harbor Township man accused of fatally striking bicyclist while driving drunk

1:41
 Officials: COVID-19 has hit high levels in several states, including Connecticut

Officials: COVID-19 has hit high levels in several states, including Connecticut

1:41
 Officials: COVID-19 has hit high levels in several states, including Connecticut

Officials: COVID-19 has hit high levels in several states, including Connecticut

0:27
Prosecutor: Jackson Township man accused of fatally stabbing roommate

Prosecutor: Jackson Township man accused of fatally stabbing roommate

1:27
Prosecutor: Infant girl dies after being left inside parked car in East Hanover

Prosecutor: Infant girl dies after being left inside parked car in East Hanover

0:23
CDC: NJ resident dies from listeria food poisoning linked to deli meat

CDC: NJ resident dies from listeria food poisoning linked to deli meat

2:25
A massive tech outage is causing worldwide disruptions. Here's what we know

A massive tech outage is causing worldwide disruptions. Here's what we know

NJ Transit to resume regular weekend schedule following disruptions due to extreme heat

NJ Transit to resume regular weekend schedule following disruptions due to extreme heat

2:01
Doctors urge parents to get their children in for doctor visit ahead of new school year

Doctors urge parents to get their children in for doctor visit ahead of new school year

0:48
Jersey Proud: Stockton students spend summer measuring New Jersey shoreline

Jersey Proud: Stockton students spend summer measuring New Jersey shoreline

0:53
Beachwood West Beach closed for rest of summer due to high bacteria levels

Beachwood West Beach closed for rest of summer due to high bacteria levels