Danny Glover, Democratic lawmakers say 'we can't wait' longer for slavery reparations

"The time for reparations is now," former Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer said during a discussion with Glover.

Updated: September 25, 2020 - 11:16pm

Actor and activist Danny Glover and former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer joined Democratic lawmakers to call for the passage of a bill to set up a federal slavery reparations committee, emphasizing that "we can't wait" any longer for reparations.

"We can't wait," Steyer said during a virtual discussion held as part of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's annual legislative conference. "This is the moment. The time for reparations is now. We must confront and deal with our history together and repair it as best we can together, if we're ever to move on together."

Glover, who endorsed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, said the country has been "trapped in its past" for more than 400 years and called for a reparations proposal.

"We can't wait because now is the time," he said. "Now is the moment. Those legs and bodies marching in the street provides us with even more urgency for this moment."

Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee is the sponsor of H.R. 40, the 

Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act. New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker is sponsoring the Senate version. 

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he supports establishing a committee to study reparations for descendants of slaves and propose remedies.

"We must not ignore our history. We must acknowledge it, learn from it and act to right the wrongs of our past, that's why I'm such a big supporter of H.R. 40," he said. "H.R. 40  is only a beginning but one that I am 100% behind."

Both Jackson Lee and California Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee joined Glover, Steyer and other advocates during the reparations discussion.

"Our message today is that we're moving forward," Jackson Lee said.

Barbara Lee said the House version would likely not have 150 co-sponsors without Jackson Lee's leadership.

"We can't wait," she said. "We're going to get this done soon."