Blog: Here's what Tom says about that!

Historic Hearing held in Congress on H.R. 40

Posted December 18th, 2007 by

Today has been an historic day in Washington, D.C.

Representative John C0nyers, Jr. (D-Michigan) chaired an Oversight Hearing on the Legacy of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties. The purpose of the hearing was to consider H.R. 40, The Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act, a bill Conyers has introduced in every congress since 1989 but has never had a hearing until now.

Conyers pointed out that thirteen days from now, January 1, 2008, will mark the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade in the United States.

My cousin James wrote about the distinguished witness list for the hearing at his blog yesterday. You can watch the hearing now via video webcast.

This was the first hearing. I’m certain it will not be the last.

3 responses to “Historic Hearing held in Congress on H.R. 40”

  1. Karen says:

    I attended the hearing today… very interesting.

    Conyers was stating his belief that this bill, which is simply to create a commission to study the issue of the legacy of slavery, has as its purpose healing and reconciliation, that study is simply a good thing, and that transparency in discussion of slavery's legacy will be healing. Healing in itself would be a non-economic reparation.

    The naysayers' point was they felt the real purpose of the hearings and studying this subject would be to NOT heal the country; they are suspicious, so they say, that the purpose is to keep some Americans on the hook, required to make amends — those were some of the remarks of Roger Clegg, if I'm quoting him correctly from some notes I took.

    There was disagreement whether looking to the past for reasons for current problems is a distraction and an impediment to moving forward, OR the ONLY way forward — you can't go forward without understanding where you came from. All very interesting!! Glad I went.

  2. Tom says:

    Thanks for your comment, Karen. I've been listening/watching the hearing online. I was struck by one comment, and I can't recall who said it, where the speaker was taking issue with those who claim slavery was too far in the past to deal with in the present. This gentleman then pointed out that Independence Day took place a long time ago and yet we continue to celebrate it each Fourth of July.

    I've never thought of it in quite these terms before, but it seems to me that we love to commemorate things we are proud of, but want to sweep under the proverbial rug of history those things we find shameful and embarrassing.

  3. […] of many a white neck. It raises high emotions on all sides of the issue. Hearings were held by the House Judiciary Committee this past week and you could hear the heels digging into the hard Washington, D.C. hearing room […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

Copyright 2012 by Thomas Norman DeWolf | Website: James DeW. Perry