'Squad' Rep Cori Bush calls for reparations for black people after Juneteenth becomes federal holiday

SQUAD member Cori Bush has called for reparations for black people after Juneteenth became a federal holiday.

The Missouri Congresswoman tweeted on Wednesday to say: "It’s Juneteenth AND reparations. It’s Juneteenth AND end police violence + the War on Drugs."

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She added: "It’s Juneteenth AND end housing + education apartheid. It’s Juneteenth AND teach the truth about white supremacy in our country.

"Black liberation in its totality must be prioritized."

After the Senate on Tuesday passed the bill Democrat Bush, a member of the progressive "Squad" alongside Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, added: "Great. Let’s get it done and do reparations next."

The subject of paying reparations to black Americans for the lasting effects of slavery has been long been debated.

The House on Wednesday voted to pass a bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday, a day after the Senate unanimously voted to do the same.

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, which is already celebrated as a state or ceremonial holiday in 47 states and Washington D.C.

The vote now moves the piece of legislation to President Joe Biden's desk, who is expected to sign the bill into law on Thursday.

The Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) Black Caucus launched a petition earlier this month to rally support for its "Yes on Fairness" initiative.

If successful, the initiative would establish a committee to oversee the creation and development of a "Reparations Fund" that would distribute funds “to address historical discrimination against the Black community in Detroit.”

MDP Black Caucus Chair Keith Williams told the Michigan Advance that securing an affirmative vote in Detroit could propel a statewide discussion on the issue.

“Reparations are long overdue,” Williams said. “This is about respect. Money is one thing, but self-respect is another. We’re not looking for a handout, but a way up.

"Inequities for people of color have always had a crippling effect socially and economically, impacting us now and in generations to come.”


With a vote of 415 to 14, the House on Wednesday voted to make Juneteenth the 11th federal holiday, after it was unanimously passed in the Senate on Tuesday night.

Texas Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, who sponsored the bill, said it's "been a long journey" but "we're here."

"Juneteenth equals freedom and freedom is what America is about!" she tweeted.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the vote "an exciting historic day" ahead of the vote.

Although the bill had plenty of support in both chambers of Congress, some of the "no" votes were rather vocal.

"An ace [is] an ace," said Republican Montana Representative Matt Rosendale.

"This is an effort by the Left to create a day out of whole cloth to celebrate identity politics as part of its larger efforts to make Critical Race Theory the reigning ideology of our country."

In April, the US House Judiciary Committee (HJC) did approve a bill that would set up a program to study how, and whether, reparations to Black citizens could be made to atone for the nation's slave trade.

One of the supporters of the bill was Detroit-based House Democrat and squad member Rashida Tlaib.

“It is past time for reparations for African Americans in the United States,” she said in a statement at the time. "Slavery and the Jim Crow Era are dark, ugly chapters in this country’s history that continue to pervade every aspect of life today.

"We will not be able to fully root out hate, bigotry, and discrimination toward African Americans and undo economic, political, and social inequities until and unless we begin atoning for the sins of this country.”

In February, the White House indicated that President Joe Biden would support studying reparations for slavery – but stopped short of confirming whether he would sign the HJC's bill.

Elsewhere, earlier this month, officials in Asheville, North Carolina, approved a budget agreement that sets aside $2.1 million to fund reparations.

The Asheville resolution served as inspiration for Tulsa City Counselor Mykey Arthell in his project to impose reparations to address the Tulsa race massacre on "Black Wall Street" a century ago.

Arthell contacted the Councilman behind Asheville's reparations bill, Keith Young, and four months later, the City of Tulsa passed its own reparations act.

The bill came amidst demands that the city pay $1million each from lawyers for the descendants and survivors of the around 300 black people who lost their lives during the massacre.

The Tulsa race massacre occurred on May 31, 1921, when a white mob stormed the predominantly black neighborhood of Greenwood in Tulsa, dubbed "Black Wall Street" for its financial prosperity, and left at least 36 dead and thousands of homes burned.

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