Jewish and Japanese American groups among growing multiracial efforts calling for reparations for black Americans
Black leaders of the civil rights movement were among the biggest supporters of the effort, she says. Masaoka said the winning reparations gave the Japanese-American community strength, a chance to stand up and a sense of responsibility. Now she wants the black community to have the same.
“I think we’ve always felt very connected to other communities of color and have seen similarities in our own situations,” Masaoka, Nikkei co-chair for civil rights and redress, told CNN. “We can fight for this and if we unite and build solidarity we can change this country and we can all heal,” she said.
Restorative efforts are also seen in states, cities, municipalities, and historic institutions, as they have begun to explore new ways to address past transgressions.
These ongoing conversations at various levels have been led by black people supporting the quest for reparations, but other communities are now joining in their support.
Rep. Lee, who reintroduced HR 40 last year, told CNN that the fact that other communities have received reparations at the federal level shows Congress can do the same for black people.
Early last year, the bill was introduced by the House Judiciary Committee in a 25-17 vote and now faces a full House vote. Rep. Lee is hopeful and says more than 200 of her colleagues are ready to vote to pass the bill. But she is also aware that the bill is being defeated in the Senate vote and urges her colleagues to understand that enslaved black people created the economic engine from which the nation was built.
Support for reparations from people outside the black community is a sign that the American Jewish and Japanese communities are on the side of justice, says Kamm Howard.
Howard, who is the national male co-chair of the National Black Coalition for Reparations in America, says that if the federal government is trying to address the harm inflicted on other communities, it’s only fair that lawmakers find a way to grant reparations to black Americans.
“There has been no attempt by the US government to specifically address the harm and the continuing harm being done to us,” Howard told CNN.
A Jewish Moral Appeal
Yolanda Savage-Narva is the Director of Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, the part of the Union for Reform Judaism that focuses on advocacy and advocacy work. social justice.
“Our organization really understood that the call to study reparations was a Jewish moral call,” she told CNN. “It is imperative to ensure that every part of our humanity is seen as fair human beings and the call for reparations was a gesture for Reform Jewry to really put a stake in the ground.”
Savage-Narva said she thinks it adds support and shows the United States that acknowledging and paying reparations is an important step in the healing process.
“The German government has really done what it has to do in terms of truth and reconciliation, and is committed, as far as possible, to making an effort to undo the harm that has been done,” he said. she declared. “Because the Jewish community has had their own historical trauma, they can make that connection and understand how important the process of reparation is.”
Why Japanese Americans Received Reparations
The Japanese-American community was one of the first communities to receive reparations from the US government and has supported the reparations movement for decades.
Japanese Americans who were interned in concentration camps in the United States during World War II from around 1942 to 1946 received reparations under the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. More than four decades later their imprisonment, the law awarded each surviving former internee $20,000.
“One of the reasons we understand the importance of reparations is to look at remedies and reparations for Japanese Americans,” Kato-Kiriyama told CNN. “It took the support of all kinds of people to come together, and we couldn’t have done it alone.”
David Inoue, executive director of the Japanese American Citizens League, said supporting the movement to pass HR 40 is the right thing to do and will lead to a better understanding and response to “current injustices rooted in the system”.
Inoue told CNN he thinks Congress is in a much different situation since Japanese Americans received reparations.
“The more of us who talk, the harder it will be to ignore us and our country’s responsibility to address and respond to this historic injustice,” Inoue said.
“We need federal reparations”
“All of these efforts, no matter where they take place, are important and good to keep moving forward,” Kato-Kiriyama told CNN. “It also reminds us that we don’t have to wait for a huge federal bill, although we do need federal reparations.”
At the national level, the movement for reparations is expected to take time.
Experts say that if the bill makes it through the House, it faces opposition from some Democrats and most Republicans – and is unlikely to have enough votes for a majority on trial filibuster in the Senate.
“We’re knocking on the door for HR 40 to be enacted either by statute or more likely by executive order,” he said. “This is a major moment in American history.”
Howard said the bill would look at those ongoing injuries, among other things, to define the degree of harm the black community has suffered and continues to suffer.
“There is a rise in racism today against African Americans and the pressure needs to be: why have Americans not been able to find a way to ease racial tensions?” Rep. Lee told CNN. “Every time we move on, something brings us back to issues of race. This bill provides an opportunity to bring people together through understanding.”