The Senate Banking Committee will host a progressive activist who has pushed a series of radical policies including giving African-Americans cash and land payments in reparation for slavery.
Darrick Hamilton, the director of the New School’s Institute on Race and Political Economy, tweeted in July slavery reparations should be payments that “come in the forms of cash, land and means of production transfers.” Hamilton is set to testify Thursday before the Senate Banking Committee, which is chaired by Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, during a hearing on how the U.S. financial system exacerbates racial wealth disparities.
“Wealth disparity probably is the most cumulative indicator of our intergenerational racist society,” Hamilton told The New York Times in August.
The hearing Thursday will focus on the growing disparity between white and black wealth, according to an internal committee memo reviewed by the Daily Caller News Foundation. The memo suggested the U.S. financial system is systemically flawed.
Hamilton has called for a government program, in which individuals born into poverty would receive “baby bonds,” the NYT reported. Individuals who qualify would be awarded a government-funded trust account worth $1,000 at birth and could reap the benefits of compound interest growth.
“I do describe baby bonds as anti-racist,” he said, according to the NYT.
“Baby bonds” would disproportionately benefit black people, Hamilton tweeted in 2019. He noted that the bonds program would be separate from his proposed reparations payment.
In addition to slavery reparations and “baby bonds,” Hamilton has endorsed a federal jobs guarantee program, which would provide a federal job and benefits to all Americans. He has also pushed for increased Historically Black College and University (HBCU) funding.
“A job guarantee is a powerful solution that would not only address urgent needs but also bend our economy toward racial and economic justice,” he wrote in a May editorial published by the NYT.
White House adviser Cedric Richmond said President Joe Biden will pursue free HBCU tuition as a form of slavery reparations during an interview with Axios Sunday. Richmond added that the administration wouldn’t wait for the House to approve a commission to study the merits of reparations before acting.
Abbye Atkinson, an assistant law professor at University of California Berkeley Law School, and Glenn Loury, the Merton P. Stoltz professor of social sciences at Brown University, will also testify during the hearing.