Rep. John Conyers wants an official study on whether the federal government should pay black Americans reparations for slavery. The Michigan Democrat introduced the measure on the first day of the 113th Congress.
Conyers has been pushing a study of slavery reparations since 1989. His latest proposal aims to "acknowledge the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery in the United States and the 13 American colonies between 1619 and 1865 and to establish a commission to examine the institution of slavery, subsequently de jure and de facto racial and economic discrimination against African-Americans, and the impact of these forces on living African-Americans, to make recommendations to the Congress on appropriate remedies, and for other purposes."
The issue has received renewed interest with the release of "Django Unchained," Quentin Tarantino's slave revenge fantasy. Set in the Deep South two years before the Civil War, the film follows a freed slave who treks across America with a bounty hunter on a mission to rescue his wife from a remarkably cruel and sadistic plantation owner.
Samuel L. Jackson plays an "Uncle Tom" character he describes in a Movieline interview as "the most reprehensible negro in cinema history." Jackson says it's reasonable to study the issue.
"When the subject of reparations is raised, everybody goes: 'Well, I didn't have slaves. Those were my ancestors. Get over it.' Well you didn't ask those other mother-----s to get over it. Why do we got to get over it?'"
Politix reporting and via Movieline.