Monday, June 17, 2019

Illinois House Resolution 45, Study Reparations for Slavery, 2017 Illinois House Resolution No. 45, Illinois One Hundredth General Assembly - First Regular Session , Sponsors - House, Rep. La Shawn K. Ford-Litesa E. Wallace-Emanuel Chris Welch and Camille Y. Lilly (Adopted, June 26, 2017) (Introduced January 23, 2017 by House, Rep. La Shawn K. Ford )


SUMMARY: Requests President Trump to commission a study to detail the economic impact of the slave trade and the use of slave labor; and how Emancipation, while freeing them of their literal bonds, and ending an immoral practice, did not guarantee equality in education, employment, housing, and access to quality affordable health care; that this study also include an analysis for how reparations for past harms have benefited the ethnic groups that have received them during the course of American history; and a proposal for reparations to the descendants of slaves in America, and how those reparations can help overcome obstacles that still exist today in education, employment, housing, health care, and justice.

 

HOUSE RESOLUTION 45

WHEREAS, The import, trade, and labor of slaves in America is a sad chapter in the history of a nation founded upon the principles of freedom, equality, and justice; and

WHEREAS, The use of slave labor undoubtedly led to profits for those who used them for manual labor; and

WHEREAS, In addition to labor benefits, the owners of slaves benefited from selling them to the highest bidder, often separating families permanently; and

WHEREAS, The trading, sale, and transportation of slaves, was an industry in itself; and

WHEREAS, During their enslavement, to increase their value and extend their working lives, slaves received consistent health care and treatment for illness and injuries; and

WHEREAS, After Emancipation and well into the century afterwards, African Americans were often denied employment, or paid less than whites for the same work; denied housing or forced to pay more for housing than whites; denied the same educational opportunities as whites; denied their right to vote by the use of literacy tests and poll taxes; and

WHEREAS, After Emancipation, with little education, employment, adequate housing, and health care, the life expectancy of African Americans dropped significantly; and

WHEREAS, Over the course of our nation's history, many groups that have been wronged by the government have received reparations for those wrongs, including Japanese Americans, Mexican Americans, Filipino Americans, and Native Americans; and

WHEREAS, In 2008, the United States House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution apologizing for slavery and acknowledging the "injustice, cruelty, brutality and inhumanity" of slavery; and in 2009 the United States Senate passed a similar resolution of apology; and

WHEREAS, The United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent has recently released a report recommending that reparations be paid to the descendants of African American slaves, and also recommending the establishment of a national human rights commission, and to publicly acknowledge that the trans-Atlantic slave trade was a crime against humanity; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE ONE HUNDREDTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, That we request President Trump to commission a study to detail the economic impact of the slave trade and the use of slave labor; and how Emancipation, while freeing them of their literal bonds, and ending an immoral practice, did not guarantee equality in education, employment, housing, and access to quality affordable health care; and be it further

RESOLVED, That this study also include an analysis for how reparations for past harms have benefited the ethnic groups that have received them during the course of American history; and, that if recommended in the study, a proposal for reparations to the descendants of slaves in America, and how those reparations can help overcome obstacles that still exist today in education, employment, housing, health care, and justice; and be it further

RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be presented to President Trump

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