A House committee on Wednesday held a historic hearing on a bill to study America’s long-lasting stain on itself: slavery. The hearing was held on Juneteenth, the day in Texas (June 19, 1865) when slaves were freed.
No one told 250,000 slaves in the Lone Star State that they had been freed two years earlier by Abraham Lincoln’s august Emancipation Proclamation.
“Slavery has never received an apology,” said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Houston, who spearheaded the bill, H.R.40. Her proposal calls for the consideration national apology from the U.S. government and reparations to the African-American community.
President Barack Obama, musician John Legend, and AOC took to Twitter on Wednesday to mark Juneteenth.
Meanwhile, Rep. Louie Gomert blamed the Democrats.
“It is important that we know our history, and we not punish people today for the sins of their predecessors in the Democratic Party,” the Republican from Tyler said.
Gomert has defended white nationalist Rep. Steve King.