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Warren, Harris publicly support reparations for blacks impacted by slavery and discrimination
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Warren, Harris publicly support reparations for blacks impacted by slavery and discrimination

Past Democrats have not supported the idea

Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have both publicly supported reparations for black people, a stance that previous Democratic presidential candidates have not taken, according to The New York Times.

Harris expressed her support for reparations during an interview on "The Breakfast Club" radio show, a nationally-syndicated program with a large black audience.

She later told the Times that America has to "be honest that people in this country to not start from the same place or have access to the same opportunities."

"I'm serious about taking an approach that would change policies and structures and make real investments in black communities," Harris said.

Warren called for the U.S. to "confront the dark history of slavery and government-sanctioned discrimination in this country that has had many consequences, including undermining the ability of black families to build wealth in America for generations."

Neither Warren nor Harris have gotten into the details of how such a program would work. Like other Democratic initiatives such as Medicare for All, reparations would likely cost trillions of dollars.

The support for reparations is another example of the leftward shift of the party even in the past few years. Former President Barack Obama did not support reparations, nor did Hillary Clinton or Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2016.

Hot Air's Allahpundit noted that Warren's support of reparations for black Americans might raise questions about whether she supports a similar measure for Native Americans:

"I assume she also supports reparations for Native Americans. If you think her Cherokee DNA test was a backfire, imagine her having to explain to various tribes why the persecution and ethnic cleansing they experienced doesn't quite cut it for compensatory purposes."

With two prominent Democratic candidates coming out in favor of reparations, it's likely that the other Democratic presidential hopefuls will be asked to take a stance on the issue in coming weeks as well, as they seek to gain an edge with black voters.

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