Democratic Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley came clean on the House floor and stunned onlookers with a call for America to “pay us what you owe us.”
She never said the word reparations but it seems like that is where she is going. Look, this is a difficult time and we must not make decisions in haste as they tend to foster even more unfairness. (See the crime bill.)
Pressley said: “Madam Speaker, I rise today on behalf of every Black family that has been robbed of a child.
On behalf of every family member that has been forced to see their loved one lynched on national television.
Driving while Black. Jogging while Black. Sleeping while Black.
We have been criminalized for the very way we show up in the world.
Under the harsh gaze of far too many, my Black body is seen as a threat, always considered armed.
Centuries of institutionalized oppression will not be undone overnight, for racism in America is as structural as the marble pillars of this very institution.
With the power of the pen we must legislate accountability, dismantle these systems, and move in the direction of justice and healing.
The Justice in Policing Act is a critical step forward and I applaud the leadership of the Congressional Black Caucus.
But our work is unfinished.
There is a rallying cry in communities across the nation.
Black Lives Matter is a mandate from the people.
It’s time. Pay us what you owe us. Our Black skin is not a crime, it is the beautiful robe of nation builders.
Thank you, I yield.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley: "Black Lives Matter is a mandate from the people. It's time — pay us what you owe us. Our Black skin is not a crime. It is the beautiful robe of nation-builders." pic.twitter.com/48avufRaif— The Hill (@thehill) June 26, 2020