Warren backs black American reparations

Elizabeth Warren says she supports the government issuing reparations to black Americans.
Elizabeth Warren says she supports the government issuing reparations to black Americans.

US Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, says she supports the government issuing reparations to black Americans economically affected by slavery.

"We must 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," Warren said in a statement.

She pointed to a bill she has introduced in Congress that would provide help to minorities in making a down payment on a home.

"Black families have had a much steeper hill to climb - and we need systemic, structural changes to address that," she said.

She is competing in a crowded field of Democrats hoping to be their party's pick to challenge Republican President Donald Trump in 2020.

US Senator Kamala Harris also recently said she would support some form of reparations.

Previous Democratic Party leaders have declined to support reparations for African-Americans, including ex-President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Issuing reparations to all living people who are descendants of slaves or who have suffered from the ills of racial discrimination targeted at black people has been estimated to cost trillions of dollars.

Slavery was abolished in most US states in 1863 and completely at the end of the US civil war with the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1865.

Australian Associated Press