SAN JOSE — An online discussion on “Why JAs Should Support HR 40 and Reparations for Slavery” will be presented by San Jose Nikkei Resisters and JAMPilgrimages on Saturday, Aug. 15, from 3 to 4 p.m. Pacific Time.

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Although HR 40 – The Commission to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals for African Americans Act – has been re-introduced in Congress every year since the late Rep. John Conyers initiated it in 1989, it’s only recently that it has achieved nationwide attention.

With the publication of TaNehisi Coates’ “The Case for Reparations” in The Atlantic and the endorsement of HR 40 by a number of Democratic Party presidential candidates in 2019, reparations for slavery and its aftermath are now in the public mind.

Discussions of redress/reparations frequently cite the 1988 Civil Liberties Act of 1988, the legislation that contained an acknowledgement, apology, and token compensation for the forced removal and indefinite detention of Japanese Americans during World War II. This is not unexpected: the fight for Japanese American redress was a part of the larger struggle against white supremacy and unequal justice that has been the institutional basis of this country since its founding.

This panel will explore the historical context for HR 40 as well as some discussion of why Japanese Americans should contribute our support.

Richard G. Konda serves as the executive director of the Asian Law Alliance, where he was a founding member. He was an active participant in the movement to obtain redress for Japanese Americans incarcerated by the U.S. government during World War II.

Susan Hayase is co-founder of San Jose Nikkei Resisters and long-time NCRR redress activist in San Jose. She is also the former vice chair of the Civil Liberties Public Education Fund, which was created by the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.

Steve Phillips (@StevePtweets), host of the podcast “Democracy in Color With Steve Phillips” and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, is the author of New York Times bestseller “Brown Is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority.”

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