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Witness at Slavery Reparations Hearing Calls Republicans ‘The Devil’

Author, economist, and political commentator Julianne Malveaux responded to attacks on Democrats at a congressional hearing on slavery reparations by noting that Democrats were “the devil once upon a time,” but that “Republicans took that over, and they became the devil.”

The House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties held a hearing Wednesday entitled “H.R. 40 and the Path to Restorative Justice,” at which witnesses testified about reparations for slavery. HR 40 is a bill which proposes a commission to study reparations.

Earlier, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) used part of his time to trash the Democratic Party of 50 to 150 years ago, outlining the party’s past alignment with racist causes. The theme came up elsewhere in the hearing, and eventually, Malveaux addressed the critique head-on.

“People want to talk ugly about Democrats, people change their ideology,” Malveaux said. “So the Democrats were the devil once upon a time, there were these groups called the red shirts, which were the Klan, they were Democrats.”

“However, the Republicans took that over, they became the devil,” Malveaux continued, adding “I’m just saying. Forgive me, brother Chairman, I know you said I’m not supposed to say that. Forgive me.”

“But in any case, people do change ideologies, so all this throwing at Democrats, Democrats and Republicans have been racist,” Malveaux said, then recounted some of the shameful history of Democrats in North Carolina oppressing black people in 1898.

“In Wilmington North Carolina, Republicans and black people came together to form a fusion government, and white folks were so frightened that they took all the prominent black men in that town, arrested them, the next morning gave them tickets to leave town,” Malveaux said. “They had to leave their property, their livelihood, their families, everything. This is why we need reparations.”

“Democrats, yes, Democrats were so threatened by the notion of this fusion government that they basically burned people out,” she said.

“It was really about economic envy, so absent this economic envy and fear, black folks, we didn’t get the 40 acres and a mule, but we were still trying to do it, and then folks came in and said Wait a minute, if we let them do their thing, where is our cheap labor going to come from?” Malveaux concluded.

Watch the clip above, via C-Span.

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