‘We Don’t Have to Wait on a Study’: President Advisor Cedric Richmond Says Administration Is ‘Going to Start Acting Now’ on Reparations
A White House senior adviser recently said it’s possible for President Joe Biden to start taking steps toward setting things right for slavery, discriminatory practices and dismantling systemic racism during a interview. Cedric Richmond told Axios that he’s confident reparations bill H.R. 40 will pass, there is no need to “wait on a study” and the plan towards breaking race-based barriers can start while Congress studies reparations.
“We don’t have to wait on a study. We’re going to start acting now,” Richmond said. “We have to start breaking down systematic racism and barriers that have held people of color back, and especially African Americans. We have to do stuff now.”
Richmond, served as a House member from Louisiana for more than a decade, and is one of the highest-ranking Black officials in the Biden administration. Along with being one his closest advisors. Richmond says its not possible to determine an exact time for a reparations commission, however, “if you start talking about free college tuition to [historically Black colleges and universities] and you start talking about free community college in Title I and all of those things, I think that you are well on your way.”
Last month White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden supports the concept of studying the issue.
“He certainly would support a study of reparations,” Psaki said at the White House briefing. “He understands we don’t need a study to take action right now on systemic racism, so he wants to take actions within his own government in the meantime.”
Richmond says Biden feels urgency to start making progress on race relations and pointed to the president’s January executive actions to “advance racial equity and take first steps to root out systemic racism in housing and criminal justice.”