New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has signed a new bill which is the first step to considering slavery reparations.
According to Rochester First, the bill will create a commission to get started on its possibility. The commission will be designed to examine what New York reparation payments could look like.
“If this committee can present a viable path forward to helping the descendants of New York slaves and addressing the harms and disparities that exist in education, that exist in healthcare, that exist in the environment, that will lift all of us up,” Hochul said at the New York Historical Society.
“What’s hard to embrace is that our state flourished from that slavery. It’s not a beautiful story, but indeed it is the truth,” she added. “Today, I challenge all New Yorkers to be patriots and rebuke and not excuse our role in benefitting from the institution of slavery.”
Hochul made sure to note that this decision isn’t to “correct the past” but to “bend the arc of justice.”
Reverend Al Sharpton shared a few words for the crowd. He noted that Hochul’s legislation was an attempt to “heal the wounds” of past trauma.
“You cannot heal unless you deal with the wounds, and this bill will put a commission together to be healing the wounds,” Rev. Sharpton said. “Only those that have seen people marginalized for even raising the issue can understand the historic significance of today.”