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Slavery Reparations Draws 2020 Democrats as Race Rises as Issue

  • Candidates endorse study, but emphasize broader economic plans
  • Trump statements on immigrants, minorities adds fuel to debate
Slaves in South Carolina during the American Civil War. 

Photographer: Photo 12/Universal Images Group Editorial via Getty Images

Democrats in Congress and running for the White House are taking a fresh look at reparations for the descendants of slaves, as the party wrestles with addressing inequality and confronting racial tension and violence they say are being stoked by President Donald Trump.

Texas Representative Sheila Jackson Lee has given new life to an idea first raised in the aftermath of the Civil War and periodically revived since then. It’s pushed into the Democratic presidential contest as a marker for candidates seeking to show their commitment to addressing issues of race and the economic disparity between whites and blacks.