In the Wake of COVID-19, George Floyd’s Murder, Haaland Co-Leads Introduction of Bill to Address Slavery and Racism’s Impact on Laws and Policies

June 1, 2020
Press Release

Albuquerque, N.M. – Today, Congresswoman Deb Haaland co-led the introduction of a bill that will establish a Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) Commission to examine the effects of slavery and racism against people of color, on American history, and its impact on laws and policies we have today. The bill, led by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (Calif.-16) comes in the wake of COVID-19 and the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder.  The bill was announced on a press call with other members of Congress from communities of color. 
 
“The pain our country feels is rooted in generations of institutional racism. People of color are dying unjust deaths at the hands of power abusers. Whether it be the abuse of power that poisons the air and water surrounding communities of color, taking away protections for undocumented young people, underfunding Tribes putting them at disproportionate risk during a pandemic, or police brutality that kills unarmed black people, we must untangle the racist webs that are woven into our laws and policies. The Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Resolution takes a step to fully examine how slavery and racism have impacted laws and policies on the books, so that we can take action,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland.
 
On Friday, Haaland released a video statement on Facebook in solidarity with the black community, and continues her work in Congress to ensure equity and equality for all people no matter their background, economic status, or who they love.
 
The full text of the resolution can be found here.
 
The resolution has support from groups across the country. 
 
“Today, the National Collaborative for Health Equity (NCHE) enthusiastically joins many other organization in applauding the House Resolution urging that a United States Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) be established,” said Dr. Gail Christopher, Executive Director of the National Collaborative for Health Equity. “As cited in the Resolution, a devastating belief in racial hierarchy has fueled conscious and unconscious bias and injustices against populations of color for centuries resulting in structurally-based patterns of discrimination in public policies and in private practices throughout our society.  NCHE believes that a TRHT Commission can help jettison the hierarchy of human value and launch a new era where all human beings are valued and have a capacity to see ourselves in one another.”
 
“Every day offers new examples of the tragic cost racism imposes on our country. I’ve learned, from transitional justice work overseas and my time in office in Virginia, that hate left unchecked only repeats and escalates,” said Former Rep. Tom Perriello, Executive Director of Open Society-U.S. “That cycle is never broken without reckoning with the truth. America is long past due for an official process that acknowledges the pain and injustice of our past and present—the first step in building a more vibrant and inclusive future. The Open Society Foundations appreciates Chairman Lee's leadership and supports this landmark resolution as a crucial first step toward healing and creating a better country worthy of its ideals.”