Activists are calling on state lawmakers to pass a bill that would create a New Jersey Reparations Task Force to address some of the damaging effects slavery has left on the Black community. They say even though New Jersey is one of the wealthiest and most diverse states in the country, there continue to be deep racial disparities in wealth and education that are rooted in slavery. Gov. Phil Murphy has created a Wealth Disparity Task Force to address these issues, but activists say it’s not enough.
“It’s no small thing to introduce a bill for reparations, a bill for a cause that is not popular in the Assembly. That’s why they haven’t passed it. It’s not popular because they’re getting pressure from reactionary forces not to take up the bill or to try to disguise the bill, to deceive people to make [them] think it’s one thing that it’s not… Say the word reformation. Let it be a reparations bill,” said Larry Hamm, chairman of Peoples Organization for Progress.