Sending Office: Honorable Barbara Lee
Sent By:
Liz.Lee@mail.house.gov

March 21, 2018

Support Efforts for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Race and Slavery

Dear Colleague:

As next year marks the 400th anniversary of when the first African slaves arrived in the United States, I believe it is incumbent upon our nation to conduct a serious self-reflection. We must have a collective awareness of the full range of experiences
of people of color in America. That is why I plan on introducing legislation to establish a commission on race and slavery in America, similar to what some communities have successfully done on a local level.

During our nation’s recent conversations on the history of slavery and the confederacy, it became clear that there was a great need for a common understanding of our shared history.

Moreover, since the election of Donald J. Trump, the number of hate groups in America has increased by 4 percent, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s most recent

report
. Among white supremacist groups, neo-Nazi groups saw the greatest growth from 99 groups to 121. Anti-Muslim groups rose for a third straight year, increasing from 101 chapters to 114 in 2017.

Alarmingly, these groups have recently become more violent. In the past 4 years, 43 people have been killed and 67 wounded by young men associated with the alt-right moment. Forty percent of these deaths came in 2017.

As such, it is past time that our nation creates a commission on race and slavery. This commission would be a nonpartisan, public, restorative justice process which would establish a common understanding of our history, and identify policy reforms that would
address the legacies of our past.

If you are interested in joining me in this effort, please contact Liz Lee on my staff at
Liz.Lee@mail.house.gov or 5-2661. I look forward to working with other Members interested in collaborating with me on this very important issue as we work to heal race relations in America.

 

Sincerely,

/s/

Barbara Lee
Member of Congress

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