Speed Reads

2020 Campaign

2020 presidential hopeful Julian Castro makes a clear moral case for slavery reparations

At a CNN town hall in Washington, D.C., on Thursday night, Democratic 2020 presidential hopeful Julian Castro was asked the best way to implement reparations for slavery, an idea he supports. He started by saying "we have never fully addressed in this country the original sin of slavery," and "because of that, we have never truly healed as a country." Castro continued:

Sometimes people say, you know, they'll ask me: 'Well, nobody today was a slave owner, and nobody today that's living was a slave.' And I say, you know, if somebody is out there that's 25 years old and they say: 'Why are you talking to me? I never owned slaves.' I'd say that, you know, that 25-year-old person never fought in the Pacific, that 25-year-old person never had a hand in writing the Constitution of our great country, that 25-year-old person never marched with the women who were marching for the power to vote, they didn't march at the Edmund Pettus Bridge. ... In other words, even though we weren't there in past generations, we've inherited a lot of moral assets, but you know what? We've also inherited some moral debts, and one of those debts we've never paid is the debt for that original sin of slavery. [Julian Castro]

Castro, a recent Housing and Urban Development secretary and former mayor of San Antonio, didn't endorse any reparations mechanism, saying he supports legislation by fellow Texas Democrat Rep. Shelia Lee Jackson to have a commission craft a reparations plan.

Castro also said the "one idea or piece of advice" we would give President Trump is to "follow the law," reiterated his support for legalizing marijuana, said that as president he would work to expunge all criminal records for marijuana use, and joked to the person who asked about marijuana: "Look, your last name is Stone; I won't assume you're a stoner. My last name is Castro; don't assume I'm a dictator."