Julian Castro defends reparations for African-Americans and calls out Bernie Sanders

SAN ANTONIO, TX – JANUARY 12: Julian Castro, former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary and San Antonio Mayor, announces his candidacy for president in 2020, at Plaza Guadalupe on January 12, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. If successful, Castro would be the first Hispanic candidate to win the White House. (Photo by Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Julian Castro

Democratic Presidential candidate Julián Castro is calling out Sen. Bernie Sanders over the question of reparations, a topic which has increasingly become a point of debate as Election 2020 approaches.

Castro, the former Secretary of HUD (Housing and Urban Development) under President Barack Obama, and the former Mayor of San Antonio, TX, has stated that he is in favor of the monetary restitution for the plight and suffering African-Americans have faced in the United States.

Sanders, however, does not support reparations and addressed the issue on a recent appearance of The View.

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“What [Sanders] said on ‘The View,’ I think, the other day was that he didn’t think the best way to address this was for the United States to write a check,” said Castro during an appearance in CNN town hall with host, Jake Tapper this Sunday.

“If the issue is compensating the descendants of slaves, I don’t think that the argument about writing a big check ought to be the argument that you make, if you’re making an argument that a big check needs to be written for a whole bunch of other stuff,” Castro further explained.

Castro addressed the fact that Sanders has endorsed Medicare for All and universal free tuition, both programs which require significant funding.

In an interview with theGrio over the weekend, Castro elaborated further on the question of reparations, and where exactly he would start to execute a plan of compensation.

“I believe that it needs to address the descendants of slaves,” says Castro. “So, I see this as a direct initiative. I see it as a way to help heal the country going forward. And the question becomes, ‘OK, well how do you do that? How do you operationalize it? How do you implement it?'”

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Castro is in favor of forming a commission to study reparations and possible ways to disperse payments as well as issue a formal apology from the United States government for slavery.

I would like to see a group of people who understand this issue who have the confidence of different communities across the United States to come together to get public input and then to help us implement take action on reparations,” said Castro to theGrio.

“The action is important, but so is the process,” he continues. “So, that at the end of it there is an actual healing that happens. I do think that if you do it and you do it the wrong way, in some ways it could make it worse if it never gets done.”

Check back for more on theGrio‘s exclusive interview with Sec. Julián Castro.