Beto O’Rourke wants reparations for slave decedents, addresses other Lowcountry issues

Updated: Jun. 15, 2019 at 11:20 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke was the only candidate from Saturday’s Black Economic Alliance forum to sit down for an interview to address some of the Lowcountry’s most hot button issues.

He addressed environmental concerns about offshore drilling and federal disaster relief funding.

“Our plan calls for investing in those communities on the front lines of climate change today making sure they have the infrastructure through pre-disaster mitigation grants so we don’t have to wait on the next disaster to get funding to those communities affected,” O’Rourke said. “We need to make sure off shore drilling is forever banned because if we are going to meet the challenge of climate change if we going to protect these beaches that are extraordinarily beautiful here in this state a true asset and a draw for tourists the world over then we going to have to take this important and necessary step.”

Almost four years after the Mother Emanuel AME Church shooting, O’Rourke spoke about the continuing fight against gun violence in the United States.

“As president, I will make sure that I sign into law universal background checks, that we stop selling weapons of war into our communities where they end up in our churches, our synagogues, in our concerts and in our public life, and that we employ red flag law nationally,” O’Rourke said.

O’Rourke acknowledged the role slavery played in shaping our nation, and talked about the first steps he wants to take to repair the divide between white and black Americans.

“If we are going to get at the structural, foundational problem, then we need to tell the full American story and that story begins with those kidnapped in West Africa,” O’Rourke said. “As president, I would sign into law HB 40 which was introduced by Sheila Jackson Lee, which ensures we have a reparations commission. That the full story of this country is told to everyone in this country. It is only then that I think you can begin the work of repair.”

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