The Bishop of Maryland, the Rt. Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, urged Congress Wednesday to create a commission that would consider making reparations for America’s history of slavery, and also study how such reparations might be implemented.

“This debate needs to happen. And we need to entertain proposals for how we redress the evils of our past,” Sutton said.

He told a House Judiciary subcommittee that the Diocese of Maryland’s convention last month “voted unanimously for the affirmation of reparations,” recognizing that much of the diocese’s resources were built by “uncompensated labor from enslaved persons.” Sutton, who is black, stated that 90% of his diocese is white.

“Reparations means to repair that which is broken. It is not just about monetary compensation,” Sutton said. “When the issue of reparations are fairly and fully explained, Americans want to do the right thing.”

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