A majority of Virginians oppose creating a commission to study the feasibility of reparations, according to a poll released Friday.
A Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) poll found that 46 percent of Virginians strongly oppose Congress creating a commission to study how reparations could improve the alleged “lingering effects of slavery.” The survey found 13 percent also somewhat oppose creating a commission to study reparations, 20 percent strongly favor such a move, and 13 percent slightly support a commission to study reparation.
A majority of Virginians across the northwestern part of Virginia, the western part of Virginia, south-central region of Virginia, and 43 percent of the tidewater area of Virginia oppose creating a commission to study reparations.
The VCU poll on reparations follows Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) saying during the 2020 Democrat debate Thursday the country needs to adopt Rep. Sheila Jackson’s (D-TX) bill on reparations. Rep. Lee’s bill would create a commission to study and develop a proposal for reparations descendants of slaves.
“America was founded on principles of liberty and built on the backs of enslaved people. [It’s] time to adopt H.R. 40, Sheila Jackson Lee’s reparations plan. [It’s] time to do what’s right, so that our nation can begin to heal,” Warren said.
Warren’s support for reparations could harm her polling in Virginia, given that she and President Donald Trump are in a virtual tie, according to the VCU survey.
During the same debate Thursday, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg expressed support for giving illegal immigrants reparations; however, he did not make an explicit promise to give restitution for descendants of slaves.
Buttigieg said illegal immigrants separated at the U.S. southern border would be given “financial compensation” and would have a “fast track to U.S. citizenship.
The Indiana mayor also said he supports federal legislation to create a commission to study the feasibility of reparations.
“We have a moral obligation to make right what was broke,” Buttigieg said, proceeding to claim his tenure as mayor had thought him about the necessity of reforming the country’s immigration system.
He outlined during the debate:
We’re talking about mending what was broke. We’re talking about the generational theft of the wealth of generations of African Americans and just crossing out a racist policy and replacing it with a neutral one is not enough to deliver a fallen harms compound just like $1 saved in its value compounds over time.
The VCU survey polled 818 Virginia adults between December 2 and 13 and has an estimated margin of error of 5.13 percent.