De Blasio Offers South Africa-style ‘Truth and Reconciliation Commission’ for NYC

Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Odd Anderson POOL / Associated Press)
Odd Anderson POOL / Associated Press

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday that New York City would establish a city commission for “Racial Justice and Reconciliation — just like the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa.”

The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was established after the end of apartheid in 1994 to investigate human rights abuses by both sides in the decades-long conflict between the white minority government and the liberation movement.

The TRC offered potential amnesty for past human rights abuses to people who were willing to come forward and testify about what they had done, or witnessed. Many people did so, exposing the horrors of years of torture by state security police, or brutal murders ordered by anti-apartheid organizations against rival political groups and suspected informers.

Some in the new African National Congress (ANC) government rejected the idea that human rights abuses committed by the liberation movement could be judged by the same moral standard as those committed by their oppressors. But the TRC, led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, rejected the idea that there was a separate standard for human rights abuses based on what side of the struggle committed them.

It is not clear what mass killings or political executions were carried out by New York City’s Democrat-run government, nor what the testimony of the “other side” might be.

De Blasio has been accused of discrimination in his treatment of the Jewish community and other religious communities.  Last week, he defended welding shut the gates of public parks in Jewish neighborhoods while participating personally — and violating “social distancing” rules — in Black Lives Matter and transgender protests.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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