House Speaker Thom Tillis, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in North Carolina, once released a statement that said federal and state governments had “redistributed” “trillions of dollars over the years” — amounting to “de facto reparations.”
That argument by Tillis, who is running to replace Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), came during an explanation he offered on his website for why he supported a joint resolution expressing the North Carolina general assembly’s regret for slavery. In his explanation for voting for it he tried to rebuff the idea that supporting that resolution would be a “slippery slope to reparations.”
“This resolution acknowledges past mistakes and frees us to move on,” Tillis wrote. “The following summarizes my perspective on concerns raised by some citizens who criticized the decision to support the resolution.”
Tillis then went on to accuse a “subset of the democrat majority” that’s kept pushing reparations. He warned that that subset would continue to do so as long as they are in the majority. Republicans took control of the General Assembly, for the first time in a century, in 2010.
“This measure does not obligate legislative members to provide reparations. A subset of the democrat [sic] majority has never ceased to propose legislation that is de facto reparations and they will continue to do so as long as they are in the majority,” Tillis said. “Federal and State [sic] governments have redistributed trillions of dollars of wealth over the years by funding programs that are at least in part driven by their belief that we should provide additional reparations.”
“I believe there are several conservative democrats who are prepared join Republican in OPPOSITION to measures that propose new entitlements and reparations,” Tillis added. “However, a vote against the resolution would most likely eliminate any chance that we would get support from more conservative members of the democrat party members to oppose such measures.”
The Tillis campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
The post still appears on his website (archived here). The resolution his statement was about was first introduced in April 2007. The url for the post includes the date 2007-05-07 so it seems Tillis posted the statement on May 5, 2007.
A month ago Mother Jones reported, in response to the urging of a nonpartisan commission that the state legislature pass a resolution officially apologizing for a massacre in the state by white supremacists that left 25 black residents dead and sparked a week of rioting, Tillis moved to block the measure.
Instead, Tillis wanted to mass an amendment that praised the white Republican legislators that criticized the violence. But that amendment failed and in the end Tillis ended up opposing the final version of it, according to Mother Jones.