A House Democrat recently suggested that Black Americans should be exempt from paying taxes as a form of reparations, but she admitted that the plan may not be a success as many within the community who are poor “aren’t really paying taxes in the first place.”

The comments from Rep. Jasmine Crockett, D-Texas, came during her appearance on an episode of the “Black Lawyers Podcast,” which was released Tuesday.

During the interview with host J. Carter, Crockett recalled a proposal from a celebrity to exempt Black Americans from paying taxes, and said she thought to herself that it was “not necessarily a bad idea.”

Though she could not remember which celebrity offered the proposal, Crockett said, “I’d have to think through it a lot. One of the things they propose is Black folk not have to pay taxes for a certain amount of time because, then again, that puts money back in your pocket.”


“But at the same time, it may not be as objectionable to some people [as] actually giving out dollars,” she added.

Crockett seemingly implied that reparations are much needed for the Black community in order for it to advance.

“So many Black folk, not only do you owe for the labor that was stolen and killed and all the other things, right, but the fact is we end up being so far behind,” she said.

Crockett then admitted that the plan may have a shaky foundation as some people within the community are not “paying taxes in the first place.”

“If you do the no-tax thing, for people that are already, say, struggling and aren’t paying taxes in the first place —” Crockett said, before Carter suggested “it doesn’t matter to them” and that “they may want those checks like they got during COVID” rather than a tax exemption.

“Exactly,” Crockett responded.

Crockett also said during the interview that she believes there should be some sort of consistency between federal and state governments when it comes to reparations for Black people, saying that if there’s not, then “everybody’s gonna run to whichever state and be like, ‘Yo, I need mine.’”


Rep. Jasmine Crockett, D-Texas

“We don’t want to see that — this is definitely something that needs to be thought through,” she said.

Crockett, who has represented Texas’s 30th Congressional District in the House since 2023, also took aim at individuals “that aren’t even willing to do the studies, aren’t willing to invest to make sure we can roll this out the right way.”

Crockett is up for re-election in November and will take on libertarian candidate Ken Ashby in an effort to retain her post in the House.

A handful of Democrat-led states have considered dolling out reparations to certain residents, including California and New York.

In California, cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles have discussed giving reparations to Black residents. In February, California lawmakers introduced a reparations package to the state assembly, including 14 bills they claim will help support Black communities across the state following historical mistreatment.

Members of California’s Legislative Black Caucus said the 14 reparations bills seek a formal apology for slavery and other human rights violations from the governor and legislature, and the return of property taken in race-based cases of eminent domain, among other restitution. The bills are intended to be just the first legislative actions in an effort that will likely span years.

Reparations protest

Last December, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill that established a commission to research the best ways to offer reparations to descendants of slaves in the state.

The New York-based commission, as lauded by one Democratic state senator, is tasked with “examining the legacy of slavery and its lingering negative effects on people currently living in the State of New York, with the goal of issuing a report comprised of recommendations for appropriate action to address these longstanding inequities.”


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