FILE- In this Jan. 16, 2019, file photo Julian Castro, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, speaks to the media at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. Castro isn’t ruling out direct payments to African-Americans for the legacy of slavery, a stand separating him from his 2020 rivals. The former housing secretary says, “If under the Constitution we compensate people because we take their property, why wouldn’t you compensate people who actually were property.’’ (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm, File)

Presidential hopeful Castro isn't ruling out reparations

March 10, 2019 - 11:20 am

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro isn't ruling out direct payments to African-Americans for the legacy of slavery — a stand separating him from his 2020 rivals.

"If under the Constitution we compensate people because we take their property, why wouldn't you compensate people who actually were property," the former Obama-era housing secretary and ex-San Antonio mayor said on Sunday.

Other candidates are discussing tax credits and other subsidies, rather than direct payments for the labor and legal oppression of slaves and their descendants. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders would put resources such as "Medicare for All" and tuition-free college into distressed communities.

Castro tells CNN's "State of the Union" he doesn't think that's the proper argument for reparations if "a big check needs to be written for a whole bunch of other stuff."

Later Sunday, Castro was joining Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper at the South by Southwest Festival for appearances before their party's ascendant young and liberal wing. The festival has grown from obscure roots into a weeklong juggernaut of tech, politics and entertainment.

Inslee told CNN that while in office, "I have been very, very committed to making this a more just and open and tolerant society. And that's one of the reasons Washington is so successful."

Sanders was in New Hampshire, while Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts was in Dallas, Kamala Harris of California was in Miami and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota was in Tampa.

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