Policy

Dem Rep Calls for ‘Secretary of Reconciliation’ to Eliminate Racism

Rep. Al Green (D., Texas) said Tuesday that a new cabinet-level position should be created to "eliminate racism and discrimination in all its forms."

"We ought to have a secretary of reconciliation who reports directly to the president of the United States, whose job it will be to eliminate racism and discrimination in all of its forms," Green told MSNBC's Craig Melvin.

Green said George Floyd, whose death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers sparked protests and unrest nationwide, should be honored "at the national level" with a federal effort to achieve racial reconciliation.

In addition to proposing the creation of a "secretary of reconciliation," Green indicated his support for a police reform bill supported by party leaders that would overhaul police practices without defunding departments. Calls to "defund the police" have grown in some circles of the Democratic Party.

Green said that despite moving past slavery and segregation, the nation still requires reconciliation.

"I cannot change a person's heart," he said. "We can legislate behavior. If you hurt someone because of your racist behavior, your racist thoughts, you can be punished. The problem we have is we're not seeing the level of punishment that the crimes deserve."

A cabinet-level position would report to the president alongside the heads of other executive departments.

Throughout President Trump's administration, Green repeatedly led efforts to try to impeach the president. Green introduced the first resolution to impeach President Trump in 2017, two years before Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) moved forward with impeachment over Trump's phone conversation with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.