De Blasio looks to model racial justice agency after South Africa - New York Daily News

A new city commission on racial justice will be “just like” South Africa’s famous Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Mayor de Blasio said Sunday.

“We are naming a city commission, a Racial Justice and Reconciliation — just like the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa,” Hizzoner said. “That got to the whole impact that apartheid had on that society, and then talked about everything and acted on everything that needed to be different. Well, that’s what we are going to do here in New York City.”

The remarks were pretaped and shared at an online service held by Brooklyn-based Brown Memorial Baptist Church.

The mayor said the commission would focus on “the history of racism in this city” and “get at some larger truths about how people can actually get what they deserve like ... affordable housing” — one of the top priorities of his administration, which ends next year.

He and the city’s first lady Chirlane McCray announced the creation of the Racial Justice and Reconciliation Commission last week. She and Deputy Mayor Phil Thompson were already heading a task force charged with ensuring racial equity during the city’s coronavirus response.

South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission was formed in 1994 in the wake of apartheid, and has since inspired similar undertakings around the world.

Contrary to McCray’s Friday assertion that the city’s Racial Justice and Reconciliation Commission marked the “first” municipal or state entity to undertake a “comprehensive truth and reconciliation process,” Mississippi’s governor and the Clinton administration launched a similar effort in 1997.