CHICAGO (CBS) — Senator Mark Kirk ruffled a lot of feathers with his recent plan to round up 18,000 gang members but a group of South Side pastors say they have a way for him to redeem himself: Help pass legislation to give African Americans reparation.

Rev. Anthony Williams of Freedom Community Church in Englewood says it’s something that’s long overdue.

“Jews got their reparations from the Holocaust, Japanese got their reparations from the internment. It is time for us to get our reparations,” said. Rev. Williams.

Rev. Joel Washington says they also want Kirk to fight to keep mental health facilities on the South Side open, make sure federal money gets in the right hands and hold congressional hearings on violence and to do something about the flow of guns.

“We get arms from outside the community. We don’t manufacture arms, we don’t manufacture the weapons,” said Rev. Washington.

The pastors urge Kirk and Congressman Bobby Rush to push for HR 40, a bill that would set up a study on making financial reparations to descendants of American slaves.

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