California Takes Step Toward Reparations For Black Residents

The Center Square contributor

Regional Editor

(The Center Square) – California officials have begun a process that could result in what they say would be the largest reparations program the country’s ever seen.

A nine-person task force convened Tuesday to explore the feasibility of state-sponsored reparations for Black Californians. 

Attorney General Rob Bonta, Secretary of State Shirley Weber and members of the task force stressed the group’s “important” work they hope will result in sustainable reparations for Black Californians.

“California has the ability and power to do it,” Weber said. 

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 3121 into law last September. Bonta and Weber, both former Assembly members, sponsored the legislation. It requires a nine-person task force to explore the “economic benefits of slavery that accrued to owners and the businesses, including insurance companies and their subsidiaries, that received those benefits, and to make recommendations to the Legislature,” by June 21, 2022.

Bonta’s office formed the Bureau of Racial Justice, a new branch under the Civil Rights Enforcement Section of his office, last month. He said Tuesday the bureau would assist the nine-member task force in their challenge to present state officials with a solution. 

“Slavery is America’s original sin, a stain our history, and a continued open wound,” Bonta said.

As to what reparations could come in the form of, task force member Sen. Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, clarified the question that many would later ask about in the public comment section.

“Just as President Roosevelt came up with the G.I. Bill to reward men and women who fought for this country back in World War II, reparations can surely look like that,” he said. “Providing free education for descendants of slaves at our Cal State and UC system, providing first-time homebuyers assistance, providing child care and medical care. Those are things that are very easy examples of what this reparation program can look like without bankrupting the state.”

There are more than 2 million Black California residents.

Comments from the public expressed confusion about why the members weren’t all African Descendants of Slaves, referred to as ADOS, and called for repeating cash payments similar to what interned Japanese or German Holocaust victims received.

The thought of reparations for Black Americans has been demonstrated in other local jurisdictions. In affluent Evanston, Illinois, the city granted 16 Black residents $25,000 in housing grants last March. While the move garnered national attention, it was criticized as “not enough” to be considered a true reparation for the generational enslavement of Africans in American history. 

Cole Lauterbach is a regional editor for The Center Square covering Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington. For more than a decade, Cole has produced award-winning content on both radio and television.

 

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Michael A...
Michael A...
11 days ago

Problems within the American Black community should have been solved in 2 generations since 1965. The fact that these issues are still being pimped is due to ‘a plan’ or plain old stupidity. Or both.

William Hicks
William Hicks
12 days ago

When will there be reparations for the victims of the race/gender based affirmative action? I want to be first in line when I was discriminated for my gender and skin color.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
16 days ago

Tommy said, “Slavery was never legal and never practiced in the US State of California. It seems rather bizarre for the current California government to consider reparations for something that the US State of California was never complicit in.”

What’s bizarre, is woke ingrates deny that America’s erasure of chattel slavery in the developed world is what must be remembered — not that America had slaves. Before 1865, chattel slavery was a universal evil.

And ‘reparations‘ today are actually racist, socialist demands in disguise. There is no injustice to repair anymore; just successful capitalists to smear, demonize and disenfranchise under false, morally inverted pretenses.

If you need proof, just ask any pro-reparations activist for his or her opinion on black conservatives — and whether they too deserve the money.

Tommy
Tommy
16 days ago

Slavery was never legal and never practiced in the US State of California. It seems rather bizarre for the current California government to consider reparations for something that the US State of California was never complicit in.

Jesse
Jesse
16 days ago
Reply to  Tommy

You know, I actually have to agree with you on this one.

Tommy
Tommy
16 days ago
Reply to  Jesse

Thank you for considering my statement, Jesse! I think the situation is further complicated when you consider the huge number of people (white, black, asian, latino, other) who have no ancestors who practiced slavery and/or whose ancestors arrived in the US after the abolition of slavery. And some of them to states that were not even states until after the Civil War.

Tommy
Tommy
16 days ago

The United States banned slavery over 150 years ago. Meanwhile, many freed slaves and their descendants have moved on and moved up. Oprah Winfrey, Ben Carson, Booker T Washington are the first names that come to mind. Oprah has a net worth well over $2 Billion, with a B. How much reparation money should come to her?

William Hicks
William Hicks
12 days ago
Reply to  Tommy

All this attention on past evils while we do business with the CCP that currently uses slave labor for many of the products we buy from them. Do you see the inconsistency here?

William Hicks
William Hicks
12 days ago
Reply to  Tommy

As a taxpayer, how much reparations should Oprah pay?