Reparations expert says San Francisco's apology to Black residents 'doesn’t mean anything' without action


A reparations expert says that San Francisco’s apology to Black residents won’t mean anything if it is not backed with actions.

"Reparations are the redemptive act that makes the rhetoric of an apology meaningful," Reparations scholar Roy Brooks, a law professor at the University of San Diego, told USA Today.

"You can’t just say you’re sorry and walk away," Brooks added, telling USA Today that "an apology alone was not sufficient."

Brooks edited the 1999 book "When Sorry Isn't Enough: The Controversy Over Apologies and Reparations for Human Injustice."

San Francisco voted Tuesday to formally apologize to Black residents after decades of "institutional racism."

All 11 of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors signed on as sponsors of the resolution to apologize for the city’s complicity in "systemic and structural discrimination."

When the San Francisco African American Reparations Advisory Committee published its final recommendations last July, it said that "the City and County of San Francisco and its agencies must issue a formal apology for the past harms, and commit to making substantial ongoing, systemic, and programmatic investments in Black communities to address historical harms."

The resolution comes after the committee argued the city owed millions of dollars in compensation to Black residents for decades of discrimination. The committee proposed that eligible Black adult residents receive $5 million in cash payments and a guaranteed income of nearly $100,000 a year to address the racial wealth gap in the city.

According to the L. A. Times, the city’s mayor, London Breed, said that $5 million payments could amount to $100 billion, far more than the city's $14 billion annual budget. The Times added that Breed is not committed to cash reparations.

According to USA Today, Brooks said implementing financial reparations could be a challenge for municipalities due to budget constraints, so, they are "leaning on rehabilitative reparations that are less costly."... (Read more)

Submitted 48 days ago

Latest News