Descendants of slaves in California could receive $200,000 in reparations


A reparations task force in California announced that descendants of slaves could receive more than $200,000 to compensate for the enduring impact of racism and slavery today.

The Telegraph reports that a nine-member panel created on the orders of California Governor Gavin Newsom examined the impacts of racism and slavery. According to the New York Times, which reviewed a report compiled by the group, the panel estimated that around $569bn should be given as compensation to around 2 million Black individuals living in the state as a result of housing discrimination that occurred between 1933 and 1977.

For comparison, California’s total spending on schools, hospitals, highways, policing and prisons was approximately $510bn.

The panel also focused on mass incarceration, devaluation of Black-owned businesses, unjust property seizures, and health care injustice in their examination.

With an estimate in hand, the panel is now considering how the reparations should be paid out.

Some of the members support direct cash payments without strings attached, while others recommended using the funds to pay for tuition and housing grants specifically, according to The Times. The group’s full report will be released next year.

The state made history in 2020 by becoming the first to pass a law developing a plan to compensate descendants of slavery.

“California has come to terms with many of its issues, but it has yet to come to terms with its role in slavery,” Shirley Weber, the Democratic assemblywoman who wrote the bill, said.

According to the panel, recipients of the reparations must have family who were enslaved African Americans or of a "free Black person living in the US prior to the end of the 19th century."... (Read more)

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