California Reparations Task Force Approves $800 Billion Recommendations

[Screenshot/YouTube/ABC 7 News Bay Area]

Font Size:

The California Reparations Task Force voted in favor of approving $800 billion in recommendations Saturday, handing off their decision to the state’s legislature.

The nine-member panel tasked with tackling the question of reparations for California residents in 2020 by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom held a public meeting in Oakland May 6 in which they approved up to $1.2 million in reparations payments to be made to all qualifying Black citizens.

In addition to the payments, the panel called on the state to issue a formal apology for “long-standing racial disparities and inequalities” as observed by Democratic California Rep. Barbara Lee, Fox News reported. The apology, the panel insisted, must “include a censure of the gravest barbarities,” namely a condemnation of the state’s first elected governor, Peter Hardeman Burnett, an admitted white supremacist, NPR reported. Under Burnett’s leadership, the state enacted the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850 which allowed for the capture and return of runaway slaves until emancipation more than decade later, the outlet stated.

“By participating in these horrors, California further perpetuated the harms African Americans faced, imbuing racial prejudice throughout society through segregation, public and private discrimination, and unequal disbursal of state and federal funding,” the panel noted, according to NPR.

Though up to $1.2 million in reparations was approved by the task force, some voiced their displeasure at the offer, arguing the amount should be much higher. Citing a 19th century promise of “40 acres and a mule,” activist Rev. Tony Pierce demanded an “equivocal” amount for every black citizen, amounting to a total he figured to be $200 million, Fox News reported.

While the panel approved the $800 billion in reparations, the proposed payments are not likely to pass through the state’s legislature as $800 billion is more than 2.5 times higher than the state’s annual budget, NPR reported.

“There’s no way in the world that many of these recommendations are going to get through because of the inflationary impact,” Roy L. Brooks, a professor and reparations scholar at the University of San Diego School of Law, told NPR. (RELATED: ‘I Don’t Know’: Reparations Activist Says She Has Xero Clue How San Fran Can Dole Out $5 Million Payments)

Nevertheless, the panel has called on other state governments as well as the federal government to follow suit and pass their own reparations legislation.