California’s Reparations Report Is Chock-Full Of Far-Reaching Proposals That Have To Be Seen To Be Believed

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Brandon Poulter Contributor
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California’s Reparations Task Force sent its recommendations to the state legislature on June 29, with proposals ranging from sending over $1 million in reparations payments to eligible black Californians to decriminalizing public intoxication.

Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law in 2020 creating the California Reparations Task Force, which has spent three years studying the alleged harms of anti-black racism and compiled a nearly 1,100-page report that it sent to the legislature. The report, in addition to recommending cash payments to black Californians, includes recommendations for reparation payments to prostitutes, LGBTQ anti-bullying policies like funding “gay-straight alliances” at schools and decriminalization of public urination.

For instance, the report recommends “cultural competency training” to certify mental health professionals to work with “African American LGBTQ+ youth.”

“Annual competence and cultural sensitivity training that certifies that a mental health professional is qualified to work with culturally diverse populations, specifically, African American youth and African American LGBTQ+ youth,” the report reads. (RELATED: New York Passes Bill That Considers Slavery Reparations)

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – JUNE 17: Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) speaks during a Juneteenth reparations rally at Newark City Hall on June 17, 2022 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

“Those previously convicted of loitering with intent to commit prostitution” should also be given reparations through a “compensation scheme,” according to the report.

The report also recommends that California lawmakers create legislation that requires the state’s Department of Education to develop an “anti-bullying policy” that is “anti-racist” and “LGBTQ inclusive.” It also says that students should receive “cultural humility” and “cultural sensitivity” trainings in case they are ever around other students that appear to be LGBTQ so they do not offend these students.

Child support debt is also discriminatory, according to the report. “Although African Americans
are less than seven percent of California’s population, they represent around 18 percent of the parents who owe child support debt,” the report reads. It recommends legislation to eliminate interest on past-due child support and back child support debt.

The task force’s report claims that authorities’ enforcement of low-level public disorder offenses also results in harm to African Americans and argues for their decriminalization. “Law enforcement is frequently tasked with enforcing public disorder offenses, such as illegal camping, public intoxication, disorderly conduct, minor trespass, and public urination,” the report reads. Decriminalizing these offenses will help to reduce the oppression of African Americans, the report claims.

The report also recommends the decriminalization of minor traffic violations such as expired registration, broken taillights and tinted windows. It also suggests that if officers attempt to enforce these minor violations, that citizens be able to sue officers for the attempted enforcement. It then says if they are enforced, they should be enforced either with mailed warnings or by unarmed officers.

The Reparations Task Force also calls for the repeal of Proposition 209, which banned affirmative action practices in the state of California.

The report instructs the legislature to create a reparations curriculum for high schoolers. “The proposed curriculum should be cross-disciplinary and seek to connect history, literature, math, and science, as the final report details the breadth of the harms that need to be understood by the public,” the report reads.

Newsom endorsed the entire package and said reparations are about more than money, according to prior reporting by the DCNF. “Many of the recommendations put forward by the Task Force are critical action items we’ve already been hard at work addressing: breaking down barriers to vote, bolstering resources to address hate, enacting sweeping law enforcement and justice reforms to build trust and safety, strengthening economic mobility,” Newsom told the DCNF.

Data from the U.S. Census reveals that 6.5% of Californians are African American and could possibly qualify for reparations. The cost of this portion of the recommendations is estimated to be in the hundreds of billions, according to CBS News.

The White House did not immediately respond back to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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