Black residents of California should be given a slavery reparation “down payment” as soon as possible, a slavery task force has told the state.
California should aim to hand out a reparation “down payment” to its black residents as soon as possible, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) state task force has now recommended.
Started in the wake of the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement, the slavery reparation panel has been tasked with figuring out exactly how much California — which joined the Union as a free state in 1850 — owes its black residents, with estimates previously rising as high as $800 billion, nearly three times the state’s total annual budget.
According to a report by Fox News, the panel has now told the California government that it could take a significant length of time for the state to figure out exactly how much it owes each black resident, with the body as such recommending that it give each affected individual a reparation “down payment” as it figures out exactly how much the African-American population is owed.
“Given that the process of calculating the amount of some of the losses and determining the methods and structure for issuing payments could involve a lengthy process, the task force further recommends that the legislature make a ‘down payment’ with an immediate disbursement of a meaningful amount of funds to each member of the eligible class,” one document penned by the panel reportedly recommended.
The panel went on the emphasise that while such a down payment should be “substantial”, it had to recommend only the “beginning” of reparation payments to black residents of the state, with more steps being needed in “redressing the economic and societal harm of historical injustices”.
Estimates for how much the state owed African residents for each different type of historic inequality were also suggested, with the panel giving the figure of $2,352 per person per year of residence for “over-policing” of black neighbourhoods, $3,366 per person per year of residence for “discriminatory lending and zoning”, $13,619 per person per year of residence over “discrimination” regarding health, and $77,000 per person for Black-owned business losses and devaluations.
California should also, according to the panel, issue a formal apology to black residents for slavery — which was never historically allowed in the state since it joined the union in 1850 — and racism.