Black Californians with roots in the American slave trade may soon get reparations from the state. An important decision is scheduled for later this week, so on Monday, the California Reparations Task Force issued estimates along with explanations of the calculations behind those sums.
Economists were brought in to advise the task committee and were tasked with determining the monetary losses that Black Californians endured as a result of slavery and institutional racism. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, a California resident who has spent their entire life in the state and is 71 or older may be eligible to collect as much as $1.2 million.
According to CalMatters, the task group would like to see “down payments” made immediately upon approval of the funding. According to CalMatters, a new state agency would have to be created to handle the distribution of cash and the determination of eligibility.
That department would also aid Black Californians in establishing their ancestry so they can verify their eligibility for the benefits. When it comes to “over-policing” of Black communities, discrimination in housing, and health care inequities, CalMatters said that those who qualified could get a variety of rewards.
A maximum payout is established for each of these groups according to predetermined time periods. A Black Californian who resides in the state between 1971 and 2020 may be eligible for a yearly payout of $2,352 owing to “over-policing.”
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The task force may also suggest that the state of California issue an official apology for slavery and other state laws and actions that members say actively discriminated against Black residents, such as the enforcement of the federal fugitive slave law, the prohibition of interracial marriage, the construction of monuments that glorify the Confederacy, and open segregation and discriminations in the arts.
On Saturday, the task committee will convene at Mills College in Oakland to cast their votes on the various suggestions. If a compromise can be reached, a formal proposal can be written and submitted to the California legislature for a vote. According to the Chronicle, conservative Republicans and several centrist Democrats would likely vote against the ideas.
Assembly Bill 3121, signed into law in September 2020, authorized the creation of the California Reparations Task Force to assess the economic toll of slavery on the state’s Black population and recommend strategies for making amends to those still feeling the effects of slavery’s legacy more than 150 years after its abolition.
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