California May Let Lose The $223K Reparations

( The New York Times reported on Monday that the California task force studying the long-term effects of slavery and systemic racism on blacks in the state has estimated $569 billion in reparations are owed to the descendants of slaves.

According to the Times, the 9-member panel concluded that California blacks whose ancestors were slaves should be paid $223,200 each to compensate them for housing discrimination practices from 1933 to 1977.

The Reparations Task Force was established in legislation signed by Governor Newsom in 2020. Its conclusions represent the largest reparations effort in recent history.

Task Force member Jovan Scott Lewis, a Berkeley professor, said their recommended reparations are the largest since Reconstruction.

The Reparations Task Force believes taking taxpayer money from Californians and giving it to blacks in the state will shrink the wealth gap between whites and blacks.

A significant portion of the compensation recommended has to do with California’s history of housing discrimination against blacks. According to the task force’s findings, several black communities were either purchased or seized through eminent domain to be razed for infrastructure projects.

According to the New York Times, the government in California has a history of offering black homeowners less money than what they paid to purchase their homes before forcing them out.

In addition to housing discrimination, the task force targeted four other areas to review: mass incarceration, unjust property seizures, devaluation of black businesses, and health care.

The task force is also reviewing how these reparations would be distributed. So far, the options for distribution include offering direct cash payments or providing housing and tuition grants.

The task force will be releasing its report with the finalized dollar amounts next year.

However, the Reparations Task Force can only make recommendations to the state. Ultimately, the decision on what to do with those recommendations rests with the California legislature.