Show Us the Loot: California Residents Are Still Waiting for the Vote That Could Distribute Reparations
Citizens in California are anxiously awaiting a decision that could change their lives.
ABC 30 reported that the California reparations task force has yet to make a decision on if the state should apologize and share reparations to Black residents for the harm caused by slavery and discrimination. The vote on eligibility requirements could possibly happen this weekend, after a major delay due to the absence of one committee member.
However, a new development revealed the vote could be on whether lawmakers will create an agency to start a reparations program.
In January, BLACK ENTERPRISE reported that the San Francisco Reparations Committee presented a report advocating a hefty payback program for Black residents, with a recommended sum of $5 million each. The African American Reparations Advisory Committee claimed San Francisco showed progressive reform, but it was overshadowed by the country’s racist reputation. “While neither San Francisco nor California, formally adopted the institution of chattel slavery, the values of segregation, white supremacy and systematic repression and exclusion of Black people were legally codified and enforced,” a report said.
The proposal directed the task force to study reparations “with a special consideration for” the descendants of enslaved Black people living in California. Some argue that there isn’t enough conversation about it, suggesting the 500-page report should be made available in libraries and schools. “This room should be filled with media, and it’s not because Black people are a pariah,” Cheryce Cryer said. “We are at the bottom of the totem pole.”
Some state officials are excited about the program and stand behind it – like Darrell Steinberg, mayor of Sacramento. “I wholeheartedly support reparations and think everyone should,” Steinberg said, according to Fox Business. “If government should stand for anything, it should stand for investing in communities and people who have been the victims of discrimination and disenfranchisement for far too long.”
During past meetings, residents recommended other forms of payments, such grants of land. Some called for a renewed Freedmen’s Bureau, a program created by the Reconstruction-era federal agency Congress, to provide food, medical aid, clothing, and other necessities to newly freed slaves and to help them find jobs.