California’s Reparations Task Force Approves Recommendations on Compensating Descendants of Black Enslaved People

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The proposals include cash payments, a new agency to provide services, and an official apology for generations of discriminatory policies.

California's Reparations
California’s Reparations ( Photo: NBC News )

The California reparations task force has recommended compensating the descendants of Black enslaved people in the state

The report lists years of discrimination against Black Californians in education, voting, disproportionate policing, and incarceration, among other areas. One recommendation is for lawmakers to craft an apology that must “include a censure of the gravest barbarities.”

The panel recommends two methods of compensation: cumulative compensation that considers community harms such as health disparities and mass incarceration, and particular compensation that requires documented evidence of harm before eligibility for payouts.

Other proposals include restoring voting rights to all formerly and currently incarcerated people, declaring election day a paid state holiday, and implementing rent caps in historically redlined neighborhoods.

Economists estimate it will cost over $800 billion to compensate the descendants of Black enslaved people in California

The task force members held a two-hour debate in March to vote for an agency that would provide certain services to descendants of Black enslaved people. The task force will release its comprehensive set of recommendations on July 1. A vote on requirements for who would be eligible for payments was delayed due to an absent committee member.

The California reparations task force is pushing the topic into the spotlight with its state-backed committee. The initiative is designed to reflect on slavery’s past and its current effect on Black Americans living in the United States. The committee members, selected to represent the interests of communities of color throughout the state, are expected to deliver a final reparations proposal by July 2023.

 

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