The California Reparations Task Force, consisting of nine members appointed by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2020, has approved a reparations proposal of $800 billion for the state’s Black citizens. The next step is for the California legislature to make a decision.
$800 Billion for reparations? https://t.co/6dTwT8BbqD
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) May 8, 2023
In addition to the proposed payments, the panel has called for a formal apology from the state to its Black residents, acknowledging the longstanding disparities and inequalities faced by the community. The panel has specifically requested that the apology condemn former Governor Peter Hardeman Burnett, who was a known white supremacist and responsible for enacting the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 during his tenure as the state’s first elected governor.
California reparations panel approves payments of up to $1.2 million to every black resident https://t.co/0QnW7Vn9dz
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 7, 2023
The proposed reparations aim to address racial prejudices in society, but some argue that they could foster an entitlement mentality and diminish the importance of merit-based achievement in America. Under the proposed plan, qualifying Black citizens could receive up to $1.2 million each, while some activists are calling for an “equivocal” amount of $200 million for every Black citizen.
Unfortunately, the chances of the $800 billion reparations proposal passing through the California legislature are slim. The amount is more than 2.5 times higher than the state’s annual budget. Moreover, Roy L. Brooks, a reparations scholar and professor at the University of San Diego School of Law, has pointed out that many of the task force’s recommendations could lead to inflation, making it even more unlikely for the proposal to be approved.
Despite the unlikelihood of the recommendations being passed, the panel has called on other state governments and the federal government to follow California’s footsteps and pass their reparations legislation. This move, even if unsuccessful, seeks to perpetuate the idea that racial disparities and inequalities only apply to Black Americans and creates a further divide in the country rather than unifying it.