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California Panel Approves Reparation Payments for Black Residents Up to $1.2 Million Each – But That’s Not All

California’s commission to decide how much the state should pay in reparations to black residents has decided upon a payment plan it sees as the beginning of a flow of cash. Although ostensibly formed to address slavery, which was outlawed in the 19th century, the panel came up with differing annual amounts to quantify various forms of 20th and 21st century discrimination, according to The New York Times. A qualifying lifelong state resident who is 71 years old, would get $1.2 million for what the panel claims were the effects of housing discrimination, mass incarceration and additional ills. The panel noted that the cash payments are just the beginning. “The initial down payment is the beginning of a process of addressing historical injustices not the end of it,” the report said. Although California has roughly 2.5 million black residents, it’s unclear how many would qualify for the eligibility criteria, which say payouts will go to a descendant of a former slave or a descendant of a “free black person living in the United States prior to the end of the 19th century” should receive reparations. Democratic assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer said he expects that the advisory report will be implemented by the Democrat-dominated state legislature. “The reality is black Californians have suffered, and continue to suffer, from institutional laws and policies within our state’s political, social, and economic landscape that have negated blacks from achieving life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for generations,” he said. “This really is a trial against America’s original sin, slavery, and the repercussions it caused and the lingering effects in modern society,” he said. Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee of California said reparations bring justice. “Reparations are not only morally justifiable, but they have the potential to address long-standing racial disparities and inequalities,” she said, according to Fox News. During a hearing on the panel’s report, some suggested it was too little. Rev. Tony Pierce, referring to the promise of 40 acres and a mule that would be given to freed slaves, said reparations should be in the hundreds of millions. “You know that the numbers should be equivocal to what an acre was back then. We were given 40, OK? We were given 40 acres. You know what that number is. You keep trying to talk about now, yet you research back to slavery and you say nothing about slavery, nothing. So, the equivocal number from the 1860s for 40 acres to today is $200 million for each and every African American,” he said. The task force also calls for a public apology, according to the Associated Press. “An apology and an admission of wrongdoing just by itself is not going to be satisfactory,” Chris Lodgson of the Coalition for a Just and Equitable California said. The apology must “include a censure of the gravest barbarities” carried out in the state, his group said. The panel also wants a host of new laws and policies, according to the Los Angeles Times. These include an end to Proposition 209, which California passed in 1996 to ban affirmative action and an analysis of every law on the books at all levels of government to assess its racial impact. The panel also wants community wellness centers and more parks in black neighborhoods, full voting rights for everyone denied them due to imprisonment, and free tuition to anyone eligible for reparations. The panel also wants significant payouts going forward, including grants and other help so more black Californians can own homes, a guaranteed income program for anyone descended from a slave, and interest-free loans to businesses in black neighborhoods. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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