Soon off to legislature for vote
California has taken a big step in giving Black residents reparations as a way of monetary compensation for slavery, Jim Crow and advocacy of White supremacy.
The process began two years ago when Gov. Gavin Newsom authorized a reparations task force to create a proposal and to enact a plan to administer an adequate amount of money to accommodate Black families affected by racism ranging from state government actions (e.g. redlining), health care disparities, systemic poverty and mass incarceration.
After a round of meetings, the task force approved on May 6 the final recommendations for approval that will be delivered to lawmakers during the summer. The panel’s first vote of approval was creating a guideline that decided what actions were deemed racist and needed financial reimbursement. They decided that descendants whose ancestors experienced any disparity or historical discrimination in voting, housing, education, disproportionate policing, incarceration, and others should be compensated.
“I think there comes a point in time that we got to be practitioners and we got to be social engineers and make sure we deliver something to this Black population or else we will never do it,” said Dr. Amos C. Brown, vice chair of Reparations Task Force in explaining why the task force shouldn’t waste any time in delivering the proposal to lawmakers.
According to the report, the proposal is to pay every Black Californian over 70 years old $1.2 million. Also, people who have lived in California from 1971 to 2020 can be compensated up to $2,352 per year due to “over-policing.” While the initial reports released to the public stated that task force chair Kamilah Moore, an attorney and scholar on reparations, rebutted those reports and corrected them by stating, “Any headlines that state all Black Californians will be eligible for uniform cash payments are false,” Moore said.
Moore also stressed that not every Black California is eligible for the payments. The payment amount will also vary from family to family as it’s based on how long that family lived in California and which ones can trace their lineage back to the slavery era.
Lawmakers and Gov. Gavin Newsom have yet to comment or agree with the proposal, as economists have estimated the proposal will cost California $800 billion.
On top of the $800 billion requested by the committee, they are also asking to mandate anti-bias training as a prerequisite to graduation for medical professionals in California who study at state-funded programs.
Essentially, this directive is aimed at all medical schools and any other medical care provider programs in California “receiving state funding and not already covered, including mental health professional programs, masters-level programs in psychology or therapy (for counselors, clinicians, and therapists), and programs for clinical social workers,” the proposal states.