Black Californians Could Receive Up to $1.2 Million in Reparations
Exciting news for Black Californians! The state’s official reparation task force has approved recommendations to issue a formal reparative monetary apology. This means that Black residents who have lived in California for a certain number of years could receive up to $1.2 million in reparations.
What You Need to Know
- The nine-member panel became the first task force in the United States to form in September 2020.
- The draft includes calculated dollar figures based on categories ranging from mass incarceration, housing discrimination, and other alleged injustices.
- More than 2.5 million Californians— about 6.5 percent of the state’s population— are Black and could be eligible to receive reparations based on certain requirements.
- Black communities impacted by mass incarceration and over-policing aligning with the national War on Drugs could receive about $115,260 per person, or $2,352 each year they lived in California from 1971-2020.
- Black residents impacted by lending and zoning redlining by banks between 1933 and 1977 could receive $3,366 each year they resided in California, capping at $148,099.
- Other alleged injustices and discriminations in health estimated $13,619 per person for each year lived in California.
Based on a New York Times analysis, a Black person living in California for 71 years — the average life expectancy of Black residents in California in 2021 — could receive up to $1.2 million. Some economists projected to The Associated Press that California could owe more than $800 billion in reparations, which more than doubles the state’s annual budget.
“Apologies alone are inadequate to provide justice to victims or redress wrongs,” the draft reads. “But when combined with material forms of reparations, apologies provide an opportunity for communal reckoning with the past and repair for moral, physical, and dignitary harms.”
One woman attending Saturday’s meeting said $1.2 million in incremental payments “is nowhere near enough.”
“We want direct cash payments just like how the stimulus [checks] were sent out,” the woman said, according to The Daily Mail. “It’s our inheritance, and we can handle it.”
If lawmakers approve the plan, the state will create a new agency to oversee the program, determine eligibility, and distribute funds.
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