(Headline USA) A leading force behind the California’s reparations task force claimed this week that the Golden State can “lead the nation” in providing reparations to its black residents.
“The process of creating this whole task force … was to create some sense of equity and fairness in the conversation, to create an opportunity for this state to basically lead the nation in what needs to happen with reparations,” said California Secretary of State Shirley Weber on Tuesday.
Weber authored the bill creating the state’s reparations committee, which has recommended that California pay each of its black residents $5 million to make up for the injustices of the past and current housing disparities.
“When we talk about the greatness and wealth of California, a lot of that was built on the backs of African Americans in communities around Sacramento State,” Weber said. “We decided that it would be important for Californians to talk about California’s true past and true history. And to then talk about reparations. And what we need to do as a state to repair the damage that has been done.”
California’s Reparations Task Force plans to release its final proposal within the next few weeks, according to reports. Its report on the long-term effects of slavery in the state concluded that California owes more than $569 billion in reparations to black residents because of housing discrimination practices used from 1933 to 1977.
“We are looking at reparations on a scale that is the largest since Reconstruction,” said Jovan Scott Lewis, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who is one of the nine members of the task force.
California was not a slave state, but Weber said this historical fact doesn’t matter because racism was still present in the state.
“Hopefully, the reparations would deal with changing our system so that our system becomes fair and have some sense of equity. … And then you have an investment that is long term and not just a splash in the pan because it seems to be convenient for us to do so,” she claimed.