Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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New York Democrats Join California in Push for Reparations

'This country was built on the backs of enslaved people. It has impacted everything — housing, economic development, education... '

(Headline USANew York Democrats are pushing for a state law that would require the government to pay reparations to black residents after a California taskforce revealed a similar plan earlier this month.

The California plan would force the Golden State to shell out $569 billion in reparations to slaves’s descendants, or $223,200 apiece, even though slavery was never institutionalized in the state. 

A similar measure to create a commission and study the impact of reparations was introduced in the New York legislature this summer, but never passed. Now, New York Democrats are working to revise this proposal and force it through.

“We saw what happened in California. We want to pass a bill that starts a conversation about reparations,” Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages, D-Nassau, chairwoman of the New York Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus, told the New York Post.

Assemblywoman Taylor Darling, D-Nassau, agreed that a reparations commission is necessary and argued it would be a “slap in the face” to the black community if Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul refuses to green-light it.

“This country was built on the backs of enslaved people. It has impacted everything — housing, economic development, education,” she claimed.

California’s Reparations Task Force said it hopes to shrink the wealth gap between white and black Californians, citing housing inequality as a motivation for the proposed reparations payments.

“We are looking at reparations on a scale that is the largest since Reconstruction,” Jovan Scott Lewis, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who is one of the force’s nine members, said.

However, the Reparations Task Force can only make recommendations to the state. The California legislature must decide what to do with those recommendations and whether to pass a law providing financial reparations to black Californians.

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