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Tuesday, January 31, 2023
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San Fran. Reparations Committee Proposes $5M for Every Black Resident

'The tenets of segregation, white supremacy and systematic repression and exclusion of Black people were codified through legal and extralegal actions, social codes, and judicial enforcement...'

(Headline USA) A San Francisco committee urged city officials to adopt a proposal that would give every black resident $5 million in reparations for decades of racism and “systemic oppression.”

The San Francisco African American Reparations Advisory Committee released its 60-page proposal this week, detailing reparations plans and requirements that people have to meet in order to receive monetary compensation.

The committee’s goal is “to address the public policies explicitly created to subjugate Black people in San Francisco by upholding and expanding the intent and legacy of chattel slavery,” the report said.

“While neither San Francisco, nor California, formally adopted the institution of chattel slavery, the tenets of segregation, white supremacy and systematic repression and exclusion of Black people were codified through legal and extralegal actions, social codes, and judicial enforcement,” it continued.

To receive a one-time $5 million reparations payment, a person must have identified as “black/African America” on public documents for at least 10 years and be 18 years or older.

Residents must also meet at least two criteria, which include but are not limited to being “born in San Francisco between 1940 and 1996” and “personally, or the direct descendant of someone, incarcerated by the failed War on Drugs.” 

Residents are also eligible if they are a descendant of someone enslaved through chattel slavery before 1865, though it is not clear how they would prove this.

“A lump sum payment would compensate the affected population for the decades of harms that they have experienced, and will redress the economic and opportunity losses that Black San Franciscans have endured, collectively, as the result of both intentional decisions and unintended harms perpetuated by City policy,” the proposal said.

The massive $5 million payments are necessary because of the “significant racial wealth gap in the city of San Francisco,” according to the committee.

“By elevating income to match [the area’s median income], black people can better afford housing and achieve a better quality of life,” they said.

A separate state-level task force empaneled by Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom has also floated the possibility of large payouts, with proposals ballooning from an estimated $223,200 per black resident in December to $1 million per resident a month later.

It is unclear whether the municipal payouts would supplant or compound the state-level payments, should either come to pass.

Last week, House Democrats reopened the idea of pursuing reparations at the federal level, as well, alongside a “national apology” for slavery, although the proposal is unlikely to gain traction in a Republican-led Congress.

The practice ended officially in 1865 with the passage of the 13th Amendment, following then-President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves in the rebelling Confederate states.

California, which became a state in 1850, never allowed slavery.

Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.

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