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After a Strong Backlash, NAACP Clarifies its “Rejection” of the San Francisco Reparation Plan

On Tuesday, San Francisco’s NAACP chapter had rejected the plan put forward by the San Francisco African American Reparations Advisory Committee, which proposed paying each Black long-time resident $5 million in a lump sum, a guaranteed annual income of $97,000, and granting total debt forgiveness to atone for decades of “systematic repression” faced by the local Black community. NAACP argued that a direct-cash transfer proposal would not be beneficial in the long run and proposed instead a program that creates economic opportunities for Black communities and improves their lives.

“We strongly believe that creating and funding programs that can improve the lives of those who have been impacted by racism and discrimination is the best path forward toward equality and justice,” San Francisco NAACP President Amos Brown said in a statement on Tuesday.

Brown identified five areas where such investments should be made which include: education, jobs, housing, healthcare, and cultural activity.

San Francisco city is mulling over a reparation plan for its Black citizens to atone for centuries of systemic oppression.  The committee formulated to come up with suggestions, submitted a list of 100 recommendations before the lawmakers. The plan which will make San Francisco the first major city to fund reparation for Black Americans, however, received vehement opposition from conservatives, and ironically, from the San Francisco chapter of NAACP.

The objections raised by NAACP San Francisco were met with outrage and intense criticism, which prompted a clarification from the chapter. The clarification states that “there should be some form of cash payments in installments to each Black American according to the agreed upon qualification.” But the facts, as per the statement, are as follows:

“1. Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin and Budget Chairperson Supervisor Connie Chan have stated privately and openly ‘NO’ on the cash payment as a form of reparations for Black Americans. We know that other board members share this position, and it will only frustrate, set up and provide false hope to Black people in San Francisco, thinking they will get $5 million when the Board members oppose.”

The statement went on to call the $5 million figure “arbitrary” and added that “presently, there is no explanation of a method for how the $5 million will be allocated. We recommend a practical plan including a rationale of the specified dollar amount. More than $5M may be needed!”

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Written by Aliyah Collins