A panel In California created to consider reparations for Black residents voted over the weekend to approve recommendations for the payments of reparations to Black Californians for injustices and discrimination stemming from slavery.
Saturday’s meeting in Oakland was the 15th public meeting of the Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans, according to Kamilah Moore, chair of the panel.
The nine-member committee gave final approval at a meeting in Oakland to a hefty list of proposals aimed at rectifying racial inequalities across the state.
“Reparations are not only morally justifiable, but they have the potential to address long standing racial disparities and inequalities,”
Rep. Barbara Lee said during the meeting
The panel’s first vote approved a detailed account of historical discrimination against Black Californians in areas such as voting, housing, education, disproportionate policing and incarceration and others.
The group recommended that the state create a new agency that could provide services to descendants of enslaved people to calculate what the state owes them.
Though the task force didn’t specify what compensation would look like, it approved a section of the draft report stating reparations should include “cash or its equivalent.”
Economists on the panel have said that the reparations could cost the state more than $800 million.
More than 100 residents and advocates gathered at Mills College of Northeastern University in Oakland, a city that is the birthplace of the Black Panther Party.
They shared frustrations over the country’s “broken promise” to offer up to 40 acres and a mule to newly freed enslaved people.
Newsom signed a law creating the task force to study and recommend reparations for slavery in October 2020, as the nation continued reeling from the murder of George Floyd that May.
In a 500-page report released last year, the task force noted that “badges and incidents” of slavery “remain embedded in the political, legal, health, financial, educational, cultural, environmental, social, and economic systems of the United States of America.”
“Without a remedy specifically targeted to dismantle our country’s racist foundations and heal the injuries inflicted by colonial and American governments, the ‘badges and incidents of slavery’ will continue to harm African Americans in almost all aspects of American life,” the task force said.