California recently formed a task force to study the proposal of reparations for African Americans in the state. The newly formed reparations committee is tasked to complete a two-year process to study the harms of slavery and systemic racism. The formation of this task force was made possible by Governor Gavin Newsom’s signing of AB 3121, which was authored by Shirley Weber (D-San Diego).
California is leading the nation, in a bipartisan way, on the issue of reparations and racial justice, which is a discussion that is long overdue and deserves our utmost attention,” said Governor Newsom.
40 Acres and a Mule
Slavery ended in the United States in 1865 with the end of the American Civil War and the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which declared that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction". At that time, an estimated four million African Americans were set free.
The promise after slavery of 40 acres and a mule has not paid dividends generations later. So I think in this whole era after George Floyd, its allowed us to say, 'What do we need to do as a society to really look at the racial inequalities in California? Assemblyman Kevin McCarty
Reparations in California
Although the bill had bi-partisan support many wondered out loud how can a state that entered the union as a “free state”, and did not formally practice slavery, address the history of slavery practiced by other states mainly in the south and the federal government.
Gavin Newsom has signed a bill to study taking the earnings of people who never owned slaves to pay people who never were slaves in a state that never practiced slavery in the first place. California and its governor are now officially [bats**t] crazy,” Representative Tom McClintock wrote in a tweet
Reparations can take numerous forms, including individual monetary payments, settlements, scholarships, waiving of fees, and systemic initiatives to offset injustices, land-based compensation related to independence, apologies, and acknowledgements of the injustices.
California has a reputation for progressive politics and could become the first state to pay reparations to African Americans. The committee will be meeting over the next two years and are expected to release their first report sometime next year.
JADED: I am often surprised at all the bills the California legislature is writing and passing. When so many RIGHT NOW issues such as homelessness, crime and infrastructure that need a real fix linger on and on without real solutions. California seemingly wants to be the first in everything. According to us we are a "nation state", but all the talk- feels a bit like clout chasing, especially when you live here and see what is actually happening on the ground in our communities.
Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely for reparations- and I personally think it should come from the Federal government. Being a direct descendent of one of the biggest slave holders in Texas, I've heard many horrible stories from my elders and believe PTSD, which has been stylized to Post Traumatic Slave Disorder, really exists.
What is 40 acres and a Mule worth in 2021? When and if reparations ever come, what I will say is, African Americans (American Descendants of Slaves [ADOS]) shall have no more excuses. With the economic inequity, wealth gap, and other consequences of centuries of slavery addressed, I would expect to see a reversal of some of the pathology that permeates in our community begin to change- hopefully for the better!
This is my JADED Opinion and you are welcome to yours!
Are you woke? What are your thoughts on California paving the way for Reparations for African American Descendents of Slavery? Leave a comment below!