From the New York Times news section:
The state is undertaking the nation’s most ambitious effort so far to compensate for the economic legacy of slavery and racism.
By Kurtis Lee
Reporting from Los Angeles and Hayward, Calif.
Dec. 1, 2022
In the two years since nationwide social justice protests followed the murder of George Floyd, California has undertaken the nation’s most sweeping effort yet to explore some concrete restitution to Black citizens to address the enduring economic effects of slavery and racism.
A nine-member Reparations Task Force has spent months traveling across California to learn about the generational effects of racist policies and actions. The group, formed by legislation signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2020, is scheduled to release a report to lawmakers in Sacramento next year outlining recommendations for state-level reparations.
“We are looking at reparations on a scale that is the largest since Reconstruction,” said Jovan Scott Lewis, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who is a member of the task force.
While the creation of the task force is a bold first step, much remains unclear about whether lawmakers will ultimately throw their political weight behind reparations proposals that will require vast financial resources from the state.
“That is why we must put forward a robust plan, with plenty of options,” Dr. Lewis said.
The effort parallels others on a local level, in California and elsewhere, to address the nation’s stark racial disparities and a persistent wealth gap. The median wealth of Black households in the United States is $24,100, compared with $188,200 for white households, according to the most recent Federal Reserve Board Survey of Consumer Finances.
In a preliminary report this year, the task force outlined how enslaved Black people were forced to California during the Gold Rush era and how, in the 1950s and 1960s, racially restrictive covenants and redlining segregated Black Californians in many of the state’s largest cities.
Californians eligible for reparations, the task force decided in March, would be descendants of enslaved African Americans or of a “free Black person living in the United States prior to the end of the 19th century.” Nearly 6.5 percent of California residents, roughly 2.5 million, identify as Black or African American. The panel is now considering how reparations should be distributed — some favor tuition and housing grants while others want direct cash payments.
The task force has identified five areas — housing discrimination, mass incarceration, unjust property seizures, devaluation of Black businesses and health care — in discussions for compensation. For example, from 1933 to 1977, when it comes to housing discrimination, the task force estimates compensation of around $569 billion, with $223,200 per person.
Final figures will be released in the report next year; it would then be up to the Legislature to act upon the recommendations and determine how to fund them.
This is of course exactly what happens when you drive out of polite society the concept that blacks may have some responsibility for why their neighborhood home prices don’t appreciate as much as other races’ neighborhoods. If the only idea anyone is allowed to entertain is that everything is the white man’s fault, then how do you deny them equity?
Of course, by “equity,” they mean your home equity.