California's first-in-the-nation reparations task force will recommend that descendants of slaves in the state should receive $223,200 each, totaling $569 billion, for "housing discrimination" setbacks between 1933 and 1977, more than the entire state expenditure in 2021, reports The New York Times.
"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, a member of the nine-person task force formed due to legislation signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
"That is why we must put forward a robust plan with plenty of options," Lewis said.
In March, the task force decided that Californians eligible for reparations 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% of state residents, or 2.5 million, identify as Black or African American.
Discussions are still underway, and the panel is still considering how payments should be made. Some suggested tuition and housing grants or cash.
Four other causes for reparations have also been identified by the task force, including mass incarceration, devaluation of Black businesses and health care and unjust property seizures.
The panel has until June 2023 to submit its final recommendations to the Legislature.
In June, it issued its interim report to the California Legislature with preliminary recommendations for future deliberations, which included compensating families who were denied inheritances they would have received if they were white; compensating those who have been discriminated against and deprived of rightful profits from artistic, creative, athletics, and intellectual endeavors; compensating individuals who were forcibly removed from their homes due to state action, such as park and highway constructions; and other items.
"From colonial times forward, governments at all levels adopted and enshrined white supremacy beliefs and passed laws in order to maintain slavery, a system of dehumanization and exploitation that stole the life, labor, liberty, and intellect of people of African descent," the task force said in a report to the California Legislature.
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