Black Californians Owed $800 Billion in Reparations, Economists Suggest
Black Californians are owed upward of $800 billion due to decades of discriminatory and racist practices that set back generations — so say experts in a formal suggestion.
Gov. Gavin Newsom spearheaded efforts, starting in 2020, to determine what African-Americans in the Golden State might stand to receive if Cali decides to pay reparations … and this astronomical number is what a group of economists is spitting out.
There’s a whole task force dedicated to this issue, BTW … consisting of state lawmakers focused on 5 key areas — the taking of property by the government, devaluation of Black-owned businesses, housing discrimination, mass incarceration/over-policing and general health.
Mind you, the economists here considered only 3 of these categories in coming up with the $800B figure — leaving out property taken and the devaluation of businesses for now — which means the final estimate could be much higher. In any case, the task force will hear this new total Wednesday and take it under consideration in a scheduled meeting.
Considering there are about 2,537,000 Black residents in California — based on 2022 U.S. Census numbers — that would translate to each getting about $315k, more or less. That number could be different, however, based on criteria for who receives reparations.
Those would include being a certain age (18), being a resident of CA for a certain amount of time and being a descendant of an enslaved person and/or freed Black people in the U.S. as of the 19th century … among other benchmarks, the state of California could set.
Of course, opponents would cite the obvious in pushing back on this — namely, California was never a slave state. Also, they say taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot this kind of bill for practices that were in place a long time ago … even though Newsom and co. say otherwise.
Now, whether the reparations suggested are actually enacted is a whole other ball game. The task force would need to agree on a final number, and then send it over to the state legislature … where it would have to be drafted into a bill and passed in both chambers. After that, Newsom himself would have to sign it.
Another thing to consider … this is separate from what SF is mulling — its own proposed reparations package, which would see Black city residents get as much as $5 mil each.