California Task Force Releases Historic Report on Reparations

California Task Force Releases Historic Report on Reparations

A task force in California has released the first-of-its-kind report on race-related reparations.

The Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans released its interim report on Tuesday, putting forth some preliminary recommendations as well as a comprehensive history of slavery and discrimination against blacks around the country, but specifically California — which has been governed by a Democrat majority for decades.

Speaking of which, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation creating the task force in 2020. And in March, the task force made the decision that only direct descendants of slaves would be eligible for financial reparations, which became instantly controversial. The final report is due to be released on July 1, 2023.

As per The Daily Wire, the report claimed that “[h]istorians have argued that many of today’s financial accounting and management practices began among enslavers in the U.S. South and the Caribbean.” The outlet added:

In a subsection, titled “Enslavement,” the group laid out specific ways to change incarceration methods in California, which include getting rid of language from the California Constitution “that permits involuntary servitude as punishment for crime by passing ACA 3.”

They said Penal Code Section 2700 should be repealed, which says the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) “shall require of every able-bodied prisoner imprisoned in any state prison as many hours of faithful labor in each day and every day during his or her term of imprisonment as shall be prescribed by the rules and regulations of the director of Corrections.”

Without describing the effect of other factors, the report claims that “[t]he American criminal justice system overall physically harms, imprisons, and kills African Americans more than any other racial group relative to their percentage of the population.”

Other policy recommendations made by the task force include passing bills that make “education, substance use and mental health treatment, and rehabilitative programs the first priority for incarcerated people.” In addition, the panel said people in jail who are working during their time in prison ought to be paid “a fair market rate.”

The panel went on to recommend that the final report also be presented to Congress and President Joe Biden, and called on the federal government to establish a similar commission for reparations. The task force said that a certain amount of money, to be determined on the estimated worth of black-owned businesses in the Golden State that were stolen or demolished “through acts of racial terror,” be ceded to blacks in the state.

In addition, the task force called for “housing grants, zero-interest business and housing loans and grants” ought to be made available to black Californians.

While some recommendations provided specifics, others took on a more generalized approach to reparations.

For instance, the panel recommends that “forms of expression, acknowledgment, and remembrance of the trauma of state-sanctioned white supremacist terror” be created that could involve constructing memorials and providing funds for “a long-term truth and reconciliation commission.”

It also said “forms of acknowledgment and apology for acts of political disenfranchisement” should be set up. And in another vague claim, the task force called for the identification and elimination of “anti-Black housing discrimination policies practices.”

The task force said in the realm of education that “racial bias and discriminatory practices in standardized testing” must be identified and eliminated, including testing at the levels of K-12, collegiate eligibility, and career tests, and the State Bar Exam.

One more recommendation regarding education calls for “a K-12 Black Studies curriculum that introduces students to concepts of race and racial identity; accurately depicts historic racial inequities and systemic racism; honors Black lives, fully represents contributions of Black people in society, and advances the ideology of Black liberation,” which critics are likely to claim is simply a methodology of Critical Race Theory.

The panel also took on the legal system, calling for ending “racial disparities in police stops” as well as the “racial disparities in criminal sentencing and the over-incarceration of African Americans.”


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