In an iconic development that has become a major debacle in the public domain, a California task force has released a report calling for ‘comprehensive reparations’ for African American residents, that include free four-year college, payouts, and raising the minimum wage in predominantly black industries, such as agricultural.
Reports have it that the more than 500-page document is made of 13 chapters and breaks down reparation suggestions for the eligible black community in California to compensate for the ‘racial terror’ they’ve endured.
It could be recalled that the task force voted in March to limit reparations to descendants of slaves, overruling reparations advocates who wanted to expand compensation to all black people in the US.
It was clarified that those eligible for the reparations, if it goes into effect, are those that are ‘descendants of free, enslaved black people in the US in the 19th century.’
HuffPost Editor Philip Lweis averred that the document is only part one of two, with the second part estimated to be released by summer 2023. The second draft is expected to detail out the financial compensation.
Speaking with newsmen, Chair Kamilah Moore said ‘The next year of work will be focused on developing Reparations solutions to the findings in the first report. These include compensating Black American descendants of US slavery directly, financially, for their loss of wealth’.
It was reportedly noted that the first draft outlined several recommendations on how reparations could be accommodated, such as allowing African American high school graduates to obtain scholarships that would cover four years of undergraduate education at a school of their choice.
While the draft said it is unclear if the school has to remain within California’s borders and whether private colleges are eligible, it requested anti-bias training and recruitment programs for black educators.
It was stated that the draft harped on raising the minimum wage and requiring benefits for predominantly black industries, such as in the food and hospitality, agricultural, and domestic worker sectors.
More so, in addition to students, African American could potentially receive compensation for the losses black business suffered through ‘racial terror’ and it also proposes making it easier for black Californians to receive business loans and housing grants.
Also, the task force recommended creating a fund to help support black-owned businesses and eliminate barriers to licensure that had previously harmed African American workers, the draft reported.
Task force Chair Kamilah Moore stated that the report will be the first government-commissioned study on harms against the African American community since the 1968 Kerner Commission report ordered by then-President Lyndon Johnson.
She said ‘I hope that this report is used not only as an educational tool, but an organizing tool for people not only in California but across the US to educate their communities,’ adding that the report also highlights ‘contributions of the African American community and how they made the United States what it is despite ongoing oppression and degradation.’
It could be recalled that Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation creating the task force in 2020, making California the only state to move ahead with a study and plan. Cities and universities are taking up the cause with the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois, becoming the first US city to make reparations available to Black residents last year.
Remarkably, the report brought to light how California supported slavery before it was technically abolished and oppressed African American residents through discriminatory laws and practices in education, home ownership, employment, and the courts.
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