California Approves $1.2 Million Reparations Plan Per Person…

The official reparation task force in California has approved recommendations that could potentially provide monetary reparations to black residents in the state. The nine-member panel, which was formed in September 2020, has taken a significant step forward in addressing racial disparities and inequalities through its proposed plan.

According to the panel and based on approved recommendations, black Californians who have been impacted by various injustices, such as mass incarceration, housing discrimination, and other systemic issues, could be eligible to receive reparations. The plan outlines calculated dollar figures for different categories of injustices.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 2.5 million Californians, accounting for approximately 6.5 percent of the state’s population, identify as black and may qualify for reparations based on specific requirements. The draft report indicates that individuals affected by mass incarceration and over-policing during the national War on Drugs could potentially receive around $115,260 per person, or $2,352 for each year they lived in California from 1971 to 2020.

Furthermore, the panel’s recommendations include provisions for black residents who have suffered from lending and zoning redlining by banks between 1933 and 1977. These individuals could be eligible to receive reparations amounting to $3,366 for each year of their residency in California, with a maximum cap of $148,099. Another approach presented by the task force calculates the wealth gap between black and white communities in housing, suggesting reparations of $145,847 per person.

Additionally, the report acknowledges the need to address alleged injustices and discriminations in health, estimating potential reparations at $13,619 per person for each year lived in California. These figures, as per a New York Times analysis, imply that a black individual living in California with an average life expectancy of 71 years could receive up to $1.2 million.

While the proposed recommendations have received support from some lawmakers, including Representative Barbara Lee, who considers reparations morally justifiable and capable of rectifying long-standing racial disparities, not all voices are in agreement. One attendee at the panel meeting expressed dissatisfaction with the suggested incremental payments, stating a preference for direct cash payments similar to stimulus checks.

The task force members are set to release the final report by July 1. If lawmakers approve the plan, a new agency will be established to oversee the program, determine eligibility, and distribute funds. Economists have projected that California could owe more than $800 billion in reparations, which exceeds the state’s annual budget.