A California committee formed to determine how much in reparations black people should receive due to slavery and past discrimination has determined that each of the 2.5 million California residents who identify as “Black” or “African American” should be paid $223,000 each for “housing discrimination.”
The total cost of reparations just for housing — there are four other causes for reparations the committee will consider — would be more than $569 billion. That’s $40 billion more than the entire state budget.
The committee has also recognized mass incarceration, unjust property seizures, devaluation of Black businesses, and healthcare as other causes for reparations.
The committee was created in 2020 after the Democratic legislature authorized its formation. It has until June 2023 to submit its recommendations.
“We are looking at reparations on a scale that is the largest since Reconstruction,” Jovan Scott Lewis, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and a member of the task force, told the New York Times.
Californians eligible for reparations, the task force decided in March, 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 percent of California residents, roughly 2.5 million, identify as Black or African American. The panel is now considering how reparations should be distributed — some favor tuition and housing grants while others want direct cash payments.
That’s the stickiest issue of all. Who is eligible and how do you prove it? How much “black blood” will you need to claim any of the cash? These issues are impossible to adjudicate fairly, but no one on the commission is concerned about “fairness” It’s a punitive form of “justice” and needs to be stopped in its tracks before it gets started.