California Panel Calls For Billions In Reparations For Black Residents

California’s reparations task force voted Saturday to approve recommendations on how the state may compensate and apologize to Black residents for generations of harm caused by discriminatory policies.

The nine-member committee, which met for the first time nearly two years ago, granted final approval to a long list of suggestions for reparations legislation at a meeting in Oakland.

At the conference, U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, cosponsoring a measure in Congress to examine restitution proposals for African Americans, urged states and the federal government to approve reparations legislation.

“Reparations are not only morally justifiable, but they have the potential to address longstanding racial disparities and inequalities,” Lee said.

The first vote on the panel approved a detailed narrative of historical discrimination against Black Californians in areas such as voting, housing, education, disproportionate policing, and incarceration, among others.

Other suggestions on the table were the establishment of a new organization to give services to descendants of enslaved individuals, as well as estimations of what the state owes them in reparations.

“An apology and an admission of wrongdoing just by itself is not going to be satisfactory,” said Chris Lodgson, an organizer with the Coalition for a Just and Equitable California, a reparations advocacy group.

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