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California’s Racial Reparations Plan: An $800 Billion Dollar Farce?

California’s Racial Reparations Plan: An $800 Billion Dollar Farce?

The California government has recommended the redistribution of hundreds of billions of dollars as racial reparations. The committee has suggested that the state pays cash to black Americans who claim to be descendants of slaves. The committee claims that the state government was complicit in the enslavement of blacks in southern states.

They suggest payments of $2,352 for each year slavery descendants lived in California from 1971 to 2020. They also recommend payments of $3,366 for each year they lived in the state between 1933 and 1977 when housing discrimination allegedly occurred, as well as $13,619 for each year they were a California resident. All of this is to compensate for health disparities between blacks and whites.

The total cost could be as much as $1.2 million per person and $800 billion overall. However, only descendants of slaves would be eligible for these reparations. The committee’s plan has some arbitrary distinctions as they have excluded many groups of minorities.

Black immigrants, Japanese Americans whose ancestors were put in camps during World War II, Chinese Americans who worked on the intercontinental railroad, and Native Americans who were pushed off their land by settlers are not eligible for reparations. The restriction to slavery descendants looks like an attempt to overcome likely legal challenges, as the Constitution’s equal protection clause prohibits government policies that discriminate based on broad racial classifications.

To confirm who is a descendant of a slave, a special agency would determine eligibility based on genealogical research. With so much cash at stake, it is predicted that litigation will ensue. The committee also recommends that the state adopt a laundry list of left-wing policies to remedy racial disparities.

These include rent control in minority neighborhoods, free college and a guaranteed income for slavery descendants, and single-payer health care. The panel also suggests repealing a 1996 state constitutional amendment that banned racial preferences, which voters reaffirmed in a 2020 referendum.

The California panel’s recommendations have been met with controversy. Reparations for slavery have been criticized as it requires Americans who played no part in slavery to pay for the sins of the past. A moral question is why Americans who played no part in either slavery or Jim Crow should pay for the sins of the past.

If the reparations committee wants to make amends for bad policy, other suggestions have been made. These include issues such as teacher tenure protections, lack of school choice, zoning restrictions, and the state’s de facto decriminalization of drug use and shoplifting in 2014. These progressive policies increase racial and income disparities, but they are off the reparations list.

The proposed plan for racial reparations in California is not only unfair, but also ludicrous. The arbitrary distinctions made by the committee exclude many groups of minorities who have also suffered discrimination and injustices throughout history. Furthermore, the proposal would cost an astronomical amount of money, with only descendants of slaves eligible for the payouts. The laundry list of left-wing policies suggested by the panel seems to be an attempt to manipulate the situation for political gain.

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1 Comment

  1. Richard

    This might actually be the most ludicrous idea EVER advocated by the liberals…and that’s a high bar to overcome!