task force studying slavery and systemic racism has estimated the descendants of enslaved people are owed $569 billion in reparations
According to the New York Times
, due to housing discrimination practices used from 1933 to 1977, black Californians whose ancestors lived in the US in the 19th century deserve $223,200 each.
Governor Gavin Newsom set up the Reparations Task Force in 2020, and the potential payouts are the largest ever regarding reparations.
“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.
As a result, the task force hopes to reduce the wealth gap between black and white Californians.
The Federal Reserve Board Survey of Consumer Finances reported that black households nationwide have a median worth of $24,100, which is negligible compared to white households, whose median wealth is $188,200.
It is a known fact that black Californians have experienced discrimination in housing, and several black communities have been bulldozed for infrastructure based on eminent domain.
The Times noted that the government frequently offered black homeowners less money than they had paid for their homes and evicted them.
The group has chosen to focus on four more issues besides housing discrimination, including mass imprisonment, unfair property seizures, devaluation of black enterprises, and health care.
The final cash figures will be in a report that the Reparations Task Force releases next year.
As a result, the California legislature must decide what to do with these recommendations and whether to provide funds and political support for reparations to black descendants of enslaved people.
According to the Times, the panel is also considering direct cash payments and tuition and housing grants as options for reparations.