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Reparations panel recommends possible millions for eligible Black Californians

Original post made on May 11, 2023

A task force approved economic models for lawmakers to calculate the costs of historical racism in California. CalMatters has created an interactive tool where users can see what is owed.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 10, 2023, 3:37 PM

Comments (55)

Posted by Byron Lange
a resident of Atherton
on May 11, 2023 at 8:13 am

Byron Lange is a registered user.

In a recent Politico poll, 82% of African Americans are in favor of these reparations while 72% of white Americans oppose this measure.

The questions: (1) Where will the funding be sourced & what will be the fiscal impact on the state budget including potential cuts in other areas (i.e. state services & projects), and (2) Are other minority groups (i.e. Hispanic Americans) also entitled to seek state reparations?

Lastly, will these reparations (if enacted): (1) provide a viable economic jump start for all African Americans and (2) reduce crime as well?

Posted by Jesse Hanley
a resident of Mountain View
on May 11, 2023 at 9:40 am

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This would be a very controversial reparation program as it borders on equality VS entitlement.

If anything, the former Confederate states should be held responsible for the bulk of these reparations.

Posted by Barron Parker Too
a resident of Barron Park
on May 11, 2023 at 11:03 am

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This reminds me of sales tactics at upscale stores. The salesperson first takes you to something very expensive, far beyond your means. This creates a very high set point, and anything you are shown later seems relatively cheap by comparison, even if it is still more than you intended to spend.

Let's consider just the practicality of the payout; I'll leave others to debate the morality. Here, we first have some people in San Francisco demanding $5 million cash payment plus $90,000 a year for centuries. The only purpose of such idiocy is to create a set point. Then another group of people, described here, suggest that $1 million to most black Californians should do it. A smaller amount, but still absurd, because $1,000,000 to 2 million blacks would cost $2,000,000,000,000, about 6 times the total budget for the state. Not a serious proposal; it only creates a second, lower set point.

Where is this going? We can next expect another group, perhaps at the national level, to reduce the amount by another factor of five to, say, $200,000. Now that seems like a bargain, since we've seen $5,000,000 and $1,000,000 before. But it's not practical. With 42 million blacks in the US, that would amount to $8,400,000,000,000, which is twice the total collected in Federal taxes in the country each year. And so another group reduces the amount by a factor of 5, demanding $40,000 for each black person in the country. That would still cost more than $1,500,000,000,000.

Please keep this in mind -- set points and factor of 5 reductions -- as you watch the game being played out in the coming years.

Posted by Mondoman
a resident of Green Acres
on May 11, 2023 at 12:12 pm

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Seems like problematic categories -- surely "over" or "under" policing depends on what if any crimes an individual committed, and certainly life expectancy is much affected by lifestyle choices like diet and exercise.

Posted by Jennifer Lodge
a resident of Barron Park
on May 11, 2023 at 12:34 pm

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"...will these reparations (if enacted): (1) provide a viable economic jump start for all African Americans and (2) reduce crime as well?"

$1.2M-$5M per African American descendent of slavery should provide some degree of financial security and allow them to purchase a home and comfortably subsist, providing the money is spent wisely.

It should also reduce reliances on social services and various crimes associated with poverty.

If these conditions cannot be assured, then the fiscal outlay remains somewhat questionable.

Posted by Barron Parker Too
a resident of Barron Park
on May 11, 2023 at 4:51 pm

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@Jennifer Lodge

You missed the entire two points of my posting, which are (1) to help make you aware that there is a game being played, based on human psychology, to push people ignore reality when assessing costs, and (2) that none of this is affordable even at 1% of the SF numbers (1% of $5,000,000).

How does one explain the magnitude of these numbers and the absurdity of these proposals? Consider: if you were to give $1,200,000 to every black person in the US (this is your LOWER number!), it would cost $50,000,000,000,000. That is 50 trillion dollars. How much is that? It is 10 times the total amount of Federal taxes collected each year in the USA! It's about 2.5 TIMES THE NET WEALTH OF FRANCE AND EVERYONE IN IT. It is almost half the net wealth of the US and everyone in it.

Still not clear? OK. Your LOWER number of $1.2 million may not seem like much money to wealthy people in Palo Alto, but consider this: the MEDIAN NET WEALTH OF FAMILIES in the US is $120,000. Half the 125 million families in the US have a net wealth less than $120,000. If the US Treasury could print 50 trillion dollars (which would of course cause hyperinflation, making the dollar worthless), you are proposing to hand over 10 times the median net wealth of US families to every black person.

Finally: how can one possibly visualize one trillion dollars? A million dollars is ten thousand $100 bills -- stacked up or laid down, it is about 4 feet long. A trillion dollars would be 4 MILLION FEET long, the distance from New York City to Chicago. Try to visualize those 10 billion $100 bills as a stack 800 miles long whenever someone says "1 trillion dollars."

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 11, 2023 at 5:18 pm

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Questions Questions

Will this be for subsequent generations? Will this cause a higher birth rate in the African American community? Will those African Americans who have college degrees, earn a certain high salary, or have mixed racial backgrounds be included? Can the recipients be monitored so that this money is not spent on drugs, alcohol, or similar for families and peers? Where does this money come from? Does tax money from those who have entered the USA since slavery be exempted from paying towards this?

And will the trend continue outside USA for others who have been affected by slavery? The Romans enslaved Christians, the Barbary Pirates enslaved northern Europeans even into the 20th Century, should their descendants also receive reparations? Oh, no descendants because those slaves were castrated and forced abortions which usually meant death to a pregnant woman.

Reparations aside, how about looking at the life of the average country in Africa where the slaves were captured by their own race? The GPA of those countries, the standard of living and education, are all well below the USA. Perhaps these facts should be taught in ethnic studies classes.

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 11, 2023 at 6:09 pm

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A difficult topic.
CA was not a slave state.

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 12, 2023 at 9:09 am

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As this discussion goes on a huge number of people are crosssing the border to come to America. They are all colors of people. And multitude of states are trying to fold them in at great expense. City and state budgets are pushed to the limit to keep our expected services on-going. Meanwhile our ability to grow crops to feed people is hampered by the economy and the weather conditions - flooding.

All of those migrants want to be US citizens, go to the schools, and live their lives. All of the people who are looking for reparations are already doing that. Look at all of the homeless people who are struggling. They are all colors.

What happened in 1619 is a lot of happenings that have nothing to do with racial inequity. It was about colonist who were trying to create a new world. Fast forward through all of the revolutions and economic changes is part of a total picture..

All have benefited from the ability to go to school, go to work, and make self determinations as to how to live a life. Trying to penalize at this time is reflecting a close minded awareness of what the point of living in America is all about.

Posted by Petra Constantin
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2023 at 9:48 am

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To compensate for General Sherman's "forty acres and a mule" promise to freed African American slaves, offering a home in a modestly priced neighborhood + a new car would be more economically feasible for American taxpayers who will be footing the bill for this proposed reparation measure.

An individual $450K outlay is far more realistic than a $1.2-$5M per person expenditure and the U.S. government could decide where to situate the housing locations. The interior of Nevada would be an ideal site as there is plenty of undeveloped acreage.

Posted by Cecelia Vega
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2023 at 12:55 pm

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Any formal apology and associated reparations should come from the former Confederate states and not California.

When it comes to any apologies and reparations, California should focus it attention towards Mexican Americans and indigenous Native Californians.

$5M per African American descendent of slavery is a tad excessive and not economically feasible.

Posted by We Told You So!
a resident of Menlo Park
on May 12, 2023 at 11:18 pm

We Told You So! is a registered user.

@Cecelia Vega. Why is it that every time when Blacks do something there is always Hispanics standing behind wanting to run in pass blacks, thru the door? Mexicans say that they dont want to take jobs from Americans. But you know that you do. & NOT the Slave jobs. Take your grievance up with France & Spain. I followed this closely. Some posters above obviously havent. You are exerting personal Opinions.
One person said "California wasn't a Slave State"? This is Reparations for the wrongs done here. As to Stolen land Owned by Black Americans. i.e. The Stolen Beach Property in Santa Monica. There were Thousands of Properties all over California, including the Bay Area. taken away from Former Slaves in California. Many were Murdered behind owning properties that a Caucasian wanted. Real Estate Brokers did what was called "Steering" which is illegal. There were verbiage written into Grant Deeds, as not to Sell to Blacks. There were things like "Redlining". Systemic and Systematic Racism. Cheated from proper Health Care (not diet) as one poster stated. Not being allowed to learn about Their Heritage in Schools. Segregated from good Schools. Learning information, such as when the Slaves were brought over from Africa, at least 20 Million were tossed overboard like Garbage. Another thing,
It wasn't ask of the Japanese about spending habits or Substance abuse. The one Japanese Task Force Member had the nerves to mentioning the HIGH numbers of Black Mothers & Babies dying. He said that this would be reverse racism against other races? @The people who worry about the Cost and where the Funding will come from? Does this mean that you feel sending ALL the Money to "Ukraine & Israel"? That they are more worthy?
The Investment from the "Users/Profiteers" aka: FREE Labor is a reality. FREE Labor with NO Down payments or monthly payments. But this is California Reparations. It is the continuous bad behaviors "Jim Crow" etc.
Only those that can show "Linage" to Slavery will be paid.

Posted by Daria Sheinlin
a resident of Stanford
on May 13, 2023 at 8:33 am

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@We Told You So!
The financial outlay required to fulfill these monetary reparations to every African American descendent of slavery is not only astronomical but unrealistic and impractical.

In addition to the fiscal outlay, there will be many fraudulent claims as we witnessed during the COVID period when various financial assistance programs were made available by the U.S. government.

Verifying the historical backgrounds of all African Americans (who comprise roughly 30% of the U.S. population) will also prove difficult and any processing delays will most likely be met with open hostilities on the part of the anticipatory recipients.

Creating such a program will also encourage other disenfranchised groups to seek reparations as well including the LGBTQ community which has endured ostracism and discrimination.

There is a vast difference between equality and entitlement.

In America we are still striving to promote equality and acceptance but certain entitlements favoring a specific group could easily be construed as an entitlement which in turn is discriminatory.

If African American descendents of slavery are deemed worthy of $5M reparations for their personal hardships, others can easily make similar claims and that too should be considered.

With current Congressional debate over the 2023 federal debt ceiling, just where is all of this reparation money supposed to come from? Meanwhile in California, the projected costs of state-sponsored $1.2M reparations per African American would easily exceed the state budget.

Reparations are not a viable solution to resolving our societal ills.

Posted by Ted Washington
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 13, 2023 at 9:02 am

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Perhaps a compromise is in order and doing the math...considering that Japanese American internees received $20,000 for three years of wrongful incarceration, African American descendents of slavery should receive at least $2.7M apiece to compensate for their extended societal subjugation from 1619 to at least 1964...the year the Civil Rights Act was enacted (though not fully practiced to date).

The reparations could be distributed not necessarily in one lump sum but as an yearly annuity for all African American descendents of slavery.

This approach would allow the state and federal government to meet their other fiscal obligations without breaking the bank. the right thing and make things right.

Posted by Another Consideration...
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 13, 2023 at 9:38 am

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Our distant families and relatives in West Africa should also be eligible for some form of reparation because they lost family members due to the American slave trade.

Spain and England both abolished slavery in the early 19th century but the American South continued the practice to ensure the massive and continued production of their lucrative cotton and tobacco crops.

Had the southern plantation owners hired more white laborers to either sharecrop or work as indentured servants we would not be having this conversation about reparations.

Posted by Darren Wilcox
a resident of Los Altos
on May 13, 2023 at 10:36 am

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It should be noted that in addition to issuing hefty multi-million dollar reparations to all descendents of African slaves in America, the Task Force is also advocating for multi-million dollar reparations to African Americans regardless of their connection to slavery citing pervasive systemic racism in America.

The reparations task force is comprised of all-African American committee members including one Japanese-American attorney. There are no white task force members on the board.

In a state such as California which professes to value equality and diversity, the absence of any white members on this task force could also be viewed as discriminatory per se.

Posted by Jen Wilson
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 13, 2023 at 12:00 pm

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The proposed reparations are designed to correct the wrongdoings of racism.

As poster [We Told You So] is trying to convey, the very basis of property in the U.S. is derived through whiteness and through Black oppression, through the history of slavery, and settler domination of the country.

By providing sizable monetary reparations, America can finally wipe its racist past clean and allow all African Americans to move forward with their lives after centuries of white suppression.

At $5M per recipient, there will be a reduced need for Affirmative Action, social services (welfare/food stamps) and ideally, a reduction in street crimes.

It will also provide for home ownership and investments providing the recipients manage their financial resources with discretion.

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 13, 2023 at 1:45 pm

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The SF Chronicle brought in an "Opinion" writer who comes from New Orleans. Justin Philips first attempts were " I do not see anyone that looks like me". Of course he goes to all of the wrong places - EVERYONE has fled the place. He will tell you every week what a bad person you all are. Now it appears that his column is written by AI as it is filled with facts, dates and history that he could have no knowledge of.

So the powers that be in the Journalism Industry have thrown their hat into the ring. But their papers get smaller and smaller every week and the other Opinion writers are disappearing. No one appreciates someone fron New Orleans popping in to say what a bad person you are.

They picked the state of CA since we are coninually told that we "lead" in legislation. The legislature is bought and paid for. How is that working out with massive flooding ruining crops, the millionaires moving out of state. You can' t get there from here.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 13, 2023 at 2:11 pm

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Just a little reminder that all US women have consistently been paid mich less than men for doing the same jobs, that Google and Morgan Stanley settled their class action suits for more than $215,000,000 EACH for systematic discrimination and that the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) guaranteeing equal pay was again defeated.

Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on May 13, 2023 at 4:36 pm

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"California State Senator Steven Bradford, a member of the state's Reparation Task Force is warning black resident's payments are just not happening."

The article goes on to say they have no idea where the money would come from. In reality, no kidding.

Posted by We Told You So!
a resident of Menlo Park
on May 13, 2023 at 7:36 pm

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Let's start here. Those of You that are not familiar with the actions of the "Task Force Hearing". You can go to Their website. There is nothing hidden. It is all transparent.
It was asked to be formed by Secretary of State of California .Shirley Weber, Granted by Gavin Newsome. Although at this point the Governor has no opinion as of this date.
The task force was created as a result of California Assembly Bill 3121, charged with showing “incontrovertible evidence of the harms requiring reparations” and making recommendations for redressing those harms. Not "racism". The Systematic and Systemic "Actions". The Harms.

Posted by We Told You So!
a resident of Menlo Park
on May 13, 2023 at 8:19 pm

We Told You So! is a registered user.

@Daria Sheinlin.
During the process of the pass year, there are many that have opinions as yours. First, what are you comparing
"Astronomical, Unrealistic, & Impractical to?
There were many that presented the Task Force who had a similar opinions? Your opinion states that there will be MANY fraudulent claims and you are comparing "Reparation" to "COVID" period? [Portion removed.]
This program will be done by "Lineage" only and proof has to be given.
Verification will NOT be hard to prove. The hardest part will be separating the TRUE African Americans that came here via Slave Ships into the United States. Eliminating "Africans from Other Countries".
The Task Force spoke on this. In fact the One African-Jamaican on the panel is not eligible. There were many Slaves dropped off all over the World. In my opinion, the strongest hard part are in Puerto Rico. But they were not "Slaves". They tackled "Black Hispanics", that commingled in marriages creating Descendants. Once again "Lineage Eligibility".

You mentioned "open hostilities"? Its plain and simple, if you have a African American Ancestor that goes back into Slavery, then you are eligible. The Task Force discussed "Mixed Races". Most African Americans have dual Ancestry. Many that were created by "Slave Masters". Many were in the Audience during the meetings. It was brought up that, All people on Earth have African DNA. Then they referred back to "Lineage".

You bring up the encouragement of Other disenfranchised groups? You should really stay on subject. None of this was mentioned when "Reparations" were paid to the previous groups?
This is NOT a "equality or an entitlement" This is for the (wrongs) that occurred in California. You are convoluting the situation. You are mudding the water.

Posted by We Told You So!
a resident of Menlo Park
on May 13, 2023 at 8:40 pm

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[Post removed; successive comments by same poster are not permitted.]

Posted by Prentiss Conway
a resident of Menlo Park
on May 14, 2023 at 7:12 am

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Interesting to note that after initiating its formation and upon review of the Task Force recommended reparations + overall costs, Governor Newsom is now silent on the subject.

The State of California simply cannot afford to pay $1.2 million to all African American descendents of slavery residing in CA.

Posted by Melba Thompson
a resident of Portola Valley
on May 14, 2023 at 8:18 am

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To even consider issuing reparations when the California government is currently facing a $32B deficit would border on fiscal irresponsibility and recklessness.

From a sociological perspective, widescale African American poverty can often be traced to unstable home environments, lack of higher education or vocation, and short-term perspective income management.

If these reparations were somehow made available, would this fiscal entitlement resolve the aforementioned?

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 14, 2023 at 10:21 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

This month is AAPI month. The city of Hayward is celebrating with a number of events that are well attended by all colors, all races, and a lot of Harly Davis motorcycles. Saturday was a street fair with music and food. Everyone enjoying themselves. So refreshing that there are groups of people who can celebrate their heritage in a positive way. they have a number of colleges so not lacking in the educational sphere. These are people who are working the life today, making their own choices, and enjoying themselves.

Did not see any signs or protestors. They are a very tough crowd so no need to "disrupt" an event.

Posted by Stepheny
a resident of Midtown
on May 14, 2023 at 11:20 am

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If some in our government and society want to atone to all who have been victimized, Blacks should not have the monopoly. What about the systemic unequal treatment for Native Americans, Asians, Latinos and of course, all women who earn 70 percent of what a man earns in the same job? Make laws equal going forward and don't look backward at who did what to whom decades or even centuries ago. [Portion removed.]

Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on May 14, 2023 at 1:31 pm

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This is absolutely ridiculous. Thankfully, it will never come to pass. If it did, I would wholeheartedly join any lawsuit that will challenge this in courts.


California was never a slave state.
No person born in California has ever been a slave here.

Why should the taxpayers of this state be penalized for something that we aren't responsible for?

I suppose that we should probably lay the ax to the root -- and allow those who initially sold people into slavery to be found culpable. Then again, that would be unfair for current African nations and ethnic tribes too.

Slavery has been a plight in every continent (sans Anarctica) for thousands of years. It existed in the New World long before European powers moved here. It existed in North America long before the United States became a nation. It also existed long before the English, French, Spanish and Dutch arrived.

Existing Americans tribes conquered others and often subjugated those who weren't killed. Even the term "slave" comes from the Slavic people who were often enslaved by the Romans and Greeks.

If we go back far enough, most of us can trace our lineage to some form of slavery or indentured servitude. Unfortunately, our wacky politicians are pandering for votes. They make these bold promises that they know can never happen; yet, they bank on the votes of the "unaware and compliant."

Such politicians should be ashamed for lying to them.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 14, 2023 at 9:16 pm

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Maybe I'm missing something but why isn't this a Federal problem? Not that it would ever get through Congress since they can't even finally pass the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) guaranteeing equal pay for equal work.

Serious side question: Do former California residents who left specifically because of racism qualify for the reparations (if they're ever paid)?

Side point A): the payment to interned Asian-Americans didn't compensate them for the land and property they lost.

Side Point B): It's not common knowledge but other groups like Italian and Portuguese fishernmen from the East Coast were also put in camps in places like Montana.

Posted by Alan Fishman
a resident of Menlo Park
on May 15, 2023 at 7:36 am

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The responsibility for these reparations (if any) rests on the shoulders of the 11 former Confederate slave states.

They were South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

The federal government should not be held accountable for the past actions of the South and neither should California.

The recommendations of Governor Newson's Task Force should be presented to the statehouses of these former slave states and any reparations should come from their coffers regardless of the fiscal ramifications and impacts.

It is time to pass the buck on this one and once again hold the South responsible for its misdeeds and mistreatment towards African Americans.

Posted by Reese Whitcomb
a resident of Atherton
on May 15, 2023 at 9:44 am

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According to USA Today, economists have estimated that if all of the Task Force recommendations were actually enacted, California would owe roughly $800 billion in reparations.

This is not a feasible concept and as Mr. Fishman noted, any responsibility for these reparations rests with the former Confederate states who not only endorsed the practice of slavery but also initiated the Civil War with their pre-emptive attack on Fort Sumpter.

In many ways, the American South needs to be further punished for their blatant racism, both past and present.

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 15, 2023 at 12:43 pm

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The idea that locations in the US need to be punished is going the wrong way. The states in the south were the agriculture states - growing rice, cotton, other staples sold in the markets all over the country. There is no way that the agriculture efforts could be created and evolved without a lot of help in the fields. It is similiar to the Banana Republics where American companies went in to grow bananas, pineapples, coffee beans, sugar cane (Cuba).

The opposite in the north were the factories that produced shoes, clothes, findings, furniture. Across the country to CA - cotton, grapes for wine, etc.

NAFTA changed a lot of that - the lofts no longer produce products and are empty.
When the immigrants first came they could get jobs - now the jobs are out of country. Tennis shoes produced in slave factories in Asia.

I have relatives who came with a two year contract to do extensive mining in CA - they never got anythging but a trip in a ship and a lot of very hard work.

The way different sectors of the US are framed for work is based on temperature, available land, water, proximity to ports for shipping, railroads to move products, available labor. Evolution in products to reduce use of labor - tractors, earth moving equipment, less use of manual labor due to better, newer methods of farming.

The blame game serves no purpose. it duplicates in Africa where tribes now fight over land and water, girls in school.

The reparations are already there - government funded colleges, housing East coast, jobs that are now disappearing in the Rail Road industry = need to be recreated. Go to school - learn a trade like everyone else. What did Mr. Fishman's relatives do when they came?

Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on May 15, 2023 at 2:34 pm

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No one living today should be held culpable for the sins of their ancestors. This includes the current southern states. This includes the African tribes that conquered other tribes and sold them to the Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese. It includes the Democratic Party (which was pro-slavery, pro-KKK, pro-Jim Crow, pro-segregation, etc.). This includes taxpayers in the federal government.

Reparations are a ridiculous idea.

Slavery was an evil -- one that existed around the world at one time or another. However, no one alive is culpable. Taxpayers today (federal and state) should not be required to pay for the sins of others.

Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on May 15, 2023 at 4:34 pm

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I agree with those questioning why CA is taking responsibility for this rather than the federal government and those asking how such payments would be funded. Wouldn't it make more sense to invest directly (and heavily) in access to medical care, housing, and education in a way that would directly benefit those who might qualify to receive reparation? That would have immediate and ongoing benefits.

Posted by MyFeelz
a resident of another community
on May 15, 2023 at 6:33 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

Well there's something we agree on, @R1AM. Nafta sent our GDP into the toilet. Web Link There are some statistics that show who's running the show. If the US is the global leader, with China not far behind, why is everything on a store shelf except for locally sourced food stamped "MADE IN CHINA"? I've been everywhere, man. At least in North America in the US from coast to coast, and every province of Canada as far west as Alaska and as far east as Nova Scotia. EVERYTHING is made in China. It did crack me up that while I was in NS, at the provincial tourist store, everything from greeting cards to mini-mooses were all labeled made in China. What I saw more of in NS than anywhere else was boarded up factories. What the US and every other civilized nation has done is to outsource slavery to China. Dormitory factories cover mainland China and people commit murder to get those jobs. Mitt Romney held up the Chinese Factories as ideal, saying he would like to see this happen in the US, when he was running for President.

The biggest capitalist offender is WalMart. Their trucks used to have a giant US flag with the words MADE IN USA stamped on them. Now the ugly logo is some kind of alien flower. Or maybe an asterisk. As if to say, *Used to be MADE IN USA, now MADE IN CHINA. When we outlawed slavery and especially up until the 1960's when Jim Crow still ruled the roost, the US still had cheap labor because of illegal discrimination. That's over. Or is it???

Everyone who buys products made overseas is complicit in global slavery. How do we make reparations for THAT?

Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 15, 2023 at 9:31 pm

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@MyFeelz about the only Made In USA I can see is the massive homeless crisis and it’s on steroids in California. As for Wal-Mart the only thing that is front of the Made in China trade mark is behind glass/ lock and key are tooth brushes, Nicorette gum & phone chargers. Items like Benydryl, peroxide, bleach are grab and go as needed by the consumer. Thank the Lord hemorrhoid ointments and female sanitary napkins don’t need a low wage attendant keys to unlock the glass after an over the intercom mic & a 15 minute wait in an isle for service. Made in America is living in RV’s, Tough tents in the wal mart parking lot w zero Honey I post. This might have changed in the last minute or two. On the up. Wal-Mart/Made in China, made it possible for the poor to buy gifts for the kiddos at midnight on December 25th. And Sam & Hillary rC ... lol

Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 15, 2023 at 9:34 pm

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[Post removed; successive comments by same poster are not permitted.]

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 16, 2023 at 10:31 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

A core inflow of African people to CA is in part due to the use of African labor in the Banana Republics. Those crops were grown in the lower sections near the ports - hot. The residents of those countries live in the highlands - cooler temperature. When those growing locations became unproductive the labor got on ships and came to CA - they were not slaves - they were independent workers moving to where new growing locations were emerging. They were moving to work where everyone else was moving to - to work. They took over the Railroads coming across the country - then the railroads which ended up in Oakland and SF stopped coming. The auto and planes took over the transportaion of people and products.

Did someone mention Mr. Romney? Utah is mining coal for sale to China. It is coming to Martinzes by railroad for shipment from those ports. They tried to make Oakland a coal terminal but that was stopped. They also tried to use the Columbia River to barge the coal down to a port in WA - that didn't work. For all of you Climate people - take note that we are supplying China with coal. Wyoming is another state with a lot of mineral strength. More behind the lady from Wyoming then meets the eye. "Democracy" is like a buzz word used to cover many major issues that are not readily apparent - they all have to do with the generation of huge amounts of money.

Posted by Chris G Zaharias
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 16, 2023 at 2:18 pm

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Let me get this straight:

A state that never allowed slaves
is taking money from people who never owned slaves
to give to people who never were slaves

Proving once again that only once Democrats have completely destroyed California will we have hit bottom.

Posted by Jason Tate
a resident of Stanford
on May 18, 2023 at 9:31 am

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[Post removed.]

Posted by Cale Winslow
a resident of Woodside
on May 21, 2023 at 1:17 pm

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In addition to being fiscally impractical, these proposed reparations amount to another social entitlement program that many Americans will be opposed to.

These reparation task force proposals are just another example of Gavin Newsom's out of touch mentality and now it has backfired on him.

Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 21, 2023 at 10:56 pm

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Reparations now! Uh. 200 thousand African Americans relocated to the West Coast from mostly the South of USA for WWII jobs, skills, earnings, life. It was not just get a train ticket or hitchhike out here. Each of these vital individuals needed a white person of reputation to sponsor the move. By means of a letter of recommendation. Once the War was over many of our citizen residence who helped win the war were kicked to the curb. Our Americans — hard fought to win that War were not allowed to fly with the air force yet only train the white pickets. Women who worked in Richmond navel yards fired after the war. Men loading Ami on ships blown up. These men and women were mostly not born and raised here but came here because the call of duty was necessary and the jobs were here and the security. Sickened by all the comments about a “Banana Republic”. Americans of all colors, creeds and economies won the War. Triply saddened when Clinton closed the ship building yard in Vallejo . So many families went hungry and that city went bankrupt. Reparations now!!

Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 21, 2023 at 10:58 pm

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[Post removed; successive comments by same poster are not permitted.]

Posted by Mavis Templeton
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 22, 2023 at 7:55 am

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@Native to the BAY...$31B of the federal budget is allocated towards foreign aid, most of it going to Afghanistan, Israel, and several 3rd world countries in Africa.

African Americans comprise roughly 1/3 of the U.S. population (approximately 109,000,000 people).

How about suspending ALL foreign aid and allocating these resources as a fiscal starting point for reparations? This would come to about $32,000.00 per African American in the United States.

As you mentioned earlier, throughout the decades African Americans have made noteworthy contributions and sacrifices on behalf of America.

On the other hand, the recipients of U.S. taxpayer-funded foreign aid have contributed absolutely NOTHING to the betterment of our country.

Posted by Ryan Tanner
a resident of Stanford
on May 23, 2023 at 7:06 am

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The issue of reparations to African American descendents of slavery and the overall responsibility for such payments is a complex one.

Few people are aware that the 'Five Civilized Tribes' (Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Crow, and Seminole) also owned African slaves in the Deep South prior to their forced relocation to Oklahoma (The Trail of Tears).

Should Native American tribes also be held responsible for practicing slavery along with their white southern counterparts?

Posted by Erica Lange
a resident of Woodside
on May 24, 2023 at 7:34 am

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Rep. Cory Bush recently stated that it will take $14T to fully compensate all African Americans for the past injustices that have been bestowed upon them.

I'm not a CPA but this sounds like an exorbitant amount of money.

It was also interesting to learn that Native Americans also enslaved African slaves but no one ever talks about it.

One way to get the reparation ball rolling might be for Native American casinos to allocate 25% of their profits towards these reparations as a good faith gesture.

Posted by Bryce Leake
a resident of Menlo Park
on May 24, 2023 at 9:02 am

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If these Native American tribes also owned slaves, why were the referred to as The Five Civilized Tribes?

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 24, 2023 at 9:03 am

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Every location in the US has a story and social history partially based on the economic drivers of the location. Agricultural, major maufacturing (autos), food processing, minor manufacturing (clothing, findings, shoes) which have been turned on their heads - everyone's heads. All people building ships, all people working the docks, all people working in auto plants. Also people working in the educational field. All people working in the manufacturing of shoes, clothes, funriture, etc.

Reparations is suppose to address the original people who came. But many wanted to come and leave Africa as it was back then.

People are trying to reconstrue history and the press is assisting. Each area is trying to create their own sociology and getting opinion pieces from the east coast which has it's own sociology.

This governor started reconsructing the sociology of CA when he was mayor of SF And now he is busy trying to reconstruct the history of other states. why is CA the point where this is being debated? Because we are depicted as having great wealth - which we know is not true. We have ignored the basic requirements of state governance and are now in financial trouble. And we are in societal trouble.

Posted by Bryce Leake
a resident of Menlo Park
on May 24, 2023 at 10:03 am

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@Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
"Reparations is suppose to address the original people who came. But many wanted to come and leave Africa as it was back then."

^ Please clarify. Are you differentiating the original slaves from Africa VS later-arrived immigrants from Africa?

Voluntary immigrants from Africa and their descendents would not be eligible for these proposed reparations.

The fiscal problem is that there are countless American citizens of mixed white-black heritage, many of whom had ancestors who were slaves.

So if we were to combine both African American descendents of slaves + mixed race American citizens who are also descendents of slavery and award them each $5M in reparations, this would break the bank and most likely require expanding the federal debt ceiling even further. As Rep. Cory Bush stated, $14 trillion dollars is the starting point.

Such an endeavor might require issuing more Treasury bonds and printing more currency which would undoubtedly lead to higher levels of inflation.

While reparations may be justified depending upon who one talks to, is this economic aftermath what most Americans want?

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 24, 2023 at 1:03 pm

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United Fruit Company was one of the biggest companies on the stock exchange going back to 1848. They took over the Central American countries including Cuba and Haiti with huge endeavors using fleets of ships. Many African workers came because they could escape Africa which had little avenues for work. They built railroads within the countries and developed schemes and strategies to economize the growing of food products. That whole area was a transition point for many people going to the west coast - take a ship up the Pacific side of the isthmus. Add the Panama Canal so ships could transition from the Atlantic side to the Pacific side. Many issues as the newer companies morphed into Dole. C&H Sugar, Dominon Sugar, Chiquita Banana, Del Monte, etc.
The Castro brothers grew up on a sugar plantation - they were not poor. Bet they would like to be back in the fold now.
Check it out on wikipedia - United fruit Company.
"The Business of Empire, United fruit, Race and the US Expansion in Central America" Jason Colby.

The bottom line in that workers were leaving Africa - a higher percentage to South America - a straight shot across the ocean. Africa at the time was not a great place to be - continual tribal wars.
That takes you to WHY California?

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 24, 2023 at 1:40 pm

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@ Bryce, I wonder how long it would take to prove lineage and harm. Who would research and review the requests? Would there be an appeals process? One envisions decades of arguments overseen by taxpayer-paid bureaucrats.
One tends to think a lot of people would request reparations and be upset if denied.

Meanwhile, I know Evanston IL did something right and focused on a distinct discrimination from the past.
The city has already compensated for property takings/forced movings in the time of ~ 1920’s (if I recall correctly).

A clear case in news was a grandson (who is Black) owns house that was forced to be actually moved decades ago (when grandfather owned it) away from the lake (= to much cheaper area). So house/lot didn’t appreciate as much as it would have otherwise. They had photos, clear history. I am sorry the grandfather is no longer alive to receive this apology and reparations.
Taxpayers gave $ (and maybe also property tax relief). Sorry I have forgotten specifics, but it was a doable, localized form of reparations (to maybe 50 families?) in this one city re: clear discrimination. City council and committe managed it. I

just don’t see the general demand for slave reparations here in non slate state CA, but am open to learning of specific cases of property takings/discrimination (or similar specific forms of discrimination) and having those compensated sooner than later.

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2023 at 3:10 pm

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This is hitting the news globally. This appeared on my feed today. Piers Morgan on TalkTV. Web Link

Posted by Melba Cross
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 24, 2023 at 3:16 pm

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> Who would research and review the requests?
^ Maybe

> Such an endeavor might require issuing more Treasury bonds and printing more currency which would undoubtedly lead to higher levels of inflation.
^ Issuing more Treasury bonds is how President George W. Bush financed the Iraqi/Afghanistan war and printing more currency has always been how our nation meet its monetary shortages. U.S. currency has not been backed by gold or silver reserves since the Nixon administration.

Posted by SteveDabrowski
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 24, 2023 at 4:37 pm

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Regardless of the justification this is a really bad idea. It could prove to be the most divisive action possible in white/black race relations and I would expect to see, given the 72% of whites who voice their opposition, white supremacists having a field day and further movement to the right in our politics. Above all it could spark significant levels of violence toward Blacks beyond anything we now see.

I suspect the idea alone has stirred expectations among many of receiving something that will never materialize. It can never pass with budgets and politics as they are, and it would leave society far more divided than it even is. No question that Blacks have had the short end of the stick far beyond what could be considered reasonable, but this proposal isn't going to repair anything.

Posted by Leslie York
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 27, 2023 at 8:35 pm

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"A state that never allowed slaves
is taking money from people who never owned slaves
to give to people who never were slaves."

Precisely. Neither I nor any of my ancestors ever owned slaves. Why should we pay our tax dollars to right a wrong we were never a party to? Taxes are high enough in California. This plan would bankrupt the state when you add it all up.

If the government handed me a check for $5 million free and clear, do you think I would continue to work for wages? Not I — I'd be a multimillionaire! This scheme would create a giant welfare state (or government-subsidized early-retirement program) and there would be an exodus of African Americans from the workforce. There would be no economic incentive for African Americans to get an education and contribute to society like almost everyone else if the wealth were passed down from generation to generation. If they stop working they are no longer paying income tax so add that to the cost of reparations.

What often happens when people suddenly come into a large sum of money (such as lottery winners) is that they can't handle their newfound wealth, become extravagant, burn through the money and wind up with nothing. That could easily happen with this plan. A multimillionaire bank president would receive the same $5 million payment as a minimum-wage janitor.

This whole plan is dripping with reverse racism.

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