California Legislature Introduces Slavery Reparations Bills

California Capitol with blowing cash
by Eric Lendrum


On Wednesday, lawmakers in the state of California introduced a series of bills aimed at providing reparations for historical slavery, which would include giving out property and financial compensation for alleged descendants of slaves.

As Politico reports, the bills represent the first of their kind in the country, after a rising left-wing movement in favor of reparations first emerged shortly after the 2020 race riots. The California bills had been in the works for the last several years after Governor Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) set up a reparations “task force” to make suggestions, which led to a 111-page report issued last year.

The 14 different bills introduced by the state’s Legislative Black Caucus focus on a wide variety of areas that are allegedly impacted by the legacy of slavery, including education, civil rights, and criminal justice.

While none of the bills include a measure to provide direct payments to those who would qualify based on slave ancestry, there is a provision to provide financial relief to certain groups based on allegedly race-based “property takings.” Authored by State Senator Steven Bradford (D-Calif.), the bill would “restore property taken during raced-based uses of eminent domain to its original owners or provide another effective remedy where appropriate, such as restitution or compensation.”

Speaking on the lack of direct payouts, which many on the far-left have considered the ultimate end goal of reparations, Assemblywoman Lori Wilson (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Black Caucus, gave a statement saying that “while many only associate direct cash payments with reparations, the true meaning of the word, to repair, involves much more.”

“We need a comprehensive approach to dismantling the legacy of slavery and systemic racism,” Wilson added.

While the bills are all expected to easily pass due to the Democratic supermajority in both chambers, the laws will most likely face legal challenges after Newsom signs them into law.

As a result, some lawmakers are demanding that the California State Constitution be changed to allow for such provisions to be legal. Assemblyman Corey Jackson (D-Calif.), proposed a ballot referendum that would see the state’s voters approve such changes, so that the state could implement these programs with the intention of “increasing the life expectancy of, improving educational outcomes for, or lifting out of poverty specific groups based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, or marginalized genders, sexes, or sexual orientations.”

Such race-based initiatives are facing more widespread backlash from the American public in recent years, particularly with regards to corporate diversity enforcements in the form of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Last year, the Supreme Court issued a historic ruling overturning affirmative action – the practice of race-based preferences in the admission of college students, which overwhelmingly favors minorities over White applicants – ruling that such a practice was unconstitutional.

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Eric Lendrum reports for American Greatness.





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