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State task force launched to study reparations for descendants of slaves

Bill authored by Sec. of State Dr. Shirley Weber
Reparations task force for descendants of Slaves in America.png
Posted at 5:49 PM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 20:56:16-04

SAN DEIGO (KGTV) -- A new state task force was launched Tuesday morning to study and create possible reparations for descendants of slaves in America. This task force is the first of its kind in the country.

"I was honored to sign in September of last year, Assembly Bill 3121 to establish this task force to study reparations for slavery," Governor Gavin Newsom said in the virtual meeting.

"This is to help us develop a proposal to address wounds that have too long been allowed to fester," California Attorney General Rob Bonta said. "To recommend appropriate remedies of compensation, rehabilitation, and restitution for African Americans, with special consideration to the descendants to those who were enslaved in the United States."

The inaugural task force meeting came exactly 100 years after the Tulsa Massacre, where a mob of white residents destroyed the prosperous African American community known as 'Black Wall Street,' injuring more than 800 people, killing at least 30, but likely many more.

The Bill, authored by California Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber, is the first of its kind in the nation.

"What does it feel like to live in a country that never says, 'I'm sorry?' Dr. Weber asked. "What does it feel like to live in a country where you're continually abused, misused, ignored, and no one ever stops and says, 'We were wrong."

Task force member Senator Steven Bradford (CA-35) already shared his ideas on what the reparations could look like.

"Just as President Roosevelt came up with a G.I. Bill to reward men and women back in WWII, reparations can surely look like that," Senator Bradford said. "Provide free education for descendants of slaves at our Cal State and UC Systems, providing first-time homebuyers assistance, to provide Medicare and child care."

"We believe that there is opportunity in California, and that the things that happened in the past can be reckoned with, and that we must move forward," Dr. Weber said.

The task force has until next June 1, 2022, to submit its report to the Legislature.