(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
OAN Geraldyn Berry
11:37 AM PT – Tuesday, February 28, 2023
An extensive reparations plan put up by a committee in San Francisco calls for a $5 million lump-sum payment to each qualified Black resident.
The purpose of the payment is to “compensate the affected population for the decades of harms that they have experienced and will redress the economic and opportunity losses that Black San Franciscans have endured, collectively, as the result of both intentional decisions and unintended harms perpetuated by City policy.”
“While neither San Francisco, nor California, formally adopted the institution of chattel slavery, the values of segregation, white supremacy and systematic repression and exclusion of Black people were legally codified and enforced,” the committee said.
It is reported that numerous suggestions about monetary reparations, housing, job development, education, the school-to-prison pipeline, health, and local policy are included in the proposal.
In 2020, The San Francisco African American Reparations Advisory Committee was created to create a plan addressing “the institutional, City sanctioned harm that has been inflicted upon African American communities,” without power to put its suggestions into action.
According to the Director of economic rights at the San Francisco African American Reparations Advisory Committee Brittni Chicuata, in late December of 2022, a draft of the 60-page proposal was submitted to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. A hearing date nor a decision has yet to be made about the status of the proposal.
Residents of San Francisco must have met two of eight additional requirements. This included being born in the city between 1940 and 1996 and demonstrating proof of at least 13 years of residency, in order to be eligible for reparations. Residents must also be 18 years of age or older, have identified as Black or African American on public documents for at least 10 years; Have been incarcerated as a result of “the failing War on Drugs” or descended directly from someone who was; being a descendant of an individual who was subjected to US chattel slavery before to 1865; being relocated between 1954 and 1973, or having a displaced ancestor; being a member of an underrepresented group that endured lending discrimination in the city between 1937 and 1968 or in “previously redlined” communities inside the city between 1968 and 2008, in accordance with the committee’s plan.
The city’s African American Reparations Advisory Committee’s chair consultant, Eric McDonnell, explains how they came about the $5 million figure.
“There wasn’t a math formula,” McDonnell told The Washington Post. “It was a journey for the committee towards what could represent a significant enough investment in families to put them on this path to economic well-being, growth and vitality that chattel slavery and all the policies that flowed from it destroyed.”
Republicans have expressed their objections to the new proposal. John Dennis, the head of the San Francisco Republican Party, slammed the proposal as being implausible and without a convincing argument to support the $5 million number.
“This is just a bunch of like-minded people who got in the room and came up with a number,” he said. “You’ll notice in that report, there was no justification for the number, no analysis provided. This was an opportunity to do some serious work and they blew it.”
Some others have pointed out that slavery was never legal in San Francisco. Political commentators criticized the idea that the citizens of the city who were not responsible for slavery are being asked to foot a reparations bill.