For decades upon decades, a debate has raged regarding the concept of paying reparations to African Americans on account of America’s history of slavery.
Of course, the possibility has been given a bit of a boost in 2020, as the nation continues down a path toward a racial reckoning the likes of which we may have never seen before. In one west coast locale, the idea of paying out reparations is even getting a legislatively endorsed study.
The State of California will study reparations to black Americans, thanks to a bill signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
AB 3121 will create a nine-member “Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans, with a Special Consideration for African Americans Who are Descendants of Persons Enslaved in the United States,” according to the text of the bill.
The irony of California looking into reparations was not lost on some.
California was admitted to the Union in 1850 as a free state and has no history of legal slavery.
As the state Department of Parks and Recreation notes on its website (original emphasis):
In 1849, Californians sought statehood and, after heated debate in the U.S. Congress arising out of the slavery issue, California entered the Union as a free, nonslavery state by the Compromise of 1850.
California became the 31st state on September 9, 1850. The Golden State’s rich history has since been shaped by people of every ethnic background who traveled here seeking economic, social and educational opportunity, and a life of quality and breathtaking beauty.
Newsom would go on to say that he hopes California’s study would be replicated throughout the nation.
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