Oakland, California – The California Reparations Task Force formally recommended that the state offer payments of up to $1.2 million to every qualifying Black resident.
The task force held a public meeting in Oakland, California, on Saturday and voted on the final set of recommendations to be sent to the state’s legislators according to Fox News. The nine-member panel called on the state to offer its Black residents a formal apology in addition to the payments.
“Reparations are not only morally justifiable, but they have the potential to address long-standing racial disparities and inequalities,” Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., said after attending the meeting.
The panel’s recommendation breaks payments down by types of historical discrimination. For instance, Black residents affected by redlining by banks would receive $3,366 for each year they lived in California from the early 1930s to the late 1970s, amounting to up to $148,099.
Similarly, Black residents could receive roughly $2,352 in compensation for over-policing and mass incarceration for each year they lived in California between 1970 and 2020. Those payments could amount to $115,260.
In total, from these and other payments included in the plan, a Black Californian who is 71 years old and has lived in California his entire life could receive up to $1.2 million, according to analysis from the New York Times.
The panel’s Saturday vote included only recommendations for the state legislature and does not have any legal weight.
Some black residents opposed the measure, wanting more money. An activist identified as Rev. Tony Pierce was one of the more outspoken people at the gathering, making reference to the famous “40 acres and a mule” promise to former slaves when he took the podium.
“You know that the numbers should be equivocal to what an acre was back then. We were given 40, OK? We were given 40 acres. You know what that number is. You keep trying to talk about now, yet you research back to slavery and you say nothing about slavery, nothing,” said Pierce. “So, the equivocal number from the 1860s for 40 acres to today is $200 million for each and every African American.”
The meeting was described as “chaotic” at times, with security removing several people from the meeting.