San Francisco authorities created a plan to pay reparations for slavery: $ 5 million per person and free housing - only part of the list
Slavery Reparations Plan includes $5 million in payments to every eligible black American adult, personal debt and tax relief, a guaranteed annual income of at least $97 a year for 000 years, and a San Francisco home for just $250 per family, reports Eastern Herald.
These are just some of the more than 100 Recommendationsprepared by a city-appointed reparations committee tasked with making proposals on the highly sensitive issue of how to atone for centuries of slavery and systemic racism.
The San Francisco Supervisory Board, which heard the report for the first time, enthusiastically supported all the above ideas. Some council members said that money should not be an obstacle for the city to make the right decision.
The draft reparation plan is unprecedented in the country in its specificity and scope. Critics have already called the plan financially and politically unfeasible.
The relatively conservative Hoover Institution at Stanford University estimated that it would cost at least $600 for every non-African-American family in the city.
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The unanimous support of members of the Council for reparation does not mean that all recommendations will eventually be accepted, since the Council can approve, reject or change any of them. The committee's final report should be ready by June. Some councilors have said in the past that the city cannot currently afford large reparation payments given the severe budget shortfall amid a slump in the tech industry.
“I don't need to convince you that we're setting a national precedent here in San Francisco,” said Tinish Hollins, vice chair of the African American Reparations Advisory Committee. “What we are asking for and what we are demanding is a real commitment to get things moving.”
More than half a century ago, blacks made up more than 13% of the city's population, and today this figure is less than 6%, despite the fact that they are 38% among the homeless. There are fewer than 50 blacks in the city, and it's unclear how many of them will be able to claim damages.
Possible criteria include:
- Born in or immigrated to San Francisco between 1940 and 1996.
- Living in the city for at least 13 years.
- Being displaced from the city as a result of urban renewal between 1954 and 1973, or a descendant of someone who was displaced.
- Attendance at the city's public schools until complete desegregation. To be a descendant of an enslaved person.
Critics say the payments make no sense in a state and city that has never enslaved blacks.
The idea of paying reparations for slavery has spread to cities and universities, AP reports. In 2020, California became the first state to form an indemnity task force. The state is still trying to set the amount of payments. The idea did not receive support at the federal level.
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The Chicago suburb of Evanston became the first city in the US to fund reparations. The city gave money to people who were eligible for home repairs, down payments, and interest or late fees on property. In December, the Boston City Council approved a task force to look into reparations.
In defense of an idea
Defenders of the idea say there is plenty of evidence and historical evidence that long after slavery officially ended in the US in 1865, government policies and practices have been working to put blacks in jail for longer periods. prohibit access to housing and business loans and limit people's choice of work and housing.
Justin Hunsford, a professor at Howard University School of Law, says no municipal reparations plan will have enough money to fix the injustices of slavery, but he appreciates any attempt to "genuinely, legally, credibly" correct the situation. And that includes cash, he said.
"If you're trying to apologize, you have to speak in a language that people can understand, and money is a language," he said.
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John Dennis, chairman of the San Francisco Republican Party, does not support reparations, although he says he would support a serious conversation on the subject. He does not consider the board's discussion of the $5 million payment as such.
“This conversation that we have in San Francisco is completely frivolous. They just flipped a number, no analysis,” Dennis said. “That seems ridiculous.”
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