Story at a glance

  • Gov. Newsom signed a bill into law creating a nine-member task force to analyze how reparations may benefit Black Californians.
  • ”Our painful history of slavery has evolved into structural racism and bias built into and permeating throughout our democratic and economic institutions,” Newsom said.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) made history on Wednesday after signing a bill into law that creates a specialized task force devoted to analyzing the option of state-funded reparations to Black Californians. 

A.B. 3121 builds on existing laws that research the extensive socioeconomic impacts slavery has had on businesses in California, and would formally establish the Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans, with a focus on Black Californians who are descendants of enslaved people. 

Functions of the task force include researching and summarizing documentation of slavery’s lingering effects, and making recommendations to the state legislature regarding compensation for Black Californians who continue to be disenfranchised due to the systemic and institutional racism left behind by slavery. 

“As a nation, we can only truly thrive when every one of us has the opportunity to thrive. Our painful history of slavery has evolved into structural racism and bias built into and permeating throughout our democratic and economic institutions,” Newsom said in a press release. 


READ MORE ABOUT THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT

POLICE ARREST LAWMAKER WHO WROTE ‘BREONNA’S LAW’ DURING LOUISVILLE PROTESTS

WOMAN CHARGED WITH HATE CRIME AFTER THROWING BOTTLE AT BLACK RUNNER

ALMOST HALF OF NFL FANS HAVE CHANGED THEIR MINDS ABOUT COLIN KAEPERNICK

CITY TO PAY $12 MILLION TO BREONNA TAYLOR’S MOM, REFORM POLICE


“California’s rich diversity is our greatest asset, and we won’t turn away from this moment to make right the discrimination and disadvantages that Black Californians and people of color still face.”

The task force will contain nine members. Five will be appointed by the governor, two appointed by the president of the California state Senate, and two appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly. 

Membership requires one appointee with a career in academia, two from major civil rights organizations, and all appointees will have an emphasis on diverse backgrounds to represent California’s communities of color.

California is the first state to enact a law creating a committee devoted to studying possible reparations made to Black Americans. Earlier this year, the city of Asheville, N.C., voted to support community reparations made to its Black citizens to atone for its history with racial suppression. 

Both of these new laws stem from the Black Lives Matter protests following police slayings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. While the conversation initially focused on police brutality as the legacy of slavery in the U.S., dialogue shifted to highlight the economic inequalities Black Americans face due to centuries of economic exclusion. 

On Monday, a report from the Federal Reserve revealed that while Black American families have grown wealthier over the years, they still only have about 15 percent of the wealth owned by their white counterparts. 

The bill was introduced into the state legislature by Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D) and will be in effect until 2023. 

“California has historically led the country on civil rights, yet we have not come to terms with our state’s ugly past that allowed slaveholding within our borders and returned escaped slaves to their masters,” said Weber. “Neither have we effectively addressed our present justice system which allows prosecutors to bar African Americans from serving on juries. The Governor’s signature on A.B. 3121 and A.B. 3070 once again demonstrates that our state is dedicated to leading the nation on confronting and addressing systemic injustice.”


READ MORE ABOUT THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT

NEW POLL SAYS NBA RATINGS HAVE PLUNGED BECAUSE OF RACIAL JUSTICE PROTESTS

WHAT THE 2020 BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTESTS HAVE ACHIEVED SO FAR

MORE THAN HALF OF VOTERS THINK AMERICAN SOCIETY IS RACIST: POLL

UBER PLEDGES $10 MILLION TO BECOMING AN ‘ANTI-RACIST’ COMPANY

SIRI, ALEXA TAKE A STAND ON BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT

Published on Oct 01, 2020