The nine-member reparations task force figures each black person in the state should get $1.2 million because they are still suffering from the slavery America once allowed. Congress passed the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution over 150 years ago, abolishing slavery and involuntary servitude in the country, but "systemic racism" is said to be the cause of the suffering.
Even though economists have estimated that the payouts could cost taxpayers more than 2.5 times California's annual budget, it is nowhere near enough for many activists.
"The equivocal [sic] number from 1860s for 40 acres today is $200 million for each and every African American," Reverend Tony Pierce shouted at a recent town hall meeting.
According to Not the Bee's math, if every African American resident of California were to be given $200 million, it would total some $450 trillion. Put in perspective, that is 14 times more than the U.S. debt of $31.7 trillion. Also, the gross domestic product of the entire earth was only $101 trillion in 2022.
The task force has not explained whence the money will come.
Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute says California is not going to pay out a dime in reparations, much less trillions of dollars.
"The possibility of something like this actually being paid out is less than one percent," he submits.
This week, Governor Gavin Newsom (D) called the task force's findings a milestone in the effort to advance justice, but he declined to endorse any specific recommendations, including that of reparations checks.
Dacus says if Newsom does not ultimately agree to the reparations, "he's going to isolate himself from a very large chunk of the liberal base of the Democrat Party."
But he believes the governor is playing a smart political game.
"By waving a banner that is impossible to ever become law, the Democrats are trying to keep the African American vote confined within their party with the hope of someday getting over $1 million apiece," Dacus tells AFN.
The task force's final recommendations are expected in the near future, and the state legislature will decide whether and how to put them into action before sending them to Gov. Newsom for his signature.
A pill too big to swallow
Gary Bauer of American Values says California has really dug itself into a hole. "Even with far-left politicians, every once in a while – when reality knocks on the door – they actually have to answer it," he describes.
Newsom says he will push for "systemic changes that ensure an inclusive and equitable future for all Californians." Bauer's take on that remark?
"I think he was hoping that the proposal that would come from the group that was set up would be something that he could play some rhetorical games with … and instead, it's too big of a pill to swallow," Bauer tells AFN.
The task force has also asked for several public apologies, such as apologizing for Ronald Reagan coining the term "welfare queen" when he was governor.
Bauer says Newsom painted himself into a corner from the moment he established the reparations task force. "There's no way you can make this a winning political issue," says the longtime political observer. "You're going to either really anger a significant voting group that Democrats count on, or you're going to disappoint and anger everybody else – and I mean everybody else."
5/11/2023 - Comments from Gary Bauer added.