Home>Articles>CA Legislative Slavery Reparations Task Force Convenes For First Time
Shirley N. Weber

CA Legislative Slavery Reparations Task Force Convenes For First Time

Task Force to complete reparation recommendations by 2023

By Evan Symon, June 2, 2021 2:20 am

The first California legislative Slavery Reparations Task Force meeting convened on Tuesday, beginning a two year process in which they will come up with what reparations would be to descendants of former slaves will be and who exactly would be eligible for such reparations.

The Task Force was put together following the passage of AB 3121 last year. Under the bill, which was authored by then-Senator and current Secretary of State Shirley Weber, the task force will document and look into issues surrounding slavery in California, including denying free and runaway blacks into the state pre-1865, as well as issue recommendations into what, if any, reparations would be given. The task force, comprised of 9 members selected by the Governor, Assembly, and Senate, will also set parameters on who would be eligible for possible reparations and how reparations, most likely cash, would be distributed.

The Task Force was pieced together earlier this year. Governor Gavin Newsom chose 5 members, including former student of Martin Luther King Jr. and San Francisco Baptist Pastor Amos C. Brown, Loyola Marymount clinical psychologist Cheryl Grills, Los Angeles racial and social justice lawyer Lisa Holder, UC Berkeley Geography and Economic Disparity research Professor Jovan Lewis, and Korematsu v. United States, lawyer Donald Tamaki, who helped lead to landmark reparations for Japanese internment camp victims.

Gavin Newsom
CA Gov. Gavin Newsom. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Meanwhile, the Assembly chose Lawyer Kamilah Moore and Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) as their picks, with the Senate choosing San Diego City Councilwoman and civil rights lawyer Monica Montgomery Steppe and Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena).

During the initial task force meeting on Tuesday, lawmakers reiterated why the Task Force was there and noted that they hoped to help heal racial injustice.

“You’re here today not just to sit and answer to say was there harm, but your task is to determine the depth of the harm and the ways in which we are to repair that harm,” said Secretary of State Weber. “There has been enough research for the fact that slavery still has an impact today.”

Governor Newsom also made spoke, remarking, “As our country reckons with our painful legacy of racial injustice, California again is poised to lead the way towards a more equitable and inclusive future for all.”

While not much in terms of recommendations were discussed on Tuesday, the Task Force did get many procedural needs out of the way, including choosing Kamilah Moore to chair the task force.

Task Force to give final recommendations in 2023

Many legal experts noted that, despite the Task Force moving ahead without a hitch on Tuesday, that their overall recommendations could be bogged down in legal trouble for years, or even decades, to come.

“It’s good that so many lawyers are on the Task Force, because they are going to need them,” explained legal adviser Richard Weaver to the Globe on Tuesday. “I told you last time that this will be a legal minefield, and they pretty much just confirmed it will be today.”

“Slavery ended so long ago in the 1860’s, with California itself being a free state, so any historical basis is DOA right there. But getting past that, any cash compensation or other  compensation forms, like paid college or housing allowances or something, cannot be broken up evenly.”

“It’s not like Japanese internment reparations. We knew each and every one of them and sent out $20,000 checks, made those places into museums and generally made the public more aware of that happening. And if you recall, many Democrats were actually on the fence about that at the time because they were permanently damaging FDR’s reputation while doing it.”

“But this, this is very different. We’re talking about descendants and long term racial injustice stemming from slavery. There are so many variables here on who gets what, especially when you take into account people of African descent moving into the US into the 1870’s on and people of multiple races and actually confirming people that they deserve reparations. A lot of scammers could get in on this.”

“I don’t think this Task Force has any idea what their recommendations will actually do.”

An initial report is due to the Legislature by June 1, 2022, with a second, final report due sometime in 2023. After that, the Legislature would need to create another bill for making the recommendations into law.

The Task Force will meet at least 9 more times in the next 2 years to create the recommendations.

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26 thoughts on “CA Legislative Slavery Reparations Task Force Convenes For First Time

  1. I hope I can seek reparations for the unnecessary lockdown extending years beyond the two weeks to flatten the curve. Demolishing my business, my nest egg and emotional well being after being held captive and forced to cover my face every moment. Not to mention my physical well being after much needed medical care was denied/delayed even though I paid for health insurance.

    1. This is just another backdoor welfare/vote buying scam. My mother suggested the other day that we should start a class action against California for unlawful imprisonment. I think I’ll start putting the idea in front of some attorneys, see what shakes out.

  2. What about plantation/slave owners who saw their wealth decimated during the civil war? How can we look at the losses of one set of people without looking at the loss of others? This conversation is over a century too late, MOVE ON!

  3. This isn’t about slavery reparations. This isn’t about justice for blacks. This is a shakedown and an attempt to undermine whatever is left of this state, and symbolically give the finger to reasonable Californians. They are doing it with identity politics because they think no one will dare to call them on their nonsense. This con job is maddening. But we can start to fix it with the recall of Newsom.
    Donate if you can spare it.

  4. Since 1965 the United States has poured over $27 trillion dollars in the Black communities. That is $27 trillion with a “T”. I think they have gotten more than their share of “reparations”. How about people that lost their businesses during this Covid scamdemic? None of these democraps seem to give a damn about them!

  5. This is not about reparations, it’s about “Rape-A-Nation” wealth redistribution. A civil war has been fought, hundreds of thousands of war dead, war on poverty, affirmative action…it will never be enough and will not address deficiencies in black communities. If Assemblywoman Shirley N. Weber was truly concerned with the black community she would focus upon how to improve the educational opportunities in these communities and take an honest assessment of the culture that is detrimental to black communities. Assemblywoman Shirley N. Weber will only foment more racial animosity.

  6. It is a shame that these legislators do not know their California history and its association with the civil war effort, or do they?!!
    California battled against slavery and never was part of the slavery trade. It entered into statehood as a free state. If we are to go down this road of reparations then should indentured servants be added? Where does this start and stop? This is again about division!

    Per National Park Services History Archives:
    [Its population stimulated by the Gold Rush, California was now home to people from the North, often referred to as free-soilers, who were against slavery, and transplanted Southerners who supported slavery and called themselves the Chivs (for ‘chivalry’.) Many Southerners passionately felt that, if necessary, Southern states should be able to leave the Union, to preserve slavery and the larger ideal of states’ rights. The Gold Rush also attracted both free African-American settlers, seeking their own fortunes, as well as slave owners who brought their African-American bondsmen to labor in the gold fields. As new states were added to the Union, Congress tried to achieve a balance by carefully admitting an equal number of slave states and free states. After much heated national debate, California became the 31st state, entering the union as a free state under the Compromise of 1850. However, the state’s new antislavery constitution failed to cover many specifics regarding slavery. Because of these ambiguities, California quickly became a part of the national slavery battle.]

    1. Again, you make good points, Cali Girl. My question regarding the so-called “reparations” is this: What happens if a person is half or mixed race? Like President Obama who was 50-50 White-Black or Black-White? Does that person get only 50% of the money? I would say that a person like Obama should get NOTHING, since the Black slave part is cancelled out by the White racist part. Furthermore, Obama’s father was NOT a descendant of slavery in the USA as he was from Kenya. The person would have to prove that they are 100% Black and shown to be a direct descendant of slaves, no?

  7. California entered the union as a free state in 1850 and slavery was not practiced here. Leave it to Marxist Democrat lunatics to move forward with a slavery reparations plan California!

  8. this will not be passed ,how is money going to fix this ,there is so many races out there that are treated bad and they don’t complain ,and have also been inslaved what about them ? Plus slavery wasn’t in California ,this will only make people mad and lash out at black people, I’m so tired of hearing about poor me poor me really it’s time to move on ,they separate them selfs from other people , like BET awards ,they are part of everything yet they have things just for them selfs you think they bring other races in no way ,so get over it. I use to feel bad for them but it’s gone to far now I’m over it

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