CA Repairs Task Force Releases Interim Report and Recommendations

Last updated on June 5, 2022 by BVN

Breanna Reeves |

The California task force to study and develop redress proposals for African Americans has released a interim report June 1 detailing the history and legacy of slavery across the country and in Calfiornia.

The report, nearly 500 pages long and divided into 13 chapters, examines the role and influence of slavery through the prism of a range of economic, political, social and cultural experiences, and examines how the vestiges of slavery continue to create barriers for African Americans. prosperity.

Background

Originally developed in 2020 under Assembly Bill 3121, the Repairs Task Force has spent the past two years examining what California repairs might look like and who would be eligible. The interim report has been submitted to the California Legislature and a final report will be released by 2023. The final report is expected to include specific details regarding the monetary amount of compensation for eligible Black Californians.

California’s first black secretary of state, Dr. Shirley Weber, drafted Assembly Bill 3121 while she served in the Assembly and led the California Legislative Black Caucus. (image source: sos.gov)

According to task force chairwoman Kamilah Moore, the report took a year to compile and is considered “the most comprehensive government-issued report on the African-American community since the Kerner Commission in 1968.” Beginning with an analysis of the Atlantic slave trade, the report assesses the legacies of chattel slavery, emancipation, Reconstruction and Jim Crow and how these historical and oppressive eras perpetuate wrongdoings current.

“So, I hope people in California and across the United States will use this report as an educational and organizing tool, as this interim report exceeds expectations in supporting the demand for reparations for the African American community/ American Freedmen on the municipal, state and federal levels,” Moore said in a Press release.

Compiling the report took a year and will be the “most comprehensive government report on the African-American community since the Kerner Commission in 1968,” said task force chair Kamilah Moore. (image source: youtube.com)

Key points to remember

The report acknowledges local, state and federal policies that have harmed black people and continue to influence current discriminatory practices that sustain inequality.

  • The prevalence of the wealth gap between white and black households is evidence of government policies, like low-cost subsidized loans that largely benefited new white homeowners, that allowed white people to accumulate wealth.

The report notes that in 2019, the median black household had a net worth of $24,100, while white households had a net worth of $188,200.

  • Federal, state, and local governments have created segregation through discriminatory federal housing policies, zoning ordinances, decisions about where to build schools, and discriminatory federal mortgage policies known as redlining.
  • As evidenced by local and state government policies such as eminent domain that resulted in the theft of land from black people like Willa and Charles Bruce in the 1920s, the report recorded the impact of federally funded policies that ” also destroyed black homes and communities through parks and highway construction, urban renewal, and other means.
  • The “historic criminalization” of black Californians “for purposes of social control and to maintain an economy based on exploited black labor,” was highlighted. The report cites the disproportionate prison population which is made up of 28% black people, despite being only 6% of the state’s population and identifies the mass incarceration of black people – among other inequalities like excessive neighborhood surveillance. black – as “an enduring badge of slavery.
In 1912, Willa and Charles Bruce purchased land in the Los Angeles County seaside community of Manhattan Beach. (image source: linkedin.com)

Preliminary recommendations

The report also includes a series of preliminary recommendations that identify ways to implement the laws, repeal discriminatory laws and eliminate other practices rooted in institutional racism. Recommendations include:

  • Restore the rights of incarcerated people, such as restoring their right to vote and being paid a fair market rate for work done while incarcerated.
  • Compensate people who have been forcibly evicted from their homes as a result of state or local action such as urban renewal or highway construction.
  • Repeal “the effects of crime-free housing policies that disproportionately limit Black residents’ access to housing.”
  • Institute a K-12 “Black Studies Curriculum” that details the truth about historical racial inequality and systemic racism and recognizes Black contributions throughout history (outside of the Month of black history).
One of the recommendations of the Reparations Task Force is to institute a K-12 “Black Studies Curriculum” outside of Black History Month. (image source: yahoo.com)

California African American Freedmen Affairs Agency

A final preliminary recommendation of the report calls for the creation of the California African American Freedmen Affairs Agency which will be responsible for implementing the recommendations made by the task force. The firm’s role will be to “identify past damage, prevent future damage, work with other state agencies and branches of the California government to mitigate damage,” as well as suggest policies designed to compensate for damage.

“Without accountability, there is no justice. For too long, our nation has ignored the wrongs that have been — and continue to be — inflicted on African Americans in California and across the country,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement.

“California has not been a passive player in perpetuating these wrongdoings. We must redouble our efforts to address discrimination in our state and our nation and take a hard look at our own history, including at the Department of Justice. from California.