California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) rejected a call for reparations payment just a week after a committee he created recommended up to $1.2 million for that state’s Black residents.
In 2020, the governor created the Reparations Task Force to investigate the possibility of granting payments to the state’s Black residents.
Following years of discussions and multiple press statements, the panel attempted to calculate the cost of racial discrimination. When the individual factors are added together and adjusted by average age, Black residents could have received $1.2 million each.
The governor told Fox News that the committee’s “findings and recommendations are a milestone in our bipartisan effort to advance justice and promote healing.”
He called this an “important process” and said that the United States should “reconcile our original sin of slavery and understand how that history has shaped our country.”
While the governor said that he would work to “advance systemic changes that ensure an inclusive and equitable future for all Californians,” he declined to back the direct cash payment.
Gov. Newsom declines to endorse reparations checks proposed by California task force https://t.co/SELXu31BVs pic.twitter.com/xUDCIhhHV1
— New York Post (@nypost) May 10, 2023
The governor said that addressing past racism “is about much more than cash payments.”
He said that the state would expand the ability to vote, “address hate,” enact “sweeping law enforcement and justice reforms” and more.
“This work must continue,” he said.
Newsom said that after the task force submits its final report, he will work with the state legislature to “advance systemic changes that ensure an inclusive and equitable future for all Californians.”
Newsom’s comments also come after a contentious public hearing in which some activists called for up to $200 million in reparations payment per person.
One activist told the panel that “you’re supposed to say what the people want and hear from the people.”
“Tell Governor Newsom we’re coming,” he said.
Separately, San Francisco is weighing a $5 million payment to Black residents in reparations. This has led to criticism from conservatives, who believe that the bill for the payments could be passed to the rest of the country.