Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law during the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020 establishing a statewide reparations task force with the intent of studying and implementing reparative measures for Black residents. Now, that task force is working to pass an initiative that would bankrupt the state.
On Monday, the task force released over 500 pages of documents instructing the state to apologize for slavery and racism.
It is recommending that the state give “down payments” to Black residents to make amends for slavery, despite the fact that California was never a slave state. In fact, California explicitly prohibited slavery in 1850 when it joined the Union.
The documents also outline ways to calculate how much money Black residents have lost since the state was established in 1850 as recompense for alleged mass incarceration, discrimination, and health risks that are considered to be worse among the Black community due to racism.
However, the report states that the payment estimates it provides are subject to change. “Rather, it is an economically conservative initial assessment of what losses, at a minimum, the State of California caused or could have prevented, but did not,” the report states. “(T)he Legislature would then have to decide how to translate loss-estimates into proposed reparations amounts.”
Economists advising the task force estimate that the plan will allot about $1.2 million to each Black resident, amounting in a total of $800 billion. The reparations committee also suggested forgiving all debt held by Black residents due to years of “systematic repression.”
In addition, the draft report recommends prioritizing payments to elderly Black people, arguing that, “Delay of reparations is in itself an injustice that causes more suffering and may ultimately deny justice, especially to the elderly among the harmed.”
The statewide task force criticized the media for focusing on the $800 billion price tag of the reparations proposal, arguing that the price was the “least important part” of the initiative. However, the staggering amount of money that the task force wants to spend on virtue signaling is two and half times larger than the current state budget, meaning it would bankrupt the state.
The task force is working on a final report that it will send to the California legislature, which will include a recommended amount to be given to Black residents in cash payments. Members of the task force will vote on the report over the weekend.
The group previously voted to limit payments to “those who can directly trace their lineage to chattel slavery in the United States or those whose ancestors immigrated before 1900,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
This meaningless virtue signaling is an irrational, irresponsible, and unbiblical way to spend Californians’ taxpayer dollars.
Justice requires that wrongdoers are held accountable for their actions and that victims receive restitution. “However, justice does not mean holding people responsible for wrongs they have not committed,” writes Laura Baxter for The Federalist. “In fact, that is the opposite of justice! We are responsible for our actions alone: ‘The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself’ (Ezekiel 18:20).”
Instead of spending Californians’ money to resolve the many issues that impact every resident daily (such as homelessness and crime), lawmakers are wasting time and money attempting to rewrite the wrongs that no one in the state took part in. Californians deserve leadership that is more focused on resolving real issues than advancing an ideology that ignores biblical justice.