California’s Democrat governor has seemingly rejected the idea of giving million-dollar slavery reparation checks to black residents of the state.
Gavin Newsom, the Democratic Party’s governor of California, has poured cold water on the idea that black residents of the state could receive million-dollar checks from the government as part of a push for slavery reparations.
The possibility of such seven-figure payments arose after the state’s independent slavery task force recommended that black residents of the state be paid in cash for issues caused by past instances of American racism such as slavery, with floating the idea of African-Americans in the state receiving as much as $1.2 million dollars in hard cash.
As such a move would likely cost the state around $800 billion, a figure approaching three times its annual budget, Newsom has seemingly become very keen to play down the idea that black residents could receive such gargantuan payments, instead telling Fox News that there was more to reparations than just money.
“This has been an important process, and we should continue to work as a nation to reconcile our original sin of slavery and understand how that history has shaped our country,” he told the broadcaster.
“Dealing with that legacy is about much more than cash payments,” he continued, arguing that the state would need to focus more on “breaking down barriers to vote, bolstering resources to address hate, enacting sweeping law enforcement and justice reforms to build trust and safety” and “strengthening economic mobility” rather than just giving Americans stacks of money.
The backtracking has seemingly both enraged and bemused California Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher, who described the idea of reparations as “a fool’s errand from the start”.
“Democrats have promised the world with this reparations task force, and now the massive taxpayer bill is coming due,” he said. “Newsom has painted himself into a corner, and he’ll have to choose between signing off on a ridiculous policy that will bankrupt the state or admitting once and for all that this task force was nothing more than a political stunt.”
One thing to note about the whole situation is that, despite wanting to pay Californian African-Americans for the sins of slavery, the state itself never allowed slavery in the first place, joining the U.S. as a free state in 1850.