An accurate reading of our history will show that, from the outset, there were many opponents of the institution of slavery among our founders and in the decades before the Civil War, the ranks of opponents grew exponentially. While the South needed slaves for labor, many in the North seethed at the idea that one man could own another, and while there were a series of compromises made in Congress regarding new states that were being admitted into the union, the issue could not be legislatively resolved, so the country split apart in 1860.
After an estimated 700,000 deaths during the Civil War; several constitutional amendments banning slavery and granting new rights to former slaves; several measures designed to enshrine the Constitution's promise of true equality for all passed into law; the end of the Jim Crow era; and the civil rights movement -- still, some blacks believe they are owed more and are willing to force white Americans today who are generations removed from the era of slavery, to pay them money they did not suffer for and did not earn.
The latest example comes from San Francisco, where a "reparations committee" is set to submit a proposal to city officials that would require, among other things, a $5 million payment to 'qualifying' black residents, as well as other financial measures that will continue to be paid by generations of San Franciscans hundreds of years into the future.
Only, there is one problem right off the bat: California was never a slave state. So, to get around that, the committee found another reason to justify the payments.
According to Fox News, the reparations committee is proposing to make long-time black residents of the city overnight millionaires, paying each of them $5 million and offering total debt forgiveness for decades of alleged “systematic repression” faced by them.
The San Francisco African American Reparations Advisory Committee, which advises the city on developing a plan for reparations for Black residents, released its draft report last month to address reparations – not for slavery, since California was not technically a slave state, but “to address the public policies explicitly created to subjugate Black people in San Francisco by upholding and expanding the intent and legacy of chattel slavery.” The draft plan includes a long list of financial recommendations for Black San Francisco residents, including a one-time, lump sum payment of $5 million to each eligible individual.
“While neither San Francisco, nor California, formally adopted the institution of chattel slavery, the tenets of segregation, white supremacy and systematic repression and exclusion of Black people were codified through legal and extralegal actions, social codes, and judicial enforcement,” the draft says.
“A lump sum payment would compensate the affected population for the decades of harms that they have experienced, and will redress the economic and opportunity losses that Black San Franciscans have endured, collectively, as the result of both intentional decisions and unintended harms perpetuated by City policy,” the draft continued.
Notice how only money -- not legislation, the civil rights movement, constitutional amendments, or a war -- is what it takes to 'right this wrong.'
In order to become eligible for the taxpayer-supported program, applicants have to be 18 years old and have identified as black or African American on public documents for at least 10 years. In addition, they have to prove two of eight other criteria from a list that includes “Born in San Francisco between 1940 and 1996 and has proof of residency in San Francisco for at least 13 years,” and/or, “Personally, or the direct descendant of someone, incarcerated by the failed War on Drugs.”
In addition, taxpayers would be on the hook for centuries, being forced to supplement lower-income recipients’ income by raising it to the Area Median Income level or about $97,000 annually (for now) for the next 250 years.
“Racial disparities across all metrics have led to a significant racial wealth gap in the City of San Francisco,” the proposal argues. “By elevating income to match AMI, Black people can better afford housing and achieve a better quality of life.”
This would all be comical if it wasn't so outrageously serious.