Turns out, even Democratic voters are not so keen on reparations — at least, those not on the receiving end of a payout that is certain to be in the trillions of dollars.
In the very blue state of California, where there is a projected $31.5 billion gap in the 2023-24 state budget, frustrations are beginning to mount in the years-long push for reparations to address past discrimination — the premise being that people who were never slaves should be paid a large sum of money by people who have never owned slaves.
That’s according to a Politico piece titled, “Dream of reparations hits political reality in California.” The article states that reparations ambitions “have faded, and frustration is mounting in their own ranks.”
“California is not as liberal as people want us to believe,” Democratic state Sen. Steven Bradford told Politico. “When it comes to the real issue that impacts us the most, race, we’re hesitant to really buck the curve.”
Bradford is the vice chair of the Legislative Black Caucus and he sits on the state’s reparations panel, and he told Politico that he doesn’t expect any movement on reparations legislation until next year.
Citing a new Public Institute of California poll out this week, Politico reported that “just 39 percent of California’s likely voters support the idea of a reparations task force, a political reality that Bradford and his allies in the Legislature must overcome.”
Voter apathy on reparations is noted as a key factor as the article frets over the possibility “that California may have missed its moment to act in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by a Minneapolis police officer in May 2020, as the nation was gripped by protests and calls for racial justice.”
“Things get done in a time of crisis, and that was a time of crisis for a lot of people that crystallized what’s been going on in America in a very visual way,” Democratic strategist Steve Maviglio told the political news outlet. “Sad to say, it’s recent memory, it’s not on everybody’s front burner. What is is crime and punishment again, and that is winning the day.”
California’s reparations task force is set to present their findings and recommendations to Gov. Gavin Newsom on July 1, Fox News reported.
Newsom has said that and declined to support any specific recommendations.
“The Reparations Task Force’s independent findings and recommendations are a milestone in our bipartisan effort to advance justice and promote healing. 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,” Newsom said in a statement, adding that reparations are about “much more” than cash payments alone.
As might be expected, Bradford suggested that racism within his own party could be at play here.
“This country was built on white supremacy as a whole,” he said. “I think racism is a bigger factor than party, because we have Democratic majorities in both houses, and we still struggle to move these progressive, liberal bills.”
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