‘There wasn’t a math formula’: San Fran’s reparations committee sparks fury over how it calculated $5 mil payout for every black resident

A California reparations committee’s “journey” determined an outlandish dollar amount to recommend as handouts that led even a radical proponent of the movement to conclude it “undercuts the credibility of the reparations effort.”

Across the nation, various state and local governments have dutifully taken the marching orders of activists, often within their own ranks, to begin working toward a race-based redistribution of wealth. In San Francisco, where they are already facing a deficit of nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars over the next two years, that meant proposing no less than $5 million per black adult.

“There wasn’t a math formula,” the city’s African American Reparations Advisory Committee chair Eric McDonnell boldly admitted to The Washington Post.

As he detailed about the 15-member committee’s report, “It was a journey for the committee towards what could represent a significant enough investment in families to put them on this path to economic well-being, growth and vitality that chattel slavery and all the policies that flowed from it destroyed.”

Additional measures proposed by the committee included supplementing incomes to guarantee salaries of $97,000 annually for black citizens, a figure closer to the median for white and Asian residents, and wiping clear debt.

Of course, the fact that slavery, the driving force behind the reparations movement, was never legal in California wasn’t overlooked by the committee and the report explained these monies would make up for, “the public policies explicitly created to subjugate Black people in San Francisco by upholding and expanding the intent and legacy of chattel slavery.”

Pro-reparations economist William A. Darity Jr. told the Post, “Calling for $5 million payout by a local government undercuts the credibility of the reparations effort.”

The Duke University professor and coauthor of “From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century” believes the federal government is on the hook for no less than $14 trillion. That amount, like the millions proposed by San Francisco, would be independent of the state of California’s own initial report which has determined no less than $223,000 per black resident of the Golden State is the target amount.

With final reports expected in June, San Francisco Republican Party chairman John Dennis remained open to the idea of some form of reparations but chided the committee’s lack of trying to support their recommendation with a sincere effort.

“This is just a bunch of like-minded people who got in the room and came up with a number,” he argued, pointing out “there was no justification for the number, no analysis provided.”

“This was an opportunity to do some serious work and they blew it,” Dennis further told the Post.

The effort from the City by the Bay was matched in absurdity by a Boston, Massachusetts committee that had appointed a college-age activist and two high school students to its roster to work toward a recommendation by June 2024 “for truth, reconciliation and reparations addressing the City of Boston’s involvement with the African slave trade.”

Those who might be considering a move to the Bay Area to take advantage, should the payouts be approved, ought to know the plan currently calls for black residents over the age of 18 to have been born there or have moved there between 1940 and 1996 and remained a resident for at least 13 years. Like the $5 million sum, those specifics were not overtly explained by the report.

Kevin Haggerty


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