October 16, 2021

California’s Reparation Taskforce tackles racial wealth gap

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) — The California’s first-in-the-nation Reparations Activity Power convened for the fourth month for the reason that group began assembly in June. The group is charged with recommending how California will subject a proper apology, the right way to get rid of discrimination in current state legal guidelines, and decide how any potential compensation ought to be calculated for the descendants of enslaved individuals within the U.S. and who could be eligible.

Up for dialogue throughout this month’s hearings have been up to date harms to Black People equivalent to housing and schooling segregation, racism in banking and the racial wealth gap.

A key piece of testimony throughout Wednesday’s listening to got here from an ABC7 Information story.

We first launched viewers to Marin Metropolis native Paul Austin and his spouse Tenisha in February.

The Austin’s had the worth of their residence bounce $493,000 after they’d a White pal stand in for them throughout an appraisal and act as if the house was hers.

The Austin’s informed ABC7 Information they imagine their residence was valued for much less as a result of they’re Black and they’re now hoping that have will encourage change throughout the state.

The nine-member activity drive created via the passage of AB 3121 final 12 months heard various skilled and private testimonies Wednesday.

“You call it reparations, we call it justice,” stated Lawrence Lucas, president emeritus of the USDA Coalition of Minority Workers and advocate for Black famers.

In line with the Federal Reserve, Black households have a mean internet value of $24,000 in comparison with $188,000 for White families–nearly eight instances as a lot in 2019.

“We’re looking at these policies of the past, but also looking at policies today and Black Americans who are facing discriminatory policies,” stated Kamilah Moore, chairperson of the reparations activity drive.

“The reason why I was asked to testify, me and my wife Tenisha, is because our story about our home went viral,” stated Paul Austin earlier than the duty drive.

Austin is satisfied now as he was when he first shared his story with ABC7 Information that race was an element, as are six different households who’ve come ahead to share their tales of alleged appraisal discrimination with ABC7 Information race and tradition reporter Julian Glover.

Glover: “Nine months since your story went viral, what does it mean to you to be speaking before the California Reparations Task Force?”

Austin: “It’s such an honor. But what’s most important, I think, is we might actually be able to see some real tangible change.”

“We commend you and your family for stepping forward,” stated activity drive member and Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer.

Austin’s private testimony of how a biased system almost pressured his household to overlook out on half 1,000,000 {dollars} in fairness in the course of the residence appraisal course of was corroborated by a number of skilled witnesses.

“This is a Jim Crow credit and capital system that is separate and unequal,” stated Mehrsa Baradaran, UCI Legislation professor.

The skilled and private testimony is being taken into consideration as the duty drive decides what reparations may seem like.

Professional witness Thomas Craemer, professor of public coverage at UCONN, estimates reparations for the descendants of enslaved Africans ought to vary from $18.6 trillion to $6.2 quadrillion relying on if 3% or 6% curiosity is utilized.

Craemer stated the trillion greenback quantity would equate to roughly $406,000 for every Black non-Hispanic individual within the U.S.

It is essential to notice, per Craemer’s calculations, this quantity would solely account for the estimated misplaced wages as a consequence of U.S. slavery and doesn’t consider misplaced revenue as a consequence of discrimination post-slavery, misplaced freedom, nor previous and present ache and struggling.

The duty drive will convene for six extra conferences over the following 12 months and a half to find out the scope of reparations and what it would seem like for California’s descendants of enslaved Africans.