Calif. reparations task force establishes eligibility limits that exclude some black people

There’s interesting news coming out of California’s reparations panel – a first-in-the-nation push to provide payouts to the descendants of black people who were in the United States during the 19th Century. 

In a surprise move during a vote on Tuesday, the panel moved to limit the provisions of state compensation. They also decided on granting eligibility for reparations to the descendants of all blacks present in the United States during the 19th Century, including those who were free and had no connection to the slave-holding South, KTVU reported.

The reason for this decision, according to the panel, was the difficulty of obtaining accurate genealogical records and determining slave ancestry. 


We built this country by force,” declared one person during a Zoom session where members of the public were encouraged to call in to the task force. “We were promised 40 acres and a mule and we never got it. And we’re owed reparations because of that.” 

The panel also rejected a rather generous proposal to include all black people as the potential beneficiaries of the state’s reparations plan—including those who immigrated to the country in the 20th and 21st Centuries and thus had no connection whatsoever to the nation’s slave-holding past. 

Providing reparations only to those who can prove their [descent] from enslaved Africans is yet another win for white supremacy as it dismisses and devalues the harms done to African descendants not enslaved,” another caller contended. 

However, after a freewheeling and spirited debate, the committee decided in a 5-4 vote that compensation and restitution benefits should only be offered to recipients on the basis of direct lineage, rather than race. According to those on the panel who favored this position, it had the best chance of surviving legal challenges; moreover, those who immigrated to the country more recently did not experience the same trauma as those who were kidnapped and enslaved. 

(Video: ABC 10)

It’s no wonder the panel’s debate became so heated since there’s a lot in the offing. Potential compensations may include free college, grants to churches and community organizations, as well as assistance in creating businesses, and even buying homes. 

California, which fancies itself on the cutting edge of future political developments in the United States, is the only state in the Union to actually move forward with a reparations study. The state’s two-year reparations “task force” was established in 2020, when Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation creating the panel and directing it to study slavery and its recurring societal harms, and to educate the public about these findings. 

The question of eligibility is an important one for the task force since without that crucial definition it would prove difficult or impossible to outline a serviceable compensation plan. But armed with a consensus on eligibility, the task force can now move onto the more practical, economic aspect of its mission. 

Critics of the task force contend that California has no obligation to provide reparations to the descendants of slaves, given that slavery was at no time legal in the state, and it never practiced segregation as in the southern states. Proponents, however, argue that the state has a long history of prejudice against blacks, including unfair wages and discriminatory housing practices. 

The task force is required to prevent its report by June, with a finalized reparations proposal due by July of next year, containing legislative recommendations for California lawmakers.


Please help us! If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to BPR to help us fight them. Now is the time. Truth has never been more critical!

Success! Thank you for donating. Please share BPR content to help combat the lies.
Todd Jaquith


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

PLEASE JOIN OUR NEW COMMENT SYSTEM! We love hearing from our readers and invite you to join us for feedback and great conversation. If you've commented with us before, we'll need you to re-input your email address for this. The public will not see it and we do not share it.

Latest Articles