The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is currently reviewing a contentious proposal that could see qualifying Black residents receiving $5 million each in reparations as an attempt to make amends for slavery.
Alongside this staggering amount, other recommendations have been suggested, including providing grants for home purchases and maintenance, and even tax exemptions for Black-owned businesses.
Despite the fact that San Francisco never allowed slavery and California entered the union as a free state, supporters of reparations argue that Black residents continued to face systemic discrimination after slavery was abolished. Critics, however, question the logic of people who never owned slaves providing compensation to those who were never enslaved in order to atone for slavery.
John Dennis, the Chair of the San Francisco Republican Party, has denounced the proposal as lacking practicality and analysis. He has also cautioned that San Francisco could be the one city where such a poorly conceived plan might pass. Board members have already expressed their concerns about the potential impact of the huge lump-sum payments on the city’s budget, which is currently facing an estimated $728 million deficit.
Nevertheless, the African American Reparations Advisory Committee remains committed to promoting their reparations agenda. If implemented, San Francisco could become the first major U.S. city to fund a reparations policy for slavery.
It is crucial that the citizens of San Francisco and the United States stand against these poorly thought-out and financially devastating proposals. Such policies would only serve to further divide our nation, rather than promoting unity and addressing inequality in a meaningful way.