California Lineage-Based Reparations Activists Condemn 2024 Reparations Bill Package: Here’s Why

California Lineage-Based Reparations Activists Condemn 2024 Reparations Bill Package: Here’s Why


Photo by Karolina Grabowska

In response to the unveiling of the 2024 Reparations Priority Bill Package by the California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC), lineage-based reparations activists have raised concerns and have condemned the package, especially since there seems to be no mention of cash reparations.

The bill package, introduced as a first step to implement policy proposals outlined in a report released last summer by the Reparations Task Force, has sparked debate and criticism within the reparations advocacy community. The 14 measures included in the legislative package aim to address various aspects of systemic racism and historical injustices faced by Black communities in California. However, critics argue that the proposed bills fall short of providing comprehensive reparations and fail to truly address the deep-rooted inequities stemming from centuries of slavery, segregation, and discriminatory practices, The Hill reported.

Among the key proposals outlined in the package are amendments to the California Constitution to fund programs aimed at improving outcomes for marginalized groups, prohibiting involuntary servitude for incarcerated persons, and addressing property takings resulting from race-based eminent domain practices.

However, lineage-based reparations activists argue that these measures fail to address the specific harms inflicted upon descendants of enslaved Africans and do not provide direct compensation for past injustices. They emphasize the need for targeted initiatives that acknowledge and rectify the intergenerational wealth disparities, systemic discrimination, and socio-economic marginalization experienced by Black Californians.

The Moguldom Nation tweeted, “Not included is any type of financial compensation to descendants of Black slaves, a polarizing proposal that has received a cool response from many state Democrats, including Gov. Gavin Newsom.”

Chris Reparations Organizer tweeted, “I issued this statement about the CLBC bill package we’ve been expecting on #CAReparations. Read my statement & the bill package announcement. I have to be honest I am disappointed & ready to work to make sure we get the targeted tangible timely direct benefits we need #lineage

Supporters of the bill urge critics to look at a bigger picture.

“While many only associate direct cash payments with reparations, the true meaning of the word, to repair, involves much more,” stated Assemblywoman Lori D. Wilson, Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus. “This year’s legislative package tackles a wide range of issues; from criminal justice reforms to property rights to education, civil rights, and food justice.”

“The proposed legislative package is a step in the right direction, but it falls short of providing true reparations,” stated a spokesperson for the California Reparations Coalition. “We need concrete measures that directly address the economic, social, and political legacy of slavery and systemic racism. This includes targeted financial compensation, land restitution, and investments in community development initiatives.”

Others agreed. Secretary of State, Dr. Shirley Weber, said, “As the author of AB 3121, I am pleased that the California Legislative Black Caucus has picked up the baton and is moving the state forward in addressing the recommendations delivered to them seven months ago. I am optimistic and encouraged by the work, and look forward to amazing and ground breaking outcomes. The nation is waiting for us to lead. And as California always does, we will lead in addressing a delayed justice called Reparations.”

Photo by Karolina Grabowska: https://www.pexels.com/photo/roll-of-american-dollar-banknotes-tightened-with-band-4386476/