Former California Reparations Task Force Chair Kamilah Moore Explains The Lack Of Pure Cash Reparations In New California Bill

Former California Reparations Task Force Chair Kamilah Moore Explains The Lack Of Pure Cash Reparations In New California Bill


Kamilah Moore, State of California Department of Justice

The California Reparations Task Force has recommended measures aimed at acknowledging and addressing the enduring legacy of slavery and racism in the state. However, one notable absence in their proposals is the lack of direct cash payments to eligible African-American residents, sparking discussions about the nature and scope of reparations.

The task force has suggested a state apology for historical injustices and the possibility of providing “down payments” to eligible African-American individuals. These payments would vary based on factors such as the type of racial harm experienced and the duration of residency in California, according to Cal Matters.

While the documents published by the task force outline potential loss calculations for African Americans in California since the state’s establishment in 1850, they do not specify an overall price tag for reparations. Instead, they propose varying amounts for different forms of racial harm, ranging from over-policing of Black communities to losses incurred by Black-owned businesses.

Critics argue that the proposed reparations fall short of addressing the full extent of harm inflicted on Black communities, particularly in light of systemic racism and ongoing injustices. Some task force members express dismay at the focus on dollar figures, emphasizing the need for comprehensive policy changes to prevent further discrimination.

In response to the task force’s recommendations, a set of 14 bills modeled after their proposals has been introduced by the California Legislative Black Caucus. These bills cover a wide range of issues, from criminal justice reform to economic empowerment, but notably, none include widespread cash compensation for descendants of slavery.

The former California Reparations Task Force Chair, Kamilah Moore, took to X/Twitter to answer a few questions about cash payments and the status of the reparations program.

In response to user Virgil Hawkins tweeting, “This is awesome but still need the cash payments legislation,” Moore responded, “A stand alone cash payments bill would have been nice to see. Fortunately, #SB490, a bill based on a recommendation I wrote while on the task force, was picked up by a legislator, and once implemented, would provide for cash payments, upon lineage verification.”

“There is 0 Compensation in any of this legislation. Grants are not Compensation! & Those historically redlined neighborhoods have been long gentrified or became 90% Latino. Shit is so out of touch its criminal! But just as expected more gaslighting & deceit,” tweeted Cairo XXII.

Moore answered, “Despite news headlines, compensation is directly mentioned in #SB490 and in the impending land restitution bill. Also, #SB1007 will allow for the state to provide cash to descendants to purchase new homes anywhere in California, including homeowners insurance, and to provide mortgage assistance to existing homeowners. Many descendants still live in formerly redlined neighborhoods, and via #SB1013 will receive the tax relief they deserve. Read the legislation and feel free to share any additional thoughts.”

User @OnlyJahCanJudg asked, “Can you explain why direct-cash payments seem to be exempt from your demands? Are they not worth it? Why does BLK get a rawer deal than the Jews and 9/11 Victims/First Responders?”

“All the groups you mentioned had agencies and infrastructure set up, to verify eligibility, before cash payments. Also, cash payments is mentioned in #SB490,” answered Moore.

Michael R Hicks a/k/a Mza The Watcher posted, “With respect, it can only lay a foundation if it passes into law & there is a dedicated, good-faith commitment to sufficiently fund it with the will to maintain and increase that funding across administrations “.

Moore wrote back, “Absolutely. Further proof that an agency is a necessary prerequisite for cash payments, as in all other historical reparations examples (i.e. Guam, Japanese internment, Holocaust survivors and their heirs, etc.).”

Darren was not impressed with the bill and tweeted, “this bill is not good at all, its not even reparations to be honest, just awful”.

Moore stressed there are numerous bills. “

“To be factually accurate, I highlighted numerous bills, not just one. Three of the bills I highlighted provide compensation in some form (#SB490 – cash payments upon lineage verification, #SB1007 – housing-related compensation, and another senate bill that will provide compensation for unjust property takings. You can also join organizations like @cjecofficial and coalitions like #COR who have active campaigns for stand-alone direct compensation bills,” she pointed out.

Despite the absence of direct cash payments in the proposed legislation, proponents argue that the bills represent a step towards acknowledging and rectifying past injustices.

Kamilah Moore, State of California Department of Justice, https://oag.ca.gov/ab3121/members/bios