San Francisco will soon consider a reparations plan aimed at repairing centuries of harm and destruction of Black lives and communities in the city.
The Reparations Advisory Committee presented the draft proposal to city leaders last month and those for it say it would remedy any economic losses communities have endured over the years. But those against it say it’s unlawful and unconstitutional — some are even calling it racist.
“This is an opportunity for San Francisco to make amends,” said Eric McDonnell, chair of the African American Reparations Advisory Committee (AARAC). “We came up with the plan based upon an intention to do as much research, and gathering the data that demonstrates the harms that Black folks have experienced in San Francisco.”
The draft proposal includes a number of financial recommendations including a one-time lump-sum payment of $5 million to every eligible San Franciscan.
It would also supplement the income of lower-income households to reflect the area median income every year for at least 250 years, among other recommendations.
“There is the large question of, how much and how does the city pay for this?” said McDonnell. “Much of the argument is, it’s too complex. Well, when you consider the atrocities of slavery and again its descendants, it may be complex, but we’re a really smart country.”
To qualify, applicants would need to be at least 18 years old, identified as “Black or African American” on public documents for at least 10 years, and meet at least two criteria from a list.
Among the criteria: been born or migrated to San Francisco between 1940 and 1996, and/or a descendant of someone enslaved through U.S. chattel slavery before 1865.
“Dr. King said, ‘it is never too late to do what is right.’ And here is an opportunity in front of us,” said McDonnell.
Some city leaders are expressing support for the plan, while some attorneys are already making clear, they plan to fight it.
This reparations plan is still a draft proposal. The San Francisco Reparations Committee is set to submit its final proposal to the city in June.
Once that happens, city leaders will consider.
Source: NBC Bay Area