San Francisco’s African American Reparations Advisory Committee has admitted it did not use a mathematical formula to calculate the amount it wants to pay each long-term black resident for decades of discrimination.
The 15-member committee proposed $5 million reparation payouts in January, as well as, debt forgiveness and $97,000 guaranteed incomes.
The city has now revealed they did not follow a mathematical formula, but instead looked into the state’s history to help determine the controversial figure.
‘There wasn’t a math formula,’ chairman Eric McDonnell told the Washington Post.
‘It was a journey for the committee towards what could represent a significant enough investment in families to put them on this path to economic well-being, growth and vitality that chattel slavery and all the policies that flowed from it destroyed.’
Black San Francisco residents could receive up to $5 million each in reparations under a proposal from the African American Reparations Advisory Committee
Committee chairman Eric McDonnell admitted they did not follow a mathematical formula to determine how much each qualifying residents will receive
San Francisco Republican Party chairman, John Dennis, criticized the proposal, saying ‘there was no justification for the number, no analysis provided’.
‘This is just a bunch of like-minded people who got in the room and came up with a number,’ he told the Post.
‘This was an opportunity to do some serious work and they blew it.’
William A. Darity Jr., an economist who supports reparations, even slammed the high priced number, saying the payout needs to be ‘somewhat realistic.’
‘Calling for $5 million payout by a local government undercuts the credibility of the reparations effort,’ he told the Post.
However, supporters argue that black residents make, on average, $44,000 annual, compared to their white counterparts that make more than $100,000.
It is unclear how many San Franciscans will be eligible, but the city is home to roughly 50,000 African Americans. If each resident qualified, it take up a huge amount of the annual budget, which is still recovering from the pandemic.
To qualify, residents need to have identified as black on public records for at least 10 years and be at least 18 years old.
They also must qualify for two of a number of requirements, including having been born in the city or migrated to it between 1940 and 1996 and then lived there for 13 years.
McDonnell (pictured) said: ‘It was a journey for the committee towards what could represent a significant enough investment in families to put them on this path to economic well-being, growth and vitality that chattel slavery and all the policies that flowed from it destroyed’
One of the historical events the city looked into was the displacement of the black community in the Fillmore District in the 1960s. Known as the ‘Harlem of the West,’ nearly 900 businesses and 20,000 people were forced out of neighborhood, which has since become a predominantly white, high-end area.
The purpose of the reparations, San Francisco said, is not to make up for slavery – which was never legal in the state – but for ‘the public policies explicitly created to subjugate black people in San Francisco by upholding and expanding the intent and legacy of chattel slavery.’
San Francisco isn’t the only city that is struggling to find the perfect number to pay its black citizens, as a dozen others – such as, Boston and St. Louis – are also still debating it.
The cities that are considering reparations have to balance satisfying reparation advocates, while also keeping in mind that the majority of Americans oppose financial restitution.
A University of Massachusetts Amherst January poll found that six in ten opposed payouts to the descendants of slaves, while four in ten said the federal government should ‘definitely should not pursue’ such a policy.
San Francisco’s proposal outweighs several other cities and reparations critics are concerned the city will crack under the financial strain. The city, which is still recovering from the pandemic, has an annual budget of $14billion, according to the Washington Post. The city also faces a $728million deficit over the next two years.
To qualify, people need to have identified as black on public records for at least 10 years and be at least 18 years old. They also must qualify for two of a number of requirements, including having been born in the city or migrated to it between 1940 and 1996 and then lived there for 13 years
Angela Davis, 79, appeared on an episode of PBS’s Finding Your Roots on Tuesday, during which she also learned that both her mother’s father and her father’s father were white men and descendants of slave owners
The proposal also says qualifying low-income households should have their income supplemented to match the city’s median income – $97,000 in 2022 – for the next 250 years.
‘Racial disparities across all metrics have led to a significant racial wealth gap in the City of San Francisco,’ the draft states.
‘By elevating income to match AMI, Black people can better afford housing and achieve a better quality of life.’
A number of other proposals include investment in San Francisco’s black community, financial education, legal protections of people’s reparations, tax credits, and black-owned banks being brought in to manage people’s money.
The proposal also says San Francisco ‘issue a formal apology for past harms, and commit to making substantial ongoing, systemic and programmatic investments in Black communities to address historical harms.’
The final report is due to be released in June.
Earlier this month, a famed Black Panther, who’s also a communist, faced calls to pay reparations after discovering her ancestors were white puritans who arrived in the US on the Mayflower.
Angela Davis, 79, was flabbergasted to discover both sides of her family were white, and that her mom’s ancestors were slave owners, on PBS show Finding Your Roots.
From California to Massachusetts, newly-formed panels are grappling with what a reparations scheme should look like
Six in ten respondents opposed payouts to the descendants of slaves, while four in ten said the federal government should ‘definitely should not pursue’ such a policy
And the stunning revelations sparked calls for the famously woke Marxist University of California professor to herself pay reparations, having previously called on whites to pony-up in the past.
Sharing a tweet about the show, conservative pundit Matt Walsh wrote: ‘It gets better. She’s also descended from a slave owner. On her father’s side is a pilgrim. On her mother’s side is a slave owner. Looks like Angela Davis owes some reparations.’
Another Twitter user called AK Kamara wrote: ‘Angela Davis, the radical Marxist and former black panther, recently discovered she is also the ancestor of colonizers and slave owners. I guess she owes herself reparations. This timeline is hilarious.’
She appeared shocked during the TV interview that aired this week in which Finding Your Roots host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. told her of her ancestry.
‘No. I can’t believe this. My ancestors did not come here on the Mayflower,’ she said – only to be later told that they did indeed arrive in the US aboard the famed pilgrim ship.
The Mayflower was an English boat that brought white English families, known as the Pilgrims, to the American continent to permanently establish the New England colony in 1620.
‘You are descended from the 101 people who sailed on the Mayflower,’ reiterated Gates Jr., who is the director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University.
This content was originally published here.