Photo: GETTY
  /  01.17.2023

Yesterday (Jan. 16),  Fox News Digital reported that The San Francisco African American Reparations Advisory Committee is seeking $5 million and total debt forgiveness for every longtime Black resident in the city.

According to the draft report released by the committee last month, Black people deserve these benefits due to “decades of harm they have experienced.” 

“A lump sum payment would compensate the affected population… and will redress the economic and opportunity losses that​ ​Black San Franciscans have endured, collectively, as the result of both intentional decisions and​ ​unintended harms perpetuated by city policy​,” states the draft. 

The document notes that since California wasn’t considered a slave state, a person doesn’t need to be a descendant of slavery to receive the reparations. 

“While neither San Francisco, nor California, formally adopted the institution of chattel slavery, the tenets of segregation, white supremacy and systematic repression and exclusion of Black people were codified through legal and extralegal actions, social codes, and judicial enforcement,” confirms the committee.

To qualify, people must be identified as Black on public records for at least 10 years and be at least 18 years old. 

In addition, they must meet two out of eight additional standards — including being born in or having migrated to San Francisco between 1940 and 1996, and having proof of residency for at least 13 years, being personally or a direct descendant of someone jailed in the “failed War on Drugs,” or being a descendant of someone enslaved before 1865.

Along with the one-time, lump sum payment of $5 million, each eligible individual will be a part of a “comprehensive debt forgiveness program,” which would wipe out all credit card and other debts, including student and housing loans.

“Black households are more likely to hold costlier, riskier debt, and are more likely to have outstanding student loan debt,” explains the draft. “When this is combined with lower household incomes, it can create an inescapable cycle of debt. Eliminating this debt gives Black households an opportunity to build wealth.”

The prospal also requests the city supplement lower-income recipients’ earnings to match the Area Median Income (AMI), which is about $97,000, 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 plan reads. “By elevating income to match AMI, Black people can better afford housing and achieve a better quality of life.”

The New York Post reported that the committee will make its proposal to the city in June, and Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin hopes it will pass.

“There are so many efforts that result in incredible reports that just end up gathering dust on a shelf,” Peskin told the San Francisco Chronicle. “We cannot let this be one of them.”

The Daily Mail reported that if the proposal is approved and at least 10,000 people qualify for the reparations plan, it would cost San Francisco at least $50 billion. 



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