The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has recently taken steps towards approving a draft proposal that proposes to give eligible black residents a one-time payment of $5 million in reparations. Although the policy recommendations have not yet been enacted, the draft proposal outlines various qualifications that individuals must meet to be eligible for the reparations. Some of these qualifications are being a prisoner during the "failed War on Drugs," being a descendant of a person who was sold into slavery before 1865, being relocated by the city's 1954-1973 urban renewal project or a descendant of a person who was, being birthed in San Francisco or moving there between 1940 and 1996 and residing there for at least 13 years, facing specific types of housing market discrimination, and going to San Francisco public schools before they were fully desegregated.
@SFHumanRights & the San Francisco African American Reparations Advisory Committee are pleased to invite community to review the DRAFT SF Reparations Plan.
Read @ https://t.co/bihNk3TLWx pic.twitter.com/6XGa9AbliM
— SF Human Rights (@SFHumanRights) March 14, 2023
The draft proposal also proposes two other measures. Firstly, it suggests providing annual income supplements to lower-income African-American households to reflect the Area Median Income for a minimum of 250 years, which would have resulted in $97,000 payments in 2022. Secondly, it recommends converting public housing units into condominiums that eligible residents could purchase for $1.
San Francisco Accepts Draft Reparations Plan That Shells Out $5 Million To Black Residents https://t.co/cVOc1krtXM
— US Burning (@UsBurning) March 15, 2023
During the hearing, Brittni Chicuata, the Economic Rights Director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, read out comments made by members of the community. According to one commenter, "San Francisco is a sanctuary city for everyone except for us." Another commenter highlighted how black communities were previously denied mortgages while white communities and others were able to purchase land at a fraction of its value due to restrictive covenants. Another community member pointed out how the foster care system had shattered black families in the city and argued that the victims deserved compensation.
This proposed reparations plan is a misguided attempt to address the wrongs of the past. It is an example of liberal politicians trying to appease their base by throwing money at a problem without truly understanding the root cause of the issue. The proposed plan does nothing to address the systemic racism and inequality that African Americans face in San Francisco and across the country. Instead of providing one-time payments, the city should focus on creating economic opportunities for African Americans and investing in education, job training, and housing programs that will help close the racial wealth gap. This would be a much more effective way to help African Americans in San Francisco than simply handing out money.