The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted “unanimously” this week to move ahead with a plan to give every black resident of the city $5 million in reparations.
Slavery never existed in San Francisco, but the supervisors argued that it was a necessary part of a “journey” toward justice for African-Americans.
“There wasn’t a math formula,” San Francisco’s chair of the African American Reparations Advisory Committee, Eric McDonnell, recently 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.”
The board went further agreeing to explore the possibility of providing other means of reparations to the city’s nearly 50,000 Black residents. They could be offered a guaranteed income of $97,000 for 250 years and offered homes to Black families for just $1.
There was a study recently by Stanford University’s Hoover Institution that estimated the proposal would require non-Black families in the city to pay at least $600,000. Many economists believe it will basically bankrupt a city that is already in decline.
“Adding up the costs across these four categories yields a cost of about $200 billion, which is equivalent to a $596,000 liability on a per (non-African American) household basis,” the analysis found. “The size of this tax likely means that San Francisco businesses would be expected to pay for much of the cost of the proposal. However, businesses are becoming increasingly open to relocation, particularly since the pandemic, and this problem is particularly acute in San Francisco.”
The plan acknowledges that while both San Francisco and California never “formally adopted” slavery, the prevalence of “white supremacy” was sufficient justification for reparations.
It’s hard to imagine what the real purpose of this plan really is. Certainly those responsible know that making this a reality is impossible.