SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The African American Reparations Advisory Committee in San Francisco recently recommended that the city pay out a cool $5 million to most of its 55,000 Black residents – in addition to debt forgiveness – but officials are calling the insanely pricey proposal “completely untenable.”
Despite the fact that slavery was never legal in San Francisco, the Reparations Committee’s chair, consultant Eric McDonnell, said on Tuesday that the city owes $5 million to Black residents because the city purportedly imposed “decades of racist policies that economically harmed Black residents.”
“There wasn’t a math formula,” McDonnell 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.”
San Francisco Supervisor Hillary Ronen said the proposed reparations are out of the question given the city’s budget.
“I wish we had this kind of money in San Francisco’s general fund but if we want to maintain the services that exist today, we do not,” she said.
Some residents in favor of the reparations suggested that city reinstate its Cannabis Business Tax – which has been suspended for years – to help cover the cost, but that plan was immediately shot down as being woefully insufficient; even if the tax was put back into effect, it would only generate approximately $10.25 million annually, officials say.
In addition to the $5 million payouts, the Reparations Committee is also recommending debt forgiveness for Black residents who meet certain criteria, including being at least 18 years old, having been a San Francisco resident for at least 13 years, and/or having been “personally, or the direct descendant of someone, incarcerated by the failed War on Drugs.”