The Associated Press (AP) appeared to defend San Francisco’s proposal to grant $5 million in reparations to each long-term black resident of the city on Wednesday, pushing back against residents who dared question the idea.
The AP report described a public meeting at which the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to support the plan in principle, without yet committing the funding or approving specific policy proposals.
It is unclear how the city, which faces a $728 million budget deficit and the near-collapse of its downtown economy, will afford reparations. Nor is it clear why San Francisco, which never endured slavery, must pay.
But the AP was certain that residents who told the Board of Supervisors that they opposed the plan were wrong, and must have been unaware of the history of racism, the legacy of slavery, and the need to pay reparations.
From the AP’s coverage (emphasis added):
Payments of $5 million to every eligible Black adult, the elimination of personal debt and tax burdens, guaranteed annual incomes of at least $97,000 for 250 years and homes in San Francisco for just $1 a family.
These were some of the more than 100 recommendations made by a city-appointed reparations committee tasked with the thorny question of how to atone for centuries of slavery and systemic racism. And the San Francisco Board of Supervisors hearing the report for the first time Tuesday voiced enthusiastic support for the ideas listed, with some saying money should not stop the city from doing the right thing.
Several supervisors said they were surprised to hear pushback from politically liberal San Franciscans apparently unaware that the legacy of slavery and racist policies continues to keep Black Americans on the bottom rungs of health, education and economic prosperity, and overrepresented in prisons and homeless populations.
The AP took for granted the argument of reparations advocates that slavery and past racism remain the reason for continued economic inequality — rather than contemporary liberal policies such as allowing teachers’ unions to dictate education policy for the benefit of their members rather than the welfare of the students.
The AP did describe both sides of the argument on $5 million in reparations, which would theoretically be available to anyone who is “at least 18 years old” and has “identified” as “Black/African American” for the past decade.
The San Francisco reparations debate is unfolding alongside a similar debate statewide, where a committee is considering grants of up to $360,000 per recipient who can show that he or she is a descendant of black slaves.
California entered the Union as a free state in 1850; most other jurisdictions considering reparations are also former free states.
The enthusiasm for reparations accelerated during the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020, which triggered a moral panic in many state, corporate, and academic institutions about the issue of “systemic racism” in the U.S.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
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