Assembly member Reginald Jones-Sawyer, a member of the California reparations task force, in Los Angeles, California, US, on Friday, May 5, 2023.
The California Reparations Task Force has been extremely instrumental in doing the research into how chattel slavery affected generations of Black people in the state and led to disproportionately high levels of incarceration, policing, and housing discrimination.
But despite their efforts and their detailed research that shows how the state was complicit in slavery, there are still those who do not think the state should be making amends to Black people in the form of payments.
A recent poll from the University of California, Berkeley, shows that most California residents are against Black people receiving any form of payment from the state. Specifically, 59 percent of respondents were totally resistant to the idea that Black descendants of slaves in the state should receive monetary payments.
When broken up into demographics, it showed that 76 percent of Black people were for reparations in the form of cash payments and 66 percent of white people were against the idea of Black people getting paid.
Honestly, the only shocking part about those numbers is that the percentage of Black people who support reparations in the state is much lower than I thought. This would help you!
In response to the poll, the California Black Caucus will be organizing a statewide campaign that will inform undecorated California voters about the research the task force has been doing and the myriad of findings they’ve made since the task force was created.
When speaking to NBC News, Reginald Jones-Sawyer, a member of the reparations task force, said, “Polls can be skewed because usually enough information isn’t given to the people, so that they don’t have a full understanding of what’s going on. If each individual that they polled had read that 400-page document we did last year, which proved how California was complicit in chattel slavery, and read the 1,100-page document that we printed out this year, which talked about what reparations should be, there’s absolutely no way you would believe that [there] shouldn’t be some type of compensation.”
The report not only covered the history of slavery in the state but also made multiple recommendations on the policies the state can amend to address the years of discrimination.