California Lawmaker Wants “Genealogy Office” to Prove Eligibility for Reparations

2024-04-18 06:00:01

The last time we checked on the news related to reparations for black Americans, a Texas congresswoman and Democrat Jasmine Crockett appeared on an episode of the Black Lawyers Podcast and suggested that one-way reparations could be paid to descendants of America’s former slave trade is for the group to be given a reprieve from paying taxes for a certain amount of time.

Back in California, where the issue has been pushed forth by a Reparations Task Force approved by Gov. Gavin Newsom, has continued to be busy. The panel had already generated a 1000-page wish list with a $225 billion total, submitted by members that included one who insisted “all white men are serial killers”.

Now, $225 billion is a chunk of change, especially as California was recently looking at a $73 billion deficit. As I noted in an my post about the Texas congresswoman’s demands, one problem is figuring out exactly who is the descendant of slaves. Especially as “family lore” has been used in some famous cases as the basis of claiming race-based perquisites.

Now one California lawmaker has a solution: Spend even more money that California doesn’t have on a ‘genealogy office‘ to determine the worthiness of claims.

Steven Bradford, a Democratic state Senator for LA County, proposed bill SB 1403 to create a controversial genealogy unit to ‘confirm reparations eligibility’ of applicants.

The state’s first-in-the-nation reparations task force last year decided that some residents should win $1.2 million payouts as compensation for injustices from the slavery era onwards.

But lawmakers have struggled to turn those plans into reality, and have advanced several bills to devise a working reparations scheme amid fears of spiralling costs in a cash-strapped state.

Bradford’s bill, which was amended this month, aims to solve the problem of working out who is in line for a payout.

Bradford, a Democrat who represents parts of Los Angeles County (including Inglewood, Compton and Gardena) is a big believer in reparations and served on the 9-member panel. Bonus: He is running for Lieutenant Governor!

Defining who qualifies for reparations goodies appears to be particularly challenging, in light of DNA analysis.

A large-scale DNA study published in the American Journal of Human Genetics concluded that, nationwide, about 3.5 percent of people who identify as white—including around 5 percent of white Californians—have at least one percent African ancestry,” wrote Michael Harriot.

“If the task force incorporates the suggestion that lineage can be proven by establishing ‘negative evidence,’ it is entirely possible that white people could claim the bulk of reparations.”

Based on the current definition, it is unclear the extent to which one must descend from an enslaved African American to qualify for reparations.

The unintended consequences of this approach are limitless.

Of course, the potential for graft is also limitless.

With leadership like this, little wonder Californians are fleeing the state.

“Forty million people will live in California by the end of 2018 and 50 million by 2048, the state Department of Finance said in estimates released Tuesday,” reported The Mercury News on May 8, 2012.

And then there’s reality.

“The U.S. Census Bureau reported in March that California’s population as of last July had dropped to an estimated 38,965,000,” wrote George Skelton, Capitol Journal columnist for the Los Angeles Times on April 8. “That’s down by 75,400 in a year — and 573,000 below California’s peak of 39.5 million in 2020.”


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California Lawmaker Wants “Genealogy Office” to Prove Eligibility for Reparations


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