Newsom's reparations task force MUST include one member from academia

California governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill to create a state task force that will investigate the possibility of paying reparations to black people.

According to the legislation, at least one member must come from academia.

California entered the union as a free state, and therefore never legally permitted institutionalized slavery.

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill that will create a task force to investigate the possibility for reparations of African-Americans in California.

“As a nation, we can only truly thrive when every one of us has the opportunity to thrive. Our painful history of slavery has evolved into structural racism and bias built into and permeating throughout our democratic and economic institutions,” said Governor Newsom in a statement. “While there is still so much work to do to unravel this legacy, these pieces of legislation are important steps in the right direction to building a more inclusive and equitable future for all.”

The legislation, AB 3121, creates a "task force to study and make recommendations on reparations for slavery."

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The provisions for the membership of the committee mandate that the governor must choose “one appointee from the field of academia that has expertise in civil rights.

The governor must also select “two appointees from major civil society and reparations organizations that have historically championed the cause of reparatory justice."

The task force members have a term limit that lasts for the duration of the task force.

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The bill points out that slavery the slavery that “flourished in the United States constituted an immoral and inhumane deprivation of Africans’ life, liberty, African citizenship rights, and cultural heritage and denied them the fruits of their own labor.” However, it does not explain ways in which the state government of California exacerbated slavery in the United States, besides mentioning “the ongoing effects of the institution of slavery and its legacy of persistent systemic structures of discrimination... in the United States.”

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