The California Compensation Task Force is seeking compensation for African American communities due to the racial discrimination they have historically suffered.
Although California proclaimed itself a "free state" that did not accept slavery, racist policies and slave-owning practices affected thousands of African-Americans, while the golden state became one of the richest in the North American country.
"No one can deny that slavery was very harmful and the consequences it brought such as violent attacks, robbery, lack of resources and poor schools," denounced Shirley Weber, California Secretary of State, at a press conference organized by Ethnic Media Services in which experts met to discuss the AB 3121 measure that seeks to repair the damage caused to African-American communities.
For 40 years, Congress has made efforts around compensation for damages to African-American communities, however, according to the California Secretary of State, they have not yielded results.
In addition, Weber noted that AB 3121 has made California the first state to seek equity and eradicate racism through compensation.
"Because of the amount of effort that has gone into achieving this, California may be an example of what could happen," he said.
For his part, Jones Sawyer, an assemblyman and member of the Compensation Task Force, stressed the need and interest in bringing African-Americans "on the same level as everyone else."
And it is that it is essential to remember that this group has suffered ?historically? of racial discrimination, segregation, denial of rights, low-quality education, and homelessness, so the Compensation Task Force seeks not only to repair the damages of slavery that occurred in the state of California, but also the consequences that this has left
"We have reached a point where we have convinced ourselves that we can reverse everything and get compensation in the form of financial and remuneration and compensation," he said.
In addition, Sawyer stressed the importance of developing the African-American business community and combating inequality in education, noting that the Task Force will make recommendations to combat incarceration of members of the African-American community.
At the time, Don Tamaki, legal advisor to Minami Tamaki LLP and member of the Compensation Working Group, commented that the compensation made to the Japanese-American community for the incarceration of this population in concentration camps during the World War II, allowed the government to admit a "big mistake" and compensate it financially.
However, he pointed out that you cannot compare 4 years in a concentration camp with more than 400 years of exclusionary policies and slavery.
Tamaki stressed that although slavery ended in 1865, today the consequences are still visible in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods of the state.
"What slavery gave birth to was a racial hierarchy that values white lives above all others, and black and native people at the bottom and everyone else in between," he denounced.
Finally, the panelists pointed out that this fight and its fruits could shed light on all communities of color that have suffered racial discrimination in the country.
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