On Wednesday, September 30, California became the first state to pave the way for their Black citizens and descendants of slaves to receive reparations.
NBC News reports that legislation authored Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, a Democrat representing San Diego who is chair of California’s Legislative Black Caucus to commit to a nine-person study of the impact of slavery on Black people in California. From there the legislature will decide on what kind of compensation should be provided and to whom.
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“This is not just because of the circumstances we face. What happened is that, of course, those circumstances reinforced the fact that what we were saying all along was true,” Weber said. “Some think we’re just responding to the moment, but we’re responding to the history of California and the life of Black people in California and in this nation.”
Weber mentions that this bill was written before the recent national protests across the country and the coronavirus pandemic but knew it was very important to the time because of the treatment of Black people.
“This is an extremely important time for all of us,” Weber said Wednesday. “California tries to lead the way in terms of civil rights, and we have a responsibility to do that.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the law Wednesday afternoon.
“After watching last night’s debate, this signing can’t come too soon,” he said during a virtual conference with lawmakers and other stakeholders, including Ice Cube, who used his status to push the bill forward.
“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,” Newsom said in a statement.