Reparations For All!

We wrote here about a task force of the State of California that is developing a proposal to pay reparations to the state’s black residents, to the tune of perhaps $800,000 apiece. But that is chump change compared with what is being demanded in San Francisco.

The City of San Francisco appointed an African American Reparations Advisory Committee which delivered its draft Plan in December. The Plan is embedded below, so you can peruse it at your leisure. It acknowledges, as it must, that neither the State of California nor the City of San Francisco ever countenanced slavery, but nevertheless claims that San Francisco has systemically discriminated against blacks from the beginning. And, of course, the “legacy” of such discrimination is still felt today, reflected in every “disparity” that is to the disadvantage of blacks.

On the whole, the document comes across as whinier than Prince Harry’s memoir. But for now, let’s focus on the proposed remedy. News accounts have reported that the Plan provides that San Francisco blacks should get $5 million apiece. Currently, San Francisco’s population is 895,000, of whom around 5% are classified as African-American. Assuming those numbers, around 44,750 people would get $5 million apiece, for a total of $223,750,000,000. Each San Franciscan who is not a recipient of reparations would be on the hook for approximately $263,000, or a little over $1 million for a family of four. (I know, there aren’t many families of four in San Francisco, but you get the idea.)

That obviously isn’t going to happen. But the Plan is actually far worse than that. First of all, it isn’t just the $5 million. That is only a down payment. All blacks also get a total forgiveness of debt, exemptions from business taxes, refinanced mortgages, subsidized housing, and a dizzying array of government programs.

But craziest of all is that you don’t even need to live in San Francisco to qualify. The Plan says that you must identify as Black/African American and be 18 years old or older. Those are the only firm requirements. Then you need to check any two out of eight additional boxes. Six of those criteria relate to residence, or former residence, in San Francisco. Thus, for example, if you were born in San Francisco in 1950, lived there for 13 years and then moved somewhere else, and haven’t set foot in San Francisco since 1963, you get $5 million plus the other benefits if you satisfy just one of the other criteria.

In fact, you don’t ever need to have lived in San Francisco to be eligible for the full suite of benefits. If at least one of your ancestors was a slave, and you were incarcerated in the “failed war on drugs,” or an ancestor of yours was so incarcerated, you can come to San Francisco and claim your $5 million, housing subsidies, etc. Pretty much every incarcerated drug criminal in the U.S., or formerly incarcerated drug criminal, along with all of his progeny, would be a multimillionaire. The cost, if the Plan’s idiotically-drafted terms are taken seriously, is literally incalculable.

Obviously, if this Plan were actually implemented, any non-beneficiary would be crazy to continue living in the city. It would become a ghost town except for people drawn from around the globe–you don’t need to be a current resident of the United States–to cash in. Only there wouldn’t be any cash.

Proposals like this one–it is true of every reparations plan I have seen–are not serious. They obviously can’t be, and won’t be, implemented. If they have a point, it is ideological. And in that regard, they are poisonous. They rest on the assumption that all blacks–not just blacks, but anyone who has a single ancestor who was a black slave 150 or 250 years ago–are, always have been, and always will be helpless victims.

That is an insulting assumption, to say the least, but for $5 million I suppose a lot of people would be willing to endure insults.

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