Black San Francisco residents have been queuing outside a municipal office with DNA test results and old family photographs in order to have their racial origins examined.
The San Francisco African American Reparations Advisory Committee, created in 2020 under the city’s human rights commission, has beeing given the task to develop a plan to address “the institutional, City sanctioned harm that has been inflicted upon African American communities.”
People who can prove to the authorities that they are descended from a 19th Century black slave will be eligible for millions of dollars in compensation.
San Francisco City Council has not yet announced how it intends to find the money.
One council source said: “There are a lot of Silicon Valley billionaires. There are unbelievable amounts of money here, so it will eventually be found. But make no mistake, taxes will have to go up”
The Mail Online reports: Last Monday, a US national holiday to celebrate civil rights hero Martin Luther King, San Francisco’s reparation committee proposed that every eligible black citizen in the city should receive a $5 million (£4 million) payout – a total bill of at least $50 billion (£40 billion) for the city alone.
The proposal goes before the city council in June and is expected to pass. Of course, millions of enslaved blacks suffered incalculable hurt, but the issue of reparations for their 21st Century descendants has triggered a huge moral debate.
On the one hand, the compensation proposals represent an attempt by today’s generation to atone black people for the American authorities’ historic role in slavery and the legacy of inequality.
But conversely, others argue that apart from the huge financial cost, the campaign is simply woke, political posturing dressed up in the moralistic language of guilt.
What’s more, such reparation suggestions are not restricted to America. As is said of so many liberal social issues: ‘What happens in California today happens in the rest of America tomorrow and then in Britain very soon after.’