California Voters Balk At State Reparations Recommendations: POLL

More than half of California voters oppose reparation payments being made to descendants of African American slaves, according to a poll sponsored by the Los Angeles Times.

The UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) poll, conducted in August 2023, found that 59% of California voters oppose the idea of cash payments being made to descendants of slaves, with more than 4 out of 10 voters “strongly opposed” to the idea, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Black California voters in California overwhelmingly supported cash payments more than any other demographic with 76% approving the recommendation. In contrast, 60% of Latino and Asian voters as well as two-thirds of white voters opposed the cash payment recommendations, the Los Angeles Times reported.

New poll finds California voters resoundingly oppose cash reparations for slavery

— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) September 10, 2023

The California Reparations Task Force, created by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2020, approved $800 billion in reparation recommendations in May, including payments of up to $1.2 million for every qualifying black resident. In addition to the payments, the panel called on the state to issue a formal apology for “long-standing racial disparities and inequalities” as observed by Democratic California Rep. Barbara Lee, Fox News reported.

“It has a steep uphill climb, at least from the public’s point of view,” Mark DiCamillo, director of the IGS poll, said of the reparations payments, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Two of the main reasons for opposing the measure offered by those polled centered on the issue of fairness. Some 60% argued that it was “unfair to ask today’s taxpayers to pay for wrongs committed in the past.” In comparison, 53% contended that it wasn’t fair “to single out one group for reparations when other racial and religious groups have been wronged in the past,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

“It speaks to the miseducation of most Americans when it comes to slavery and the impact that it had on this country and the impact that it still has on African Americans today,” Democratic state Sen. Steven Bradford, who served on the task force, said of the results, according to the outlet. (RELATED: Charging Interest On Unpaid Child Support Is Racist, Reparations Task Force Concludes)

While Newsom has stressed the importance of the task force’s purpose and the recommendations they put forth to “break down barriers” and “address hate,” he argued that reparations are more than just cash payments. “It doesn’t have to be in the frame of writing a check; reparations come in many different forms. But one cannot deny these historical facts, and I really believe very strongly we have to come to grips with what’s happened,” Newsom stated, according to the Los Angeles Times.