California has become the first state to adopt a new law that will provide reparation payments to people of the Black community and descendants of slaves.
The legislation, however, does not commit to any particular payment. What it will do is forming a task force. Comprising of nine individuals, the task force will analyze and study the impact of slavery on Black people.
It will recommend the compensation type to be given to those affected, to the Legislature.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed the new California law on Wednesday afternoon.
“After watching last night’s debate, this signing can’t come too soon,” he said during the video conference with stakeholders and other lawmakers.
He also said that people could only thrive when every individual has the opportunity to thrive.
Rapper Ice Cube was also present during the signing of the law who also praised the bill.
Future impact of new California Law
Advocates are seeing this law as a model for other states to follow in the coming time. Before the approval, it also received Bipartisan support in the Legislature.
Democrat Shirley Weber said that this law would help California to “lead the way” in terms of civil rights.
Adding further, she said that California has a lot of work to do. And it is regarding the acknowledgment of the state’s history with racism and inequality.
In 2020, after the death of George Floyd, things began to change drastically, thus causing tensions. And this bill, written last year, seems a crucial step forward to handle the current scenario.
Also, there’s no relation to this law coming at this moment after the year’s events because it was in the making for a long time.
Weber said that they are not responding to the current circumstances. Instead, they are responding to the “history of California and the life of Black people” in the state.
History of slavery and laws in California
Although founded as a free state, in 1850, some laws in California made allowances to residents. Under this, they had the right to retain enslaved individuals.
In 1865 slavery became completely illegal throughout the United States.
Before the now approved California law, a proposal was made in the past as well. In 1989, it was introduced in the Congress and sought to study the reparations for Black Americans.
Meanwhile, the results of this law, and the enforcement, in the coming months, will be intriguing to see.
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