A proposed reparations package suggesting a "one-time, lump sum payment" of $5 million to eligible Black San Franciscans who are descendants of slavery earned an unlikely opponent this week.
The San Francisco chapter of the NAACP rejected the potential measure, arguing reparations should be disbursed via investments and opportunities for the Black community, not direct cash payments.
"We strongly believe that creating and funding programs that can improve the lives of those who have been impacted by racism and discrimination is the best path forward toward equality and justice," San Francisco NAACP President Amos Brown said in a statement Tuesday.
Instead of direct cash payments, Brown and the NAACP called for investments in "five key areas," those being education, jobs, housing, healthcare and a cultural center for Blacks in the city.
The remarks from the NAACP came following a public meeting held by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to discuss a proposed reparations package developed by the San Francisco African American Reparations Advisory Committee, established by the board in December 2020 to advise San Francisco's local government and the public on the creation of a citywide reparations package.
The proposed plan received lots of scrutiny, particularly related to its suggestion that eligible San Franciscans get a "one-time, lump sum" payment of $5 million.
"It's an illegal and immoral wealth transfer," The Heritage Foundation's Kara Frederick argued. "It's not about compassion, it's not about humans flourishing, it's not about lifting people up at all, it's about power. It's about the left saying 'We'll give you free stuff if you vote for us, so vote for us.' And whose going to foot the bill? We all know whose going to foot the bill -- it's the taxpayer."
"The mass exodus from California speaks for itself," Frederick concluded. "California is not working, it's going to work even less if this happens."
Critics have also pointed to the fact that the state of California never formally adopted the practice of chattel slavery as an argument against the reparations package, which besides direct cash payments includes a citywide debt forgiveness plan and a reduction in tax burdens for eligible residents.