A California reparations boss has privately made the bombshell admission that blacks have almost no faith they’ll see a penny from the slavery compensation plan being unveiled in Sacramento today.
Speaking among allies in an online meeting, Chris Lodgson, from the Coalition for a Just and Equitable California (CJEC), said his ‘big challenge’ was getting African Americans to rally behind the first-in-the-nation reparations effort.
Lodgson spoke hours before California’s slavery reparations task force wrapped up its historic work on Thursday with the official submission of a report on discrimination against black residents and a financial compensation plan.
‘The challenge that we face is that although 90-plus percent of black folks that we talked to believe we deserve reparations, something like 89 percent of black folks that we talked to don’t think it’s gonna happen,’ Lodgson said.
Chris Lodgson has pushed hard to get black Californians involved in the push for reparations, but says they overwhelmingly ‘don’t think it’s gonna happen’
He made the bombshell revelations in a private online meeting hosted by the California Association of Real Estate Brokers late on Wednesday
Lodgson is a lead organizer for CJEC, the only grassroots, state-wide group pushing for reparations for the legacy of slavery. He played a key role in the task force’s nearly three-year effort to devise an atonement package.
He described lackluster support among black residents of Los Angeles, San Francisco and other California hubs, saying they were unwilling to attend reparations rallies as they ‘don’t believe this is even possible.’
Lodgson’s comments suggest he has seen polling data that’s not widely available — showing how black Californians have little faith they’ll see anything from the massive sums being proposed.
Even so, Lodgson said personal payouts were at the heart of the plan.
‘If it doesn’t have compensation, it’s not reparations,’ he told the online gathering of the California Association of Real Estate Brokers late on Wednesday, which DailyMail.com was able to attend.
‘We were seeing stories about people getting $225,000. Last year, it went up to $300,000, now they’re saying $1.2 million — I like the fact that it’s going up.’
In reality, he added, payouts would be based on how long people had lived in California.
After more than two years of fact-finding, reports and hearings, the California Reparations Task Force was on Thursday set to hand over to state lawmakers their report and recommendations for compensation.
It is the most ambitious effort in the country to address the impact of slavery on black residents, with task force members saying they want to create a blueprint for copycat schemes in other states and even nationwide.
The report heads to lawmakers, who will be responsible for turning policy proposals into law. Reparations will not happen until politicians and Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, agree.
Task force meetings, like this one in Oakland’s City Hall, often failed to draw a crowd
Newsom has said he felt there were better ways of addressing systemic inequality than cash handouts.
The recommendations include a formal apology to descendants of people enslaved in the US and financial compensation for harms descendants have suffered, such as over-policing and housing discrimination.
Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, has said he did not support the issuing of checks for reparations
The panel did not recommend a fixed dollar amount for payouts, but endorsed ways to calculate harms suffered from unfair policing, housing, and incarceration policies.
Initial calculations pegged the potential cost to California at more than $800 billion — more than 2.5 times the state’s $300 billion annual budget.
That price-tag dropped to $500 billion in a later report without explanation.
Under its recommendations, elderly black Californians who had lived their whole lives in the state could receive nearly $1 million — or $13,600 per year — for health disparities that have shortened their average life span.
Blacks subjected to aggressive policing and prosecution in the ‘war on drugs’ from 1971 to 2020 could each receive $115,000 if they lived in California throughout that period.
The task force narrowly voted to limit individual financial redress to residents who can document lineage from black people who were in the US in the 19th century, thereby excluding more recent immigrants.
The nine-member panel convened in June 2021 after Newsom signed legislation in 2020 creating the task force. The panelists include the descendants of slaves who are lawyers, educators, elected officials and civil rights leaders.
Former Democratic congressional candidate Morris Griffin holds up a sign during a reparations meeting
Morris Griffin, of Los Angeles, speaks during the public comment portion of the reparations task force meeting in Sacramento, California
Plans to compensate black Americans for slavery-era sins have been around for centuries. They’ve gained traction in recent months as ever more left-leaning states and cities launch local inquiries into their own atonement schemes.
San Francisco made headlines this year with a proposal for $5 million payouts to every longtime black resident, and other plans to address generations of economic losses suffered by the minority group.
New York could become the second state to create a commission to examine state involvement in the institution of slavery, and to address present-day gaps in economical and educational disparities experienced by black people.
The legislation, approved earlier this month by lawmakers, has not yet been signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat.
Advocates of reparations say it’s time for America to repay its black residents for the injustices of the historic Transatlantic slave trade, Jim Crow segregation and inequalities that persist to this day.
Critics say they cost too much, are unfair, and will sow divisions between winners and losers.
The schemes are popular with 77 percent of the black Americans, who could benefit from payouts, according to Pew Research Center polling.
But only 18 percent of whites — who would shoulder an extra tax burden — support them.
Agencies contributed to this report.