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OPINION

Eager Publicists for Racial Reparations in California

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

How insanely radical and unjust can blue states get? California's nine-member Reparations Task Force voted May 6 to recommend that state lawmakers provide billions of dollars in compensation payments to black residents, along with a formal apology for slavery.

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Why should an 18-year-old white person -- or a freshly minted migrant -- pay taxes through the nose to atone for the sins of slavery, when the sins are not theirs?

These are the recommended payouts:

-- Compensation for health care disparities: $13,619 for each year of residency.

-- Compensation for mass incarceration and overpolicing of African Americans: $2,352 for each year of residency in California during the war on drugs from 1971 to 2020.

-- Compensation for housing discrimination: $3,366 for each year between 1933 and 1977 spent as a resident of California.

So, if you're a black person who's lived in California for the last 60 years, that would add up to about $980,000. This is meant to address an "enormous and persistent wealth gap between black and white Americans." This is probably not going to happen ... because it would cost more than twice the current California state budget.

Taxpayer-subsidized National Public Radio arrived on this story on the May 8 "Morning Edition" newscast. The reporter was Sandhya Dirks, their Oakland, California-based correspondent on "race and identity." If you're a taxpayer who's opposed to paying out reparations, you were not represented in this story.

Instead, Dirks spent about four minutes laying out the findings of this radical panel, which went on for 40 chapters about the history of systemic racism. This includes the present. Dirks reported, "There's lots to atone for, including big systemic issues like how California police disproportionately stop, injure and kill black people, and then they get into the money, real cash payments."

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Dirks never laid out the recommended payouts and let people do mental math, and never explained why anyone would oppose it. Larry Elder, the black California-based radio host who's now a presidential candidate, has had plenty to say. He joked on Twitter about people like Rachel Dolezal "identifying" as black to score big cash. But Dirks could only cartoon the opposition as racist.

"I've been seeing increasing misinformation and racist messaging around reparations from some people on the right," Dirks said. "There's been some misreporting on the amount of money. There's also been an increasing amount of racism about reparations on Twitter and on other social media sites. A 2021 Pew Research Center survey found that while 77% of black respondents supported reparations, only 18% of white respondents did."

NPR morning host Steve Inskeep didn't ask Dirks if opposing reparations was prima-facie proof of racism. Instead, he said, "I feel the need to just underline one more time here. We're saying this is reparations for slavery. But the panel has looked at generations of misdeeds, and it could involve something that happened three years ago. Is that right?"

Dirks replied: "Absolutely. It's not just about slavery. It's about the legacies of systemic racism that extend far beyond that." No one on NPR is allowed to call it systemic robbery.

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The panel's main point of contention was they split 5 to 4 on whether the reparations should be "lineage-based" -- as in, you have to establish you're a descendant of slaves, or someone whose property was taken. "It comes up at every meeting," Dirks reported.

Just as allegedly prestigious outlets like NPR have championed transgender Rep. Zooey Zephyr in Montana and the Bullhorn Justins in Tennessee, the only point of view worth exploring and defending in state politics right now is on the radical left.

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