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San Francisco Apologizes To Blacks for Racism Ahead Of Crime Vote

Supervisors in San Francisco formally apologized Tuesday to African Americans and their descendants for the city’s role in perpetuating racism and discrimination, with several stating that this was just the beginning of reparations for Black residents, the Guardian reports. The vote was unanimous, with all 11 board members signed on as sponsors of the resolution. “This historic resolution apologizes on behalf of San Francisco to the African American community and their descendants for decades of systemic and structural discrimination, targeted acts of violence, atrocities,” said supervisor Shamann Walton, “as well as committing to the rectification and redress of past policies and misdeeds.” Nine states have formally apologized for slavery. “We have much more work to do, but this apology most certainly is an important step,” said Walton, the only Black member of the board and chief proponent of the resolution. It is the first reparations recommendation of more than 100 proposals made by a city committee to win approval.

The African American Reparations Advisory Committee also proposed that every eligible Black adult receive a $5m lump-sum cash payment and a guaranteed income of nearly $100,000 a year to remedy San Francisco’s deep racial wealth gap. There has been no action on those and other proposals, and some supervisors Tuesday took a dig at public safety measures on next week’s 5 March city ballot that they say would harm African American residents. According to Reuters, residents will vote on a divisive ballot measure that would authorize police to use surveillance cameras, drones, and AI-powered facial recognition. The Safer San Francisco initiative is championed by Mayor London Breed,who believes citizens will approve the proposal. The new resolution contains findings, including property redlining, the razing of the historically Black Fillmore neighborhood in the name of urban renewal, and intentional policies and practices by the city that robbed Black residents of opportunities to build generational wealth. The package includes proposals to compensate people whose land the government seized through eminent domain, create a state reparations agency and to ban forced prison labor.


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