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New York Is The Next State Working On Reparations For Its Residents Of African Descent

Another state is working on reparations for the culture.


New York

New York has developed a commission to study potential reparations for state residents of African descent, which makes it the second state after California to do so, according to Politico.


The commission, which will report its findings in 2025, will, in fact, have a broad charge. It will study New York’s legacy of slavery as well as discrimination, making recommendations on both statutory changes and potential payments to “combat generational wealth inequality.”


“In New York, we like to think we’re on the right side of this — slavery was a product of the South, the Confederacy,” Kathy Hochul, New York's governor, said while signing the bill at an event in Manhattan. “What is hard to embrace is that our state also flourished from that slavery. It’s not a beautiful story, but it’s the truth.”


Joined by Rev. Al Sharpton in the bill signing, Hochul and other Black leaders praised the measure as a way to rectify generations of wrings caused by slavery, such as housing and job discrimination. The panel will examine the way, including financial payments, to address racial and structural inequities in the state.


“Some of the media will act like (Hochul) met us here and she gave Rev. Al and all of us a check for a billion dollars,” Sharpton said. “But that’s not what this does. This is the beginning of healing the scars.”


Wrapping up its work by the summer of 2025, the commission will only make recommendations. Anything proposed will, of course, need to be passed as a bill by the Democratic-led Legislature and governor.


After California finally did it, New York is the second major state to establish such a commission. According to NBC News, the one in California culminated its work earlier in 2023 by recommending payments of as much as $1.2 million per eligible resident over time.


But leaders haven’t acted on any of the recommendations, with officials such as Gov. Gavin Newsom casting doubt on the potential for payments.


Still, California’s commission has assisted in putting the issue of historic racial injustice front and center, with the Legislative Black Caucus preparing for a huge push for some of its ideas in 2024.


“There’s a part of me that worries about leaping into this conversation because of the racial division and strife it could sow. People will say what does this have to do with us in 2023?” Hochul asked.


“Anybody that thinks that racism and hatred for Blacks no longer exists, tell that to the families of the 10 victims at the grocery store in the massacre in Buffalo, who once again will be staring at empty chairs at their Christmas dinner.”

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