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By Tim Hunt

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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Considering reparations for Black people

Uploaded: Oct 8, 2020
Reparations for Black Americans has been in the headlines recently. The Legislature passed a bill to establish a commission on reparations that Gov. Gavin Newsom signed.

And Tuesday, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution sponsored by the two Black supervisors, Nate Miley and Keith Carson, to support community reparations for African Americans. It built on a June 2011 resolution. The resolution, according to a press release from Miley’s office, “detailed the oppressive and lasting effects of racist local policy including the loss of economic stability and gain, comparably worse medical outcomes and life expectancies and psychological suffering.”

The resolution calls for “all cities, law enforcement agencies, organizations, institutions and individuals who have advanced or benefited from racial inequality” to apologize and change policy to combat racism as well as providing funding for reparations.

I will confess that a few months ago the thought of reparations would have raised the hairs on the back of my neck. That was before I started studying and listening to Black church leaders share their experiences. That deepened my understanding significantly.

I re-listened to a Q Ideas talk by the Rev. Duke Kwon, the lead pastor at a multi-ethnic church (Grace/DC, Meridian Hill in Washington D.C.). He laid out the Biblical case for restitution, citing 400 years of theft from Black people. He related the Bible story of Luke 19 about the tax collector Zacchaeus and suggested it doesn’t matter how many generations have passed. He contended that the Bible calls us to love our neighbor and do so sacrificially.

It was a challenging message when I heard it the first time and it remains so.

Watching many discussions brought home to me that I have a heritage, but Blacks whose bodies and lives were stolen as slaves have no African family history. Their last name was that of their owner. To hear leading black pastors such as T.D. Jakes of Dallas recount his influence in the pulpit vanished to being just another Black man when he was driving his car.

When I realized how federal housing policy, established in the 1930s, essentially banned making federally-backed loans in Black neighborhoods, it brought home how it robbed many Blacks of the investment that for most families produces the most wealth over time. Today homes in historically Black neighborhoods appraise for less than similar houses in different neighborhoods.

A 2018 report by the left-leaning Brookings Institution reported that the appraisal gap is $48,000, while a 2020 study in Minneapolis put the number at $33,000. Another 2020 study reported that the gap has doubled between 1980 and 2015 despite the fair housing laws. And there were factors beyond the federal “redlining” policy.

The county resolution should spark needed discussion. It’s also important that the discussion include the disastrous effect of the 1960s Great Society legislation that established the welfare state. Prior to that, 70% of Black children grew up with a mother and a father—today about 75% are born to single mothers. There are two generations of Black men who have been raised without any fatherly influence—a factor seen in the gang violence that plagues many Black neighborhoods.

It’s a complicated tough issue, but, as believers, we are called to value all people as unique creations of a God who loves them. That love perspective needs to lead the discussion.





We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

Comments

 +   7 people like this
Posted by Roxie, a resident of San Ramon Valley High School,
on Oct 8, 2020 at 10:47 am

Roxie is a registered user.

That's such a difficult discussion. I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts on this issue.


 +   20 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Oct 8, 2020 at 12:54 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Lets form a line:

Black people line up behind the Native American Indians - the most abused race on the American continent. Because of the abuse, The American Indian is nearly extinct.


 +   32 people like this
Posted by Lahommed, a resident of Dublin,
on Oct 8, 2020 at 1:56 pm

Lahommed is a registered user.

No to Reparations......The Irish The italians the chinese all were subject to many atrocities........I don't hear you on that Tim? And no black person today is a slave in America and has not been for quite some time......No to reparations


 +   17 people like this
Posted by Jo, a resident of Parkside,
on Oct 8, 2020 at 1:58 pm

Jo is a registered user.

giving a little money does not solve anything. I say no


 +   32 people like this
Posted by Jake Waters, a resident of Birdland,
on Oct 8, 2020 at 4:53 pm

Jake Waters is a registered user.

Oh, you knew this was coming- an election is going on and the Liberals always drag this out to capture a percentage of the Black vote. Furthermore, Liberals want us all to take a knee to appease the Marxist organization of BLM, not to mention the teacher's union (particularly the LA Teacher's Union) both of which call for reparations and defunding the police. Extortion and fear are their weapons.

I may not have the answers, but I do have a number of questions, because I always hear from the Liberals- ‘We need to have a conversation...' you fill in the blanks. Ok, let's have a conversation:

- begin by defining ‘racial inequality,' and do so by providing data, statistics, and examples. That will provide us a starting point to debate your position. Not falling for the usual flowery words and phrases that add up to nothing.

- what is the payoff number for reparations: $500, $1,000, $10,000, $100,000 to each offended person. Is that given monthly, biannually, or yearly? Is there a payoff point or is it into perpetuity?

- I get that this commission will determine relationship to a slave from our history, but what is the degree of acceptable ancestry? Does the financial obligation continue into perpetuity with each succeeding birth? That will get expensive. The obligation never ends and Universal Basic Income takes over. Score one for BLM.

- who becomes the payee: all California taxpayers, only a certain segment of our society, responsibility by race or offender? Perhaps only Democrats should be on the hook since they owned slaves. If my ancestry didn't arrive to this country until after the civil war, must we pay?

- will there be a senior and military veteran discount?

- will it be on the ballot, because it more than likely will be a tax. You don't want it to end up in the Supreme Court as Obamacare did.

Lastly, will this lead to consideration for reparations for other groups:

- will ALL those that were drafted to fight for their country in a myriad of different wars receive reparations? I was drafted and required to serve. How much will I get? LOL.

- what about the Chinese that went through horrible treatment building our railroads, surface roads and water ducts here and in Canada? They getting reparations?

- as noted above, what about the Irish and Italians that where forced to fight during the Civil War when they landed here.

- what about the over 630,000 mostly white men and young boys that died fighting against slavery. Out of appreciation I think we should reimburse their ancestry too.

- as noted above, what about the Native Americans that were forced onto reservations and subjected to poor health care and education. Only a small majority enjoy profits from casino's.

Sure hope Gavin will take this all into consideration. I sure hope we are not going to be used for him to ‘feel good rather than do good.' I say this in all honesty, there are some good Liberals, they just have bad ideas.


 +   24 people like this
Posted by David, a resident of Alisal Elementary School,
on Oct 8, 2020 at 6:21 pm

David is a registered user.

I agree with the post, what about Native Americans and Mexicans whose lands and ergo wealth and spirit were stolen. And Chinese were persecuted and essentially made slaves building railroads. More recently, Vietnamese immigrated here after the war with no assets and just the clothes on their backs because of USA war time policies. What about repatriation to women for making less money than men and being excluded from higher corporate positions? This certainly will be an interesting conversation. More money sent to community redevelopment and neighborhood housing assistance, job training, small biz loans and low tuition seem more productive.it'. It's all shameful American history but we are not the only country with sad past or present day. Why keep blaming white privilege which I don't think is bringing people together.


 +   15 people like this
Posted by dand d, a resident of Danville,
on Oct 9, 2020 at 6:52 am

dand d is a registered user.

Don't forget the Native Americans, the Japanese, the Mexicans, the Chinese, the.................
Ridiculous.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Carole Lee Manning, a resident of Danbury Park,
on Oct 9, 2020 at 10:04 am

Carole Lee Manning is a registered user.

I grew up in Richmond, CA. It is NOT true that in the 1970's 70% of black children grew up with a mother and a father. In schools that were in predominately black neighborhoods the registrations listed the mothers' names, but most listed fathers as "unknown." This was in the 1950's, and to my knowledge not much has changed.


 +   17 people like this
Posted by Rodger, a resident of another community,
on Oct 9, 2020 at 1:56 pm

Rodger is a registered user.

@ Jake Waters - I concur X10 !!
FOUR POINTS
One, California was admitted to the Union in 1850 as a free state. Its moral insistence 170 years ago that slavery be outlawed precipitated a crisis " and almost sparked the Civil War ten years before it actually began. Despite the efforts of some slave-owning arrivals into California, there was never legal slavery in the state.

Two, about 27 percent of California residents were not born in the United States. Most of the naturalized citizens and undocumented immigrants arrived in the state after the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964. How, then, do California residents from Asia, Latin America, or Europe owe reparations to the current 6.5 percent of the state's population that is African American?

Are we to establish a precedent that those who never owned slaves in a society that has no memory of slavery are to redistribute billions of their dollars to those whose grandparents were never slaves?

Three, in a multiethnic, multiracial California " where those identifying as white are a minority, and those of mixed ancestries number in the millions " how does the state adjudicate who owes what to whom?

Is an arriving Mexican immigrant a victim of institutionalized racism in Mexico, or was he part of a Mexican establishment notorious for its racism? In a multiracial state, will we adopt ancient “one drop" Confederate race laws to determine whose DNA qualifies someone for state money?

Should the state pay reparations to the descendants of Jews who fled the Holocaust, of Cambodians who fled Pol Pot's reign of death, of Armenians who escaped Ottoman barbarity, or of Irish and Chinese who were worked to death on the Transcontinental Railroad?

Four, how will borrowing money to pay some 2 million to 3 million of the state's 40 million residents make things easier for the African-American population? And are multimillionaire state residents such as LeBron James, Oprah Winfrey, Kanye West, Jay-Z and Beyoncé eligible?

Did it mean nothing that trillions of dollars have been spent over the last half-century on anti-poverty programs, state entitlements, and diversity and inclusion programs?

If per capita economic parity for the black population is truly the state's concern, then why not allow more charter schools in California's inner cities? Or deregulate the state's cumbersome bureaucracy to give small businesses more opportunity and reduce resistance to building low-income housing?

It is said that California fails because its wealthy elites virtue-signal their caring to square the circle of their own impotence to solve the problems in their midst. Californians who live in gated homes often damn walls on the border. Those who depend on imported water damn water transference for agriculture. Those who put their children in private academies damn public charter schools. And those who raise taxes on the middle class have tax experts to find ways of avoiding taxes.

In that context, Assembly Bill 3121 can be understood " as a loud virtue signal to make up for failed responses to concrete crises.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Jake Water, a resident of Birdland,
on Oct 9, 2020 at 2:54 pm

Jake Water is a registered user.

@Roger

You wrote an exceptional response about the situation. Bravo!


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Jake Water, a resident of Birdland,
on Oct 9, 2020 at 2:57 pm

Jake Water is a registered user.

Sorry for the mis-spelling-Rodger


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Craig, a resident of Val Vista,
on Oct 9, 2020 at 4:59 pm

Craig is a registered user.

To the people trying to [removed because it was offensive] so they'll like you, they won't. They'll just want more. In the meantime you are alienating white people with your actions. You are helping to start a race war, plain and simple.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Jake Waters, a resident of Birdland,
on Oct 10, 2020 at 10:41 am

Jake Waters is a registered user.

@Craig

It's called free speech (something that is in short supply in this country) the last time I checked. The article is written and we are commenting. Shame on you if you are attempting to couple with the emotions of the argument to silence us. As I have said before, Liberals want to have a conversation, so we are having one. Don't try and silence us because you are uncomfortable. And no, it's not alienating anybody. The alienation you feel is fear. If it makes you feel better then place a BLM sign on your lawn.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Becky Dennis, a resident of Foxborough Estates,
on Oct 10, 2020 at 1:12 pm

Becky Dennis is a registered user.

Thanks for your thoughtful column,Tim. I hope our country will come together and reach consensus on a program that will make America proud.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by David, a resident of Alisal Elementary School,
on Oct 11, 2020 at 9:19 am

David is a registered user.

All I know is I'm weary of being blamed for everything. I did not grow up privileged but I did the best I could and worked 2 jobs to put myself through college without any financial assistance because my parent was middle class. I worked up from a lowly level and made no excuses or blamed society. I value all people who work hard and help those who need it. I think the blame game holds people back because they never stop being victims in their own minds


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Oct 14, 2020 at 4:29 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

Why ask questions (even if rhetorical) of an obviously ridiculous proposal?

Black, white, Native American, hispanic...name your ethnicity. You get NOTHING.

Just. Say. No.

Debating with Democrats will get you nowhere.

Dan


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Kevin, a resident of Castlewood,
on Oct 16, 2020 at 8:10 pm

Kevin is a registered user.

White angry racist men! That is the image of Trump America. Take a look at who you are DKHSK, Jake Waters, ... but you are a vanishing breed!

Web Link


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Kevin, a resident of Castlewood,
on Oct 16, 2020 at 8:28 pm

Kevin is a registered user.

In America, white people have abused, killed, taken advantage of black and brown people from the time of its establishment to today. That is a fact. I am not an expert how we need to repair all these grave wrongs. But, I am open to listening and understanding options. I am glad Tim has done his due diligence to get to this point. Why don't the rest of you do the same? I know why - because you are racists!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sikandariqbal178, a resident of San Ramon,
on Oct 21, 2020 at 12:46 pm

Sikandariqbal178 is a registered user.

Very good bro
Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Oct 21, 2020 at 9:42 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

What's wrong Kevin, orangemans re-election making you depressed?

Those who screech "racist" first, lose.

Dan


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Kevin, a resident of Castlewood,
on Oct 23, 2020 at 8:00 pm

Kevin is a registered user.

@DHKSK - I tell you what's wrong. This great country has “low-IQ" racist white-trash men like you. This Orangeman president has given you a platform to voice and spread your hate. Here is what I believe - the decent people of this country will not make the same mistake twice. You and Jake Waters and Trump make this country terrible, not great.


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