Reparations Advocates Want An Apology From California Over Ronald Reagan

As part of a reparations package, a committee has proposed that California publicly apologize to those living in the state who are descendants of enslaved Americans.

The group, advocating for possible descendants of slaves in California, wants the state to apologize for using the derogatory term “welfare queens.”

Ronald Reagan is often credited for popularizing the term “welfare queens.”

As governor of California from 1967 to 1975, Reagan coined the term ‘welfare queen’ to promote his philosophy favoring a limited government. The committee claims this language evokes caricatures of hypersexualized, violent, unmarried Black women as financially dependent on the state. The panel said that even though white people make up the bulk of welfare recipients, this racist epithet implied that black women were to blame for the shortcomings of the social safety net in the United States. 

The panel is using a deceptive metric.

n 2020, 43 million people participated in SNAP. 36.2% were white. 25.6% were black. As a proportion of the population, black participation in welfare is much higher than white participation. There 

are six times as many white people as black in the United States.

The panel’s primary focus is the suggestion for direct payments to black California residents. A total of $115,260 per person or $2,352 per year for those who have resided in California between 1971 and 2020 and have been negatively affected by mass imprisonment and over-policing in line with the National War on Drugs is proposed in the final report.

According to a New York Times calculation, a black person in California who lives to the age of 71 (the average for Black Californians in 2021) could collect as much as $1.2 million. 

Experts told The Associated Press that California’s potential reparations cost might exceed $800 billion, or more than twice the state’s yearly budget.