I am writing to respectfully disagree with Ms. Rowntree’s letter (July 9, 2020) “Reparations Now”.
While I agree there have been past injustices in the past, California had little to do with slavery before the Civil War. It was a free state and unlike Japanese American reparation in 1988, slaves that were directly affected have died generations ago. There are no living people who were enslaved, especially the “zero” never in California. Why then should descendants get anything? Are we basing this on inequalities now?
This proposal would open up a can of worms. If it’s all black people does that include an immigrant from Ethiopia who came to California in 1993? What about mixed-race people? How do they prove it? Do they have a genealogy that traces back? There are hundreds of other questions!
I would honestly hope California will NOT pass any recommended reparations presented by the “task force” simply because, during this time of Covid 19, unemployment and general unrest, it would be fiscally irresponsible for the state of California and more importantly because no one alive was personally in the system or directly affected by it. It just doesn’t make sense.
— Laurie Sebesta, Sonoma