It begins: California reparations task force is meeting to decide who will be receiving compensation

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CALIFORNIA  — A task force, the first of its kind, is meeting in California to decide who the beneficiaries will be for reparations.

The committee is at an impasse on deciding which black Americans meet the eligibility criteria to receive compensation for slave era atonement.

 

Some committee members are weighing whether to place financial or other limitations on slave descendants, while in contrast, other members argue that all black people in the United States are experiencing suffering.

This includes but is not limited to systemic racism, which they allege is in the housing system, employment, and education.

California Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 3121 into effect in 2020 to develop this task force. California is the only state to proceed with evaluating reparations and developing an action plan.

 

 

AB 3121 states,

“This bill would establish the Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans, with a Special Consideration for African Americans Who are Descendants of Persons Enslaved in the United States, consisting of 9 members, appointed as provided.

The bill would require the Task Force to, among other things, identify, compile, and synthesize the relevant corpus of evidentiary documentation of the institution of slavery that existed within the United States and the colonies.

The bill would require the Task Force to recommend, among other things, the form of compensation that should be awarded, the instrumentalities through which it should be awarded, and who should be eligible for this compensation.

The bill would require the Task Force to submit a written report of its findings and recommendations to the Legislature.

The bill would authorize reimbursement of the members’ expenses only to the extent an appropriation therefore is made in the Budget Act.

The bill would state that any state level reparations authorized under these provisions are not to be considered a replacement for any reparations enacted at the federal level.

The bill would repeal these provisions on July 1, 2023.”

The bill is not committed to making payments. It only requests that a task force come together to develop recommendations regarding reparations, either through compensation or perhaps restitution.

The committee has not been deliberating for an entire year at this point, however, it is set for a two-year duration.

Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) presented a bill that would keep the task force working for an additional year into 2024.

She said,

“We need to be able to have that flexibility.

I think it would be harmful if we all disbanded and then people start asking questions after we make our conclusions and we’re still not there to be able to talk about that.

We’ve got to understand all black people are harmed.

We need to come up with something that makes sure that future black people aren’t continuing to be harmed.”

Yet, the overarching consensus among advocates is that there is a need for solutions to broader issues relating to the black community, such as mass incarceration and slavery, and Jim Crow laws.

 

Potential compensation may include access to free college, support for buying homes and starting businesses, and possible grants allocated to churches and other community groups.

Kamilah Moore, the chair of the committee, remarked that race-based reparations would cause

“…hyper-aggressive challenges that could have very negative implications for other states looking to do something similar, or even for the federal government.

Everyone’s looking to what we’re going to do.”

The matter of eligibility has been a source of questions since the group’s first meeting. Some have asked the group’s nine members to develop more focused goals as well as cash reimbursements available to anyone in the U.S. who are descendants of slavery.

Yet, the question remains whether or not all Black immigrants or perhaps slave descendants from other countries would be eligible to receive compensation. If so, U.S. ancestors would be left with very little.

According to The Associated Press, California Secretary of State Shirley Weber, and the source of the legislation and task force, voiced her support in January for giving priority to descendants who experienced generations of slavery, broken families, and police terrorism.

She is the daughter of sharecroppers and claims she has recalled how slavery destroyed her family.

Opponents of reparations argue that California is not obligated to pay reparations simply because the state did not participate in slavery. And they did not implement Jim Crow laws resulting in segregation.

 

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Professor fired after questioning “reparations” sues, says college conspired with students to get rid of him

PHILADELPHIA, PA –  Gregory Manco, a former visiting professor of math and assistant baseball coach at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, is suing the institution for allegedly conspiring with students to get rid of him and misrepresenting the findings of its own racial bias investigation.

 

St. Joseph’s University suspended Manco from instructing and as an assistant baseball coach last year after students discovered he was the author of the anonymous Twitter account “South Jersey Giants.”

Manco claims in the suit that the university defamed him, discriminated against him on the basis of his race — he is Caucasian — and attempted to “cancel” him by suspending him and not renewing his contract, “despite his dedication and excellent performance” while employed at the university.

The suit states:

“It is clear that all of the defendants acted to ‘cancel’ Dr. Manco. In other words, defendants’ actions consisted of the social phenomenon of ‘cancel culture,’ which is widespread, has ruined lives, damaged reputations, and jeopardized the futures of individuals.”

 

Once the professor’s authorship of the tweets was discovered, the university conducted a three-month investigation into whether the 2012 Teaching Merit Award recipient had violated campus policy. The University determined there was “insufficient evidence” to make a “definitive determination,” and closed the investigation.

Manco alleges the university defamed him last year in its handling of complaints about the tweets, which some students saw on a non-university account and reported to administrators. Some students also complained about alleged discrimination or bias by Manco in the classroom

The university is stating that the professor’s contract was not renewed because of staffing issues and denied the Twitter controversy had any bearing on its decision. The university points out that a third party was hired to conduct an investigation into the tweets.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, including back pay, punitive, and compensatory damages. Through a spokesman, the university issued a statement regarding the lawsuit:

“The matter is before the court, and out of respect for the judicial process, Saint Joseph’s University will respond in that forum.”

Professor fired after questioning "reparations" sues, says college conspired with students to get rid of him

The tweets in the middle of the controversy were critical of reparations for past discrimination and questions about the appropriateness of bias training, among other issues.

One such tweet read:

“Suppose your great-great-grandfather murdered someone. The victim’s great-great-grandson knocks on your door, shows you the newspaper clipping from 1905, and demands compensation from you. Your response? Now get this racist reparation bull— out of your head for good.”

The tweet was in reply to an article by the Associated Press reporting that President Joe Biden was giving support to studying reparations for black Americans for slavery and discrimination.

 

In response to another article claiming 56 percent of Americans agree society is racist, the professor tweeted:

“So, if these numbers are true about peoples’ perceptions of racism, what does it say about all of the race/bias “training” that has been going on for some years now?

“Could it be that such training actually divides us and ‘worsens’ race relations?”

 

The decision to not renew Manco’s contract in August received immediate backlash from donors. Six alumni threatened to withhold possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations because of what they perceived as the school’s move toward the far left.

The donors sent a letter to the University administration stating:

“There are thousands, if not tens of thousands, of alumni who don’t subscribe to the left’s coercive suppression of dissent, and we, as loyal alumni, will register our displeasure in a clear and unambiguous way.”

On the day Manco received his notice of nonrenewal and unbeknownst to the university administration, his department chair hired him back as an adjunct to teach half his old case load. Manco commented on the move to local media:

“So, they can’t stop me from teaching as an adjunct without making it painfully obvious that they wanted me out. Basically, I replaced myself, in part, (for) much less money”

 

In addition to the university and its officials, the lawsuit named the former student who initially filed a complaint about the tweets. The student earned a failing grade in the professor’s class in 2017, and never made any allegations of bias in class or on social media about Manco before that time.

The student made the complaint only last year in a letter to the university.

Another former student, who wasn’t taught by Manco, created a TikTok video with screenshots of Manco’s tweets and a link to a bias reporting form, encouraging people to “flood” the school with complaints, the lawsuit said.

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