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San Fran Board Of Supervision Apologizes To Black Residents For ‘Decades Of Systemic Discrimination’

People listen during a rally in support of reparations for African Americans outside City Hall in San Francisco, Sept. 19, 2023. (Eric Risberg/AP)

OAN’s Abril Elfi
5:36 PM – Wednesday, February 28, 2024

San Francisco has formally apologized to its Black residents and their ancestors for “decades of systematic discrimination.”

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On Tuesday, the city’s Board of Supervision voted unanimously to apologize to San Francisco’s Black residents and commit to “the rectification and redress of past policies and misdeeds.”

“The resolution apologizes on behalf of the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco to African Americans and their descendants for systemic and structural discrimination, targeted acts of violence, and atrocities,” according to San Francisco’s legislation.

Supervisor Shamann Walton spoke during the meeting and thanked the African American Reparations Advisory Committee (AARAC), which develops recommendations for repairing struggles in Black communities, stating “We have much more work to do but this apology most certainly is an important step.”

Supervisor Hillary Ronen considered the large-scale protests that followed George Floyd’s death and the national call for reform that served as an impetus for the official apology.

“People in the United States were everywhere all across the country out in the streets and saying enough is enough,” Ronen said. “It was one of the most exciting moments that I’ve ever gotten to live through because it felt like there was a real fundamental change and reckoning happening.”

One reparations campaign for Black Americans in recent U.S. history was approved by a progressive California state reparations task force in May 2023.

Task force chair Kamilah Moore stated that the group recommended that qualified Californians be granted atonement under the five categories of reparations recognized by international law: restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction, and guarantees of non-repetition.

However, California Governor Gavin Newsom declined to support the monetary payments that his reparations task committee suggested, which could have totaled up to $1.2 million for a single recipient.

“The Reparations Task Force’s independent findings and recommendations are a milestone in our bipartisan effort to advance justice and promote healing. This has been an important process, and we should continue to work as a nation to reconcile our original sin of slavery and understand how that history has shaped our country,” Newsom said in a statement in 2023.

The task force’s work was praised by the Democrat governor, but he chose not to support any particular proposals. However, he did pledge to “advance systemic changes that ensure an inclusive and equitable future for all Californians.” 

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