New York Studying Possible Reparations

The state of New York enacted a plan to study possible reparations for the descendants of slaves. The move follows a similar move in California since the 2020 George Floyd riots, which found a potential bill of billions of dollars in potential payments.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) signed the legislation last week which will create a state commission to study whether or not the Empire State should pay reparations. Hochul said that the state might “like to think we’re on the right side of this. Slavery was a product of the South, the Confederacy. What is hard to embrace is the fact that our state also flourished from that slavery.”

“It’s not a beautiful story, but indeed it is the truth,” she said.

The decision will consider reparations even though New York banned slavery in 1827 and the practice had heavily been discontinued from the end of the 18th century.

The governor was joined by the Rev. Al Sharpton, a 2004 Democratic Party candidate for president. He said that New York was one of the largest ports of the slave trade.

He said that the current action “starts a process of taking the veil off of northern inequality and saying we must repair the damage and it can be an example for this nation.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a similar reparations study plan, which created a committee to discuss possible payments.

The panel voted earlier this year to offer direct cash payments due to reported discrimination against descendants of slaves. After two years of study and debate, the task force did not arrive at an exact figure.

However, when combining elements of proposed compensation, the state’s Black residents could have received about $1.2 million each.

Should such a similar plan be enacted, it could cost a total of more than $800 billion. This would be more than two and a half times larger than the Golden State’s entire budget.

However, despite the report, the governor did not commit to any specific course of action.