October 13, 2021 Reparations Task Force Meeting (Part 2 of 4)

October 13, 2021 Reparations Task Force Meeting (Part 2 of 4)

menial jobs overall these trends suggested 
that black women would be excluded from   so-called modern forms of work using machines 
as typewriters textile looms or sewing machines   and those defined by a set number of hours each 
day large-scale migration out of the south did   not take place until world war one for the first 
time northern and midwestern defense industries   beckoned with well-paying jobs black women were 
an integral part of this migration contributing   to the war effort as workers in factories and on 
railroads president franklin roosevelt's new deal   of the 1930s brought northern african americans 
into the democratic party in great numbers but in   the south federal aid and public works programs 
were controlled by local white politicians   these officials saw no need to assist the large 
number of black families devastated and displaced   by the collapsing cotton economy arguing that 
if there was laundry to be done or cotton to   be picked for white folks state and federal 
government should not provide blacks with jobs   or relief of any kind during the 1930s for the 
first time in the nation's history the federal   government sought to mitigate the harsh effects 
of unfettered employer power when it came to wages   hours and working conditions nevertheless 
the signal achievements of this era   social security and minimum hour maximum wage and 
anti-child labor legislation explicitly denied   these benefits to workers in the agricultural and 
domestic service sectors and to anyone who held   a seasonal or part-time job these restrictions 
affected approximately 85 percent of all black   workers in the united states and two federal 
initiatives often mandated racial segregation in   the civilian conservation corps for example a new 
deal program the federal housing authority of 1934   require that new housing be segregated if building 
contractors were to qualify for government loans   california has always beckoned to 
all kinds of people for a number of   reasons black people did not take part in this 
pre-1941 migration in large numbers at least   for several reasons many lacked the means to buy 
a train ticket even those who could afford a car   knew that the cross jerk country journey was a 
perilous one without predictable sources of fuel   for the car or food for the body along the way 
most significantly though california employers   already had an abundant supply of labor and 
major manufacturers made it clear that they   would not hire black applicants male or female it 
was not until the nation was well into world war   ii that the state's employers felt an acute 
labor shortage even then it took the combined   pressure of the state's naacp national urban 
league and congress of racial equality to open   the factory gates to african americans blacks in 
california were also part of a national movement   the double v for victory campaign to 
defeat fascism abroad and racism at home   the sudden availability of well-paying defense 
jobs for black men in 1942 and for black women   not until 1943 or so led to 5 million black people 
migrating out of the south and into the northeast   midwest and west coast seemingly overnight the 
newcomers transformed whole regions of california   including the san francisco bay area the 
intense demand for labor was not sufficient   to overcome generations-long practices 
that adversely affected black women and men   at the beginning of the war in response 
to pressure from black activists   the federal government created the fair employment 
practices commission fepc an agency that monitored   monitored federal defense industry contracts 
to ensure job opportunities for black workers   at the same time a government job placement 
agency the united states employment service   and its women's advisory commission catered to the 
prejudices of white employers and their workers   some black women were hired as welders 
and riveters factory jobs to page well   allowing them to contribute directly to the 
war effort and bolstering their confidence   as workers and citizens yet it remained difficult 
if not impossible for individual black people to   challenge generations old all-white workplaces 
as thousands of migrants streamed into the bay   area the housing shortage deepened forcing many 
black families into makeshift ramshackle cramped   quarters like women in general black women had 
to scramble to find child care as local state and   federal governments persisted in their historic 
refusal to provide support services for mothers of   young children even though many women were working 
full-time some on the night shift on behalf of   the war effort the war temporarily broke down some 
long-standing barriers so that women could perform   what was previously designated as women's work 
welding rivet riveting and carpentry for example   yet after the war women were displaced from 
their factory jobs by returning soldiers   white women resumed work as retail clerks and 
clerical staff while black women remain limited   to employment as household domestics cafeteria 
workers and hospital aides by 1950 the fepc   had been disbanded and once again employers could 
freely advertise that no negroes need apply black   unemployment rates soared because black families 
continue to face stubborn challenges stemming from   job discrimination and housing segregation black 
women's labor continued to be essential to the   well-being of their households while white men 
took advantage of the gi bill to go to college   many black men found their chances for higher 
education foreclosed by the lack of accredited   that is white colleges that would admit them banks 
engaged in pernicious redlining practices which   denied mortgage loans to even middle-class black 
workers if they were living in an overwhelmingly   black area in 1950 almost 30 percent of black 
men between the ages of 20 and 24 were jobless   and employment patterns continued to 
reflect a jim crow occupational hierarchy   residential segregation in particular played a 
major role in thwarting the aspirations of black   women in their roles as wives mothers and workers 
confined to impoverished neighborhoods they often   face long commutes to work their inability to 
purchase a home meant that they would remain   at the mercy of landlords who realized they had 
passed a captive group of people who could not   afford to move in the suburbs so-called 
neighborhood improvement associations   put pressure on homeowners not to sell to 
people of color a trend supported by real   estate agents and city councils all white towns 
enlisted local police and discouraging black   families from moving into their neighborhoods 
the federal housing authority and the veterans   administration refused to grant loans to black 
veterans who wanted to buy houses in white areas   city authorities segregated public housing 
refusing to build enough units to accommodate   the numbers of black applicants federal policy 
favored suburban homeowners over urban renters   by providing tax breaks for interest or mortgage 
payments by creating an interstate highway system   that frequently decimated black communities and 
by refusing to loan money to housing contractors   who refused to segregate any developments they 
built the combined effects of these policies   and practices among bankers real estate agents 
city officials and builders meant that over the   generations black families would lack the 
assets of their white counterparts who own   their own homes in the post-war period government 
jobs became the bedrock of many black families   black men and women worked as bus drivers social 
workers and teachers nevertheless some public   sectors such as law enforcement and firefighting 
resisted integrating their ranks using formal   examinations and other machinations as 
pretext for discrimination and some work   sites once integrated showed hostility to toward 
people of color making life miserable for them   the civil rights act of 1964 and 1965 marked the 
end of the federal government's active attempts   to apply discriminatory policies to housing 
and unemployment and the beginning of federal   enforcement of voting laws with a crumbling of 
legislative mandates upholding racial segregation   and with affirmative efforts by colleges and 
employers to admit black people in meaningful   numbers for the first time a segment of the 
black population began to thrive especially the   well-educated yet the absence of legal barriers 
was not sufficient to open the way to a brighter   future for many black women indeed a confluence 
of events in the 1960s and 70s conspired to   keep large numbers in poverty and 
relegated to low-paying disagreeable jobs   the immigration act of 1965 opened the country 
to groups who competed with black people for   unskilled jobs by this time certain industries 
had taken advantage of local tax incentives and   moved to the suburbs making it difficult for 
people who did not own cars to get to work   other industries took their production 
facilities offshore or to mexico in an   attempt to avoid american unions in minimum wage 
and maximum hour law the global economy hit black   workers hard in the sex sectors they were just 
beginning to enter textile production for example   some white-collar jobs such as bank teller were 
reduced or eliminated with the increased use   of computers and robotics in addition a tax revolt 
among suburban taxpayers began to register in   municipal budgets as towns and cities began to cut 
back on public employment in the transportation   education and social welfare sectors adversely 
affecting black people who represented a   disproportionate number of workers in those jobs 
people in distressed communities such as watts   and compton lacked access to well-paying jobs 
that did not require a college education and   they lack the resources to move into middle 
class white suburbs the available jobs were   concentrated in the service industry fast food 
workers home health aides child care workers   without a substantial tax base the public 
schools in these areas were unable to provide   an adequate education to prepare students for the 
challenges of the 21st century global workforce   underground economies thrived and police targeted 
black men and youth for non-violent offenses such   as drug use leading to high rates of incarceration 
and leaving wives and mothers to try to piece   together a living on their own recent studies 
suggest the limitations of the civil rights act   of 1964 title vii as a force for a level playing 
field when it comes to employment opportunities   some employers persist in discriminatory practices 
now using a person's zip code as a proxy for   their race the rise of a service economy in the 
decline in manufacturing have limited the number   of well-paying jobs for people with only a high 
school degree in the early 2000s banks switched   from redlining communities of color to pushing 
predatory loans on them leading to high rates of   foreclosure especially after the financial crisis 
of 2008.

Perhaps most significantly for most   middle class americans equity in a home is a 
family's largest asset in terms of their total   net worth in 2016 the net worth of a typical 
white family was nearly 10 times greater than   that of a black family 171 thousand dollars versus 
seventeen thousand dollars generations of black   women as workers wives and mothers have paid 
a high price for these forms of discrimination   their talents squandered and their dreams dashed 
in 2019 the public policy institute of california   reported that about one-third or 34 percent of the 
state's residents were poor or near poor including   more than one-fifth of all latino latinos and 
17.4 percent of african-americans compared to 12   percent of whites while 12 12 of white women were 
impoverished the figure for black women was 23   in 2019 the median annual earnings of white women 
stood at 55 dollars for black women forty four   thousand dollars the discrepancy was even greater 
for men seventy one thousand for white men forty   eight thousand for black men the copa pandemic 
has had disastrous effects on black communities   some black women lost their jobs as waitresses 
fast food workers and custodians and others are   overrepresented as front line workers serving as 
hospital orderlies and home health care workers   making more of them vulnerable to the virus by 
way of conclusion i don't do not mean to argue   that black californians are the only group in 
the state who have endured systematic prejudice   over the generations however the history of 
african californians is unique because many   of their forebears were enslaved in the american 
south government at all levels have initiated and   enforced policies that limited blacks employment 
opportunities in direct and long lasting ways   indeed federal agencies local city officials and 
school boards law enforcement officers together   with state legislative and congressional inaction 
have played a major role in eliminating the   ability of black women to achieve material success 
and their highest potential thank you very much thank you so much dr jones for that incredibly 
informative expert testimony we're looking forward   to engaging with you further on this topic 
now like to introduce our next expert witness   lawrence lucas and mr lucas you may begin 
your testimony when you are ready thank you thank you for inviting me here 
and i'm looking forward to hearing from the rest of the 
presenters but i'd like for you to play   a piece that was very striking that tells the 
depth and the breath of black farmers thank you i lost my livelihood in farming i couldn't farm they took away the one thing that i really loved 
and that was farming that's what the usda did   he showed me a big tarp that had 
the words on it [ __ ] go home he   the the lack of commitment by too many people 
to not really caring whether we did justice   or not even as long as it's been you know we've 
experienced discrimination for a very very long   time and most people would have given up uh to 
this date i haven't given up and i never will give   up you know until justice is served that's what my 
daddy would always say he says i wasn't in trouble   or anything everything was fine until i went up 
to defend my dad and he says what was i supposed   to do he says i'm a man and that's my daddy 
i'm supposed to defend him he said don't let   usda take my land it was like anybody else would 
just want you at the math and we've done that   nobody else has taken it either but for sure the 
usda will never get it quite frankly i say that   the united states department of agriculture murder 
murdered them my mother and father and my brother a number of acres lost by 
black farmers are tremendous millions of acres we owned after slavery and then   we will reduce to this day to maybe 17 or 
18 000 farmers and a small degree of land what i want to say to you 
is that the present lawsuits   that are bought against black farmers by frivolous 
and racist individuals around the country   will not stop our drive in 
the struggle for black farmers   the income of black farmers have drastically 
been reduced and the amount of wealth that has   been taken from black farmers is tremendous and 
will be never again returned what you would call reparations we call it justice what you have heard is only a 
part of why we do what we do why you must do what you have to do in california 
to right the wrongs suffered by black people   you call it reparations we call it justice thank 
you california reparations task force for inviting   me here today and taking on and we understand 
the daunting task that you have to write some of the wrongs for 
black people in this country i want to say that the 
coalition of minority employees   and the justice for black farmer 
group is honored to be here today sending out a call which you are sending 
out a call to your citizens again i say   we call it justice you call it 
reparations thank you ms moore who heard   a conversation talking about a letter that we sent 
to the secretary of agriculture in june 2 of 2021 if not for her singing that tape we 
wouldn't be here today that letter   and the testimony we submitted speaks to the same 
racism sexism and the retaliation and harassment   that employees at the department of agriculture 
suffered but also the pain and suffering   of many farmers and employees i'm sorry 
to say that things are not any better   at usda and i'm sorry to say that it doesn't 
look like it's going to get any better under the times that we 
face you have white farmers   who own most of the land and get 
all the benefits from the land   they are the ones now bringing court cases   around the country saying that it's discriminatory 
to have debt relief for black farmers when i experience in my youth racism and sexism it brought me to where i am today and 
i'm sure that many of you all on this panel that you have listened to your parents and you 
have experienced some of the same indignities   that black farmers have suffered you call it reparations we call it justice the reason why i'm here today is because i stand 
on the backs of pain and suffering of farmers and   many other people in this country if not for dr 
tozen leading me to a book and a poem written by   robert frost two roads diverge in a yellow wood 
and i listen and i took the road let's travel by   i see what you all are doing in california 
is what needs to be done across this country the courage of your governor and the courage 
of the people on this reparations committee   to take on this daunting task and start by talking 
to other people about their pain and suffering and   thanks for including and getting an understanding 
of what black farmers have suffered what women   have suffered we look at all the abuses that's 
going on in the country as it relates to sexual   abuse and we ignore what is going on at usda in 
this nation and that is because we've been failed by our leadership we've been failed by 
our congress but we have faith just like   you all will have to have the faith and the 
strength as you work through this reparation issue with your citizens in california the injustice they have received from 
your state and county you have every right to do something about it if not now why if not now win there must be 
accountability there must be transparency in order for a state and 
this nation to move forward with a sense of humanity and dignity once a nation that had a rating of 95 in the world in terms of democracy it is now 83 in the rating and the world view melvin mann peebles actor writer producer and 
more wrote a play that i saw in my early years   in new york it was called ain't supposed 
to die of natural death it showed in this action a demonstration 
for rights and maybe even rioting then all of a sudden money 
flowed down onto the stage and the people went into slow motion that is what's happening 
in this country our leaders and many of the people   that are responsible for the pain and suffering 
of black farmers are people that look like us people that look like many of us but we've come together as an organization 
multiracial and multicultural to stand up for   the land loss to stand up for the harassment to 
stand up for the loss of wealth of black farmers   we are sharing with you a culture of systemic 
racism at the u.s department of agriculture   that denies black farmers their dignity that 
denies black farmers a right to farm denies   black farmers the right to the same programs and 
services that white farmers get in this country you call it reparations that's 
needed we call it justice the internal wheels of justice 
have been and still is slow in some of the cases that exist 
and the ones that you face that share we're going to share with you   and in the paper that we presented was 
probably somewhat different than all the others we don't have a lot of charts we only 
talk about the pain and suffering   we talk about the lack of humanity 
the lack of dignity and respect   that goes on at the department of agriculture we were told by secretary bill sapps who is now secretary 
that what we were asking for for black farmers   and our effort to fight for justice for 
them that debt relief was unconstitutional we see today that that self-fulfilling 
prophecy of tom vilsapp and his group   with the following of these frivolous 
and racist complaints around the country   yes we see it as a self-fulfilling prophecy those 
cases are frivolous that are bought against these   farmers who are fighting for their dignity 
and respecting their land and their wealth black farmers and the lawsuits that are coming up in about a week or two and tennessee will probably put hopefully a pin 
in what is going on in the lives of black farmers we thought that it was important that our group bring to the 
attention of the candidates running for president both bernie sanders and elizabeth warren elizabeth warren we 
confronted with the fact that she thought and was   told that the reason why black farmers are being 
discriminated against is because of heirs property that's not true people are lining up by the way 
with the money that's flowing out of washington to benefit from the air's property while black 
farmers still today suffer cases not settle i can't tell you the pain that i felt with 
the number of black farmers that i've seen die ill farmers passed on because 
they couldn't get the justice   because they could not continue to farm they 
could not have a way of life like white farmers that is very painful but we went to elizabeth 
warren when she thought it was ayers property   and she sat down with us and her 
staff and we were able to convince her   like we are still trying 
to convince the government some of our leaders today 
that the real reason that   we have discrimination at the 
u.s department of agriculture is because of the systemic discrimination 
at the u.s department of agriculture   that discrimination goes to the heart   into the heartland where black farmers have 
to sit down and ask a racist county committee   person or committee to give them the same benefits 
and services they give white farmers two minutes two minutes let me say this i want to close by saying thank you for 
the work that you have in front of you and i want to remind you of what you saw when my presentation started i thank 
you very much but i like to use my last   few seconds of putting on the 
tape that you saw in the beginning i lost my livelihood in farming i couldn't farm they took away the one thing that i really loved 
and that was farming that's what the usda did   he showed me a big tarp that had 
the words on it [ __ ] go home the   the lack of commitment by too many people not 
really caring whether we did justice or not even   as long as it's been you know we've experienced 
discrimination for a very very long time and   most people would have given up to this date i 
haven't given up and i never will give up you know   until justice is served that's what my daddy 
would always say he says i wasn't in trouble   or anything everything was fine until i went up 
to defend my dad and he says what was i supposed   to do he says i'm a man and that's my daddy 
i'm supposed to defend him he said don't let   usda take my hand it was like anybody else would 
just want you at the math and we've done that   nobody else has taken it either but for sure the 
usda will never get it quite frankly i say that   the united states department of agriculture murder 
murdered them my mother and father and my brother thank you so much mr lucas for that incredibly 
moving expert and personal testimony we really   appreciate it now we have marisa baradaron 
available um welcome professor baradaron   he is available from 11 35 to 1205 so without 
further ado he's scheduled to speak for 10   minutes or so and then we'll reserve the balance 
for questions ms baradaron you may begin when you   are ready thank you thank you and 
i'm very sorry for the rush i'm uh   we're on fall break and i'm traveling uh today 
so i apologize for that um i thank you so much   for allowing me to speak just a little bit about 
myself i am uh a law professor who writes about   banking credit um policies and uh otherwise i 
have uh no personal history connected to the   the truths that i will reveal i'm actually 
an immigrant uh to america and so i am um   i'm coming from this from a research angle and 
uh so i uh submit my testimony in that light   so so when the emancipation proclamation was 
signed in 1863 the black community owned less than   one percent of the united states total wealth more 
than 150 years later that number has barely budged   the gap between average white wealth and black 
wealth has increased over the last decades today   across every socioeconomic level black families 
have a fraction of the wealth of white families   and this uh wealth chasm uh doesn't abate uh with 
income or with education in other words this is a   wealth gap that is very much tied to a history of 
exclusion and exploitation and not you know rep to   be remedied by higher education or higher income 
uh without targeted policies to close this wealth   chasm it will continue to grow and i want to be 
clear about how this racial wealth gap was created   it was created maintained and perpetuated through 
public policy at the federal state and local level   laws policies contracts and the lack of protection 
of a black community's property by the law   the enforced segregation by the federal and 
state bureaucracies that created a race-based   bifurcated economy created this historic 
racial wealth gap that self-perpetuates today   without any necessity for added inputs input black 
men and women have been shut out of most avenues   of middle class wealth creation black homes farms 
and savings were not given the full protection of   the law even as these properties were subject to 
racial terrorism in employment education housing   farm loans even patent rights racist policies and 
practices have either shut black communities out   of the market entirely or offered them separate 
and subpar services and this is despite black   banks black businesses and black communities 
having engaged in 150 years if not longer uh   under you know uh brutal and hostile legal 
conditions to try uh entrepreneurship and   self-help and and coordination um the middle 
the american middle class however uh was not   created that way it was not created through um 
self-help uh and and uh you know pull yourself   up by a bootstrapism um it was created principally 
through government supported credit infrastructure   that didn't cross the red lines the policy 
makers drew around black neighborhoods you   can look today across california in los angeles 
area in the fresno area and the san diego area   and san francisco and look at the initial red line 
maps that were created for those areas and it will   say explicitly on those red line maps um that this 
is a neighborhood you know with black people with   uh you know these subversive races sometimes 
they talk about racial inharmonious racial   mix and those red lines were drawn around those 
communities and for the next almost 80 years no   public subsidized credit neither mortgage credit 
or consumer credit would pass through those red   lines these very same red line communities were 
then targeted with the most toxic loans during   the subprime crisis and with the blow up of 
the subprime crisis uh the black community lost   another 53 percent of its wealth and this time 
there were no federal guarantees these communities   have yet to recover from the blow when they were 
hit yet again with the devastation of the coveted   crisis and the unequal distribution of the ppp 
loans um this is a system that can accurately be   described and i have written an article with this 
name that is a jim crow credit and capital system   it is separate and unequal and many of these 
discriminatory policies of de jure exclusion have   thankfully uh you know been explicitly abandoned 
yet the racial wealth gap remains because the   damaging effects of these policies have not 
never been directly remedied or counteracted the   wealth gap that those red lines put into motion 
continues and will continue unless it is disrupted   by the same policy makers namely the us congress 
state congresses and regulators that oversee   um these uh uh bureaucracies in order or public 
services i should say in uh in order to achieve   true racial equity we must reckon with the fruits 
of our nation's history in fact i believe that it   is the myths that we tell about our history and 
the economy that present the biggest hurdles to   achieving economic justice myths that blame 
those who were the targets of discrimination   for disparities they did not create and myths that 
offer personal responsibility instead of justice   in my work i've tried to demo debunk 
two of these myths in particular   one the myth of self-help finance as an avenue to 
wealth creation i call this the george bailey myth   of the famous movie and two is the myth of 
personal decision making the bootstrap myth   there are no amount of individual spending and 
savings decisions no amount of lattes avocado   toasts or sneakers foregone as as public policy 
makers would advise and no amount of hours worked   that can counteract the forceful headwinds 
of historic policies people do work hard and   people do make hard financial decisions and yet 
they still face the legacies of racist policies   in segregated schools neighborhoods and access 
to mobility no matter what the family structure   the wealthy wealth gap exists black and white 
families who do everything quote unquote the   right way as uh some of people on the right would 
would say get married get an education buy a home   start a business save their money and still the 
wealth gap persists in fact this gap is highest at   the very top of the income and education ladder so 
this is not caused by any personal decisions or um   cultural decisions as a lot of racist explanations 
have offered over the last 100 years and just to   be clear investing working hard getting an 
education starting a business are all great   things to do and my point is not that these things 
aren't uh worth doing is that they have been done   for centuries from investing hard earned age 
wages into the freedmen's bank to marching for   jobs to taking out a mortgage these prudent 
financial decisions were often taken and   a history of exclusion exploitation violence 
and virulent racism and quite frankly outright   land theft in california specifically um black 
institutions have been creative and innovative   in serving their communities in a hostile 
climate i've written a book about the long   history of entrepreneurship self-help and mutual 
uplift hbcus have provided stellar education black   banks have lent to black businesses churches and 
families they have offered credit where the fha   refused to guarantee loans and black families have 
invested in these homes at great personal cost   their homes are valued less because they are in 
black neighborhoods uh this racial gap in home   values is just one example of the tangible 
present effects of a history of exclusion uh   and the racial wealth gap is where past injustice 
breeds present suffering in order to move forward   uh we must make public policy that disrupt disrupt 
the patterns that sustain disparities in wealth   uh for it is obvious stated dr martin luther 
king that if a man is entering the starting line   in a race 300 years after another man he would 
have to perform some impossible feat in order   to catch up with his fellow runner the racial 
wealth gap was created by exclusionary policies   coordinated across the branches of government 
it was created systematically through tax   taxation banking housing laws private markets 
sustained by federal subsidies and this is   exactly the level of holistic coordination across 
governmental agencies federal state and local that   is necessary to close the racial wealth gap uh 
president biden recently said that we need to make   the issue of racial equity not just an issue for 
any one department of government it has to be the   business of the whole government um and i uh in 
in you know uh written uh uh testimonies i've   written and other um uh books i've suggested 
several steps that can be taken to aim   aimed at various sectors of the economy and these 
efforts should be coordinated tracked and measured   across government governmental agencies through 
a dedicated task force for the sole purpose of   closing the racial wealth gap um policies meant uh 
must provide a meaningful path to capital creation   access to low-cost credit financial inclusion tax 
justice and home ownership grants grants in other   words the same programs provided to white families 
over the last century and i want to be clear about   this nothing short of a full reparations can meet 
uh the scale of the harm done and even then uh the   harms are not fully remedied uh they will not be 
remedied with uh as much money as we can can um   use to remedy uh uh just the monetary benefits 
because uh what what remains are the psychological   the the the trauma of of being subjects of 
terrorism historically and having those properties   um uh removed real reforms however require that 
we look directly at this history we must design   a holistic remedy with a singular mission to 
achieve the promises of justice and equality   in our nation's constitution that we we promised 
uh each other and i will con conclude again with   the words of president biden because this is the 
current administration um that it's time to act   now not only because it's the right thing to do 
but because if we do we'll all be better off for   it um so i i appreciate the testimony i'm here 
for questions of any kind thank you very much so much professor baradaron for taking the 
time out of your busy schedule to provide   such informative expert testimony uh we truly 
appreciate it um so we heard from um four experts   um and the breadth of what we 
heard is just magnanimous right   and so at this time we have about 15 
minutes reserved for comments and questions   from task force members and so at this time 
if a task force member would like to be   recognized for a question or comment please 
do so vice chair brown you are recognized   thank you madam chair and members of the 
task force and to our indescribable panel you said it all you stated the case and all we need to do is to internalize the slogan of nike just do it langston hughes says so elderly i 
swear to the lord i still can't see democracy means everybody but me you all have stated the case of how this nation has masterminded the art   of establishing exclusionary policies 
and practices that have denied sons and daughters of the darker hue economic justice and all that we should have had has been taken away 
from us students at eastland both in mississippi came filthy rich through the saw bank program that 
i knew about in mississippi when i was a child   back in the 50s and 60s california with what was done to destroy 
allensworth it was established by a black preacher from kentucky we just need to pay up and not do a lot of talk up   and i trust that members of 
this panel will stay the course and continue to bring such expert eloquent erudite   excellent presenters and we need 
to make sure that these testimonies are shouted from the house top and throughout the length and 
breadth of this state of california i end with this comment it was dr benjamin elijah mays delivered his final charge to the graduate 
at morehouse of the class of 1967.

This man   who was the intellectual and spiritual mentor 
of martin luther king said and i quote him   our problem in the future will not come from the rabbit segregationists 
like george wallace of alabama forwards of arkansas lester maddox of 
georgia or rose barnett of mississippi our problem said dr mays will come from 
the so-called aggressive white liberals   who will whine and dine you in the swankiest of 
hotels sip tea with you but will refuse to share   economic and political power with you 
this task force has a responsibility of in a strategic smart persistent way delivering on what you have revealed to us about 
reparations and justice is done and i just talked   about thank you madam chair for giving me this 
opportunity but i'm i'm just full of myself now   lord have permitted me to see 80 years plus 
and to witness all the horrors of mississippi   and come to the point of past stepping   on the rightness and the significance 
of this call for reparations in our time thank you very much vice chair brown for that 
comment remember girls you are recognized mute number girl okay can you hear me now thank you i want to 
say thank you to the entire panel your testimony   puts in stark relief the intersecting systems that 
must be addressed in any discussion of replication   i want to address a quick question to professor 
jones your discussion of black women invokes   for me the black family and further black children 
and i was wondering if you have any information on   the issue of forced black child labor immediately 
following emancipation things like the restrictive   apprenticeship contracts where black boys until 
they were 21 and black girls until they were 18   were forced to to stay first on the 
plantation that they were enslaved on   um the the former master got dibs and and it's a 
situation where black parents if they were there   were knowledgeable about this apprenticeship 
um petitioned the federal government to regain   custody but mostly to no avail and this is 
not only an issue of intersecting systems   but the continuity of dynamics and patterns over 
time because this is a fight you still see today   in the child welfare system as black parents 
fight for reunification with their children   who are swept up uh into that child welfare 
process does your research include anything   on the the black when you start talking 
about black women you're talking about   black families and you're talking about black 
children yes um well dr grills you've uh   explained the so-called apprenticeship program 
in the south um already and yes it was a way for   uh plantation owners to appropriate the labor 
of children essentially take them out of the   care of their parents exploit them in the fields 
i will say even children who weren't apprenticed   were expected to work in the cotton 
fields until well into the 20th century   um again anti-child labor legislation the 
1930s did not apply to the agricultural sector   and these children were supposed to be picking 
cotton uh helping adults in the fields so there   was this general appropriation of child labor for 
a century or more after the end of slavery that's   really good to know so that child labor laws did 
not extend to agriculture not through the 1930s it   was quite uh quite a bit after that you know many 
migrant laborers agricultural workers seasonal   pickers uh were all excluded from the legislation 
the social welfare legislation of the 1930s   and only gradually has that injustice been 
redressed for certain groups in the country thank you thank you member girls would any other task 
force member like to be recognized at this moment a member holder you are recognized thank you chairmoore and this is just a 
question addressed to anyone on the panel who   would like to answer thank you for your testimony   very enlightening um you've 
all talked about the varying government programs as well as private industry 
policies and practices but the government programs   specifically that created and embedded this 
wealth gap i was wondering if you could speak to   the issue the the homestead homestead act 
specifically um professor baradaran talked about   uh you know the importance of of of housing 
and the in developing equity through housing   how that is kind of the critical piece in 
terms of building wealth generational wealth   and so i wanted to hear a little bit about the 
homestead act and how that allowed white families   to create generational wealth and excluded 
african americans from those opportunities um i i can take a stab at this uh a question 
i mean you know uh depending on the historical   moment um there were different ways that 
the uh your federal government helped   wealth creation and uh you know uh obviously 
you know during the the institution of slavery   during enslavement um it was capital uh 
property in man right so so uh the bodies of   black men and women were used as a a means 
of wealth in the south especially but also   in the north from the cotton that it produced 
after that uh from reconstruction until about   the 1930s it was land it was farming land and that 
was uh given through the homestead act um for free   uh or you know a few dollars to to white families 
who who move west and for a variety of reasons   um black um families did not get them um it was 
not just exclusion but also the hostility of the   the southern um sharecropping system that um uh 
relied on uh black labor and that sure the really   um uh onerous sharecropping arrangement that you 
know w.e.b du bois calls basically re-enslavement   through debt and so the homestead acts were not 
only not offered but um the debt economy sort   of kept a black farmers um uh trapped in that um 
those conditions and so that that was the the era   that kind of ended with the industrial revolution 
and then post new deal it has been mortgage uh   mortgage subsidies um and gi bills and 
all of that sort of government subsidized   credit through the secondary markets and other 
things and so um that is not to say that for now   the the the primary driver driver is homes and 
land but it is for the large majority of americans   uh the top now one percent you know there is a 
large source of capital in sort of abstractions   like uh stocks and markets and bonds and and 
sort of the global system of capital but for   the middle class it really is a home because 
a home is not just your equity it is also   the access you have to um schooling through 
home taxes through transportation often because   of the red-lined areas and that history of 
exclusion the most environmentally polluting   sources are in those formerly red-lined areas 
that are usually black and brown communities   the degradation of of the environment is paid that 
that cost is paid most by black and brown families   especially in california and and those are uh 
all tied at this point to to housing segregation remember grylls did you have another question sorry okay uh yes this is for professor   baradaran you mentioned that nothing short 
of full reparations would begin to close   the wealth gap and i was wondering if you 
might um itemize what full reparations yes and and uh you know uh i'm gonna go to some 
legal principles here i uh teach contracts law   to uc in uci law school um to one else every 
year and i've been teaching two sections this   year so this is all fresh and in memory in uh 
in contracts we have a form of damages um where   uh you know and this happens in complex 
litigation if you look at you know any   massive um scale problem like the you know 911 uh 
loss of life or opiates and the legal system um   measures uh damages um to make one whole so if 
there's a contract breach you pay damages to make   that person who you breached against whole now 
what does hole mean well it is that the lost   things that they did didn't get because of that 
breach and i if we look at the breach when we   can go all the way back to the 1619 uh arrival of 
the first um uh ships of human beings in in chains   or we can go to the 13th 14th and 15th 
amendment which were an explicit promise   to black communities for equal protection under 
the law due process and those were violated that's   breed and so how do you make a community whole 
based on uh you know reach over and over again   and uh so you know you you you restore the lost 
wealth and this is where you go to outcome driven   uh responses so how do you close the racial wealth 
gap well it was created across sectors it was   created by the by federal legislation through 
credit policies through the secondary market   through local school boards and zoning ordinances 
and all of those mechanisms so you bring those   um together uh to fix it and and one thing that 
could be done is look you have every agency has   five years to uh in your agency close the racial 
wealth gap and and let them put the burden on the   agencies that that uh offer uh these subsidies um 
the federal reserve is is a big one put the burden   on them and they can figure out how to do it 
because that's where they know individually where   where those um where the bodies lie essentially 
the and then the school boards uh the same thing i   think you would say equalize the the the outcomes 
and and you would get there but i do want to say   that even with uh full-scale reparations people 
are not made whole uh and that's something that we   must recognize is you know looking at the uh the 
jewish people um getting reparations from germany   and i think you ask any uh person were you made 
whole absolutely not you know and uh same with the   japanese internment um uh you know victims and uh 
so so it's not to reach some sort of justice that   that that is what we've achieved but achieved but 
it is the least we can do i think as a moral duty thank you thank you   uh so i know marissa you have like three minutes 
left until you can't you have to jet off um does   anyone have a direct another additional 
direct question for professor bharateron so i have a question um that's it's posed to 
you know any panelists really but maybe to   professor baraderon and professor spriggs 
um you know we have been talking about um   the task force subpoena power and our power to 
you know subpoena individuals entities agencies   um and so i was wondering if you all had any 
insight um as a respect in respect to your   field of study um you know what entities we might 
be we should look into um i have another question   but i'll just stop it there for now because it's 
different and apart from the question i just posed um marcia you're getting ready to go did you 
want to no go ahead william i defer to you well i i think there are a host of 
agencies that need to come full circle we   um saw the recent reveal about land that 
had been taken for uh from a family for uh   for animals there in california and california 
has responded by restoring the property but the same sort of deliberations that 
went on in the building of the highways   in los angeles and the disruption to 
communities those decision-making processes   need to be looked at closely to understand why 
those neighborhoods why those paths why those   this is very important for the bay area 
for black communities in the bay area   the displacement that took place it's 
it's also important to to look at   these denials of opportunity as i 
pointed out the lack of black teachers   in the california system prior to the 1960s the 
whole set of decision making to look at processes   of recruitment processes of making those kind of 
decisions the point is to show agency to show that   this didn't just happen that people were making 
conscious decisions of exclusion and so that   kind of document is helpful it's helpful because 
getting back to some comments others have made   when you have open mic so to 
speak with the community it's to to understand uh what what has to be corrected and and that that 
those are some of the places i think you want to   begin to point to the whole hollywood industry 
needs to be accounted for silicon valley for   its lack of black programmers um slides i 
didn't present but you know silicon valley   gets away with it 25 of the computer programmers 
in atlanta are black almost 16 of the computer   programmers here in the washington dc area 
are black this area in washington maintains   our national security the nsa the cia these 
are disproportionate black programmers   and for silicon valley to be five 
percent that is california sort of   not not we're not going to pay attention to 
discrimination right here in in our borders um   and so i think you want to get at these 
actors and understand their thinking that's uh really important to look at that 
what's been lost and i would you know i would use   like a simple uh you know subpoena power i would 
look at every city and locality on eminent domain   and looking at the bruce beach example just 
every every single decision uh bill said roads   but any any sort of eminent domain and 
whether there was a disproportionate effect   on black communities one and two i would 
look at um the um the contracts uh for   for each uh federal federal government 
contracting and whether there was any   sort of diversity in that and um third i would 
look at zoning zoning decisions and their effects   um there are not there there are um there are 
some avenues uh looking at disparate impact um to   to to to kind of um uh challenge zoning decisions 
that have clearly had um a desperate impact i   mean i'm i'm calling here from orange county 
california or that's where i live and that uh   the whole county i would say is in violation of 
of zoning um uh you know toward racial inequity thank you so we've run out of time but just for 
the record i wanted to ask professor spriggs   and mr lucas but another question but for 
professor spriggs i noticed in your presentation   you showed a man who um was an expert 
in you know radio technology and one of   the tabs is [ __ ] said that he was a native of 
trinidad i assume that's the island of trinidad   and so i was curious um you know we had a 
conversation about the community of eligibility   yesterday we were talking about who should be 
eligible for reparations and we talked about you   know you know should black americans do from child 
slavery what about maybe some black immigrants   who you know migrated to um cali to the united 
states pre um uh uh well not post reconstruction   uh pre-mass incarceration kind of that area 
between you know the 19th early 1900s to 1965   what about that that group right and so i mean 
it's just an objective question that i was just   wanted to put out there um if you had any insight 
um in in your field of study the the idea or the   field of data disaggregation is new so you know 
that type of data you know tracking you know   who came from where wasn't necessarily the case 
particularly in the 1900s but and then also you   know i'm sure a lot of you know black immigrants 
who were who did migrate here in the early 1900s   probably integrated into black american families 
but i don't necessarily want to assume that and so   you know i'm trying to tailor the question but i 
just wanted to make note of that observation and   and figure out if you had any insight as to the 
community of eligibility in regards to those few   maybe you know black immigrants who were there 
in america and might have faced discrimination   um uh pre um between that period does that 
make sense yes the question makes sense it's um   i think important to know again where where does 
some of the worst of the wealth gap come from and   there was some convergence which was 
happening up through 1900 it starts to stall   and it stalls tremendously when we get around 
the period of 1900 to 1920 black farm owners   because they were starting with zero relied 
heavily on credit to acquire land and the   acts of violence intimidation but the 
dramatic drop in farm prices in 1920   wiped them out because they were 
more leveraged than white farm owners   so so you see us peak somewhere around 1918 in 
terms of land ownership and then it collapses   and then there are complications dealing with 
black banking during the 1920s as well so   a lot of the wealth gap is a set of 
are a set of actions that take place   after 1920 a lot of it all out of it so you 
you have to make up in your mind what do you do   do you only treat the people who were here 
before or do you talk about the massive amount   of discrimination that took place during that 
period of ultraviolence of economic um denial do you compensate people for that too thank you so are there any last questions   from the task force members to our esteemed 
panelists recognizing that we are over time i just want to thank all of our pr palin 
panelists professor spriggs professor   jacqueline jones professor baraderon and 
of course mr lawrence lucas um this is the   two-year effort um and this is the first of many 
conversations these topics and so we're looking   forward to you know continuing to further these 
conversations and we hope to bring you all along   uh this journey as well so thank you again uh 
for your time um at this time we will come we   will go to lunch which will end at 1 pm um 
so at this time we'll be to lunch thank you thank you for including us thank you for having us thank you 
mr lucas thank you professor spriggs and sorry we kind of cut short mr lucas i know 
you're ready to get some questions going but um   we hope to continue the conversation thank you thank you for the video it was great you

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