Democratic lawmaker cries after Republican colleague says forcing Asians and Latinos to pay reparations in California is ‘unfair’

Democratic lawmaker cries after Republican colleague says forcing Asians and Latinos to pay reparations in California is ‘unfair’

A debate over reparations brought a California lawmaker to tears earlier this month after his Republican colleague argued that Asians and Latinos should not be forced to pay for a measure compensating descendants of African-American slaves.

“I am concerned about the proposal to make it easier to distribute reparations,” Rep. Kate Sanchez (R-Rancho Santa Margarita) said during a hearing on a bill that would create a “Reparations and Justice Fund restorative” within the state Treasury Department. .

Sanchez noted that some economists estimate that repairs recommended by a state task force last year could cost the state more than $800 billion, or more than 2.5 times its annual budget.

Sanchez strongly opposed the relief measure, arguing that it is unfair to Asian and Latino Californians. California State Assembly

“To pay for this would require a significant tax increase, the likes of which this state has never seen before,” she argued. “I acknowledge and acknowledge the painful part of our history, (but) the suffering of our past should not be paid for by the people of today.”

Sanchez, who is Hispanic, pointed out that more than half of California’s population is “Latino and Asian” and “has nothing to do with slavery, discrimination, or Jim Crow laws.”

“It’s fundamentally unfair to force these people to pay for this,” she said in opposing SB 1331.

Rep. Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) responded to Sanchez by saying “action is needed, and that includes reparations.”

“This includes, in some cases, monetary reparations,” he said.

“I understand it’s difficult to ask those of us currently in the Legislature to make these commitments, but no one has asked Black families, over generations, if it’s OK to take their wealth, if it was OK to enslave them, it was OK to….” » Kalra said, choking up, then stopped to compose himself.

“If it was okay to put their children into generations of poverty,” he continued. “This country became a superpower built on the free labor of African descendants for hundreds of years. We must recognize this.

Kalra, who in 2016 became the first Native American to serve in the California Legislature, argued that “to this day” the state benefits from “what happened to our brothers and sisters in the community black over so many generations.”

Kalra became emotional while defending the reparations bill. California State Assembly
The bill aims to create a fund within the Treasury to inject money to pay reparations for descendants of slaves. California State Assembly

The Assembly Judiciary Committee voted to pass SB 1331.

It is one of four relief bills that the California Legislature considered in committee and voted to approve, according to the Sacramento Observer.

The California Legislative Black Caucus has introduced 14 reparations bills this year. SB 1331 is not one of the 14 bills presented by the CLBC, according to the media outlet.

State Sen. Steven Bradford (D), author of SB1331, argued that reparations could come in the form of free college tuition, health care and assistance for first-time homebuyers who are descendants of slaves, rather than direct cash payments.