Strong Support in California for Black Reparations
A new UCLA report shows that a clear majority of Californians support reparations for Black residents harmed by the nation’s legacy of slavery. The analysis, based on a survey of more than 2,400 adults in California in the spring of 2022, is in contrast to a nationwide poll showing weak support for reparations. “This is a significant shift in public sentiment around reparations,” said Elliot Woods, one of the UCLA report’s authors. “Only two years ago, Americans recognized racial injustice in the U.S., but most did not support reparations. Now, most Californians are focused on how, not if, we enact reparations to address racial harms stemming from slavery and systemic issues of racial injustice and discrimination that continue to harm Black Americans.” UCLA Luskin Professor Michael Stoll, director of the Black Policy Project at the UCLA Bunche Center for African American Studies, co-authored the research with Master of Public Policy students Woods and Tyler Webb. Their survey measured support for 11 types of possible reparation measures, including cash payments, non-cash financial benefits such as business or education grants, and non-monetary remedies such as issuing a formal apology. The report highlights different levels of support among respondent groups sorted by age, gender, race and political affiliation. The survey is an outgrowth of a Black Policy Project research effort commissioned by the state-appointed California Reparations Task Force and published by the state Department of Justice. The new report will be shared with state legislators who will consider the task force’s recommendations about how to atone for the collective trauma caused by slavery.