San Francisco’s Reparations Committee Really Is Just Making It Up As It Goes Along

"There Wasn't A Math Formula."

A large crowd of protesters wearing masks and carrying signs that say, "Reparations Now" as they walk through neighborhoods at the Black Lives Matter protest in Bayside, Queens.
(Photo by Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images)

Typically the question “Did you pull that number out of thin air?” is rhetorical and doesn’t warrant a serious response. In the case of the San Francisco panel tasked with creating a dollar amount for potential reparations to be paid to the city’s black citizens, the answer is actually, “Yes, we did.”

The 15-member panel — which was put together in 2021 — really did pull the $5 million-apiece recommendation for reparations out of thin air without doing any sort of mathematical equation, according to a new report.

In January, The Daily Wire reported that the San Francisco African American Reparations Advisory Committee concluded that the city should redistribute millions in order to rectify injustices allegedly caused by systemic racism. The committee’s chair Eric McDonnell revealed how the group came to that conclusion.

“There wasn’t a math formula,” McDonnell told The Washington Post. “It was a journey for the committee towards what could represent a significant enough investment in families to put them on this path to economic well-being, growth and vitality that chattel slavery and all the policies that flowed from it destroyed.”

As pointed out by the paper, the reparations aren’t intended to act as compensation for the blight of slavery — rather the money would make up for “the public policies explicitly created to subjugate Black people in San Francisco by upholding and expanding the intent and legacy of chattel slavery.”

The suggested figure has critics and supporters perplexed.

“This is just a bunch of like-minded people who got in the room and came up with a number,” John Dennis, chairman of the San Francisco Republican Party, said. “You’ll notice in that report, there was no justification for the number, no analysis provided. This was an opportunity to do some serious work and they blew it.”

William A. Darity Jr., an economist at Duke University who supports reparations, told the Post, “Calling for $5 million payout by a local government undercuts the credibility of the reparations effort.”

In order to qualify, applicants must be at least 18 years old at the time the city enacts the committee’s proposal, have identified as black or African American on public documents for at least 10 years, and prove they were born in the city between 1940 and 1996.

These residents must also be able to prove that they lived in the city for at least 13 years or had personally been incarcerated — or the direct descendant of someone imprisoned — during the War on Drugs since 1971.


San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors will vote to approve the economic program later this year after the San Francisco African American Reparations Advisory Committee releases its final report in June.

As a conservative, you often look at the insanities of the Left and wonder if they are just making it up as they go along. In the case of San Franciso’s potential reparations program, that is exactly what is happening.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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