Debate Erupts Over California Reparations Licensing Proposal

( – Despite the state’s financial woes and recently announced budget deficits, California lawmakers continue to forge ahead with slavery reparations plans. Democrat state assemblyman Mike Gipson introduced A.B. 2862 last week that would offer preferential treatment and advantages to black applicants in a number of ways. Gipson’s bill would be added as an update to the existing California Business and Professions Code specifically to move black people to the front of many lines.

For example, black applicants would receive preference for real estate licenses as well opportunities within what they are calling the “healing arts.” This term refers to professions within medicine like nurses, therapists and doctors. The legislation would also force medical boards to move black people ahead of other potentially more qualified people for promotions and hiring based solely on race. The bill would apply to all black people but within that group, anyone who could prove direct lineage to a former slave would move ahead of the other black candidates.

A.B. 2862 is one part of a larger package presented by California’s Legislative Black Caucus in January of this year. Among 13 pieces of the package, there is a provision for state funding for “community-driven solutions” to violence committed in primarily black neighborhoods, and the elimination of occupational license fees for former felons. Additionally, if the bill is passed the caucus would require an official formal apology from the state to be issued to black slaves and all their descendants.

California has never had legal slavery since its entrance into the union in 1850.

California’s Reparation’s Task Force issued a report more than 1,000 pages long in the summer of 2023 that Gipson used to form his multi-part legislative initiative. The caucus said this package is not the end but the beginning of what they see as a “multi-year effort” to implement several pieces of legislation that would benefit certain people based on skin color.

At this time the caucus has not requested that black people be issued direct cash payments for descendants of slaves. Democrat state senator Steven Bradford introduced a separate bill last week that would divert 6% of specific state reserve fund money to black people. That money would be redirected to a new fund that would “indemnify” descendents of both slaves and free black people who resided in the U.S. prior to 1900.

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