California Democratic State Senator Steven Bradford is warning African Americans not to “hope” for massive reparations payments from the state.
Bradford’s message comes after California’s Reparations Task Force recommended over the weekend that the state pay up to $1.2 million in reparations to each eligible black resident.
The state legislator, who served on the task force, claimed it was possible that black residents could receive cash payments “if the money is there,” but argued that receiving checks $1 million in reimbursement for historic discrimination “wasn’t happening.”
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The reparations panel held a public meeting in Oakland, Calif., on Saturday and voted on the final set of recommendations to send to state lawmakers.
In addition to the payments, the nine-member panel recommended the state apologize to black residents.
U.S. Representative Barbara Lee, D-California, who attended the meeting, said afterwards, “Reparations are not only morally justifiable, but they have the potential to address longstanding racial disparities and inequalities.
But Bradford told potential recipients not to expect huge payouts as the California government hasn’t figured out where that money will come from.
The Los Angeles state legislator said “anything is possible if the money is there,” but added that he would remain “realistic” about what the actual payouts might be, according to The Associated Press.
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He told residents to have the same perspective, saying, “I don’t want to set people’s expectations and hopes that they’re going to get, you know, seven-figure checks. That’s just not happening. .”
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Bradford’s comments rubbed some people the wrong way. Los Angeles resident and reparations activist Marcus Champion remarked, “This is not how you come to the table to pay a historic debt. This is not how you come to the table in any type of negotiation. Start as high as possible. can, and then work from there.”
Los Angeles Democratic Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer echoed Bradford’s warning, saying, “We have absolutely no idea at this time what will or will not be approved” by the legislature.
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Earlier estimates said the repairs could cost up to $800 billion, while California’s total annual state budget is around $300 billion.
Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.