What would you do with $350,000? In order to earn it, you must be black and reside in California. This is the case when a former athlete's notion of justice is served.
In 2020—the year of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter—California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill that established the Task Force to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals. In June, the first group of its kind published a 500-page study about the harm that had been caused to the black population of the state. According to sources, it was recommended that every black American who is descended from slaves be given $223,200 as compensation for “housing discrimination.” This amount would cover the bigoted bias from 1933 to 1977.
However, during the task force’s meeting on Wednesday, 35-year-old businessman and former professional triathlete Max Fennell insisted on a significantly improved payout for black residents.
Here's the way he explained it, according to the Daily Mail: “The tangibles of what I’m asking for is $350,000 per black American in California.”
The reason is easy to understand: “It's a debt that's owed, we worked for free.”
In case there is any confusion: “We're not asking; we're telling you.”
Of course, the discussion about compensation for black people is not new. This issue has been a bit tense in recent times: “Harvard Apologizes for Slavery, Offers $100 Million to Make It Better,” “At Protestors’ Insistence, College Sets Up ‘Reparations Fund’ to Pay for Black Students’ Books and Therapy,” “All About the Benjamins: Ice Cube Says Hollywood Owes Black Entertainers Reparations,” “Making History: Illinois City Becomes the First in America to Pay Reparations to Black Residents,” “Oregon Eyes Giving $123,000 to Black Residents Who Can Prove Ancestral Slavery,” “America’s First Black Billionaire Calls for 14T in Reparations for ALL Black Americans — Including HIMSELF.”
For California, it seems to be a major operation. Will the state be able to grant Max Fennell's wishes? If it does, that's a tall order for taxpayers.
And Max would like more than money for the affected individuals. Back to the Mail: Max said “black-owned businesses should receive $250,000, which would help them to flourish.”
He also insisted that they should be given 15 to 20 acres of land. Max might be unaware of the lack of available land in Southern California. The state also falls short in other areas, such as roads that can be driven on. Taxes paid by citizens appear to have been used in smart ways elsewhere. Is there any chance for road repairs? This all shouldn't come as a surprise.
Wednesday’s meeting was held at City Hall in Oakland, the city that was the birthplace of the Black Panthers but has lost a significant percentage of its African American population as rising home prices have forced residents out.
Over the past 246 years, the nation has achieved a lot. The one thing that it has not achieved in 2022 is unity. Both racially and politically, there is much tribalism. Even if California is able to pay colossal sums of compensation cash, it's unlikely to change anything anytime soon.
Fennell posted an Instagram video that showed him at the hearings, along with 60 others. The video was captioned: “Witnessing history with the tribe.”