Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Zach Jewell.
New York will begin deliberations on reparations for slavery after Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation Tuesday creating a commission to consider the race-based payments.
In June, New York lawmakers passed a bill that called for a nine-member commission to "examine the institution of slavery"
and "make determinations regarding compensation."
Three of the task force members will be appointed by the governor, three by the state Assembly, and three by the state Senate, according to the bill. The commission will have a year to submit a written report on its findings and recommendations to the state legislature, the bill stipulates.
"In New York, we like to think we're on the right side of this. Slavery was a product of the South, the Confederacy,"
said Hochul, who was flanked by social justice activist Al Sharpton at the bill signing ceremony, the Associated Press reported. "What is hard to embrace is the fact that our state also flourished from that slavery. It's not a beautiful story, but indeed it is the truth."
New York joins other Democrat-led states that have established reparations commissions after California was the first to do so in 2020 followed by Illinois. California's reparations task force determined that the state was responsible for dishing out over $500 billion to black Americans even though slavery was illegal in California when it joined the Union in 1850.
The task force also approved a plan that suggested paying up to $1.2 million to black residents who descended from slaves or free African Americans who lived in the U.S. before 1900, and the state legislature is expected to look into the recommendations.
In New York, State Senate Republican leader Rob Ortt said that the commission's recommendations would come at an "astronomical cost"
to taxpayers and argued that reparations have already been paid.
"The reparations of slavery were paid with the blood and lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans who fought to end slavery during the Civil War,"
Along with the state of California, some cities across the country put together task forces in a renewed push for reparations which came in the aftermath of George Floyd's death and the ensuing demonstrations and riots in 2020. In Detroit, two members of the city's Reparations Task Force - including one of the co-chairs - stepped down earlier this month, citing their growing frustration over the "lack of progress"
and a missing "broad strategic vision"
less than a year after the group was formed.
"I think, collectively, that group of people has different ideas about what reparations is fundamentally and we didn't get to a place where we had a broad strategic vision,"
said former task force co-chair Lauren Hood.