‘Time for a Divorce’: California Reparations Task Force Meeting Gets Heated

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 17: Andrea Levy (R) from Queens, New York, joins other demonstrato
Manny Ceneta/Getty Images

A California Reparations Task Force meeting got heated this week when several people began publicly denouncing the United States for its role in slavery, with one even calling for a “divorce.”

The final meeting of the Reparations Task Force in Sacramento occurred a little over a month after the nine-member panel recommended that California state legislators pay black residents of the state up to $1.2 million in reparations for slavery and past discrimination. During the public speaking segment, people did not hold back their opinions. One man, named Reggie Romanie, believed the recommended $1.2 million would never be enough.

“This reparations task force, I appreciate y’all, but you all opened up a whole can of worms. I’m going to tell you this: reparations is about ‘repair.’ To me, I qualify. I’m going to tell you how you repair this,” he said, as reported by Fox News. “First of all, America, from the evidence that they gave us, you’re guilty.”

Referencing the debunked 1619 Project, which made the false claim that America had been founded specifically to protect slavery, Romaine accused the United States of essentially marrying black Americans and now owe them a divorce settlement.

“You kidnapped us! Put a hate crime on us! That’s the first one. Now you came here with all the other atrocities. When you brought us here, you raped our men, women, and kids. So, therefore, you married us!” he said. “Don’t treat us like no cheap piece of meat! So, therefore, our last name’s ‘American!’ So now’s the time for a divorce! What do you get in divorce? You get half the money, half the land, alimony, child support, attorney fees, and everything else! So that’s what we want!”

Don Tamaki, a Japanese-American attorney and member of the task force, said that he sees parallels between the black American fight for reparations and the Japanese-American fight for reparations.

“If it wasn’t for the Black Civil Rights Movement, where would we be?” Tamaki told NBC News. “That whole movement changed the culture a lot. And it changed us. And so it began this movement toward redress and reparations.”

“I don’t think we knew who we were. The term ‘Asian American’ was not coined yet. And we called ourselves ‘Orientals,’ and we just assumed we were second-class citizens,” Tamaki contnued. “What woke us up was Martin Luther King on national television, leading peaceful demonstrators and being sicced on by dogs and being beaten by police with clubs … just to be able to go to a school, just to be able to sit in a restaurant or be in an integrated bus. And that was followed by a more militant call for Black power.”

California state Sen. Steven Bradford, a task force member, said on Thursday that reparations “likely won’t happen with one legislative cycle or two legislative cycles, or one bill,” according to USA Today.

The Associated Press

This image made from a video from the Office of the Governor shows California Gov. Gavin Newsom signing into law a bill that establishes a task force to come up with recommendations on how to give reparations to Black Americans on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, in Sacramento, CA. (Office of the Governor via AP)

As Breitbart News reported, the task force also previously recommended that California review its past housing ordinances to rectify any discrimination.

Despite initially opposing reparations, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) eventually caved and backed the proposal.

Paul Roland Bois joined Breitbart News in 2021. He also directed the award-winning feature film, EXEMPLUM, which can be viewed on TubiGoogle PlayYouTube Movies, or Vimeo on Demand. Follow him on Twitter @prolandfilms or Instagram @prolandfilms.


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