Blue City Officially Apologizes To Black Residents

One of the most liberal cities in the country voted Tuesday to officially apologize to the city’s black residents for purported historical injustices.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution apologizing “to African Americans and their descendants for systemic and structural discrimination, targeted acts of violence and atrocities,” according to city records. The resolution cited the legacy of slavery, historical discrimination, disproportionate homelessness among African Americans and allegedly racist policies pursued by the city as among the reasons for the board’s apology.

“On behalf of the City and County of San Francisco, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors offers its deepest apologies to all African Americans and their descendants who came to San Francisco,” the resolution reads.  The board also committed to the “non-repetition of the policies and practices which caused these harms.” 

Additionally, the board promised to work toward “restoration for the ways that racism has caused insult to Black humanity” through “compensation, restoration and rehabilitation” and by making “substantial ongoing, systemic, and programmatic investments in Black communities” to address current and past inequities.

San Francisco is still a racist city, according to the resolution.  The more explicit racism of the past has been replaced with an “increasingly sophisticated racism” that has “been defined by inaction or lack of intervention with regards to racial discrimination in employment, housing, education, healthcare or the criminal justice system,” according to the resolution.

Discussions around giving African Americans city-funded reparations go back years in San Francisco. The San Francisco Human Rights Commission and the San Francisco African American Reparations Advisory Committee recommended that all black residents over 18 be given $5 million, alongside an annual guaranteed income of almost $100,000, as compensation for historical racism.

San Francisco is facing a $200.8 million deficit in the 2024 fiscal year, according to the city. Mayor London Breed cut $4 million from the budget of a proposed reparations office this year, The Associated Press reported.

The city’s fiscal problems may worsen as major retailers and businesses are closing their locations in San Francisco amid rising crime and drug use.

For some activists, the resolution alone is not enough. “An apology is just cotton candy rhetoric,” said Amos C. Brown, a member of the San Francisco Reparations Advisory Committee, according to the AP “What we need is concrete actions.”

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors directed the Daily Caller News Foundation’s to a press release on the passage of the resolution when reached for comment.

“This apology has been long overdue to Black San Franciscans to repair the past harms from the city,” Supervisor Shamann Walton was quoted as saying in the release.

Robert Schmad on February 27, 2024

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