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Updated: 6 days 8 min ago

California Panel Recommends Reparations For Black Residents

Thu, 06/02/2022 - 11:55

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A California panel is recommending a slew of changes as it studies how Black residents should be compensated for the lasting scars of slavery and segregation. 

An interim report is telling lawmakers in Sacramento they should consider how to pay descendants of enslaved people.

The panel is also recommending programs to get Black people registered to vote and keep them on the voter rolls; programs to repay Black land and business owners for value lost in racial terror; programs to get students free tuition; and programs to house vulnerable populations. Plus, the panel wants lawmakers to allow incarcerated people to vote, make mental health care and rehabilitation a first priority for inmates and pay them for their work while in prison. 

"Segregation was firmly established in California in 1870," San Diego activist Geneviéve Jones-Wright said. 

The panel has so far logged hours of testimony, hearing from experts on and victims of racist systems, all with ideas on changing California's approach to housing, policing and education. 

"Indeed, the very history of California starts with anti-Blackness," Jones-Wright continued.

The report is a tentpole in a national conversation about how to amend a racist legacy more than four centuries in the making and put Black Americans on a truly level playing field whether it be land reparations, education subsidies, checks or all of the above.

"Today we have more in the arsenal to discuss this issue besides just slavery," Detroit historian Jamon Jordan said.

Experts are holding diverse ideas about how to close race wealth, education and land ownership gaps.

"We could give an income tax holiday to Black Americans," Northwestern University political science professor Alvin Tillery said. "That would do an incredible amount of good and that would also stimulate the economy."

On a national scale, the history of reparation payments is dotted with failed programs and lackluster amounts. Some think reparations aren't about the money at all. 

"We've seen a number of structural governmental policies that have helped particular groups find their way to saving money, to creating wealth, to building wealth, to buying property, to starting businesses and sending their children or themselves to college," Washington University history professor Douglas Flowe said. 

A renovation of our national floor plan to put us all at the same table. 

Star Wars Defends Actress Moses Ingram From Racist Attacks

Thu, 06/02/2022 - 11:34

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The new "Obi-Wan Kenobi" Star Wars series had barely premiered when a small part of the fandom went to the dark side — sending actor Moses Ingram racist and even threatening messages she then posted to Instagram. 

"There are hundreds of those… hundreds," she said. "There's nothing anybody can do to stop this hate. And so, I question what my purpose is even being here in front of you saying that this is happening."

Toxic backlash is not new and not exclusive to Star Wars. A vocal minority of mostly anonymous trolls often target actors of color. 

Jamie Broadnax founded the fan site Black Girl Nerds. 

"I was disappointed," she said. "I was sad for her. I was upset and furious at the fandom."

Star Wars struck back at the hate, tweeting "There are more than 20 million sentient species in the Star Wars Galaxy. Don't choose to be a racist."

"Obi-Wan Kenobi" star and executive producer Ewan McGregor defended his co-star.  

"It just sickened me to my stomach that this had been happening," he said. "We stand with Moses. We love Moses. And if you're sending her bullying messages, you're no Star Wars fan in my mind." 

Some fans were happy to see Star Wars defending Ingram, but others wish it had done more when actors John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran got the same treatment when they made their own Star Wars debuts. Trolls drove Tran off social media. 

"I think the thing that bothers me is that ... This feeling like I've just got to shut up and take it. I gotta grin and bear it.  And I'm not built like that," Ingram said.

Broadnax says the number of positive fans will ultimately outweigh the bad. 

"This is going to be a thing. The Star Wars, Disney Universe is going to have more inclusion in their films and shows," Broadnax said. "There's really great fandoms out there that promote people of color, that promote women that these fans can go to have a safe space."

While the trolls won't be defeated anytime soon, fans say they aren't going anywhere either.