Bradford’s statement follows the California Reparations Task Force’s weekend recommendation that the state compensate each qualified Black person with up to $1.2 million in reparations.
The state politician who participated in the task group said that obtaining financial reimbursements for past discrimination against Black citizens is “not occurring,” but added that Black residents may do so “if the money’s there.”
On Saturday, the reparations panel met in public in Oakland, California, to decide on the final set of recommendations that would be presented to the state’s lawmakers.
The nine-member group also advised the state to extend an apology to Black citizens in addition to the cash.
“Reparations are not only morally justified, but they have the capacity to solve long-standing racial imbalances and injustices,” said U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., who was present at the conference.
However, Bradford cautioned prospective beneficiaries not to anticipate huge payments given that the Californian government has not yet determined where the money will come from.
According to the Associated Press, the state representative from Los Angeles did declare that “anything’s conceivable if the money’s there,” but added that he would remain “realistic” about what the actual payouts may be.
I don’t want to raise people’s expectations and hopes that they’re going to be receiving, you know, seven-figure cheques, he said, urging them to maintain the same perspective. That simply isn’t going to happen.
There were others who found Bradford’s remarks offensive. Marcus Champion, a citizen of Los Angeles and reparations campaigner, said, “That is not the way you come to the table to pay a past obligation. In no form of negotiation should you approach the table in that manner. As high a place as you can, and then build from there.
Reggie Jones-Sawyer, a Democratic Assemblyman from Los Angeles, reiterated Bradford’s warning and said, “We have absolutely no notion right now what will or won’t be passed” by the legislature.
In contrast to California’s yearly state budget, which is around $300 billion, earlier estimates suggested that reparations may ultimately cost as much as $800 billion.