Posted on December 21, 2023

NY Gov. Kathy Hochul OKs Commission to Study Reparations for Slavery

Vaughn Golden and Jack Morphet, New York Post, December 19, 2023

A commission to study the possibility of giving reparations to black New Yorkers was officially created by Gov. Kathy Hochul Tuesday — prompting critics to blast the move as “unlikely to lead to anything, after the failures of such efforts elsewhere “unrealistic” and “divisive.”

New York’s new commission follows a similar one in California, which hasn’t shown any serious signs of acting on its reparations panel’s eye-popping proposal of a $1.2 million payment to nearly every black citizen.

Critics suspect the same may happen here.

“A divisive commission to consider reparations is unworkable,” Republican Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt wrote in a statement. {snip}

Nevertheless, the new legislation signed at a ceremony by Hochul was cheered by civil rights activists.


The commission will be charged with recommending appropriate remedies and reparations for black New Yorkers as well as presenting a plan for delivering them, possibly in the form of direct compensation like California.

“If this committee can present a viable path forward, to helping the descendants of New York slaves in addressing the harms and disparities, that exist in education, that exist in housing, that exists in health care, that exist in the environment, that my friends will lift all of us up,” Hochul said.

Hochul said the commission was imperative to righting historical wrongs like New York’s role in the slave trade and segregation.

California’s commission, which was created in 2021, was the first in the nation to look at ways to compensate decedents of slaves for historical inequities over the centuries.

But when it came back with a plan to provide payments of $1.2 million to each black Californian, politicians balked at the massive $800 billion price tag.


New York would have a similarly hard time affording such a plan, as it has approximately 700,000 more black residents than California and only a $229 billion state budget.