California Reparations Task Force member: 'Let's just chill and pay your bill. Your sin bill'
Perhaps impatient and frustrated that critics point out that California never had slavery and entered the Union as a free state opposed to slavery, and Californians fought and died in the Civil War to end slavery, a prominent member of California's Reparations Task Force has opened the door to history and logic that suggest he and other California African Americans owe reparations to Chinese Americans.
Unfortunately, that evil group called the Ku Klux Klan in California was founded here in San Francisco, so San Francisco's hands are not clean. They have been complicit in this evil system. And all we are saying, Let's just chill and pay your bill, your sin bill… of enslavement, of intimidation, of terrorizing black people.
Rev. Brown's vague language could be read as implying that the Klan itself was founded in San Francisco, but that would be untrue. In the post–Civil War era that birthed the Klan, San Francisco was the principal city of California, so that is where the California operations of that despicable group began.
But if Rev. Brown assumes that California's Klan was aimed against African Americans, he is sadly mistaken. Kevin Waite, writing in The Atlantic, has the true story:
With help from the journalist Knute Berger, I've uncovered more than a dozen attacks attributed to the Klan in California from 1868 to 1870, as well as a smaller number in Utah and Oregon. That figure is minuscule compared with what the former Confederate states endured in these years. Nonetheless, each of these western attacks left victims and sowed terror. And collectively, they challenge common assumptions about America's long history of white-supremacist violence.
The story of the western Klan resembles that of its southern counterpart in the broad outline—vigilantes asserting white supremacy at gunpoint. But whereas southern Klansmen assaulted Black Americans and their white allies, western vigilantes targeted those they deemed a greater threat: Chinese immigrants. By 1870, migrants from China accounted for roughly 10 percent of the state's population and a quarter of the total workforce. By comparison, Black people represented no more than 1 percent of the population.
While it is true that the California Klan saw itself as defending White people, their attacks on Chinese immigrants also would have opened jobs to the few African Americans who lived in California had they succeeded. And his logic is that all Californians (of whom Whites are a minority) must pay for the "sins" of the California Klan. So why wouldn't that mean that California's African Americans should "just chill and pay your bill, your sin bill" for the California Klan's oppression of Chinese immigrants?
Incidentally, Reverend Brown is president of the San Francisco chapter of the discredited NAACP, which has just issued a travel advisory warning Blacks against travel to Florida, the best state for Black-owned businesses.
Hat tip: Richard Baehr.
Photo credit: Fox News screen grab.