The California Assembly has passed a bill to set up a a task force to look at the question of slavery reparations. The bill now moves to the state Senate.
Slavery was not legal in the California under Mexican law when it became a territory of the United States in 1848, and slavery was never legal in the territory afterward. In 1849, a black man who had been brought to the territory as a slave won a court case that resulted in his freedom and the legal precedent of the official non-acknowledgement of slavery in California. It entered the Union as a free state in 1850.
California was a part of Mexico before 1848, and Mexico outlawed slavery in 1829. Prior to 1829 (under both Spanish and Mexican rule), the indigenous people of California were treated as de facto slaves by the Hispanic settlers.
So the history of California is such that if any reparations for slavery are owed, they are owed to the members of the various Indian tribes of California—and they are owed by the Hispanics in the state. It’s probably a safe bet that essentially none of the legislators who voted for the bill are aware of their state’s actually history of slavery.
I’m pleased that Mrs. Hoge and I left California 30 years ago.