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Civil Rights Lawyers Argue California ‘Guaranteed Income’ Programs Violate Constitution

Last week a special commission appointed by left-wing California Gov. Gavin Newsom recommended that the state pay nearly $250,000 to each black resident as reparations for slavery.
Civil rights lawyers argue that guaranteed income programs violate the constitution. File Photo

Last week a special commission appointed by left-wing California Gov. Gavin Newsom recommended that the state pay nearly $250,000 to each black resident as reparations for slavery.

But it turns out California has already been running a reparations-style scheme that forces whites to pay for government giveaways that are set aside for blacks.

The Washington Free Beacon on Tuesday reported that three “guaranteed income” programs in San Francisco “openly discriminate against white residents, limiting or entirely preventing their participation in programs that dole out no-strings-attached cash.”

Civil rights lawyers argue that the programs — all publicly funded — violate both the U.S. and California state constitutions.

According to the Free Beacon, the programs at issue are the Black Economic Equity Movement, which provides $500 a month only to “Black young adults,”; and the Abundant Birth Project, which provides $1,000 a month to “Black and Pacific Islander mothers”; and the Guaranteed Income for Transgender People program, which pays $1,200 a month.

The latter one advocates the city “prioritize enrollment” of transgender “Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC).” 

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The programs are funded by the National Institutes of Health, the California Department of Social Services, and the city of San Francisco, respectively.

“These programs offer a preview of what could soon be the norm in the Golden State,” the Free Beacon noted, adding that last year the state dedicated $35 million dollars to fund guaranteed-income pilot projects throughout the state.

“Though the law did not include any racial or ethnic qualifiers, in keeping with the California constitution, the state’s social services department said that it would only give out the grants to pilots that ‘center equity,’” the Free Beacon reported.

“Grant applicants were encouraged to ‘embed an equity-focused approach throughout each dimension’ of their programs, including their ‘eligibility.’”

Civil rights lawyers called the initiatives discriminatory and illegal.

Gail Heriot, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and a professor at the University of San Diego law school, told the Free Beacon, “It’s astonishing to me how brazen the State of California and its various Bay Areas local governments have become in violating the many laws and constitutional provisions prohibiting race discrimination.”

David Bernstein, a professor of constitutional law at George Mason Law School, added, “The publicly funded programs are clearly unconstitutional. It’s not a close call.”

California’s woke policies appear to take a cue from the Biden administration, which has made open discrimination against whites a centerpiece of its programs.

That includes some COVID-19 relief programs, as well as others highlighted by New York Post columnist Betsy McCaughey in August.

Biden’s administration has claimed, for example, that the student loan bailout is a way to close the “wealth gap” between blacks and whites, since the typical black borrower still owes 95% of the loan, while an average white borrower has paid off 94%.

The administration also directed doctors to prioritize blacks for care under Medicare, started a Fannie Mae housing program that helps only blacks with costs for appraisals and closing costs, and announced that minority-owned businesses would get first crack and federal contracts. 

Biden, McCaughey wrote, is “imposing anti-white discrimination on everything, from housing to health care. It’s racism by another name.”

California is not far behind.

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