California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom didn’t explicitly support a recommendation by the California Reparations Task Force for cash payments for black residents when asked.

A spokesperson for the governor clarified the Democrat is “not backing away” from the payments.

In his original statement, Newsom said that American reconciliation with the evils of slavery “is about much more than cash payments.”

The statement generated headlines from conservative organizations celebrating Newsom’s supposed failure to agree to the payments.


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“This has been an important process, and we should continue to work as a nation to reconcile our original sin of slavery and understand how that history has shaped our country,” Newsom told Fox News Digital. “Many of the recommendations put forward by the Task Force are critical action items we’ve already been hard at work addressing: breaking down barriers to vote, bolstering resources to address hate, enacting sweeping law enforcement and justice reforms to build trust and safety, strengthening economic mobility — all while investing billions to root out disparities and improve equity in housing, education, healthcare, and well beyond.”

Newsom’s Chief communications advisor, Anthony York, walked back the statements on Wednesday.

York told KTLA that the governor “is not backing away from cash payments, but wants to wait for the report in its entirety to arrive on his desk before he makes any decision.”

Newsom signed Assembly Bill 3121, the law that created the committee, in 2020. The committee will calculate the cost of systemic barriers black California residents have faced.

The council also suggested the state apologize for the “gravest barbarities carried out” by government officials – including enforcing the federal fugitive slave law up to 1865.

California never legalized slavery within its borders.

York said Newsom and other government leaders will debate the payment plans recommendations over the summer.

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