What happens in Oakland doesn’t stay in Oakland.
In 2021, the California city announced a universal basic income program created specifically for so-called BIPOC, or black indigenous and people of color. It was set to give $500 a month to 600 low-income families for 18 months in partnership with a nonprofit organization. Shortly after it was announced, the program stripped “BIPOC” from its description and official requirements.
A public program with racial parameters is legally questionable regardless of how it is funded.
That’s not the end of the story, though.
According to a report by Aaron Sibarium in the Washington Free Beacon, the Bay Area is taking things further and experimenting with a variety of publicly-funded programs that service various identity groups.
The programs follow the playbook written by “antiracist” author Ibram X. Kendi and others who essentially argue that racial discrimination is a good thing as long as it’s being done on behalf of groups that have been discriminated against and haven’t achieved equal outcomes in society.
Kendi-ism—despite its unpopularity, even in blue states—is being institutionalized. This ideology is not only at war with the idea of colorblindness in how individuals are treated, but it challenges legal colorblindness, too.
Sibarium wrote that “at least” three separate guaranteed income programs—distributing no-strings-attached money—“openly discriminate against white residents.”
The initiatives include the Black Economic Equity Movement, which provides $500 a month exclusively to “Black young adults,” 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 will dole out $1,200 a month and “prioritize enrollment” of transgender “Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC).” They are financed by the National Institutes of Health, the California Department of Social Services, and the city of San Francisco, respectively.
As Sibarium noted, these programs likely violate both the constitutions of the United States and California, but they could serve as a preview of what’s to come in the state and elsewhere. In 2021, California set up a $35 million grant program to “center equity” and applicants were encouraged to “embed an equity-focused approach throughout each dimension.” The grants didn’t explicitly mention racial requirements, likely due to the thorny legal problem that it would violate the 14th Amendment.
The Bay Area agencies involved in creating these programs based on race and gender identity denied using racial criteria, according to Sibarium.
Now, one could dismiss these programs as just Bay Area nonsense unlikely to spread to the rest of the country. However, there was a time when concepts like Indigenous People’s Day—which originated in Berkeley—weren’t taken seriously, and now they are everywhere. Most woke lunacy began in California long before it hit the rest of the country.
The UBI issue is supercharged because it’s a popular one for Big Tech, the dominant Bay Area industry. Other states and localities will undoubtedly experiment with similar programs in the future. They highlight how the Left, and the institutions the Left controls, will operate in the future.
Traditional class war politics are out, and the older progressive idea of “non-partisan” and objective administration is waning in favor of an elite managerial class that carries out more direct, overtly ideological goals.
The new regime, which has established wokeness as a kind of unofficial religion, now justifies its initiatives based on the “worthiness” of various identity groups. You receive direct and indirect benefits from the state based on your status on the hierarchy of oppression, rather than on your individual need.
Will these programs cross a legal barrier? Almost certainly. Will that prevent them from being created? Almost certainly not, at least in blue states. They’ll push their luck in court, push the courts to do their bidding, and if all else fails will undermine the legitimacy of the courts if they don’t acquiesce.
What we are seeing is a shameful and destructive resegregation of America based on a fundamentally destructive ideology that will create neither equality nor prosperity.
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