Asheville, NC approves reparations, but no direct payments

by WorldTribune Staff, July 15, 2020

North Carolina’s Asheville City Council on Tuesday apologized for its role in slavery and racial discrimination and voted unanimously on a resolution which proposed reparations for the city’s black residents.

The resolution calls on the city to create a Community Reparations Commission to make recommendations of where to funnel programs and resources. / Twitter

The City Council said reparations will not be provided in the form of direct cash payments, as some have suggested, but the city will provide investments in housing, health care and career growth in black neighborhoods.

Related: U.S. Conference of Mayors call for reparations at cost of $6.2 quadrillion, July 13, 2020

“Hundreds of years of black blood spilled that basically fills the cup we drink from today,” said Councilman Keith Young, one of the city council members who led the proposal. “It is simply not enough to remove statutes. Black people in this country are dealing with issues that are systemic in nature.”

Councilwoman Shaneika Smith, said the council had received emails from some people “asking, ‘Why should we pay for what happened during slavery?’ ”

Smith responded: “[Slavery] is this institution that serves as the starting point for the building of the strong economic floor for white America, while attempting to keep blacks subordinate forever to its progress,” the Asheville Citizen Times reported.

The resolution passed by the Asheville City Council on Tuesday calls on the city to create a Community Reparations Commission to make recommendations of where to funnel programs and resources.

“The resulting budgetary and programmatic priorities may include but not be limited to increasing minority home ownership and access to other affordable housing, increasing minority business ownership and career opportunities, strategies to grow equity and generational wealth, closing the gaps in health care, education, employment and pay, neighborhood safety and fairness within criminal justice,” the resolution reads.


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