The city of Asheville, North Carolina has voted to provide reparations to the city’s black residents and their descendants – not through direct payments, but via ‘investments in areas where black residents face disparities,’ according to the Citizen Times.
“Hundreds of years of black blood spilled that basically fills the cup we drink from today,” said Councilman Keith Young, one of two black members of the City Council, which voted 7-0 on Tuesday night to approve the measure.
“It is simply not enough to remove statutes. Black people in this country are dealing with issues that are systemic in nature,” Young added.
The resolution calls on the city to create the Community Reparations Commission, inviting community groups and other local governments to join. It will be the commission’s job to make concrete recommendations for programs and resources to be used.
Councilwoman Sheneika Smith, who is Black, said the council had gotten emails from those “asking, ‘Why should we pay for what happened during slavery?‘”
“(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,” said Smith. –Citizen Times
The resolution begins:
WHEREAS, Black People have been unjustly Enslaved; and
WHEREAS, Black People have been unjustly Segregated; and
WHEREAS, Black people have been unjustly Incarcerated; and
WHEREAS, Black people have been denied housing through racist practices in the private realty market, including redlining, steering, blockbusting, denial of mortgages, and gentrification.
“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 continues.
Read the rest of the report here.