As the American people continue to work toward a more perfect union, there has been a renewed emphasis on racial justice…specifically after the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police department several weeks ago.
Much of this discussion has been focused on the systemic racism that many believe has tainted the ideologies of our founding fathers, and have pushed our nation away from “liberty and justice for all“.
And, for some, this widespread oppression has conjured calls for reparations to be paid to the African American community here in the United States. In Asheville, North Carolina, this has now become a reality.
North Carolina’s Asheville City Council apologized for its role in slavery and racial discrimination, voting unanimously to provide reparations in the form of community investments to help Black residents.
The council voted 7-0 on Tuesday night on the measure to mitigate racial disparities. The reparations will not provide direct cash payments, as some have suggested, but will provide investments in housing, health care and career growth in Black neighborhoods.
How exactly will they accomplish this?
The resolution calls on the city to create a Community Reparations Commission to make concrete 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.
It will be interesting to see what cities around the nation decide to follow suit, and if they do so out of a general concern for the African American community, or if they adopt such measures simply to give the appearance of caring.
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