In historic move, North Carolina city approves reparations for Black residents




In historic move, North Carolina city approves reparations for Black residents
In historic move, North Carolina city approves reparations for Black residents  

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - In an extraordinary move, the Asheville City Council has apologized for the North Carolina city's historic role in slavery, discrimination and denial of basic liberties to Black residents and voted to provide reparations to them and their descendants.

The 7-0 vote came the night of July 14.

"Hundreds of years of Black blood spilled that basically fills the cup we drink from today," said Councilman Keith Young, one of two African American members of the body and the measure's chief proponent.

"It is simply not enough to remove statutes. Black people in this country are dealing with issues that are systemic in nature."

The unanimously passed resolution does not mandate direct payments. Instead, it will make investments in areas where Black residents face disparities.

REPARATIONS: How much would the US owe descendants of enslaved people?

"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.

What is systemic racism? Here's what it means and how you can help dismantle it

Increasing generational wealth should be the focus, supporter says

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," Smith said.

Councilman Vijay Kapoor, who has often split with Young and Smith on police and budget issues, said he supported the measure for moral reasons. But he said skeptics could look to the "practical reason": data showing showing large disparities between African Americans and other Asheville residents.

"We don't want to be held back by these gaps," Kapoor said. "We want everyone to be successful."

The council allowed an hour of public comment on the measure. Many who were not able to speak before the vote waited for another hourlong comment period afterward, pushing the meeting late into the night. Most were in support.

Rob Thomas, community liaison for the Racial Justice Coalition, which led the push for reparations, thanked the council.

"This is a really, really good gesture as far as the foundation of what we can build," Thomas said. "The potential of what can come out of this document is amazing."

Increasing generational wealth - something African Americans were deprived of through economic and regulatory discrimination - should be the focus, he said.

It was also important that the county's government join, Thomas said, to ensure issues weren't lost between the county and city.

The Buncombe County's Board of Commissioners is not clearly behind the reparations measure, though it has a 4-3 Democratic majority.

Reso Supporting Community Reparations for Black Asheville by Joel Burgess on Scribd

Follow reporter Joel Burgess on Twitter: @AVLreporter

Many Americans might not get another stimulus check: Here's where things stand on another COVID-19 bill

Tuberville tops Sessions:Takeaways from Tuesday's elections

This article originally appeared on Asheville Citizen Times: Asheville, North Carolina: Reparations for Black residents approved

COMMENTS

More Related News

Varner fires 62 to grab share of lead in North Carolina
Varner fires 62 to grab share of lead in North Carolina

The North Carolina native had eight birdies in all - four on the front nine and four on the back - to finish eight under at the par-70 Sedgefield Country Club, two shots clear of Harris English. "I love coming back home and playing," Varner said. Hoge chipped in for birdie on the par-3 16th to take a one stroke lead over Varner but missed an 11-foot par putt on his last hole and had to tap in for his lone bogey, which dropped him into a tie for first.

From apartheid to affirmative action: Sen. Mitch McConnell
From apartheid to affirmative action: Sen. Mitch McConnell's complicated history on race

Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell is up for reelection, and his record on civil rights and other issues that impact Black Americans is under scrutiny.

After the civil rights era, white Americans failed to support systemic change to end racism. Will they now?
After the civil rights era, white Americans failed to support systemic change to end racism. Will they now?

The first wave of the Black Lives Matter movement, which crested after the 2014 police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, had the support of less than half of white Americans.Given that Americans tend to have a very narrow definition of racism, many at that time were likely confused by the juxtaposition of Black-led protests, implying that racism was persistent, alongside the presence of a Black family in the White House. Barack Obama's presidency was seen as evidence that racism was in decline. The current, second wave of the movement feels different, in part because the past months of protests have been multiracial. The media and scholars have noted that whites' sensibilities have...

Kirk Triplett adds Black Lives Matter sticker to bag ahead of Champions major
Kirk Triplett adds Black Lives Matter sticker to bag ahead of Champions major

Kirk Triplett will have a Black Lives Matter sticker on his bag at his week's Bridgestone Senior Players Championship.

March on Washington reconfigured to comply with virus rules
March on Washington reconfigured to comply with virus rules
  • World
  • 2020-08-11 14:18:57Z

Amid widespread protests and unrest over the police killings of Black Americans, a national commemoration of the 1963 civil rights March on Washington is being reconfigured to comply with coronavirus protocols in the District of Columbia. Although many marchers will arrive via charter buses from surrounding communities on Aug. 28, the Rev. Al Sharpton, one of the organizers, will ask some to join satellite marches planned in states that are considered hot spots for COVID-19. "We're following protocol," Sharpton told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America