IN A historic move, one US city has apologized for its role in slavery and voted in favor of providing reparations to its African-American community.
The vote to provide reparations passed unanimously in the Asheville, North Carolina, city council on Tuesday.
A Black Lives Matter protest in Graham, North CarolinaCredit: AFP or licensors
Amid ongoing calls for racial justice across the US, Asheville, North Carolina has voted to provide reparations to the Black communityCredit: AFP or licensors
The reparations won’t come in the form of direct payments to Black residents, but will instead invest in areas where the community often deals with disparities.
“Hundreds of years of Black blood spilled that basically fills the cup we drink from today,” Councilman Keith Young, one of two Black members on the council, said.
“It is simply not enough to remove statues. Black people in this country are dealing with issues that are systemic in nature,” he added, referring to calls across the US to remove statues of historical figures linked to America’s racist past.
The city of Asheville recently took down a monument of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from its downtown area.
A large Black Lives Matter protest in Graham, North Carolina, on July 11Credit: AFP or licensors
The resolution states that reparations will include things like making moves to increase minority home ownership and business ownership, closing gaps in things like access to health care and neighborhood safety initiatives.
“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 says.
Though there was some opposition, most members of the public who attended the council meeting and spoke after the unanimous vote expressed support for the reparations, according to USA Today.
Mom, 33, allowed men to sexually abuse her 5 kids in child ‘pimp’ role, cops say
Body found on McDonald’s roof after ‘feet seen poking out’ of bag
Moment teens fly kick baby & attack her ‘pregnant’ mom in front yard brawl
Skin rashes ‘ARE a sign of Covid and NHS must add them to official list’
‘JUMPED BY EX’
Mom & baby in stroller ‘pushed to the floor by ex who repeatedly stabs her’
‘EVIL AND VILE’
DOJ seeking DEATH PENALTY for ‘MS-13 gangster boss who murdered NY teens’
Rob Thomas, a community liaison for the Racial Justice Coalition which led the push for reparations, said that passing the decision comes with incredible potential.
“This is a really, really good gesture as far as the foundation of what we can build,” he said. “The potential of what can come out of this document is amazing.”
Thomas said the focus should be increasing generational wealth – as it’s something that Black Americans have been deprived of through economic and regulatory discrimination.