The Asheville City Council unanimously voted to provide reparations for black residents and their descendants to redress the “city’s historic role in slavery, discrimination and denial of basic liberties to Black residents.”
In a groundbreaking 7-0 vote on July 14, reparations will not come in the form of direct remittances, but through public investment to correct disparities faced by Black residents.
Councilman Keith Young, an African American member of the body and one of the chief proponents for reparations, said “Hundreds of years of Black blood spilled that basically fills the cup we drink from today.”
He added, “It is simply not enough to remove statutes. Black people in this country are dealing with issues that are systemic in nature.”
The resolution, in part, reads:
“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.”
However, as the topic of reparations becomes a more pressing issue, the feasibility of arranging payments and who would be liable may become problematic.
There is no actual means for the City of Asheville to pay reparations within the legislation. Instead, the city asks the state of North Carolina to take legislative action to make money available for reparations.
In reality, the City of Asheville mostly uses the document to officially apologize for the crimes of slavery and racism, allegedly committed by some of the residents’ ancestors over 150 years ago.
The Washington Examiner recently published an article estimating a push for reparations to cost the average person a nine-figure sum and a total cash amount that is not in global circulation.
Mayors back reparations, could cost ‘$6.2 quadrillion,’ $151M per descendant https://t.co/2Y93t7AP8e
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) July 14, 2020
Another black councilwoman, Sheneika Smith, when asked why people today should be liable for transferring resources in the name of reparations answered: “(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.”