For the first time in history, a major southern city has approved sweeping reparations for descendants of African American slaves.
Yesterday evening, the Asheville City Council voted unanimously 7-0 to pass the “RESOLUTION SUPPORTING COMMUNITY REPARATIONS FOR BLACK ASHEVILLE“, which apologizes for the city’s historic role in slavery and discrimination and orders the establishment of a process and commission for “repairing the damage caused by public and private systemic Racism”.
According to the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, ‘reparations’ are “a process of repairing, healing and restoring a people injured because of their group identity and in violation of their fundamental human rights by governments, corporations, institutions and families”.
In an interview with Ashville Today, Racial Justice Coalition of Ashville’s Community Liaison Rob Thomas (who led the push for the new resolution) noted;
“Black people are deeply impoverished and over policed here, and the lack of economic mobility can be traced back to this city’s negligence and intentional disposal of black wealth. It seems that the most responsible move at this point is to reallocate a lot of the $30 million dollars and directly re-invest it into black neighborhoods. We do not want programs, we aren’t looking for white saviorism; we want land, property, businesses. We want economic mobility and a way to produce generational wealth.”
The new resolution specifically apologizes for Asheville’s history of enslavement, segregation, and destroying ‘successful black communities’ and “directs the City Manager to establish a process within the next year to develop short, medium and long term recommendations to specifically address the creation of generational wealth and to boost economic mobility and opportunity in the black community” and will “establish within the next year, a new commission empowered to make short, medium, and long term recommendations that will make significant progress toward repairing the damage caused by public and private systemic Racism.”
Here is the resolution in its entirety:
You can watch yesterday’s entire city council meeting here:
What do you think about the new resolution?