Asheville city Council met on Tuesday to discuss the removal of monuments to Confederate and police funding
The Asheville Citizen Times
Asheville – in an unusual move, the city Council apologized for the historical role of the city in slavery, discrimination and denial of fundamental freedoms of black residents and voted to provide reparation to them and their descendants.
In a 7-0 vote came on the night of July 14.
“Hundreds of years of black blood that basically fills the cups we drink from today,” said counselor Kate young, one of two members of the African American body and the main supporter of this measure.
“It’s just not enough to remove charters. Black people in this country are dealing with problems that are systemic in nature,” says Yang.
Unanimously adopted a resolution does not provide for direct payments. Instead it will make investments in areas where black residents face inequality.
“As a result of budget and policy priorities may include, but not be limited to increasing minority homeownership and access to other affordable housing, increase in minority owners and the opportunities for career growth, strategies for development, equality and intergenerational wealth gaps in the areas of health, education, employment and wages, neighborhood security and justice in criminal justice,” the resolution reads.
The resolution calls on the city to establish a Commission of community reparations, inviting community groups and other local authorities to join. This is the work of the Commission to formulate specific recommendations for use of programs and resources.
Advisor Sheneika Smith, who is black, said that the Council has received letters from those “asking why we should pay for what happened during slavery?'”
“(Slavery) is an institution that provides a starting point for building a strong economic floor for white America, while trying to keep the blacks in subjection forever to his progress,” said Smith.
Advisor Vijay Kapoor, who often share with young and Smith on the police and budgetary questions stated that it supported the measure on moral grounds. But he said that skeptics could look at the “practical reason”: indicates evidence of significant differences between African-Americans and other residents of the city of Asheville.
“We don’t want to keep these gaps,” said Kapoor. “We want everyone to be successful.”
The Council allowed an hour to hold a public discussion of the measures. Many who are unable to speak before the vote, waited another hour-long to comment then, pushing the meeting until late at night. Most of them were in support.
Rob Thomas, the public relations coalition for racial justice, which led the movement for reparations, thanked the Board.
“This is a very nice gesture, as the basis of what we can build. The potential that can come out of this document is amazing.”
The increasing wealth of the generations that African Americans were deprived of economic and legal discrimination, should be the center of attention, he said.
It is also important that the government of the district of buncomb to join in, Thomas said that the issues are not lost between the County and city.
The Board of County commissioners, which governs all buncomb, including municipal residents not in a measure compensated if he has a 4-3 democratic majority.
Several subscribers spoke out against reparations, one linking it with the Venezuelan government plot and others say that black lives matter was a Marxist.
“My white privilege I grew up on a farm, milked cows, then bundles. It was my white privilege,” – said the man, who identified himself as Eddie from West Asheville.
But David Greenson said that white people like him need black people to get compensation ” because our souls are in danger.”
“I’m responsible for beating johnny peak in August 2017,” he said referring to the infamous beating of an unarmed black Asheville pedestrian by a police officer. “I can’t hit him or stunned him or strangled him, but I paid the man who did it.”
This report will be updated.
Joel Burgess has lived in WNC for more than 20 years, covering politics, government and other news. He has written award winning stories on topics ranging from fraud to police use of force. Please help to support this type of journalism subscription for citizen time.
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