We're seeing history in the making: after a 7-0 vote earlier this week, the Asheville City Council in North Carolina has approved a measure that seeks to provide reparations to the city's Black residents and their descendants as an apology for the town's role in slavery and discrimination.
Specifically speaking, the effort will result in financial investments within areas where African American citizens "face disparities." As per the unanimous decision, folks will not be receiving direct cash payments.
"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," reads the official resolution.
According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, the vote took place a mere few days after the county declared racism a public health crisis.
"Hundreds of years of black blood spilled that basically fills the cup we drink from today," said Councilman Keith Young, the resolution's chef proponent and one of two Black council members. "It is simply not enough to remove statues. Black people in this country are dealing with issues that are systemic in nature."
The news echoes a country-wide demand for the end to systemic racism, as seen through the protests that have taken over cities in the past few months. Today, we are oh-so-proud of our nation.
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