Asheville reparations set to broaden to surrounding county – Citizen Times

31July 2020

ASHEVILLE – The city’s

innovative reparations effort for Black locals is set to broaden following a notable shift in Buncombe County government. The county’s Board of Commissioners is set to vote Aug. 4 on a” Resolution to support community reparations for Black individuals in Buncombe County.” In its July 14 historic reparations vote, Asheville invited other “local government community organizations” to join it. The city’s reparations program will not be direct payments, as was offered to Japanese Americans and Native Americans, however instead will be financial investments in education, home ownership, healthcare and other locations with big racial variations. Other city governments can get involved by signing up with a task force that will figure out financing and give other recommendations, the city stated.

Leaders of neighboring wealthy white towns said they would wait and see prior to deciding to

join– or that they had no financing to use since of the pandemic. At the county board’s July 21 meeting lots of members of the public called in to prompt commissioners to join the city. But there was not enough assistance on the 4-3 Democrat bulk board to bring the issue to a vote. A notable holdout was the one Black commissioner, Al Whitesides a Democrat whose District 1 presently covers most of Asheville. Whitesides, who took part in early local desegregation efforts, had stated the county’s own innovative initiatives on race were a form of reparations and it

wasn’t required to sign up with the city. Those efforts are centered on the county’s prepared declaration of bigotry as a”public health and security crisis. “The declaration is likewise on Tuesday’s program. It cites information on baby death, prison population and other locations and prescribes financing and the prospective taking apart of”bothersome organizations.” Unlike the city’s resolution, it makes no reference of slavery or discrimination and does not excuse federal government’s role in those things.

However Whitesides has now stated he will support an official reparations vote, according to the county’s program. In that resolution the board” apologizes to the Black neighborhood and seeks to apologize”for slavery, discrimination and the county’s involvement in city renewal programs that” damaged several, successful Black communities.”Actions including signing up with the city’s task force and “expanding access”to education, healthcare and home ownership. Joel Citizen has lived in WNC for more than twenty years, covering politics, government and other news. He’s composed acclaimed stories on subjects ranging from gerrymandering to authorities use of force. Please help support this kind of journalism with a subscription to the Citizen Times.Source: citizen-times. com

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