ASHEVILLE – The city’s groundbreaking reparations effort for Black locals is set to expand 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 neighborhood reparations for Black people in Buncombe County.”
In its July 14 historical reparations vote, Asheville invited other “city government neighborhood companies” to join it. The city’s reparations program will not be direct payments, as was given to Japanese Americans and Native Americans, but instead will be financial investments in education, own a home, health care and other areas with big racial disparities.
Other local governments can participate by joining a task force that will identify funding and offer other suggestions, the city said.
Leaders of nearby wealthy white towns said they would wait and see before choosing to sign up with– or that they had no funding to provide because of the pandemic.
At the county board’s July 21 meeting lots of members of the general public employed to advise commissioners to sign up with the city.
But regardless of Democrats holding a 4-3 bulk, there was insufficient support to bring the problem to a vote.
One significant holdout was the one Black commissioner, Al Whitesides, an Asheville Democrat representing District 1.
Whitesides, who took part in early local desegregation efforts, had stated the county’s own revolutionary initiatives on race were a kind of reparations and it wasn’t required to sign up with the city. Those efforts are fixated the county’s planned statement of racism as a “public health and safety crisis,” likewise on Tuesday’s agenda.
The declaration points out data on infant death, prison population and other locations and recommends financing and the prospective taking apart of “bothersome organizations.”
Unlike the city’s resolution, it makes no mention of slavery or discrimination and does not excuse federal government’s role in those things.
Now the county’s proposed reparations resolution, which was put on the agenda with Whitesides’ support, does that.
Joel Citizen has actually lived in WNC for more than 20 years, covering politics, federal government and other news.Source: havenews.com