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Reparations

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Can’t say I thought this would start becoming concrete in western North Carolina–though I know how much Asheville has changed–but this is good.

As Americans debate how far the country should go to make amends for slavery and other racial injustices, a conversation reawakened by the killing of George Floyd, a city in North Carolina has taken the first step: It approved reparations for Black residents.

The city, Asheville, N.C., will provide funding to programs geared toward increasing homeownership and business and career opportunities for Black residents as part of a reparations initiative.

The measure was unanimously approved by the Asheville City Council on Tuesday night, but it stopped short of stipulating direct payments, which are usually associated with reparations. City leaders said their goal was to help create generational wealth for Black people, who have been hurt by income, educational and health care disparities.

The city, which is in Western North Carolina and has about 93,000 residents, also apologized for its participation in and sanctioning of slavery, as well as other historical injustices perpetrated against Black people, who make up about 12 percent of the city’s population.

More of this. And those who say, “this might hurt Democrats in elections,” stop it. The thing about policy is to do what is right and make the case for it. If we kowtow to white racism–including that of Democratic voters–we are just reiterating and reinforcing the white supremacy at the core of this nation.

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