The city council of Asheville, North Carolina, voted unanimously to grant reparations to residents over the nation’s history of slavery.
The extraordinary vote was made on Tuesday when the council voted in support of the motion 7-0.
“Hundreds of years of Black blood spilled that basically fills the cup we drink from today,” said Councilman Keith Young, one of two African American members of the council.
“It is simply not enough to remove statutes,” he added. “Black people in this country are dealing with issues that are systemic in nature.”
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The motion would not grant direct cash payments to black residents, but would instead funnel financial support to investments in the black community.
“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,” says the resolution, according to USA Today.
Councilwoman Sheneika Smith responded to emails demanding to know why taxpayers should pay for what happened during slavery.
“(Slavery) is this institution that serves as the starting point for the building of the strong economic floor for white America, while attempting to keep Blacks subordinate forever to its progress,” Smith replied.
Here’s more about the debate over reparations:
Reparations: Our country does not believe in punishing for the sins of the father