The City Council of Asheville, North Carolina unanimously approved a resolution to pay reparations for slavery to all black residents of the city. The resolution also contains a formal apology for the role North Carolina has played in slavery, discrimination, and other racist policies towards blacks.
“Simply removing monuments to Confederate generals from the pedestals is not enough,” said Keith Young, one of two black members of the seven-member council. “Black citizens of our country face problems that are systematic.” “Slavery was a structure that served as a starting point for building a solid economic foundation for white Americans and perpetuating the use of black slaves for their further progress,” added Shenika Smith, the second black councilor.
Rather than making payments directly to the city’s blacks, who make up 12% of the population (83% of residents are white), the money will be used to invest in areas where inequalities exist for black citizens. Specifically, these investments will help boost home ownership or affordable housing, increase businesses and careers, narrow the gap in employment, pay, education and health care, secure neighborhoods, and a more fair criminal justice system.