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Asheville, North Carolina, city council votes in favor of reparations for Black residents

Asheville, North Carolina, city council votes in favor of reparations for Black residents
Asheville City Hall [Photo: Warren LeMay/Wikimedia Commons]

A city council in the heart of the South, where slavery raged until the Civil War, has unanimously passed a resolution for reparations for its Black residents.

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Asheville, North Carolina, said it “apologizes and makes amends for” participating in and sanctioning slavery, enforcing segregation, and other discriminatory practices, in addition to carrying out a destructive urban-renewal program.

That includes forming “policy and programs that will establish the creation of generational wealth and address reparations due” in the Black community, calling on governments to craft policy and provide money for reparations on the state and federal levels, and encouraging Asheville organizations and institutions that benefited from racial inequality to apologize and eliminate internal racism.

The vote last night was 7-0, according to the Asheville Citizen Times.

The resolution cites discrimination in housing practices, wages, economic development investment, education, healthcare, police treatment, incarceration rates, voting access, and food and childcare deserts.

No payment structure for individuals was mentioned. Goals include increasing minority homeownership and business opportunities, as well as improving fairness in healthcare, education, employment, and the criminal justice system.

“[S]ystemic racism was created over centuries and will take time to dismantle,” it reads. “[S]tate and federal governments have a responsibility to adopt programs, policies, and funding to address reparations.”

Asheville is the Buncombe County county seat.

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