Asheville, known also as the “Portland of the South,” has just approved a multi-million-dollar reparations plan at the beginning of this week. It is not clear yet how the money will be spent, as The Blaze reports.
How did it happen?
Last June Asheville City Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution to address discrimination by distributing reparations money to black residents. The plan did not “mandate direct payments,” as The Blaze points out. Instead, the instructions were to invest the money in specific areas of the city where black residents “faced disparities,” as USA Today reported.
Things have gone further since then. The city leaders decided to go ahead with a $2.1 million plan for reparations. The decision was made during a council meeting that took place on Tuesday.
The Asheville Citizen Times revealed that the money will be “pulled from proceeds of a land sale rather than the city's general fund.”
There was no specification about how the money will be spent from the city leaders.
“There was a question about, well, how will this be spent? What are the projects? We don't know yet. What we do know is that we have asked the commission once it is formed, to provide us with short, medium and long-term initiatives,” City Manager Debra Campbell stated for the news outlet.
What were the reactions?
This decision sparked both support and discontent. Supporters of the reparations plan believed that the amount was too small. There were also others, who suggested that defunding the police would be a better way to make reparations real.
“During a public hearing on the city's planned budget, speakers expressed dissatisfaction with the amount, saying the $2.1 million is not enough and that divesting from the city police department would be a form of reparations. Others said the money could be better spent, including that $2.1 million could create eight black homeowners and that with the proposed tax hike, they're being priced out of the city instead,” the Asheville Citizen Times notes.
Did anything else happen during the meeting?
The city council also approved a new holiday. It has declared June 19, “Juneteenth”, to be an annual celebration. It is set to be a major Asheville holiday from now on.