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[dc]“I[/dc]n a historic move, the city of Asheville, North Carolina, voted unanimously to approve a reparations resolution for Black residents Tuesday night.

Reparations

“Asheville, which is 83% White and 12% Black, formally apologized for the role it played in slavery and implementing racist policies.

The resolution, which passed in a 7-0 city council vote, does not mandate direct cash payments to descendants of slaves, or 40 acres and a mule. Instead, the city plans to make investments in areas where Black residents face disparities.”

This is a very good start. For a Southern town which is white dominated to do this is a good sign. Of course, Asheville is quite different from many towns in the South because there are many retirees from theNorth. Still, it’s interesting that a town in the South has taken this big step.

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While there is general understanding in America that blacks have always gotten the short end of the stick, but one shouldn’t forget that other groups have been slighted, too.

But is it the right step? Should individual blacks get reparations rather than the group collectively. Personally, I agree with Asheville’s decision not to try individual dollops of money but to try to improve lives at a community level. As long as the black community has a strong part in devising reparation plans, it’s better to avoid handing out money to individuals without a plan in mind. The community level plan is best, so long as there are controls in how the money is spent.

“A few callers spoke against reparations, one linking it to a Venezuelan government plot and others saying Black Lives Matter was Marxist.

"My white privilege is I grew up on a farm, we milked cows, we bailed hay. That was my white privilege," said a man identifying himself as Eddy from West Asheville.

“But David Greenson said white people like him needed Black people to get reparations "because our souls are in jeopardy."

While there is general understanding in America that blacks have always gotten the short end of the stick, one shouldn’t forget that other groups have been slighted, too. There has been “white privilege” all along, but it has been largely limited to a rich elite. Yes, the 1% continues to do well, as statistics show, but the bottom 70% have a right to complain, as their wages haven’t risen relative to the value of the dollar since the days of Ronald Reagan. The bottom class is largely racial minority but not entirely. Reparations simply mean that we are going to shift resources from those who have too much to those who have too little. If it starts happening, then we all should be grateful to Black Lives Matter and other groups for making it happen.

michael hertz

Michael Hertz