A suburb located near the city of Chicago in Illinois has now become the very first city in the United States start paying reparations to black residents over alleged discrimination and limited access to housing, according to a report published by the Wall Street Journal on Monday. A total of 140 residents living in Evanston, Illinois are now about to receive $25,000 from the city by the end of this year.
TheBlaze said, “In 2019, the city of roughly 75,000 residents approved a $10 million reparations package to be distributed over 10 years. So far, the city has already disbursed reparations payments to sixteen qualified residents, the Evanston Round Table reported. Individuals must have been at least 18 years old and resided in the city between 1919 and 1969 to qualify for the payments. The city is providing reparations in cash or vouchers, which are supposed to come from marijuana and real-estate transfer taxes.”
The Evanston Round Table pointed out that sales tax revenue brought in from the sale of marijuana slowed down after the second dispensary had its opening delayed. There is another location set to open up this fall, which is supposed to provide additional revenue to help support the reparations program.
Officials with the city of Evanston say that the whole program should be partially funded due to the graduated real estate transfer tax. The assistant to the city manager, Tasheik Kerr, said that $1,188,000 has already been brought in to cover the payments.
“Justin Hansford, the head of the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center at Howard University, said he sees the city’s reparations plan as ‘a test run for the whole country.’ Despite being the first city in the country to distribute funds, some are still unsatisfied with the payments,” the report continued. “Resident and civil rights activist Bennett Johnson accused the city’s 1969 cutoff year of being ‘totally arbitrary’ despite the city passing a fair-housing law at that time.”
Johnson made the case that black residents in the city were still enduring discrimination, going on to say the payments weren’t enough. I’m not sure exactly what Johnson is wanting, but it seems as if there is nothing that will appease individuals like him, so why bother trying?
“I believe that [Evanston is] doing the same thing that we’ve done in the past, downgrading the ability of Black people to do things for themselves,” Johnson remarked. “We could realize that if we don’t let Black people control this, we [are] still doing the same thing that we’ve done in the past.”
Ramona Burton, a recipient of the program, said she believes the program is a “good start.” I mean, if I was going to be getting a big chunk of change in my bank account for absolutely no good reason, I’d be pretty happy too. Most of us have to actually earn a living by working a job rather than being a protected class of people.
At the end of the day, this program, and reparations in general, are going to cause further division in a country already on the brink of falling apart.
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