Evanston, Illinois has become the first city in America to offer black residents reparations for historically disenfranchisement and discrimination. Despite the city’s best efforts, the payments have already been deemed not enough by activists. Sue Simmons writes in Yahoo! News:
The first installment of $400,000 would be dispersed in $25,000 allotments for residents to use towards home improvements or mortgage assistance, meaning a maximum of 16 Black families could participate in the first round. The money for the plan would be raised from a fund established from a 3 percent tax on recreational marijuana sales.
While local leadership praises the plan, many Black residents across the city, who make up just over 18 percent of the population, are divided on how the final program has taken shape.
“I love reparations, but I do not love this version that Evanston is trying to pass as reparations,” Rose Cannon, a life-long Evanston resident, told Yahoo News. “Somewhere along the line it changed from, [city officials saying] ‘I want cash money’ to ‘We’re going to offer you this housing program.’ … It’s broken the community apart.”
Cannon, 73, is a founding member of the group Evanston Rejects Racist Reparations, which formed in early March and contends that the measure before the City Council does not go far enough.
“We reject racist reparations and demand a better, more responsive, more complete program that provides access to reparations acts of actual repair to Black folks,” the group said in a statement on its Facebook page.
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