25 Mar Evanston To Provide Reparations To Its Black Residents
On Monday, the city council of a suburban city of Chicago, Evanston, announced that they would be providing reparations to all the black residents who have suffered from discriminatory housing policies in the past. This decision has made Evanston the first city in the US to provide reparations to its black residents.
According to the plans developed by Evanston City Council and Alderman Robin Rue Simmons, the funds will come from a new tax imposed to legalize marijuana.
Out of this $10 million plan, $25,000/applicant will be allotted to 16 black residents. This fund can be used to pay the downpayment for a new property or carry out renovations.
With the black population constituting up to 16% in the city of Evanston, Simmons said that to address this racist divide in our city, we had to take certain measures. These measures will reportedly uplift this marginalized community who had to suffer historical oppression, divestment and exclusion in the past.
To stand eligible for this reparation, residents must be a black citizen who has either lived in the city from 1919 to 1969 or is a descendant of such person.
While this initiative might seem like an opportunity for black residents, most people have expressed their criticism against this decision.
According to people like Alderman Cicely Fleming, a black woman, this initiative is planned only because the council thinks that the black population cannot manage their finances independently.
Fleming stated that, “True reparations should respect black people’s autonomy”.
Several studies show that the black community has been subjected to discrimination since 1855- the year when the first black resident arrived in America. This oppression has impacted generations and sometimes seems cumulative and permanent.
The state has been trying to support the black community since 1968 when the city passed the first housing law.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death, several communities across the US are planning to provide reparations to their black residents.
SOURCES- BBC, CNN