The affluent Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois has proposed a reparations program for their black residents. The program will pay out $10 million dollars over 10 years and is funded by a 3% tax on recreational marijuana. The initial phase of the program will give eligible families (only about 20 so far) $25,000 each to either spend on home improvement or as a down payment on a mortgage. Critics of the program say the money should be given freely instead of for only specific purposes. Others say reparations are vital to fixing the wrongs of the past.
A brief history lesson about Evanston is necessary here to quickly expose the elephant in the room. Evanston never had slavery. As a matter of fact, Chicago never had slavery either. During slavery in the United States, freedmen and fugitive slaves formed communities in what is now the Chicagoland area. Slavery barely existed in Illinois at all and when it did, it was only in the extreme southern part of the state close to Kentucky and Missouri, both slave states. Evanston is north of Chicago and they are both in the northern part of Illinois.
The “reparations” program hits on dog whistles for the woke community who desire the Federal Government to issue reparations for slavery. But the Evanston “reparations” program is not about slavery… it is about past “racist” policies and/or practices that happened in Evanston from 1919 to 1969 such as “redlining”. Redlining was a policy many banks practiced in which they would often take a map and draw red lines around certain areas that they would not lend to. This often affected black people and their ability to get loans, but it was not exclusive to black people. In reality, this was an issue of creditworthiness that is now outdated due to the advent of credit scores.
Some black residents of Evanston are in favor of the idea of reparations but they are against the city’s version of reparations. They say it is not truly reparations and looks like the housing program branded as reparations. Other cities across the nation have announced initiatives to study reparations to figure out how much would get paid out and where to get the money from tax-wise. Joe Biden has signaled support for a federal study into reparations. Biden’s words should be seen as no more than lip service since he was the vice president under the nation’s first black president who did nothing at all in the realm of reparations for slavery.
Illinois City Becomes 1st In U.S. To Offer Black Residents Reparations | HuffPost
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Evanston, Illinois, approves the country’s first reparations program for Black residents – CNN