World Socialist Web Site wsws.org 27 Mar, 2021 04:15 am

Evanston, Illinois city council votes to enact racial reparations program

Evanston, Illinois city council votes to enact racial reparations program
The Chicago suburb’s plan, like other such schemes that have been floated or are currently being introduced, is reactionary in its attempt to divide the working class on racial lines, and moreover, will do nothing to address the deep poverty and inequality suffered by black workers.

This was made clear in recent remarks by Chicago alderman Jason Ervin, a Democrat, who attacked a Chicago City Council resolution advocating the city spend $30 million to pilot a universal basic income (UBI) program.Earvin, chair of the city council’s Black Caucus, denounced the idea of UBI when it was brought up, saying, “Until we deal with the issue of reparations in the city of Chicago, there’s no way in hell we can support direct payments to anybody other than the American descendants of slaves in the city of Chicago.But when it comes down to dealing with Black folks—not only in the city of Chicago but in America—we’re always in the back seat.On Monday, the city council of Evanston, a lakefront suburb bordering Chicago to the north, voted to pass a housing plan which is being hailed as the first municipal effort to make reparations payments to African Americans anywhere in the United States.

In a statement she made at the city council meeting explaining her “no” vote, Fleming said, “We can talk more about the program details, but I reject the very definition of this as a ‘reparations’ program.Evanston’s reparations plan, like other such schemes that have been floated or are currently being introduced at the local and national level, is reactionary in its attempt to divide the working class on racial lines, and moreover, will do nothing to address the deep poverty and inequality suffered by black workers.

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