Fulton County, located in Atlanta, Georgia, has given the green light to a contentious funding proposal for a reparations study. Similar initiatives are being considered in San Francisco and California at large.
In a 4-2 vote, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners has entrusted both Fulton County and the Atlanta University Center with the task of evaluating whether reparations should be taken into consideration.
However, the decision has faced criticism from within the board. Commissioner Bridget Thorne (R) expressed concerns about the divisive nature of the concept of reparations, fearing it could harm Fulton County and lead to division among its residents.
The commissioner further mentioned that, presently, the county is unable to finance a new jail or hospital, yet they were earmarking funds for this particular project.
Commissioner Khadijah Abdur-Rahman (D) raised the question of the potential extent of reparations. If they are deemed necessary and appropriate, she inquired whether reparations should take the form of improved education or financial support, or if there are other suitable options to consider.
Last month, Mike Russell, a member of Fulton County’s Reparations Task Force, expressed his pride in the significant efforts the United States “has taken such an effort to, in blood and treasure, correct past wrongs. And I’m very proud of that as an American.”
Russell further emphasized that, “at some point, people have to just get past this issue, because in those other countries that I visited, there are still people fighting over stuff that happened a thousand years ago, and it makes absolutely no sense.”
Fulton County, Georgia, is moving forward with a study to determine whether descendants of slaves should be given reparations for past harms.— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) July 14, 2023
The Fulton County Board of Commissioners voted in favor of $210,000 of funding toward funding the study.https://t.co/7XphrdILxm
On the other hand, the committee’s vice chair, Marcus Coleman, highlighted that the task force is conducting thorough and comprehensive research on all aspects of the matter.
The situation in Fulton County coincides with recent developments in California, where a reparations panel submitted a report outlining potential actions. The task force did not propose a specific monetary figure, but based on its own assessment, it approximated that California’s Black residents may have suffered more than $1 million in societal damages.