Letter: Narrow the gap of racial disparities with reparations

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Thank you for the article “‘Beat Back This Monster’: Asheville City Schools’ Worst-in-NC Achievement, Discipline Gaps Widen” in the Jan. 30 edition, discussing racial disparities in disciplinary actions and academic achievement, particularly between white and black students of the Asheville school system. Certainly teacher bias in disciplinary actions should be mitigated, but I think we all know that the economic and social disparities between white and black families are closer to the root cause of these issues.

I wanted to take this opportunity to bring attention to a candidate [for president] in the 2020 Democratic primary. I highly recommend everybody check out the platform of Marianne Williamson. She has brought to the table the idea of $100 billion toward a reparations plan for African-Americans: an educational, economic and cultural fund to be disbursed over a 10-year period by a council of esteemed African-American leaders. In her own words, “At the end of the Civil War, General Tecumseh Sherman promised every formerly enslaved person 40 acres and a mule. And those 40 acres and a mule would have given a formerly enslaved population an opportunity to integrate into free society.”

This promise was not paid, and I think she’s right to call that out and say that it’s time to fulfill our duty as a society and make good on what’s due to the black community for the inhumane treatment of their ancestors and the resultant second-class status they’ve essentially endured all the way up to the present day.

It’s no secret that the black men, women and children of our society have been fighting an uphill battle in nearly every imaginable way since we’ve been a country, and this gap cannot be crossed by good intentions alone. If the subject is about leveling the playing field for our black brothers and sisters, then I think this proposal should be given more coverage in the public discourse. This is a very tangible step that we as Americans could take to narrow the gap between the disparities of white and black folk of this nation.

— David Aylward


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7 thoughts on “Letter: Narrow the gap of racial disparities with reparations


    This will never happen. Trump is fighting for all Americans. This is just another Liberal Socialist Democratic hair brained idea of the government handing out money for no valued reason. Sherman had no authority to give away anything. Even back in those days most white people did not own 40 acres of land! I am sick of hearing about how black people are owed money. Also I have a lot of BLACK friends but I do not know any African-Americans. Black or white is correct. I do not demand people to recognize me a Scottish-American and it would be dumb if I expected this. David why don’t you take up a collection if it makes you feel better. You can also call the almost 2 BILLION dollar man, Michael Jordan in Charlotte and ask how much of his wealth he will contribute to support those that want to live off our government! 40 acres of farm land back in 1865 would be worth $80-$120 total! Repariations even for that amount will NEVER happen!

  2. Robin

    At least someone has finally had the courage to put the black lives matter movement to its root point; they want paid.

    My grandfather’s grandfather was an indentured English servant, who never attained his release from his indenture, so my ancestors never received what they were promised when they were thrown on a ship to America. By missing out on the land and riches that I was entitled, I had to work through life and pay my own bills (including my own college bills, heaven forbid); therefore, I also think that I am entitled to $100 billion as well.

    When you’re writing those big fat government checks, lets’ not be racist and just assume that only blacks had it bad during the slavery/indenture period. What about all those Chinese slaves who worked the gold mines and built the railroads, they need to be paid. There were even laws passed where America even banned Chinese immigration. What about the 100,000+ Asian Americans who were literally thrown into concentration camps in the 1940’s; under this logic, they should be paid as well. While we’re at it; what about the 340,000 American Indian slaves; do they get extra because they were removed and enslaved?

    Also, what about the nearly 4,000 black slave owners? Do they also get paid because they’re black, or should their ancestors not be eligible for a reparation because they had a “privilege” to build upon for their descendants?

    I’m being very flippant, by my point is that if you go down that road, it’s never ending. At some point in time, you’ve got to get over the sins of the past, forgive past grievances, and move on with your life.

  3. SpareChange

    Marianne Williamson is the new-agey, soft-left equivalent of the phony conservative televangelists who so mislead their followers and have done so much to distort conservatism in this country. I would no more associate her with serious minded progressive politics, than I would believe Benny Hinn can cure the sick, that Jim Bakker is anything other than a money grubbing fraud, or that Franklin Graham’s support for Donald Trump is based on anything more than expediency and the desire to be proximate to power.

    Williamson’s “candidacy,” which combines mushy spiritualism, belief in “miracles,” sophomoric views on a range of important issues, and proposed solutions that have no footing in political, economic, social or cultural reality, are just the latest part of her 25+ year effort to sell her books, “sermons,” and general belief in fairy tales. Mother Jones magazine (hardly a friend to the right wing) called her out more than 20 years ago. In short, she is just another conniving fraud who preys and profits on people’s need for connection and community.

  4. Lulz

    LOL keep bribing people for votes. It’s why they continue to fall behind. When this fails, what will be the excuse then? Too many whites are still alive?

    I tell you what, instead of giving money to blacks who have basically been raised by the government, why don’t you pay whites to leave? That way you get your diverse nation and the chance to show how successful it can be? You pay every white male who wants it 1 million to renounce their citizenship and leave and can never step foot back here again and then go all out on your version of government perfection. Please oh pretty please do.

    People flee places that either persecute them or where they can’t make it economically. And this nation is full on to the path to that.

  5. Molon Labe

    Another dim witted parasite that thinks the answer to America’s problems are in those white devil oppressor’s pockets… They must be made to pay!

  6. Jim

    Maybe Jussie Smollet will be her running mate, I don’t think he has anything to do for the next 1-3 years, besides who knows more about racism…

  7. Stan Hawkins

    It seems if nothing else, the post referenced in this piece; Asheville City Council meets School Board verifies that throwing money (ASC 2nd highest funded in state) at this problem is not the answer. This was also pointed out by Whitesides. What then?

    Accountability is a tricky proposition. Neither in this article, nor the one referenced is there a mention of what disparity exists in the “parental involvement” of these kids; why? No amount of money can make up for a parent / guardian uninvolved in the lives of a child. The government has tried for sixty years to fill that void with only mixed or stagnated results, and in some cases with worse results.

    Liberal philosophies that refuse to focus on individual responsibilities has failed these kids in Asheville. Let’s try something different and give these kids a chance with private school education opportunities that has a proven track record of focussing on the whole child. To keep doing the same thing over and over again; well we know these results already don’t we?

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