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News on Evanston Reparations
ABC 7 By Will Jones
Friday, December 13, 2019 6:36PM
EVANSTON (WLS) -- The city of Evanston plans to put the money generated from the sale of recreational marijuana into a reparations fund that will be used for investment into the African American community and to make amends for racial inequalities.
There is optimism in the northern suburb about the road forward. The mood was captured at a reparations town hall meeting earlier this week.
The city's $10 million reparations program for African Americans funded by the sales tax on recreational marijuana is getting attention from elected official across the country.
"I understand that a lot of eyes are on us right now, on us as a city and possibly a model that can be replicated in localities across the nation," said Alderman Robin Rue Simmons.
Rue Simmons led the charge on the reparations resolution that recently passed the city council. The fund will address racial disparities in Evanston, and some believe the money could make a big impact.
"I, for one, am not particularly interested in a check being written to every single black person," said Dr. Michael Nabors, Evanston/North Shore NAACP. "I don't think that will do that job. But we have to identify specific areas."
Kamm Howard, the Midwest representative for the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, is encouraged by the steps Evanston is taking.
"We are very excited about it, not only for the black residents of Evanston but what it can mean for black people around the country," Howard said.
Rue Simmons said failure is not an option, but the disparities will not be solved overnight.
"We will keep trying until it does work," she said. "I think we have a good start in terms of who is at the table helping us think about this."
Learn more about Reparations here:
Civil rights groups slam Comcast for trying to weaken a key protection against racial discrimination
Comedian and media mogul Byron Allen filed a $20 billion lawsuit against Comcast. The Supreme Court will hear arguments Nov. 13. (Chris Carlson/AP) By Tracy Jan Oct. 2, 2019 at 7:00 a.m. CDT-excerpted from Washington Post.
A coalition of civil rights organizations this week accused Comcast of undermining Reconstruction-era protections against racial discrimination, weighing in on a lawsuit against the company that is now before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Comedian and media mogul Byron Allen is suing the cable television provider for $20 billion under an 1866 law ensuring newly freed African Americans the same right to enter into contracts as any white citizen. The case is scheduled to be heard Nov. 13.
Allen, who is black, alleges that Comcast discriminated against him in its refusal to carry cable channels by his company, Entertainment Studios Networks. Comcast said it made a business decision to reject Allen’s general-interest channels based on what it thought viewers want.
The question before the court is whether, as Comcast contends, Allen must show that race was the sole motivating reason for Comcast’s decision to reject his channels.
A victory for Comcast could make it harder for victims of discrimination to sue employers, landlords and other businesses using the measure, said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. It could force victims to prove that racial discrimination was the only factor in any disputed contracting decision, she said.
“There’s a whole lot at stake in this case. It’s much bigger than Comcast and Allen,” Clarke said. “This is about real victims of discrimination who should not face additional hurdles in getting the opportunity to be heard in court. The implications for African Americans and other marginalized communities of color are grave.”
The Lawyers’ Committee and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed separate briefs this week in support of Allen — but did not take a position on the merits of his claims. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the NAACP were among the more than two dozen signatories.