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  1. Ms. Gardner, YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY CORRECT! Unfortunately, as long as members of the Black community defend/support Evanston’s housing program oops, I mean reparations program, TRUE AND EQUITABLE REPARATIONS to the Black community will never come to full fruition.

    To Theodore Weston:
    You should ask the City Council, not Ms. Gardner, to specify the harms caused by the city of Evanston that led them to vote for the reparations program, who the victims are and how they were victimized by the city of Evanston.

    Native Americans received land and billions of dollars in reparations from the United States. Japanese Americans, who were interned during World War II, received over $1B in reparations from the United States. And don’t forget, it is the United States who created the very framework for Holocaust reparations and property restitution. As recently as September 2020, Secretary of State Pompeo observed in his Foreword to the Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today (JUST) Act Report that as “World War II ended in Europe, the United States led the effort to seek a measure of justice in the form of restitution or compensation for individuals whose assets were stolen during the Holocaust.

    1. Deborah, The city council has made its argument based on some very spotty historical sources–second hand interviews from a decades-old Northwestern MA thesis, primarily. As I said in my original comment I think their argument is weak and will not be held up on court.

      Ms. Gardner obviously doesn’t have an idea either of what specific harms have been caused by the city since she doesn’t discuss anything in her piece.

      In your comment you seem to want to see ‘TRUE AND EQUITABLE REPARATIONS’ from the city. So I ask you, Ms. Bell, what are the specific policies of the city that caused harm, what were the specific harms cause by the policies, and what would be ‘true and equitable’ reparations to remedy those harms?

      I am truly curious to know.

  2. You stated “like other groups that were terrorized”. I have not researched this topic but are there other examples of a city paying reparations to a terrorized people? I really think the Evanston reparations program is a remarkable thing. I had never heard of a city doing such a thing. I feel the reparations you seek would need to come from a state or the federal government.

    1. This is the thing that is so weird about her essay. I’m not sure she understands what reparations are. The legal meaning refers to some sort of restitution given to an aggrieved party for a specific harm.

      I would really appreciate some specificity about the harms caused by the city that Gardner thinks need to be repaired. She is critical that alleged victims were “TOLD” what the reparations should be. Ok, Meleika, explain who the victims are, how they were victimized by the city, and what proper compensation should be.

      I am not expecting a response since she says she “did not post this to engage in a debate and I won’t.” I am not trying to debate. I would just want her to engage in some specificity in terms of the damages caused by city policy, who suffered, and what is proper recompense. Until these questions are answered I am afraid that it is hard to take this essay seriously.

  3. I appreciate Ms. Gardner’s comment, but the reality is that there is a particular legal threshold that the city’s reparation policy must meet.

    The city is already being targeted by conservative activist groups who will undoubtedly sue the city as soon as the first housing assistance payments are authorized.

    I am not convinced that the current program meets legal scrutiny since the city will have to convince a court that specific city actions led to specific wrongs to specific people. None of the historical material that the city is reliant upon is very convincing in the first step of the equation (identifying specific city actions).

    It would be helpful if critics like Ms. Gardner were more specific in identifying PRECISELY the city actions they are concerned with, the people damaged by these actions, and what an appropriate recompense might be.

    Until you do that, compensation for past wrongs is unlikely to materialize.