(Image: Screenshot of Ald. Robin Rue Simmons/YouTube/City of Evanston, IL)
Imagine one out of every six people in the town you lived in were of a specific demographic. How would you feel if that “16.9 percent” of people in your town were the only ones to benefit from new tax revenue that was coming into said town? Apparently how you feel doesn’t matter because, somehow, “slavery and discrimination” still plague that one out of six to this day.
On Monday, aldermen in the North suburban Chicago town of Evanston have approved a measure that would take “all sales tax revenue” brought in through recreational marijuana purchases to provide funds to a “local reparations program.”
“We can implement funding to directly invest in black Evanston,” said Ald. Robin Rue Simmons, 5th Ward, who proposed the reparations bill, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Okay, so what does “directly investing in black Evanston” entail? Despite approving the measure, the town doesn’t even know yet.
The Tribune reported:
Evanston leaders say they see the dispensaries as an opportunity to pay for a local reparations program that would address the lingering institutional effects of slavery and discrimination[…]
The tax on marijuana will “be invested in the community it unfairly policed and damaged,” Simmons said.
A committee of residents is currently examining ways to spend the money and how to best support the black community through housing, education and economic incentives. The fund will be capped at $10 million, according to city of Evanston staff reports. City estimates project the marijuana tax could generate $500,000 to $750,000 per year.
So the city is going through with the program, but have no actual plan yet. And if anyone knows anything about local Chicago politics, they know about the corruption that comes with it.
Now, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with investing in the black community. But, for the entirety of the funds to be allocated to one segment of Evanston, while completely ignoring the rest of the town makes one think that they care less about the town and more about virtue signaling.
Half to three-quarters of a million dollars a year for a not particularly large town like Evanston is a lot of money. And while, yes, a decent portion of that money should go to help the black population of the town, that’s a lot of money that the whole area could use.
Sorry, not sorry, but no one in the city of Evanston has ever had to deal with slavery, at least not the kind from the part of history that is typically referenced in reparations issues.
If we’re allocating tax money based on past wrongs that never impacted current day people, Greeks were enslaved at one point in history, and I’m Greek. Where’s my money? I know, I know. I’m a racist for even posing an ironic musing about it, but you hopefully get the point.