Dallas County Commissioners Court Inadvertently Back Slavery Reparations for Blacks
In an unanimous vote, the commissioners voted
to back reparations for blacks based on slavery, however later the
commissioners said that they did not know what they were voting for,
having not read the resolution.
Posted: June 19 2014 4:02 PM
Commissioner John Wiley Price
Here’s something you don’t see every day.
The Dallas County Commissioners Court voted in favor of
African-Americans receiving reparations for slavery on Tuesday, but
didn’t quite mean to do so, the Dallas Morning News reports.
According to the news site, the resolution, written by the only black
commissioner in the county, John Wiley Price was dubbed the “Juneteenth
Resolution” and several other commissioners admitted to not reading up
on it before they cast their vote.
However, majority did not bother to change their vote, calling it symbolic.
“I am leaving my vote the way it is,” County Judge Clay Jenkins told
the Morning News. “This is the body’s expression of support for unity
towards people, a recognition of Juneteenth.”
The only Republican in the court was the only one to change his vote to an abstention.
“The reason why I didn’t abstain this morning is that I had not received a copy of the resolution,” he said.
This despite the fact that Price did read the entire document allowed
before all of the commissioners, who clearly were not paying attention,
many on their computers or sifting through other documents, allowing
the final declaration of the resolution to go unnoticed.
“The United States of America is derelict in its promise of life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness to the African American people,”
Price read, per the document. “Be it further resolved that the
dereliction that has caused 400 years of significant… suffering to the
descendants of those who have been enslaved Africans who built this
country, should be satisfied with monetary and substantial reparations
Nonetheless, although the resolution is officially the county’s
stance on the issue, it is non-binding, allocating no tax money to any
initiative because it passed without query.
However, it does serve as a stark lesson for the commissioners.
“I want to encourage staff to make sure that all of the commissioners
have the opportunity to actually read what they are voting on before
that vote in the future,” Jenkins said.