Texas County Commissioners Accidentally Vote in Approval of Slavery Reparations

Benjamin Fearnow, CBS Houston, June 19, 2014

A group of Texas county commissioners accidentally voted unanimously to approve monetary slavery reparations for African-Americans whose ancestors were enslaved in the U.S.

The Dallas County Commissioners Court declared on Tuesday that African-Americans deserve “monetary and substantial reparations” from the U.S. for 400 years of suffering caused by the enslavement of Africans over the course of the country’s history, The Dallas Morning News reports. Commissioners thought they were honoring an annual holiday when they voted for the “Juneteenth Resolution”–sponsored by the county’s lone black commissioner, John Wiley Price.

Price, who read the resolution aloud, appeared to deliver the broad speech on slavery history and Jim Crow to a group of seemingly uninterested commissioners. And it was the last line of the resolution that did not draw attention from the room.

“The United States of America is derelict in its promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to the African American people,” Price said. “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 to same.”

Immediately after the reading of the resolution, a commissioner seconded the motion and the court passed it unanimously.

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Juneteenth resolutions are not common in the Southern U.S., with the holiday celebrating the end of slavery’s injustices in America by commemorating June 19, 1865, when abolition was announced in the Lone Star State. {snip}

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However, the resolution is nonbinding, and no taxmoney will be expended as a result of the county’s accidental approval.

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