In yet another case where lawmakers were unaware of what they were actually voting for, the Dallas County Commissioners Court proclaimed on Tuesday that blacks deserve reparations for slavery. Most of the commissioners apparently didn’t know that they were backing the resolution because they didn’t read it.
Dallas County’s only black commissioner, John Wiley Price, submitted a “Juneteenth Resolution” that states suffering blacks should be “satisfied with monetary and substantial reparations.”
Some commissioners ended up admitting that they hadn’t read the resolution before voting for it. Commissioner Mike Cantrell, the body's only Republican, later changed his vote to an abstention, saying he never received a copy of the resolution.
The rest of the commissioners stood by their votes, making it an official policy of Dallas County. However, it is a non-binding resolution so taxpayer dollars are not required to be used to pay for any actual reparations, the Dallas Morning News reports.
More on the resolution from the report:
The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting gave no sign that reparations would be a topic. The “Juneteenth Resolution,” commemorating the day slaves in Texas learned of their freedom, seemed from its description to be just another routine proclamation. Others approved on Tuesday expressed support for Men’s Health Month — it’s June — the American Kidney Fund, and an employee in the tax office who’s been on the job for 25 years.
But Price’s resolution went beyond taking note of Juneteenth; it included a long list of injustices endured by blacks, from slavery to Jim Crow to predatory lending practices. Then, in its final paragraph, it declared that the suffering of African-Americans should be “satisfied with monetary and substantial reparations.”
“I am leaving my vote the way it is,” County Judge Clay Jenkins said, adding that he wants “all of the commissioners [to] have the opportunity to actually read what they are voting on before that vote in the future.”
Price, the author of the resolution, actually read the entire document out loud at the commissioners meeting, but his colleagues were apparently not listening intently.