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Dallas County Commissioners Court Accidentally Votes to Support Reparations for African Americans

by: Natalie San Luis

Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 01:30 PM CDT

In this edition of "you can't make this stuff up," Dallas County commissioners accidentally voted in support of economic reparations for African Americans.

Black commissioner John Wiley Price introduced the county resolution on Juneteenth, the holiday commemorating the abolition of the institution of slavery in Texas.

Commissioner Price said that he wrote the resolution after reading Ta-Nehisi Coates' recent article in The Atlantic, "The Case for Reparations."

The Juneteenth Resolution listed many instances of systematic, institutional discrimination against African Americans, then called for "monetary and substantial reparations." Commissioners voted for the resolution unanimously, only realizing later that they had expressed support for compensating African Americans for several centuries of racial discrimination.

Read more about the county meeting after the jump.

The Dallas Morning News reported on Tuesday after the meeting that the other commissioners had not read Price's Juneteenth Resolution before voting it.

Although Commissioner Price read the full text of the resolution aloud, an hour after the vote, several other commissioners expressed frustration at not having seen a copy of the resolution before the vote.

Commissioner Mike Cantrell, a Republican, was the only member of the Commissioners Court to change his vote to an abstention, claiming, "The reason why I didn't abstain this morning is that I had not received a copy of the resolution."

Despite the Commissioners Court's apparent support of economic reparations, Dallas County will not lead the charge in rectifying racial injustice, as the resolution is non-binding.

Natalie tweets from @nsanluis.

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