Apologies are important but so is action.
“Keep Austin Weird” is a cool mantra but “Keep Austin Accountable” is much more appropriate for the times that we’re living in. Apparently, the city of Austin agrees with us. According to Fox 7, the city has passed a resolution of apology specifically to the African-American community for their past racist mistreatment.
With sponsorship from Austin’s political leaders like Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Harper-Madison, Mayor Steve Adler, Vanessa Fuentes, Greg Casar, and Kathie Tovo, the legislation will establish a protocol to address economic disparities between white Austinites and Black Austinites.
“Item 67 not only takes action to address the horrors we witnessed against our black community, it allows Black Austinites a chance to take power back,” said Fuentes, Austin City Council District 2.
Officials are proposing to establish a Black resource and cultural center that will conduct numerous studies on the harm caused by the city’s difficult past with racism. Now, as warm and fuzzy as that sounds, not everyone is placated by blanket-soft bureaucracy.
“How many more studies do these people need? UT has done plenty of studies, we in the community have done plenty of studies, we produced The People’s Plan,” said historian Dr. Fred McGhee.
McGhee said the city needs political leadership and action, not studies. “This resolution is basically the equivalent of painting ‘Black Lives Matter’ on a street. It won’t change anything,” he said.
So, again, the question begs, “Now what?”