The dictionary defines reparations as, "the making of amends for a wrong one has done, by paying money to or otherwise helping those who have been wronged."

It's a subject that has been discussed and heavily debated over my lifetime. While I'm no expert, nor am I here to boldly proclaim who deserves what, it is encouraging to see Kalamazoo county taking progressive steps on the subject of reparations.

As reported by WWMT News Channel 3, Kalamazoo county is looking to build a reparations task force that would investigate discriminatory practices, the effects on residents, and who would qualify for reparations.

Recently, a Chicago suburb became the first U.S. city to not just acknowledge that redlining occurred, but to offer reparations to Black residents because of it. Which inspired the Kalamazoo County Commission to create this task force and come up with solutions for their own residents.

When Would Reparations Be Delivered?

This is all very new. Questions of how much reparations will go to whom and what qualifies a person for reparations are all up in the air. That's why the task force is looking to you, the local resident, to help with those solutions.

In an interview with WWMT, Ben Wilson, Professor Emeritus for the African American and African Studies program at Western Michigan University, said:

It would be great if was in the form of a check going right to your mortgage. I can see it the form of more financial aid for kids who want to go to historically Black colleges and universities

And those are just a couple of suggestions for what might be possible under this new reparation task force in Kalamazoo.

Those who have suggestions, ideas, or find themselves wanting to join the task force can contact Commissioner Tami Rey by email at tami.rey@kalcounty.com.

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