When the members of the Dallas County Commissioners Court approved a resolution to celebrate Juneteenth this month, they got a surprise. It turns out the group also accidentally approved a call for reparations for the pre-and-post-Civil War enslavement of African-Americans.
When the Juneteenth resolution came up, County officials quickly approved it, apparently without reading it all the way through.
This resolution celebrated the end of slavery, but it also went on to say that African-Americans should be “satisfied with monetary and substantial reparations” because of slavery.
The resolution also included a long list of grievances from slavery, from Jim Crow to predatory lending practices.
Commissioners admitted that the resolution written by Commissioner John Wiley Price was read aloud once before it was voted on, but they also admitted they hadn’t taken the time to read it themselves before the vote.
The Court’s lone Republican later changed his vote to an abstention because, he said, he was never given a copy of the resolution before the vote.
Despite the lone abstention, the resolution had the “yes” vote of the rest of the court, so it will enter into the county records. Still, the resolution is non-binding, so no reparations will likely end up being paid.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.