The Dallas County Commissioners Court declared Tuesday that African-Americans deserve reparations for slavery, even though most commissioners didn’t seem to know that they were doing so.
The issue arose in a resolution written by John Wiley Price, the county’s only black commissioner. Described only as a “Juneteenth Resolution,” it was approved unanimously.
Other commissioners admitted after their meeting Tuesday that they hadn’t read the document before voting for it.
Commissioner Mike Cantrell, the court’s lone Republican, later changed his vote to an abstention.
“The reason why I didn’t abstain this morning is that I had not received a copy of the resolution,” he said.
None of the other commissioners changed their votes, meaning the resolution remains the county’s official position. It is, however, a nonbinding resolution, and no tax money will change hands as a result of its passage.
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.