abc News

By Devin Dwyer

July 30, 2020

Economists say it’s unclear how much Asheville’s reparations resolution can do to close the gap.

“These local efforts of atonement, however well-intentioned and however desirable, are not reparations by any means,” said Duke economist and leading reparations expert William Darity, who says it would take $13 trillion to get Black Americans financially on par with their white peers.

That’s more than four times the budgets of all American city governments combined, he said.

“The federal government is the culpable party because of its historical complicity in the process of maintaining slavery,” Darity told ABC News Live. “Most of these local initiatives are a variety of forms of pulling the knife out, which is essential. But it’s very, very different from healing the wound.”

As Washington remains divided on reparations, some cities are looking to Asheville as a model on how to move forward.

Watch the interview clip here.