Providence mayor thwarted in cash grab for reparations
Mayor Jorge Elorza (Providence, R.I.) is an accomplished race-baiter who never anticipated confronting charges of "racism" over his altruistic vision of launching a "truth and reparations commission."
The mayor is well known for his ugly accusations against white constituents, alleging their perpetrating "generations of pain and violence," but that's not his first line of offense. The best way for whites to atone for their sins against people "of color," according to Mayor Elorza, is to monetize their transgressions as far as the city budget will stretch.
That entailed a cash-grab of $10 million in a city budget already stretched to the limit. Then the mayor encountered a stumbling block to what would have been a payout of $346.00 for each black resident in Providence. Ironically, the funds could not be distributed on the basis of color because they had been earmarked from the federal government, which prohibits distribution of monies on a discriminatory color basis.
This didn't stop Mayor Elorza from sermonizing about "uncomfortable truths" to a growing number of unrepentant non-slaveholders (i.e., Caucasians). He was considered tone-deaf by many white constituents, who did not think of themselves as culpable for "systemic oppression" or give merit to the mayor's pushing the "white guilt" issues, according to social media posts.
The suggestion to "heal by discussing" did not go in the direction the mayor had in mind.
He is now confronting "uncomfortable truths" about the noble history of the tiny state's position on slavery — none of which was considered by the "truth and reparations commission." Chief among these historic facts is that Rhode Island was the first state to ban slavery, and Rhode Island mobilized more than 25,000 residents who served in the Civil War.
As a further testament to the courage of Rhode Islanders, more than 1,700 lost their lives in the conflict, and an astounding 20 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor.
Should the mayor include reparations for white families whose loved ones paid the ultimate price in the conflict?
This isn't the first time the mayor has found himself disparaged for his "equity" arguments and his misguided legislative attempts to "close the equity gap."
He was the target of a lawsuit filed by the city's former Department of Public Works director, Paul J. Thomas, who claimed he was fired for attempting to maintain integrity in hiring practices. The director refused to "hire unqualified people based on discriminatory color practices" and was "banned from hiring qualified applicants of a different ethnic background."
One thing Mayor Elorza cannot complain about is the color make-up of his 15-member city council. It is a diversity officer's dream come true, with all Democrats, including six Latino members, and several of African heritage.
Such a formidable "progressive" force continues to legislate a city now confronting its own "uncomfortable truths" about the horrible socioeconomic decline taking place in every aspect of life. The poverty level is a dispiriting 23 percent, crime continues to escalate annually (due to decriminalizing crime laws), and students in public schools are rated at an appalling level of academic proficiency.
There isn't any amount of "virtue-signaling" the mayor can offer that will hide his appalling track record, and he shows no sign of recognizing these ugly realities in his city. Perhaps he should divert his efforts from allocating funds based on skin color and targeting public statues for destruction to issues of real concern to the taxpayers of Providence.
Image: Cat Laine.