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June 11, 2024 28 mins

On today's episode of "One More Thing" ,Ramses Ja is joined by Civic Cipher co-host Q Ward for a discussion on the recent overturn of a reparations program in Evanston, IL. 

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Speaker 1 (00:02):
This is the Black Information Network Daily Podcast, and I'm
your host, ramses Ja. And sometimes the amount of stories
that make their way to us means that we simply
can't cover everything that comes our way. But from time
to time, a story just stays with me and Bill
compelled to share it with you and give you my thoughts.
And now one more thing. So on this installment of

one more Thing, we are going to talk about indeed,
one more thing that is taking place beyond the story
where we covered it was a week in Recap with A. R.
Shaw and myself discussing Edward Bloom and his attacks on

the Fearless Fund, the fund specifically created to benefit black women.
For those that don't know a little bit of background,
there are government programs that exist to benefit minorities. However,
these programs rarely make their way to black women. I

think black women received less than one percent of governmental
support under the umbrella of minority programs. Often the biggest
beneficiaries of minority based programs are white women. And so
from where we sit, it looks like husbands giving their
wives money and checking the diversity box. And we've maintained

that the pursuit of equity is the pursuit of the day.
Equality is one thing, Equity is another. Restorative justice. Right, Well,
my longtime collaborator, my uh the smarter half of my brain,

q Ward, is the person that actually introduced the Fearless
Fund to me, and it was something that we ended
up covering on Civic Cipher. So he's joining us today
because while Amir and I did discuss the recent attack
on the Fearless Fund, there is an entirely different organization

and effort to roll back something else that we talked
about on Civic Cipher, which was the reparations program that
was enacted in Evanston. So indeed, we do have one
more thing to discuss. So uh, Q, I know that
this one was a was a big deal for you,

especially because you know this was something you were so
excited about.

Speaker 2 (03:03):
There is a there's a special type of forgive me
for pausing, but I'm trying to decide whether to use
the word hate or evil for the type of people
who have made it their life's work to deny those

who have always been denied of not just any present
leg up, but in this case restorative It's very difficult
to try to understand the mind of a person who

wakes up every day and makes the decision all over
again to go after, aggressive and intentionally those who are
by nature weaker than they are, those who have always
had less in the way of capital, those who have

always had less in the way of resources, and those
who have always had less in the way of access
to either of the forementioned things. To see someone helping them,
and to then go out of your way to not

just stop them from receiving any type of assistance, but
to make it illegal. Our very, very complicated history with
this land where we live, expect it to show pride

and loyalty to a flag, and to never question, to
never criticize, and to never require more of that flag
in the country that it represents, unless we be told

to go back to wherever we're from. Accept the treatment,
accept the slights, Accept the knife being taken to your dignity,
your self determination, your self respect, your pride, your desire

for heritage, your desire for prosperity, your desire for just
peaceful existence. And except that you will forever be under
the thumb of those who have always stood on your
back and considered themselves tall for having done so.

Speaker 1 (06:13):
You know what's really interesting about this individual, this Edward
Bloom person, specifically the person that went after the Freedom Fund,
and he's the person behind the Fearless Fund, the Fearless Fund, sorry,
I mean, he's the person behind a lot of the
the other high profile stories that we've covered, you know,

with the Supreme Court in affirmative action, with you know,
the heads of a lot of colleges. And the crazy
thing is Edward Bloom individual is Jewish, which you wouldn't expect,
but again, a deeply conservative man who does this under
the guys like everything that he's pursuing is legal because

the Rights Act prevents discrimination based on race right. So
what he's saying is that these programs that are specifically
targeting black women or other individuals to round out numbers,

to shape outcomes, to provide equitable outcomes that are relative
and proportional to the population, these are discriminatory because at
the beginning of them, they are based on race. Right.
But the traditional framework, as we've established, will take all

of us and put us into a group, as you know, minorities,
and then the deciders will pick from that group of
minorities white women.

Speaker 2 (07:57):
It's important to add that his pursuits are into actually
dishonest even even on that absolutely absolutely right, because because
the fearless fun was not something created to deny.

Speaker 1 (08:11):
Anyone else, anyone else extra stuff.

Speaker 2 (08:14):
And private equity specifically has always been for the benefit
almost entirely of white men, and that's never been called
to the carpet. So I guess what you'd have to do,

what they prefer for you to do, is what they've
always done. Create criteria. We're without saying black women only
black women qualify.

Speaker 1 (08:50):
It's it's it's.

Speaker 2 (08:53):
Some of these topics are becoming progressively more difficult to discuss, sure,
because we'd like to think that there's been progress made
in the lifetime of ourselves and of our parents and
of our grandparents. And we're realizing as much as I

get on the air with you and talk about the
lack of progress, watching what a lot of legislators, politicians
and litigators are trying to do to take us back
to a certain point, lets me see that we have
made some steps forward, and they are very very annoyed

by that. Or I just can't imagine. I can't remember specifically,
so forgive me if I misquote this experiment that was
done the number was either one hundred or a thousand.
It was a very very round number where people were

questioned or at next if they'd prefer and again this
is the spirit of what this was. If I get
a semantic run wrong, please forget. Would they rather be
in a position where they made fifty thousand dollars and
all of their colleagues made thirty or if they'd rather

be in a position where they made three hundred thousand
and all of their colleagues made five hundred. A very
hard to process high percentage.

Speaker 1 (10:31):
Of those majority of the people decided.

Speaker 2 (10:34):
And not just a slim majority. It wasn't like fifty one.
A huge majority of the people said they'd rather have
the fifty thousand.

Speaker 1 (10:44):
Is they wanted to feel just.

Speaker 2 (10:46):
So they could feel superior, just so they could have
more than everyone.

Speaker 1 (10:49):
Else, so everyone else around them.

Speaker 2 (10:54):
Yes, The idea that this is the type of society
that we've become, you know, we've become you know, more
critical of capitalism, ironically, as we've become more informed. It's
funny how that works. Where capitalism and the pursuit of

wealth and power has now very openly corrupted our political system,
where you have supreme court justices with lifetime appointments, openly
accepting gifts and bribes from private donors, expensive trips and
gifts for them and their spouses and mothers, and shamelessly

again the fact that what we've done in effort to
make everything okay, you can't criticize anything, you can't quote
unquote judge anything, you can't look down on anything, is
we've removed. Shame used to be a very very powerful tool,
at least in the court of public opinion. Right once

upon a time, being considered racist was something that even
racist people would run from because they understood the shame
they would have to carry for being considered that vile
a human being. That atmosphere no longer exist. So you
have the highest court in our land in a position

to shape not just federal outcomes, but affect your day
to day life, affect your ability to make a life,
to make a living, to live and be prosperous and
be healthy and be safe. Can just be bought and
lobbyists and money has always had an influence in Washington,

d c. But now they quite frankly own it. The
richest men and women in the world get to make
the decisions that best impact them and them own, and
then they come to us for our votes to help
prop up their candidates that are bought and paid for.

I think one of the things that's ironic is that
the reason the former president was able to win, in
my opinion, was not just his masterful use of racism, hate, bigotry,
misogyny to divide and conquer, but his actual true identity

as not being a career politician and placating to people
who just wanted something different from Washington. Only it wasn't
that he was different, is that he was open. He
wasn't saying I'm different from Washington. He was saying, hey,

I'm what everyone in Washington is. I'm just saying it
out loud, and people have such a desire for something
different that they ran to something worse.

Speaker 1 (14:09):
Dave Chappelle calls him an honest liar.

Speaker 2 (14:12):
So, you know, imagine being cut down by someone. I
use that word on purpose. I'm hoping that it draws
a picture in your head, and then those wounds heal.
The person never acknowledged that they cut you down, never apologized,

never offered you a bandage, never offered you any first daid,
never offered you anything to help you heal. But now
that you heal, why do we even have to talk
about that? Why don't you just forget about it?

Speaker 1 (14:47):
I don't not worried about your limp.

Speaker 2 (14:49):
Yeah, it's a that's a lot of blood lie by
the way, But you're here, you survived it, right, You're fine,
you can walk. You're looking at the person that cut
you down, and you're not even asking for them to
repair you're you're healed. But they won't even acknowledge it.
They won't even apologize. They've never offered any aid. And

then they see someone else give you a band aid,
and they walk up and they slap it out of
their hand. Don't you dare help that person?

Speaker 1 (15:19):
Those band aids for all of us.

Speaker 2 (15:21):
Those band aids are for everyone, not just the people
that we cut down, not just the people that we
harmed and bandaged. I mean that harmed. I'm sorry, and
damaged and bruised and scarred. Those are everyone's bandages. It's
a slap in the face. And again, once upon a time,

intelligence and empathy would rule in cases like this.

Speaker 1 (15:47):
No longer. Well watch this if it was just Edward
Bloom and the fearless One, and you know the UH,
the presidents of the college, and the affirmative action, and
this man is at the helm of all of that.

Who was just that that would be more than enough
because this guy is surprisingly effective at rolling back decades
and decades and decades of progress. Right, But it's not
just him. There are other organizations out there doing the
same thing. So I'm going to share indeed the one

more thing component of this episode and feel free to
check this out at bionnews dot com. Evanston's historic reparations
program is facing a class action lawsuit. WTTW reports the
city had established a reparations program to address the housing
discrimination and segregation in Evanston in the nineteen hundreds. The

original program included distributing twenty five thousand dollars to eligible
black households for home repairs, down payments, or interest or
late penalties owned to the city. Officials ex banded the
program to doll out cash payments to black residents to
use at their discretion. However, a lawsuit alleges that the
city's reparation program violates the equal Protection clause of the

Fourteenth Amendment by using quote race as an eligibility requirement.
Right so real quick, I want to pause. We understand,
you know, and these the laws are interpreted by the
Supreme Court. Okay, but we understand that laws are enacted
often enough to protect certain people or certain facets of society. Right.

And if you run this up to a Supreme Court
that looks at the intention of the law, the intention
of why the law was created, an honest Supreme court,
I'll call them.

Speaker 2 (17:46):
Hypothetically such a thing no longer.

Speaker 1 (17:49):
But if it did right, the Supreme Court would look
at the Fourteenth Amendment, understand why it was created, and
then look at this reparations program and say, no, this
is consistent with the intention of the fourteenth Amendment, which
is to bring about a more libable America for the

people who were formerly enslaved. Okay, But because of our
collective as a population votes or lack thereof, we ended
up with a president, former president who bullied his way
and bulldozed his way through so much of our government

that we know because we kind of have to study
this guy, but not the least of which is his
stacking the Supreme Court. And these people are on that
court until they die. So if you did run this
up to the Supreme Court, which the former guy Edward
moom does you know that the Supreme Court will not
interpret it in the way that it was written. Rather,

they will interpret it in the way that benefits deeply conservative,
far right leaning individuals and their ideologies. In other words,
in other words, last thing I'll say. In other words,
they will say, no. This says that you cannot discriminate
based on race. And this program that exists to offset

the harm caused by the previous discrimination based on race
in and of itself discriminates based on race. So you cannot,
as you mentioned Q, you cannot give the band aid
to the person who's bleeding. Either make the band aid
fit for everyone, or nobody gets a band aid. And

so I think that that illustrates, you know, why people
should vote. If you want to jump in right now
is a great time. Otherwise I'll grab the rest of
that article. Okay, well then let yeah, let me round
this out and then we'll get you to jump back in.
So all right, So quote in this instance, the program
does not limit eligibility to people who have actually experienced discrimination.

Christine Svenson, one of the attorneys representing plaintiffs from the
conservative nonprofit Judicial Watch, said she goes on to say,
quote more race neutral means could have been utilized by
the City of Evanston insofar as they could have asked
people to provide proof of housing discrimination, and they did not,

so it's overly broad. Svenson added that the Supreme Court
has ruled quote that they are not in the business
of remedying societal discrimination. Quote. Justin Hansford, a Howard University
law professor, pointed out the flaws in the Fourteenth Amendment argument. Quote.
The two mistakes that thinking are number one. Sorry, the

two mistakes in that thinking are number one, the mistake
of feeling that the fourteenth Amendment is asking that we
are blind, that we blind ourselves to reality and pretend
that racism can be addressed through color blindness. And I
think that is not the original intent of the fourteenth Amendment.

So I think he's saying kind of what we're saying here. Sorry,
you know, had to read that across two different screens.
But but yeah, this is there's other people that have
taken up this fight, and here we have a city
that says, you know what, we're going to be proactive.
We're going to establish a model for bringing about economic
restorative justice, because that's how you impact crime rates, that's

how you impact all of the negative things, all the
things that ail Black America and America as a whole.
You know what I mean that lifts us all up
is restorative justice and economic restorative justice. That's the game
that we're playing. It's capitalism. There's no other way to engage, right.
So in this country, there is no pursuit for you know,

saving souls. There is no pursuit for cleaning the ocean. No,
this is a pursuit for money. This is not who
can the best art or read the most books. This
is a game of money. And if you have money,
you can play, and if you don't have money, you
can't play. Right, So, economic restorative justice is the order
of the day. And when you have programs like the

government programs created to benefit minorities and minority business owners
that are overwhelmingly benefiting white women and barely anything makes
this way to black women, you have a kind of
a system that is refueling itself, a system of white

supremacy that continues to refuel itself. And then you have
people like this who've taken the mantle and taking the
fight away from Edward Bloom, who's still fighting his own fight.
But these are like copycat individuals who are saying, listen,
let's tear down all of this stuff. That money should
be everybody's money. If they can't prove direct discrimination, then

they don't deserve it. And of course direct discrimination is
hard to prove when white supremacist systems have been in
place for years. How can I prove that redlining has
affected me? I mean, I can make an argument for it,
but how can I prove it right? And then it's
up to the courts to decide. And if the courts

are stacked by people that feel that way, it's almost
like we're fighting a losing battle. So this, I think,
this whole conversation is just a testament to how important
voting is.

Speaker 2 (23:33):
To that point, proving a negative is impossible. So of
course not. And there are those who would argue, who's
going to pay for this stuff? Do you want your
tax money to go toward helping your fellow citizens? And
of course it's not. The language used isn't even what

I just said, because I think you'd pause for a
second if the question was asked like that.

Speaker 1 (23:58):
Helping federal citizens. Yeah, it's not that it's not right,
So it's helping black people. They didn't perform, didn't work
in slavery.

Speaker 2 (24:06):
Since February twenty twenty two, I think this is important
to just say out loud, the United States has allocated
one hundred and thirteen point four billion dollars to help
support Ukraine. To help support Ukraine.

Speaker 1 (24:27):
That's not even a big country.

Speaker 2 (24:30):
I don't it's not the United States.

Speaker 1 (24:32):
That's your point. You said, everybody from everybody in china's China.
Everybody in Japan is Japan.

Speaker 2 (24:37):
Everybody in Japan is Japanese, but everybody in the UK,
everybody in China is Chinese. In the US, if you're black,
you're almost not American, And ironically, if you're poor and white,
you're almost not American either. But at least you're not
black white. Yeah, and they at least the at least
your white point is one that some are able to

live with. That's just Ukraine. You know another political tie
that we have that we've given a lot of aid too.
And this is over a much longer period of time.
I think as of recently almost three hundred million in aid,
but since nineteen forty eight, one hundred and fifty eight
billion in military aid to.

Speaker 1 (25:26):

Speaker 2 (25:29):
I don't know the numbers on what a comfortable amount
of reparations would be for Black Americans, but I'd love
to think. Let me just do this math real quick.

Speaker 1 (25:42):
One hundred and fifty eight billion sounds like a good
place to at least start.

Speaker 2 (25:45):
I think that two hundred and seventy billion would cover it.

Speaker 1 (25:51):
Oh where you go.

Speaker 2 (25:53):
I won't even do any more math than that. I
think two hundred and seventy billion would at least make
it comfortable.

Speaker 1 (26:00):
Yeah, I mean, we can knock that out, and I'm.

Speaker 2 (26:02):
Sure if we did the math, it add up to
significantly more than that, to be fair, if you're doing
the equity lost and what it would have been for
our families at the end of slavery to have gotten
the forty acres, I'm sure if we do the math
times just the amount of Black American free citizens, then
we won't even count now with their children and their

grant and their children and their children and their children.
Just then I think it probably falls short on just
what that land would be worth. We're not going to
count not denied opportunities, We're not going to count redlining,
We're not going to count Jim.

Speaker 1 (26:37):
Crow lost lives and lost lives to.

Speaker 2 (26:40):
The opportunity cost inflation. We won't even do all that
math that you guys would do to make a case
against us, so, you know, environmental racism. And then we're
told to just shut up and accept it. If you're unhappy, here,
go somewhere else. And it's like, that's a very very
kind spirit for you to have have towards your fellow

countrymen because their skin doesn't look like yours.

Speaker 1 (27:06):
Well, now you are up to speed. That is our
one more thing for the day. Please weigh in. This
is an interesting conversation. We do have to figure out
where to go from here. I suspect that voting is
the easiest and most likely way to make an impact.
This is a democracy, for better or worse, and that's

how we engage in a democracy. And if you choose
not to, there's more conservative justices get elected. Project twenty
twenty five gets enacted and we all live the Handmaiden's
tale and it's especially worse for black people. And you know,
we can change that. And you can have conversations with
people that you know, maybe they think differently, but maybe
you can change their mind by giving them some of
this game. So if you got any thoughts, of course,

you can share using the red microphone talk back feature
on the iHeartRadio app. You can hit me at Ramsey's job.

Speaker 2 (27:56):
I am q Ward on whatever social media I'm on, and.

Speaker 1 (28:02):
We can keep having this conversation and until we do peace.
This has been a production of the Black Information Network.
Today's show is produced by Chris Thompson. Have some thoughts
you'd like to share, use the red microphone talkback feature
on the iHeartRadio app. While you're there, be sure to
hit subscribing down With all of our episodes, I'm your
host ramses Jah on all social media. Join us tomorrow

as we share our news with our voice from our
perspective right here on the Black Information Network Daily Podcast
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