If I had been more diligent, I would have certainly blogged by now about the publication of the final report of the 1898 Wilmington Race Riot Commission, which was issued this past Wednesday. The report brings to light much that needed to be known about "this country's only recorded coup d'etat." It is much the same as the draft report that I discussed when it came out in December. The key difference is in the recommendations that it offers:
Within the recommendations that would affect Wilmington particularly, were calls for a new redevelopment authority and economic incentives to encourage minority business and homeownership in the Northside and Brooklyn, which were among the sites of racial violence more than a century ago.
. . .
The report also called for a new permanent exhibit at the Cape Fear Museum, money to make research resources available at the New Hanover County Public Library and new monuments and markers.
Among the recommendations with statewide impact, a unit on the 1898 events would be made a permanent part of the state public school curriculum. Also, the commission recommended that a television documentary be produced and aired nationally.
The commission recommended that several newspapers - including the Star-News - which reported on the event as it happened, to work with the North Carolina black press association to prepare a summary of the commission report, study the effects of 1898 and impact of Jim Crow on the state's black press and endow scholarships for black journalists.
. . .
The recommendations also asked Congress to include New Hanover County in the U.S. Voting Rights Act, a move that would give federal oversight over the drawing of electoral districts.
As Eric Muller (no slacker) has well said, these are concrete and appropriate steps to redress a specific and grievous harm. "Reparations"? Well, yes indeed.