Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
The last thing Evanston, Il needs is more drugs. The Cook County city bordering Chicago has already become notorious for its link to the Windy City’s drug trade with multi-million dollar busts and a former detective indicted last year for allegedly leaving the department for the DEA to work on behalf of the La Organizacion de Narcotraficantes Unidos or the United Drug-Traffickers Organization.
Violent crime was up 20% last year. Evanston’s population has declined at twice the rate as Chicago’s. The decline was most pronounced among Evanston’s black population. African-Americans, who made up 22.5% of the population in 2000, fell to 16.9% in 2017. But Evanston’s City Council found a solution.
Get high and fix race relations at the same time.
Evanston’s Equity and Empowerment Commission, whose mission is to “eradicate” inequalities, met to discuss the issue. That body’s members, Julie Corbier de Lara, a Chicago pastry chef, Pastor Monte L. G. Dillard, a former teller, Timothy Eberhart, an Assistant Professor of Theology & Ecology, Max Weinberg, the principal of an Evanston school where only 54% of students are proficient in English, and Alejandra Ibanez, who launched a petition to kick the Department of Homeland Security out of the city because she confused a Cook County DHS van with ICE, helped the city come up with an amazing answer.
Sell drugs. Give the money to black people so they’ll stay in Evanston. It’s a plan that could have only come out of the People’s Republic of Evanston whose ideas all seem to combine pot and Marxism.
“We are at this point because we have done a lot in Evanston to acknowledge discrimination and oppression and racism, and we have had resolutions and various policies and different honorific actions over the lifetime of Evanston, and it has just not been enough,” Alderperson Robin Rue Simmons declared.
The proposal to pay reparations for slavery to black residents was defended as a way to make “meaningful and effective to make economic amends for the brutality of slavery.”
The Northwest Ordinance had actually outlawed slavery in the area in 1787. Drugs, which enslave their users, will be sold to pay reparations for the non-existent slavery in Evanston.
Simmons however insisted that, “Slavery informs this whole nation.” She has also claimed that she was a “teen mom” and that the “the war on drugs” had hurt her family. It’s unknown whether any of that is true, but last year, Simmons was hit with a lawsuit for taking $160,000 for shoddy work on a home renovation that went unfinished. Meanwhile, Simmons was also hit with ethics issues for being employed by a non-profit while voting on grant funding. Now she’s famous for something even worse.
Black residents would receive property tax relief, repair, down-payment and rental assistance to remain in a place that they’re fleeing as fast as the moving vans can carry them. The only question was where the $10 million to pay for this illegal racial privilege program would come from.
Alderman Ann Rainey suggested that banks ought to give Evanston the cash. “The more we take out of the City budget, the more it costs everybody to survive in Evanston,” she said, in a fit of unusual common sense. “The money isn’t here. We’re asking the Council and the people in this town to contribute another quarter of a percent to the local sales tax, because we don’t have enough money.”
And then, unironically echoing Willie Sutton’s answer about why he robbed banks, she said that banks ought to pay for it, “because that’s where the money is.”
There is a lot of money in banks. But banks are notoriously unwilling to part with it. Evanston already has $218 million in unfunded pension liabilities and has seen its bonds downgraded over its finances.
But there’s lots of money in drugs. And the People’s Republic of Evanston will use the sales tax money from pot to fund racial reparations. If there’s anything that will save Evanston, it’s selling drugs and giving the proceeds to black people to apologize for the slavery which never existed there.
“I’m offering no apologies,” Alderperson Robin Rue Simmons huffed. “This is for black Evanston residents.”
No word on what kind of racial certification would be required of residents to prove their eligibility.
But that’s not the real problem. The slavery reparations program expects to monetize its $10 million fund at a rate of $250,000 to $750,000 a year. That’s a broad range and requires moving a lot of drugs.
Getting $750,000 on a 3% sales tax would require moving $25 million worth of legal marijuana a year. That’s a whole lot of drugs for a city of under 75,000 residents. Every person in Evanston would need to spend over $300 at drug dispensaries every year to fund racial reparations.
Evanston’s only drug “dispensary” operating out of a city parking lot ran into trouble when a merger between Med Men and another drug enterprise fell apart. The obvious revenue source for drug reparations for slavery would be the drug habits of Northwestern University students. But that’s also the group likeliest to cut costs by buying directly from drug dealers and bypassing Evanston’s racial pot taxes. Dispensary consumers are older, wealthier, and cautious enough not to use drug dealers.
The new setup will also divert drug sales from black drug dealers, like the Gangster Disciples, to white dot com drug dealers, like Med Men, which seems like an odd plan for racial equity.
Meanwhile, Evanston is still trying to figure out how to pay for its $321 million budget. Its only idea is more taxes on local businesses. And residents and students can easily bypass those by going online.
Responsible elected officials would help black residents by spending tax revenue to fund schools, libraries, and other city services, and deal with its pension debt. Fortunately, there are no responsible elected officials in the People’s Republic of Evanston. And instead they plan to drive the city deeper into debt while using drug money they don’t actually have to try and retain the exiting black population.
Simmons claimed that at a Nation League of Cities meeting, thousands of officials “were in awe of us” for using drug money for slavery reparations.
Evanston, the birthplace of Tinkertoys and the home of the ice cream sundae, named after the founder of the Illinois Republican Party, has become the People’s Republic of Evanston. The awe at whatever crackpottery crawls out of the leftist college town is genuine. There’s never any way to know what sort of madness Evanston politicians will come up with next. Except that it will be horribly spectacular.
Only Evanston could combine marijuana, Marxism, and racism in one horrible bankrupt proposal.
Trying to bribe black people to stay in a failing city by using drug money to fund racial reparations is the sort of spectacularly bad idea that only Evanston, and a handful of other enclaves of politically correct insanity can pull off. And they’re places where nobody wants to live. Including black people.
(Photo Credit: Courtesy of the American Heart Association.)