Last week the Fulton County Commission, after a 4-2 vote, will move forward with a $210,000 study to consider whether to grant reparations for black people– even as the outdated county jail is overcrowded and in deplorable condition and there is a desperate need for another hospital. 

The study, to be conducted by both a task force and Atlanta University Center, will somehow discern if reparations for Fulton Countians descended from slaves are practical or necessary. 

Before the vote, District 1 Commissioner Bridget Thorne condemned the decision as being a “divisive” course of action. (Fellow GOP Commissioner Bob Ellis was the other “no” vote.) 

“This is just such a divisive concept and I feel like it’s just going to hurt Fulton County, it’s just going to rip us apart,” Thorne said. “We heard in public comment how people are going to be paying for it. … This $210,000 is coming out of taxpayers’ dollars…  whatever reparations, whatever they decide, whatever they find, they are going to make the taxpayers pay for it.” 

“We don’t have money for the jail, we don’t have money for a hospital. That’s what we should be focusing on,” Thorne continued. She also attacked the reparations task force for only researching the Georgia county’s actions up to 1980, arguing that local initiatives and expenditures during the past few decades to help blacks should be factored into the study. 

On the other hand, Democrat Commissioner Khadijah Abdur-Rahman–characterized on Fulton County’s website as a “strong voice” for “social and economic justice” — is one of the Democrats who voted to spend the taxpayers’ money. “The purpose of the reparations task force is to evaluate if reparations are warranted, if they are warranted, in what form? Should it be educational, should it be financial? What should they be?” Abdur-Rahman told Fox 5 Atlanta TV. 

Reparations task force member Mike Russell previously spoke to Fox News Digital saying he wants to consider the program but noted the “validity” of people saying such a program can be divisive, and said that “at some point, we’re going to have to let go of the past.” 

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