(CBS DETROIT) – Detroiters could see a question on the November ballot regarding creating a reparations committee to build racial equity for Black residents.

“America has this deep, ugly history that it doesn’t…it picks and chooses when it wants to acknowledge it,” said Yusef Shakur, a Detroit resident. “Reparations is absolutely about the money, but it’s bigger than money. It’s about repairing the harm. Repairing the trauma, repairing the oppression.”

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Detroit City Council President Pro Tempore Mary Sheffield introduced the proposal that was passed unanimously by council members on Tuesday, July 20.

Sheffield said Black Detroiters are owed, and the commission will study ways to create generational wealth.

The proposed question reads as follows:

“Should the City of Detroit establish a reparations committee to make recommendations for housing and economic development programs that address historical discrimination against the Black community in Detroit?”

The measure is receiving some criticism from Michigan’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference President Rev. Aaron McCarthy.

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Yes, we deserve to have a committee, but I think that committee should be elected just like any other body,” said McCarthy. “Just like the city council was elected. Just like the charter commission was elected. I think it should be elected too, and it should be elected from a body of Detroiters.”

Rev. McCarthy told CW50, he believes the idea of reparations is being taken too lightly, and more needs to be done to ensure restorative justice for Black Detroiters.

“My recommendation for everybody right now, and I’m going around saying it, we don’t need to vote on that right now,” said McCarthy. “Right now, we need to give a pass on that until we get something that’s more concrete and that’s directed towards the reparations toward the Black folk.”

The resolution now moves to the election commission for consideration.

If the measure passes the commission’s legal review, then it will be sent to the County Clerk for ballot placement.

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