Task Force Chair Tried to Stop Members from Speaking to Media

(Daily360.com) – As many cities engage committees, task forces and other bodies to look into tax-payer funded reparations to black citizens who may be descended from one-time slaves, Georgia’s task force is trying to keep quiet its own members. Bridget Thorne is a Republican commissioner in Fulton County Georgia who made two appointments to this task force upon her election. The task force was already underway when she made her appointments. 

Thorne raised some questions that may not have been popular among the standing members. She points out the committee will spend $210,000 to research the reparations question while other needs of the city go unaddressed. Thorne references a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into their city for jail violations which have led to prisoners deaths. Thorne notes the price tag for a new jail will likely be around $1.7 billion which the city says it cannot fund.

Commissioner Thorne said to “burden” taxpayers with costs of reparations while new jail facilities as well as a new hospital are needed within the city is poor prioritizing. The task force head Dr. Karcheik Sims-Alvarado has issued an executive order to the two Thorne appointees not to make any comments to the media regarding the reparations task force. Thorne sees this as a double standard and infringement of First Amendment rights as Sims-Alvarado speaks regularly to the media and will continue to do so with no restrictions. 

Thorne referenced a recent San Francisco reparations recommendation of $50 billion to cover qualifying citizens. She also said that when she asks fellow commissioners who support the committee how many people will qualify and what the cost will roughly be, they tell her they don’t know and it’s open ended. Thorne and her appointees are also concerned that the committee has a ‘bias’ as it seems less interested in ‘should there be reparations’ but instead is operating under the assumption there should be and the question before them is ‘how much’ should they be per recipient.

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