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Mayoral Candidate In Gainesville, Florida, Comes Out For Reparations, Dr. Sandy Darity Responds


The race for the mayoral seat in Gainesville, Florida, is crowned with nine candidates vying to replace Mayor Lauren Poe, who is term-limited. Among those is Gabriel Hillel (also known as Gabriel Hillel Kaimowitz).

Hillel, a former civil rights attorney, recently came out for reparations for Black Americans. Hillel is white. Reparations scholar William “Sandy” Darity remarked on Twitter.

Hillel, who is now disbarred, unsuccessfully ran for commissioner several times, most recently in 2021. There is an open warrant for his arrest for practicing law while disbarred, according to court records, The Gainesville Sun reported. The newspaper also noted that Hillel “has been known to send racist emails, attacking city employees and elected officials.” His attacks seem to have been focused on white officials.

The mayoral elections in Gainesville, which is 64.55 percent white and 20.71 percent Black or African American, will take place on Aug. 23.

In a recent opinion piece for The Gainsville Sun, Hillel addressed the consequences of slavery and racism in Gainesville and came out for reparations for Black Americans.

“If I am elected mayor of a new Gainesville, I will seek reparations for the African-American community whose ancestry can be traced directly to slaves who served the city, county, and the University of Florida in the 1850s,” he wrote in the June 11 article.

He added, “Reparation proceeds would be used to recognize the contributions African-Americans have made here under extreme duress, not only in the years of slavery but during the 80 or more years of open Jim Crow practices in the last century after a poll tax, separate ballot boxes for Blacks and whites, and racially separate polling places were enacted.”

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When as by Twitter The 1st Lady of Love posted the article and asked “FL Reparationists U know him?”

“Nope. Sounds like another piecemeal reparations advocate. Do any of these folk have the courage to fight for a comprehensive national program of #truereparations, rather than go after the low hanging local fruit?” replied Duke University economist Darity, who co-authored with A. Kirsten Mullen the book “From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century.”

Darity has long stressed that reparations should be on a federal, not local level, since the amount he estimated would be due to Black Americans could only be fully paid by the federal government. According to Darity, the amount needed in reparations to close the wealth gap with be in the trillions.

“So, if we were going to close that gap, it would require us to make a national expenditure in excess of $11 trillion,” he told NPR.

When Hillel ran for Gainesville City Commission in 2021, he noted on a Facebook post that he would have a platform to “whistle-blow facts about how and why our Jim Crow public university/college town has insulted law, ethics, and freedom of the press, and engaged in an outrageous avoidance of the truth.”

In the rambling post, Hillel also ran through a list of local politicians, elected officials, and incidents that have conspired against him. 

Photos: Dr. William “Sandy” Darity Jr. (Justin Cook/Minneapolis Fed) / Gabriel Hillel Kaimowitz (submitted photo, Gainesville Sun)

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