Seattle-based website invites white people to give reparations
White guilt? There’s a fix for that.
A Seattle-based website is offering a chance to provide reparations – monetarily or otherwise – to people of color.
What started as a social media experiment has transformed into a website called Reparations that invites “people who identify as white to offer services or contributions to people of color in need of time, energy, substantive care and support.”
Conceptual artist Natasha Marin’s platform also allows for people of color to request services and items such as groceries or resume and job assistance. There’s also an option to donate money toward the “Troll Fund,” which involves a $1 donation to someone requesting financial assistance for every racist message the site receives.
Reparations are based on the idea that white people have a responsibility to pay for the actions of previous generations that enslaved people of color and have led to white privilege.
The issue led to a debate on KIRO Radio’s “Tom and Curley Show:”
Tom Tangney: I think this is a brilliant website made by a conceptual artist. The idea is that she’s making literal the notion of reparations that we talk about on a social level. It’s an idea. Is it serious? I wouldn’t go that far, other than to say that conceptual art is a serious endeavor. But I think it’s meant to raise issues of social consciousness and reparations. But you can donate if you want to. Like, if you wanted to teach somebody how to do public speaking or be an auctioneer, and donate your time, you could say “John Curley, the world’s greatest auctioneer, is offering four hours of training on this.” I wouldn’t have any problem if people wanted to partake in it, but it’s more of a social consciousness raising more than anything else.
John Curley: Why put it under the umbrella of reparations? Why not just say, ‘Hey, I’ve got this service and will offer it to someone who needs help?
Tangney: To make a social point. There are still people at the Republican National Convention who suggested the Democratic Party apologized for the Jim Crowe laws. So it’s still being talked about. This is one-on-one reparations. It’s an interesting notion.
Curley: So a black individual in Africa captures a person and then sells him or her to a slave ship heading for the United States where that person is then part of someone’s economy for free labor. Does the great-great-great grandson deserve a $50,000 or $100,000?
Tangney: Well, according to Bill O’Reilly, as long as they were given good lodgings and fed well, it doesn’t really matter. But I do think the philosophy of reparations makes some sense. Can we actually extract it? No. But if people want to volunteer… I do think there are repercussions that still linger because of the past for African Americans.
Curley: I would say that is the greatest thing you can do to handicap an individual. The idea that because of what happened to your great-great-great grandfather, you yourself can’t succeed in today’s society.
- Tune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 3pm for John Curley and Shari Elliker.