Regina F. Graham, Daily Mail, July 28, 2016
A recently launched ‘reparations’ website is calling for white people to provide money and services to black people to relieve them of guilt and atonement from slavery.
Seattle-based artist Natasha Marin started the website that offers and suggests numerous ways where whites can give back to blacks to relieve their white guilt.
‘I invite People of Color to ask for what we need to feel better, be happier, be more productive by posting in this space. These may be both material and immaterial requests,’ she wrote.
‘I invite people who identify as White to offer services or contributions to People of Color in need of time, energy, substantive care, and support.’
Before launching the full website, Marin’s concept was first a social media experiment she launched on Facebook earlier this month.
‘What if you actually did something meaningful for someone before the end of the year?’ Marin wrote on the website of the idea.
‘What if a stranger restored your belief in humanity, if only for a moment, by supporting you and allowing you to claim something you need in a material way?
People have already started to offer services and goods, including cold hard cash, house cleaning, pet sitting, massages and free use of a car, to people of color.
Posts for those who want to give back are classified under ‘offer’ while those who need assistance with something begin with ‘request’.
For example, one person based out of San Francisco posted on the site that they would like to offer pet sitting on the weekends.
‘ #OFFER: I would like to offer pet sitting on the weekends in San Francisco, cooking and food delivery when folks are sick, and I have a car if one needs a ride somewhere.
‘If I can help, I want to help,’ the post reads.
At the bottom of the post, there’s a link for who ever wants to take them up on the offer to contact them.
Another user is offering to help utilize their skills to assist with resume tips and job hunting assistance, while someone else wants to help train people to use Microsoft Excel and build spread sheets.
A request for assistance posted on the site earlier this week is asking for money to finish college.
‘I started studying math and computer science at UPenn for 3 years now (GPA 3.2) to become a financial analyst and ‘make something of myself’ and to help people manage their money, but this last year my mother said she and her mother can’t afford to help me pay for tuition anymore,’ the request post reads.
‘I have 1 year left until I graduate. I work a part-time job while I study too and I have loans but I still don’t make enough.
‘I need $6000 to be able to go back to school next semester. I feel so close to graduating and I’ve been studying so hard and it is really stressful not knowing whether or not I’ll ever be able to finish makes it really difficult.’
This particular user is offering to email her school information to prove that she is indeed enrolled and closes the post by staying she ‘doesn’t want to give up’ on her education.
There’s also a way for people to search under a category of tabs for things they may want to help with or are requesting.
Users who post both requests and offers on the site are seemingly anonymous.
Since launching earlier this month, several requests and offerings, including free money for coffee, baby clothes, access to a recording studio and therapy have already been fulfilled and are listed under the ‘satisfied’ section on the website.
For those who post racist comments, a dollar is donated to a massive collective fund that will help fulfill requests on the site.
Speaking to Seattle Weekly in an interview on Wednesday, Marin said that she’s been very busy.
‘I’ve had about 12 hours of sleep since Friday,’ she shared. ‘I maybe have eaten, like, one real meal.
‘I’m at that point of exhaustion now, if I see two bunnies kissing each other, I’ll just start crying. I’m just that tired.’
She did however note that her site is ‘absolutely not’ trying to address real reparations for American slavery, but just ‘reparations for microaggressions’ from this past month.
‘I don’t know if the word ‘reparations’ gets people’s eyebrows up, or what,’ Marin said.
‘I’m happy that people are paying attention. Maybe people paying attention could lead to measurable improvement in the lives of people of color.’
She said that she’s happy with response from both white and black people who have used the site, as she hopes it can become a learning experience for whites.
‘Instead of all theory, it’s all practice,’ she said. ‘You can learn how to leverage and dismantle your white privilege through participation in this project.’
Another Washington-based social media project that launched on July 18 has also gone viral.
The White Nonsense Roundup was founded by Terri Kompton and Layla Tromble is aimed at helping to educate other whites about how they define white privilege.
In nearly a week, the group has racked up more than 28,000 likes on Facebook, as the founders are shocked by the response they’ve received.
A key idea of the group is to confront the idea that people of color are often forced to think about race and explain or defend their actions to others who’ve been raised with white privilege.
‘How unfair is it to ask an already-marginalized group to take on the burden of proving racism is a real thing?’ Kompton said to Seattle Weekly.
A description on the White Nonsene Roundup Facebook page reads: ‘White Nonsense Roundup (WNR) was created by white people, for white people, to address our inherently racist society.
‘We believe it is our responsibility to call out white friends, relatives, contacts, speakers, and authors who are contributing to structural racism and harming our friends of color.
‘We are a resource for anti-racist images, links, videos, artwork, essays, and voices. These can be used by anyone for a DIY white nonsense roundup, or by the WNR team to support people of color upon their request.’