A Seattle-based artist noted the paralysis many feel in accounting for structural White supremacy and decided to do something about it. The result: Reparations.me, a website for people of color to request and receive specific reparations.
"I think people are asking themselves: How can I be just a little bit better?" creator Natasha Marin told The Washington Post. "It’s encouraging to see people remember that it feels good to be helpful."
Reparations.me allows people of color to request money for specific services or items, and for White people to fund those requests, as well offer their own services or items. Current offers include free dog training and graphic design services, and there are appeals for help purchasing a mixing board and paying university tuition.
After seeing demoralizing posts on her feed, Marin planted the website’s seeds via an experimental Facebook event last month. "We were being bombarded by death and fear," she said about the then-recent killings of Black people by police and the racism-saturated presidential election. The Facebook event grew so large that she felt it merited a separate website.
Marin also created a "Troll Fund," which is a response to the racist vitriol and death threats she receives. Via the fund, supporters can pledge a dollar for every hateful message received; they are archived on a separate Facebook page. "It’s an effective way to monetize hatred and turn it into something worthwhile," she said.
Reparations.me enacts reparations on a small, individualized scale as the country reckons with the concept of structural reparations. The Movement for Black Lives‘ new policy platform includes reparations to African Americans for slavery and historical oppression as one of its core demands.