White Guilt? Site Lets You Pay a Black Persons Rent
A website called reparations.me is giving a forum for those who feel that there is a need to repent for the injustices of white privilege. Reparations was launched as a social media experiment by conceptual artist Natasha Marin on July 15, 2016. It only took three days for the project to go viral and a Facebook group was created to directly connect people of color to make a request, and those who wish to atone for their white sins by making an offering.
The Seattle-based creator Marin says that the site isn't about slavery, instead “It’s about reparations for things that happened earlier today, for yesterday, for last Thursday,” adding “This is for the present tense.”
The Facebook Group invites people of color to ask for what "we need to feel better, be happier, be more productive" by posting to the space. Those who identify as White are expected to "offer services or contributions to People of Color in need of time, energy, substantive care, and support". So far, many white people have responded by offering services such as lessons in Excel and tarot card readings. Others offered to help a veteran suffering from PTSD find a service dog.
Though the site may not be focused on reparations for slavery, The Black Lives Matter movement has called for a coalition to address the topic. Others have urged for monetary compensation for the social injustices of the past. The questions for such a program are many, including what form would reparations take? and who would be entitled to receive them?