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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Seattle Woman Creates Web Site Encouraging White People to Pay Reparations to People of Color

Natasha Marin, founder of Reparations.me

Nationwide — Natasha Marin, a poet and conceptual artist from Seattle, Washington, has recently launched an online initiative that encourages white people to ask themselves: What can I do to help fix racial injustice? Her web site, www.Reparations.me, is essentially a public forum where white people can offer their belongings or services, and people of color can request help for a specific need.

But Natasha, who is originally from Trinidad, told the Washington Post, “The site isn’t about atoning for slavery. It’s about reparations for things that happened earlier today, for yesterday, for last Thursday. This is for the present tense.”

The site, which began as a social media experiment on Facebook, has garnered a lot of national attention. Some, of course, are criticizing the idea, but others are embracing it. Natasha says she has received both racist and negative responses, and has even received death threats. But this has not deterred her.

According to her web site: “For every malevolent, racist, post submitted via this website, a dollar will be donated to Reparations.me for folks who have specifically requested financial support. The time you invest in spewing hate could be spent supporting someone who needs you in your community. But maybe you have nothing of value to offer your community except a vile contempt for creativity, compassion, and human connection?”

She says she plans to continue allowing people to pay and solicit reparations in what she calls “an organic manner without the regulation of government or committee.” She explains, “[Reparations] is a word that means repair. And I feel like many people feel broken.”

Meanwhile, the site has stirred up and renewed the controversial ongoing debate about “white privilege” and “white guilt”. It has also sparked a heated national debate about whether or not descendants of slaves deserve reparations.

For more details about the site, visit www.Reparations.me

For more details about Natasha Marin’s work as an artist, visit www.natasha-marin.com

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