Natasha Marin, a Seattle-based artist, is throwing a cork in white supremacy with the establishment of Reparations.me, a website where black and brown folks can request money and receive specific reparations, according to Colorlines.
Marin was feeling disenchanted with the current political climate of the United States in regards to state violence enacted by the police, so she decided to do something to remedy the feeling of heaviness for her as well as for other people of color. She created a Facebook event titled, “Reparations,” in which she stated:
“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. 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.”
Marin’s social experiment on Facebook was so successful that it led her to create Reparations.me, which currently has more offers than requests.
The website, unsurprisingly, has received considerable negative feedback and racist trolls seeking to undermine the project. In response, Marin created The Troll Fund in which she pledged that “for every negative message received via this site, one dollar will be donated to this site and allocated specifically to those who have expressed a need for financial support.”
According to a 2015 report, slavery reparations could cost up to a $14 trillion.
While Congress apologized for slavery in 2008, the government remains wary about issuing compensation for the chattel labor that built America. Most white Americans agree, with 68 percent believing that descendants of enslaved people are not owed reparations in a poll conducted in May.
Neither Democratic presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton openly supported reparations; Sanders described compensation for slavery and racial violence as “divisive.“
Marin continues Reparations.me in an organic and individual way to repair the spirits of those who feel confined by American racial tensions and troubling history.