Artist Natasha Marin creates a site called Reparations

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Artist Natasha Marin creates a site called Reparations

Postby ink » Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:40 pm

here is the actual website ---> http://www.reparations.me/


From the Washington Post:

By Elise Schmelzer August 2

One Louisiana native just wanted some books. A mother from Oklahoma simply wanted some help to buy a new laptop battery.

So they, along with dozens of other people of color, took to a new website to ask for help from those who have discriminated against them for decades: white people. Simultaneously, white people came to the site, called Reparations, to offer what they could and to start to answer the question: What can I do to help fix racial injustice?

It’s a big, complicated question. The site offers a concrete solution: a public forum where white people can offer their belongings or services and people of color can request help for a specific need.

But the site isn’t about atoning for slavery, says its creator, Seattle-based artist Natasha Marin.

“It’s about reparations for things that happened earlier today, for yesterday, for last Thursday,” she said. “This is for the present tense.”

Here’s the basic concept: White people have created a political and cultural system that discriminates against and excludes people of color every day. Therefore, white people have a responsibility to actively work to level the playing field for the people of color who are disadvantaged and threatened by racism and racial inequality.

So far, the number of offers have far outnumbered the number of requests. The offers and requests from people around the country are varied, from offers of lessons in Excel and tarot card readings to requests for help buying an engagement ring or finding a service dog for a veteran with PTSD. Marin doesn’t personally connect the givers and the receivers; she just provides the space for them to communicate.

request1
offer1
Marin created the project after a demoralizing scroll through her Facebook feed a few weeks ago.

“I realized that the people I connected to were largely disheartened and powerless” after a series of killings of black men by police and racist rhetoric during the presidential race, she said. “We were being bombarded by death and fear.”

So she decided to do something about it. She created a Facebook event and invited her friends of color to post what they would need to “feel better, be happier, be more productive.” She asked her white friends to offer what they could. She had few expectations about where the project would go.

“If it had just been 50 people and some connections were made, generosity shown and gratitude shown, I would’ve been happy,” she said.

Instead, her small experiment continued to grow. Soon, thousands were participating in the website and Facebook group.

“I think people are asking themselves: How can I be just a little bit better?” Marin said. “It’s encouraging to see people remember that it feels good to be helpful.”

The project’s success has also come with an endless slew of racist and negative responses, however. Marin has received death threats.

But she has found a way to combat the hate in a productive way. The site asks people, called Troll Slayers, to take a pledge to donate a dollar to the site for every terrible message received, which are archived in a separate Facebook group. That money is then redistributed to those on the site asking for financial assistance.

“It’s an effective way to monetize hatred and turn it into something worthwhile,” she said.

The United States has struggled for decades over whether to pay reparations to its black citizens for centuries of slavery, violence, discrimination and exclusion. Some states have apologized for their roles in creating and maintaining racial injustice, but none have ever moved to compensate the victims of those actions. Even Bernie Sanders, one of the country’s most progressive politicians, said he would not support financial reparations, calling them “divisive.” On Monday, a coalition of organizations affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement called for a commission that would study the potential of reparations.

In the meantime, Marin will stick with her project, allowing people to pay and solicit reparations in an organic manner without the regulation of government or committee. Her project takes the word “reparation” back to its simplest meaning.

“It’s a word that means repair,” she said. “And I feel like many people feel broken.”


link to article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/08/02/new-website-allows-white-people-to-offer-reparations-directly-to-people-of-color/

*careful reading through comments, the is quite a lot of hate to stumble through...


thoughts?!
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Re: Artist Natasha Marin creates a site called Reparations

Postby Charmosa » Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:45 am

Some things added and deleted from my original post upon rereading:

This is positive. I'm definitely going to share this. It's like Pay It Forward, but with the racial element added. It's brave and I’m glad that they went ahead and made it even though they knew there would be backlash. And it's already helping more people than expected! I hope more people will be brave enough to share this and speak openly about things like reparations in the present tense, not as some sort of lingering guilt about slavery. I want enough people to get behind this that POC actually get on a level playing field so that the people who think they already are will eventually be right!

The people I’ve met who are against racially exclusive projects or organizations for POC (calling them racist or unfair) are currently or formerly poor white people. Lower class, lower educated, went through/are going through mad struggles being broke. The system criminalizes being poor, by arresting the homeless, stealing from the poor every chance it gets and giving to the rich. It's sickening and affects ALL poor people. I can hear now, the echoes of broke white people saying why can't I receive anything from rich white people? If this were swapped and it was only for whites it'd be racist! So what's the difference?

Its irony is a beautiful one. All you have to do is observe the outrage from these white folks. They are real people with real struggles, and their emotional reaction to being excluded from something based on their race is a natural one. Let that sink in and it CAN and SHOULD lead to empathy and understanding. I see you broke white folks, 80% of the time I am one. But I've been living in racially diverse neighborhoods. I’ve been close to POC and remain close. I not only see the obvious racism around me, but I get confidential accounts straight from the horse's mouth. I get tear filled stories AND the casual nod of, hey, did you see how that person only talked to you?

I don't think that the people who are against reparations are all stupid or evil or hate POC. I think they are blind to the experiences of the POC around them. They say racism isn't inherent, it's a learned behavior. Well so is the opposite! You are not going to simply have all the information inherently about what POC go through. How could you? There is a middle ground where we are losing a lot of people that are not really racist OR empathetic. People who are getting a poor education at school that excludes systematic racism (in history and in the present), then going to a home devoid of any meaningful interactions with POC, and then watching/reading/listening to news and entertainment that doesn't impact upon them POC's lived experiences either!

So here we are, on the internet. A true melting pot. Where someone in a white neighborhood doesn't have to go outside their comfort zone to a black neighborhood to try and make friends (where, in all honesty, they may face rejection based on their race. It's a hurtful experience, one people tend to avoid, but only white people can choose to avoid racial rejection as much as they do*). But here, on the internet we can read and publish blogs, interact on forums, do extensive research, or just watch videos of each other goofing around and venting. Just being a person. Most importantly, greater exposure leads to greater understanding. Segregation is a bad idea, because while, yes, all poor people are getting a shit deal in this country, to shit on each other in a black v. white v. brown type race war is hurting ALL us poor people. If you have a gut reaction against the idea of reparations because it’s discriminatory against you, that is EXACTLY why they are necessary. If you take this feeling and amplify it to reflect MUCH more financial, social, and violent discrimination, then stretch it over generations and generations, you will find yourself feeling much, much more outraged.

So white people who feel like this is wrong. Feel that feeling! But then move that right on up to your brain. All the pieces are there for you to put together. I believe in you. It's a big puzzle, but you're smart. I bet you have part of it put together already, enough so that you can see what the picture is (racial equality). Instead of a million pieces of whatever, you can go, "Oh, this is a puzzle of puppies!" or "It's a butterfly! And some flowers! I think this is a puzzle of a garden!" But just because you know what the puzzle is of, doesn't mean you have all the pieces put together yet. You have amazing possibilities to surprise yourself. "Holy shit! There's a unicorn in this garden and it's on fucking Jupiter! It's winking at me and holding a joint in its hoof. Man, I'm so glad I spent years putting this together. You know, there were times when I was swearing at this damn thing in frustration. I didn't think I'd ever finish it. Now, I'm swearing in joy."

<3- - - - - - - - - - - - <3

Local plug to Kaitlin Marone http://www.kaitlinmarone.com/platfo... who is running for Louisiana Senate in November (one more reason to go vote, even if/especially if you don't like your presidential options). She's the only truly liberal candidate running for senate in the state and definitely the only one who is trying to finally make reparations happen.
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Re: Artist Natasha Marin creates a site called Reparations

Postby ink » Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:16 pm

excellent.. lots of insight. a great & thoughtful post Charmosa! thnx for your response. this war on poverty should unite us, i agree!
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Re: Artist Natasha Marin creates a site called Reparations

Postby Charmosa » Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:52 pm

Thanks, I tend to get pretty passionate about people's indifference or denial of current racial issues. Partly because I don't think they're bad people overall, just this one flaw in logic, flaw in sight, this lack of perspective. I think for some reason a lot of people get it into their head that if they admit racism is still a big problem they are identifying themselves as potential racists. To create this false alter-reality is an immaculate defense if they ever get called racist. "Me? Racist? Impossible! Racism doesn't exist anymore!" And it's not necessarily their idea, it's what we're taught in schools and by our parents. MLK made a speech and then we were all magically equal. It's a white fairy tale.
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Re: Artist Natasha Marin creates a site called Reparations

Postby Itsa notame » Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:29 pm

I think if people helped people because they were people we'd be much better off. To bring color into it only stirs a racial divide that is already prevelant across the world. Racism won't stop until everyone sees each other as they see themselves...human. Not where you're from and what color you are.
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Re: Artist Natasha Marin creates a site called Reparations

Postby cerrodepedro » Sat Sep 10, 2016 11:22 am

I'm gonna be frank, because here we don't really try to cajole one another into groupthink when we see something pretty obviously disjointed: So, racial violence is to blame on the victims of the racial violence who would like it recognized that they have and continue to experience racial violence? Not seeing the logical connections here. What I am seeing is that seeing color is tiresome to some folks. Not sure whether that discomfort is much a cause for alarm. Or violence.
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Re: Artist Natasha Marin creates a site called Reparations

Postby Charmosa » Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:06 am

cerrodepedro wrote:I'm gonna be frank, because here we don't really try to cajole one another into groupthink when we see something pretty obviously disjointed: So, racial violence is to blame on the victims of the racial violence who would like it recognized that they have and continue to experience racial violence? Not seeing the logical connections here. What I am seeing is that seeing color is tiresome to some folks. Not sure whether that discomfort is much a cause for alarm. Or violence.


I've read this five times and I don't follow what you're saying here:
"So, racial violence is to blame on the victims of the racial violence who would like it recognized that they have and continue to experience racial violence? Not seeing the logical connections here."
Because I'm reading that as "racial violence is to blame on (people of color) who would like it recognized that they have and continue to experience racial violence." Which in a statement by itself is ok, but reparations is not putting the blame on victims of racial violence, it's taking it away from them.

On another note, I think seeing color is going to continue to happen, so why make it tiresome? If you (the general you, not you cerro) approach color specific topics as if you find them tiresome, it's another way to keep those experiencing color specific troubles (or joys!) silent about them, because who wants to feel tiresome?
"I was discriminated against and want to talk about it!"
"*sigh* fine. If you must."
"I'm the first black person to accomplish x!"
"Let's just celebrate that you accomplished x, ok? Why drag race into it?"

I'm not accusing you of doing any of these things, I hope you get what I'm trying to say. Which is, I cannot allow myself to become tired about racism, although I'm sure for some it's exhausting. I just know when I share something important to me with someone and they minimize the importance, I learn to stop going to that person. Because they've proven over and over again that they don't get it, or they don't care. Problem with that when it comes to race is that we stop coming to each other and racially divide ourselves (it also happens among class and gender, but the topic is reparations so let's stick to race). Then those 'tired of seeing color' are able to point to "self selecting" racial divisions as evidence that racial unity is not actually desired or possible. It's a very effective passive aggressive technique to never accept responsibility. Reparations is a step towards undoing a long history of that and finally taking some responsibility.

Anyway, cerro I wasn't aiming a missile at you, I promise. I am definitely going to assume your heart is in the right place. But I am a little confused by what you were saying if you care to clarify.
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Re: Artist Natasha Marin creates a site called Reparations

Postby Itsa notame » Sun Sep 11, 2016 7:20 am

Now I'm confused. If it's about reperations (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reparations_for_slavery) then for a charity it's got a terrible name. Perhaps my first charity will be reparations from anyone who's done anything bad to my gender/race/heritage/basically fucking anyone. That's what I'd call it. Where does it end. I mean it's trying to guilt racist people into giving them free shit. Most charity's=scam. I mean targeting guilty feelings of white folks is racial targeting. Racism pisses me off its petty pointless and useless in intelligent thought no matter where it comes from.
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Re: Artist Natasha Marin creates a site called Reparations

Postby ink » Sun Sep 11, 2016 2:23 pm

rep·a·ra·tion
ˌrepəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun
the making of amends for a wrong one has done, by paying money to or otherwise helping those who have been wronged.
"the courts required a convicted offender to make financial reparation to his victim"
synonyms: amends, restitution, redress, compensation, recompense, repayment, atonement
"the victims are seeking reparation"
Origin:
late Middle English: from Old French, from late Latin reparatio(n-), from reparare ‘make ready again’ (see repair1).


__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

James Oliver Horton; Lois E. Horton (2005). Slavery and the Making of America. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 7. ISBN 0-19-517903-X. "The slave trade and the products created by slaves' labor, particularly cotton, provided the basis for America's wealth as a nation, underwriting the country's industrial revolution and enabling it to project its power into the rest of the world."

^^^ seems like a pretty good reason..

if you read the article, she simply provided the platform. so now the people who come to get involved do the rest..
Marin created the project after a demoralizing scroll through her Facebook feed a few weeks ago.

“I realized that the people I connected to were largely disheartened and powerless” after a series of killings of black men by police and racist rhetoric during the presidential race, she said. “We were being bombarded by death and fear.”

So she decided to do something about it. She created a Facebook event and invited her friends of color to post what they would need to “feel better, be happier, be more productive.” She asked her white friends to offer what they could. She had few expectations about where the project would go.

“If it had just been 50 people and some connections were made, generosity shown and gratitude shown, I would’ve been happy,” she said.

Instead, her small experiment continued to grow. Soon, thousands were participating in the website and Facebook group.

“I think people are asking themselves: How can I be just a little bit better?” Marin said. “It’s encouraging to see people remember that it feels good to be helpful.”


now has anyone been to the site? its actually pretty cool. she just produces the platform.. i mean its not even a charity, if you think about it. its an organized service. like the barter system.. we have craigs list and ppl get scammed all the time on that, yet many continue to use it...no?

Now Marin calls the site reparations, and catches a lot of heat for it. why, as this is just a name? I'll tell you why, accountability. accountability on the part of our ancestors, truth that this system was one comprised of white supremacy within our United States history, that no-one wants to talk about, acknowledge, essentially pretending that it never even existed, because if we refuse to even talk about it, it never happened, right?! /tdown
so aside from that, what is the difference from craigslist?!

*oh, but now, she did find a way to monetize actual hate, which is super creative.. /nod
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Re: Artist Natasha Marin creates a site called Reparations

Postby ink » Sun Sep 11, 2016 2:33 pm

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take a look at that example.. does that look like the offer was product of manipulation..? guilt-ed into giving up that piano? or maybe she accepts that history in the US was vile, and by doing something out of love, for a greater purpose, seemed like a pretty good way to counter all that hate.. /nod
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Re: Artist Natasha Marin creates a site called Reparations

Postby ink » Sun Sep 11, 2016 2:38 pm

*also, Cerro's post was following the previous post, so it is order relative..


Itsa notame wrote:I think if people helped people because they were people we'd be much better off. To bring color into it only stirs a racial divide that is already prevelant across the world. Racism won't stop until everyone sees each other as they see themselves...human. Not where you're from and what color you are.



cerrodepedro wrote:I'm gonna be frank, because here we don't really try to cajole one another into groupthink when we see something pretty obviously disjointed: So, racial violence is to blame on the victims of the racial violence who would like it recognized that they have and continue to experience racial violence? Not seeing the logical connections here. What I am seeing is that seeing color is tiresome to some folks. Not sure whether that discomfort is much a cause for alarm. Or violence.
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Re: Artist Natasha Marin creates a site called Reparations

Postby Itsa notame » Sun Sep 11, 2016 3:40 pm

I'm just sayin I'm not my ancestors. If I was, part of me would be building the railroad. Part of me would be running the building of the railroad and part of me would be fighting the people building the railroad that are driving my people off their land. I'm a mutt. The thought of helping someone is a grand and noble thing. I just think no one is accountable for their douchebag ancestors fuck ups. I'm not saying she's not a good person because I don't know her but yes reperations is a guilt filled term to me and I feel no guilt towards slavery. It was fucked up and wrong but it wasn't me. Again I'm all for helping people but reperations is not a term I would use for helping someone.
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Re: Artist Natasha Marin creates a site called Reparations

Postby cerrodepedro » Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:35 pm

As long as we enjoy the benefits of whiteness, and we do, as long as we enjoy the spoils of slavery and war, and we do, we remain accountable. And damn, I like that the site is voluntary. It really doesn't come across as coercive. If it is about "white guilt," then that is on the silly folks thinking that it's more about them assuaging their own sense of shame than an actual shift of power, than sharing the advantages they've enjoyed due to systematic exploitation of the less fortunate via racism with the generations who have inherited corresponding disadvantages from previous generations.

Things I'm seeing on there absolutely address economic and social disadvantage! Whether as requests, offerings, or accounts of success, they're pretty cool:

  • a massage
  • dental implants
  • career advice
  • weight loss assistance

I think part of being part of the dominant culture and beginning to empathize and be helpful for the exploited, be it due to racism, misogyny, homophobia, etc., is stepping back and letting said groups be the dominant voices when it comes to what ought to be done for them to be able to feel that justice has been satisfied. That's why I find it a bit disingenuous when those of us who enjoy a great deal of advantages due to how we're perceived as "normal" rather than "other" (read: not white, not straight, not as or more wealthy than lower middle class, etc.) speak up against the very concept of reparations. Peace is little more than an illusion if some notion of justice does not accompany it.
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Re: Artist Natasha Marin creates a site called Reparations

Postby Charmosa » Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:58 am

ink wrote:*also, Cerro's post was following the previous post, so it is order relative..


Itsa notame wrote:I think if people helped people because they were people we'd be much better off. To bring color into it only stirs a racial divide that is already prevelant across the world. Racism won't stop until everyone sees each other as they see themselves...human. Not where you're from and what color you are.



cerrodepedro wrote:I'm gonna be frank, because here we don't really try to cajole one another into groupthink when we see something pretty obviously disjointed: So, racial violence is to blame on the victims of the racial violence who would like it recognized that they have and continue to experience racial violence? Not seeing the logical connections here. What I am seeing is that seeing color is tiresome to some folks. Not sure whether that discomfort is much a cause for alarm. Or violence.



Oh, what a durr moment on my part, thanks for catching that!

cerrodepedro wrote:As long as we enjoy the benefits of whiteness, and we do, as long as we enjoy the spoils of slavery and war, and we do, we remain accountable. And damn, I like that the site is voluntary. It really doesn't come across as coercive. If it is about "white guilt," then that is on the silly folks thinking that it's more about them assuaging their own sense of shame than an actual shift of power, than sharing the advantages they've enjoyed due to systematic exploitation of the less fortunate via racism with the generations who have inherited corresponding disadvantages from previous generations.

Things I'm seeing on there absolutely address economic and social disadvantage! Whether as requests, offerings, or accounts of success, they're pretty cool:

  • a massage
  • dental implants
  • career advice
  • weight loss assistance

I think part of being part of the dominant culture and beginning to empathize and be helpful for the exploited, be it due to racism, misogyny, homophobia, etc., is stepping back and letting said groups be the dominant voices when it comes to what ought to be done for them to be able to feel that justice has been satisfied. That's why I find it a bit disingenuous when those of us who enjoy a great deal of advantages due to how we're perceived as "normal" rather than "other" (read: not white, not straight, not as or more wealthy than lower middle class, etc.) speak up against the very concept of reparations. Peace is little more than an illusion if some notion of justice does not accompany it.


Beautifully said.

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