There is a new website called Reparations that, as its name implies, allows white people to offer what they can to people of color, who can also request help for specific items or needs, the Washington Post reports.
"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," the description in the site's About section reads. "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."
Natasha Marin, a black conceptual artist, is apparently the creator of Reparations, and imagined a community of sharing. She shared various scenarios she had envisioned:
POC 1: I need a massage. This week.
White Person 1: [posts Groupon with code for redemption]
POC 3: I need groceries.
White Person 3: "I'll get them for you. PM me and I'll send an Amazon Fresh or Safeway delivery. You just pick out what you want. I have a $200 limit."
However, Marin said the site isn't really about making reparations for slavery.
“It’s about reparations for things that happened earlier today, for yesterday, for last Thursday,” Marin told the Post. “This is for the present tense.”
According to the Post, the basic concept lies in the fact that white people have created a system that discriminates against and excludes people of color every day. Thus, it is the responsibility of white people to level the playing field for those who are at a disadvantage.
Marin said she came up with the idea after glancing through her Facebook feed a few weeks ago.
“I realized that the people I connected to were largely disheartened and powerless” in today's social and political climate, she said. “We were being bombarded by death and fear.”
It first started out as a Facebook event, where she invited her friends of color to post about what they would need to "feel better, be happier, be more productive." Marin then asked her white friends to offer what they could.
“If it had just been 50 people and some connections were made, generosity shown and gratitude shown, I would’ve been happy,” she said.
However, the experiment blossomed, and soon thousands were participating.
“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.”
However, it hasn't all been sunshine and rainbows. Marin has received death threats. The project's success has made it a target for racist trolls. But Marin even found a way to slay those trolls. On the site, she asks individuals, dubbed Troll Slayers, to take a pledge to donate a dollar for every negative comment. That money is then allocated to those asking for financial assistance on the site.
“It’s an effective way to monetize hatred and turn it into something worthwhile,” she said.
Read more at the Washington Post.