Portland, Oregon’s motto is “Keep Portland Weird.” Looks like they’ve got that covered. Cameron Whitten, 27, who is an activist there for slavery reparations, has created and in fact, has tried to mandate a ‘Reparations Happy Hour’. Get this… white people are asked to give $10 to people of color at the bar so they can drink at the event. Those same white people are not invited to attend, because they want it to be a safe space for black, brown and indigenous people. They are claiming it’s a symbolic gesture. Many think it is insulting and just plain stupid.
The event was on May 21st at a local bar called Backyard Social. It is now an inaugural event. The event was promoted on social media where it stipulated the new rule: “Reparations for black, brown and indigenous people. Paid for by whites folks.” Let’s just say that people on Twitter were not enthused by any of this.
The event description reads:
“This event is for white people, too. (But don’t show up physically! Instructions are below.)”
“White people can show up and support by GIVING reparations. Instead of physically attending, your presence will be felt through your active financial support for healing, leadership, and community building within Portland’s black, brown, and indigenous community.”
“Our first business sponsor, Backyard Social, has generously offered to host a 10% day on May 21st, donating a percentage of their total sales to Brown Hope. We encourage EVERYONE to show up and buy something–you can come any time during business hours.”
“$10 will support reparations for one community member, and you are strongly encouraged to donate for more than one participant. Monthly donations are very much needed to sustain the Reparations Happy Hours and the programs of Brown Hope. You can make a one-time donation or recurring contributions here: donorbox.org/brownhope.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 27, 2018
Fox News described the reparations effort:
“The notion of full-scale reparations — sought by some as compensation for the horrors of slavery, Jim Crow and the large wealth gap between white and black U.S. households — was supported by 58 percent of black people and 46 percent of Hispanic people in a 2016 poll.”
“However, 68 percent of white Americans do not support reparations; when the topic was brought up during the 2016 presidential campaign, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said it was “divisive” and unlikely to get through Congress.”
“The economist Robert Browne once estimated a fair value for reparations of $1.4 trillion to $4.7 trillion and wrote that reparations should ‘restore the black community to the economic position it would have had if it had not been subjected to slavery and discrimination.’”
Frankly, I don’t feel I owe anyone anything having to do with slavery. It was an awful practice, but the US was the first country to outlaw it. Giving money to people who had nothing to do with slavery when you never had a part in it is ludicrous. This white guilt thing makes no sense to me and seems mentally imbalanced, just as having a safe place for people to hide does. I am not redistributing what wealth I have to those who have not earned it and have no claim to it.
“White people can show up and support by GIVING reparations. Instead of physically attending, your presence will be felt through your active financial support for healing, leadership, and community building within Portland’s black, brown, and indigenous community,” the event’s listing proclaimed. “It was only $10, but when I saw them I saw their eyes light up,” Whitten told the New York Times. “What I saw there was that people felt like they were finally seen.” I think what she sees is the prospect of free drinks and attention by playing the victim here.
People of Color are POWERFUL. Amazing turnout at Brown Hope’s inaugural Reparations Happy Hour event! pic.twitter.com/3wlqLpb3lr
— Cameron Whitten (@CameronWhitten) May 22, 2018
Approximately 40 people attended the happy hour, while over 100 mostly white liberals paid for it. The shindig was thrown by local activist group, Brown Hope, according to The Oregonian. Whitten also had seven white people come on board to help defend the group from any potential interference from alt-right groups in the area.
“We do a lot of talking. We do a lot of making excuses,” Whitten told The Oregonian. “But how often do we actually recognize and acknowledge someone’s suffering? We’re so used to being denied any sort of justice that $10 is a respite,” Whitten said. Free drinks because of your skin color? I call that racism. Bonus… it not only upset white people, it offended people of color who are seriously going after reparations for slavery. It ticked everyone off.
“This belittles the whole argument for reparations. It’s not a joke or a happy hour. It’s a legitimate demand of an oppressed people who were ENSLAVED,” wrote @MsChaunceyKR on Twitter. “What in special h***,” wrote tweeter @Keedinah. “Reparations Happy Hour? Really?? How about addressing inequalities in pay, housing and education? You know, something that’ll make a meaningful difference. How about stop s******g/arresting us for just going about our business trying to live our best life?” There goes the Black Lives Matter crowd.
A second happy hour is being planned for June 20th at Portland bakery Back to Eden, where, in early May, a black woman was apparently denied service after closing time, even though bakery employees continued to serve several white people who also entered the establishment after closing. The two employees have been fired. I’m sure there is more to that story that you aren’t hearing.
Chicks on the Right said, “You are not oppressed. You are not a victim. At least be honest about it and just admit you want free stuff.” I could not agree more.