As the politics of race relations have grown more fraught over the past year, one Seattle artist has chosen to make the political personal. Natasha Marin, who said she was depressed by all of the bad things happening and the negativity she was taking in on social media this year, launched a website-slash-art project called “Reparations” this year to allow people of color to request help or services from others.
“I’m trying to create moments of solidarity between people of color, and between people of color and people who are white,” she said. “I’m not into polarizing. I’m into people working together for solutions … who can you help, who can you connect with, how can you offset your privilege.”
In one moving example of the website working, a woman named Enne posted on the site that she wanted to propose to her girlfriend but could not afford to buy an engagement ring because of mortgage and loan payments.
“I would love to give this woman a beautiful engagement ring,” she wrote. “Perhaps you could help me make that possible.”
A white woman who also lived in Seattle found the post and responded that she and her husband of two years no longer wore their wedding rings, and offered to give them to Enne. She stopped by her office with the jewelry and the two hugged for a long time, Enne said.
The website has garnered backlash from white supremacists who react to the idea of reparations, Marin said, and some of them have created fake posts and then not followed through on them. But stories like Enne’s have outnumbered the bad posts, and that’s what matters to Marin.
People “get high on the joy of human connection,” she said.
Read the full story at The Guardian.