Ah, Portland. Yes, it’s every bit as flaky and weird as “Portlandia,” the fabulous TV show with Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein.
Take this latest story from the granola city: Some hippy-dippy bleeding heart liberals with some serious cases of white guilt held a “Reparations Happy Hour” on May 21. They invited only people of color and, when each arrived, they were given a $10 bill (not exactly 40 acres and a mule).
White people were asked to fund the event — but, of course, not to attend. (Can you imagine, mixing the races!?)
“Brown Hope, a local activist organization, wanted the event, which was held on Monday, to be a space for people of color in a mostly white city to meet one another, discuss policy issues and plan potential action,” The New York Times wrote.
While it was far from the full-scale reparations sought by some as penance for the horrors of slavery and continuing racial injustice, Cameron Whitten, the 27-year-old activist who organized the event, said there was one similarity: It made attendees feel as if their pain were valued and understood.
“It was only $10, but when I saw them I saw their eyes light up,” he said. “What I saw there was that people felt like they were finally seen.”
Mr. Whitten said he hoped the event, in addition to building community, would call attention to reparations, the concept that black people should be financially compensated for the generations of trauma that preceded them.
The invitation to the event said: “Reparations for black, brown and indigenous people. Paid for by whites folks.”
Some attendees seemed happy, others not so much.
About 40 people attended the racially segregated event — and 100 people donated money to the cause, according to The Oregonian.
“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.”
Keep Portland weird indeed.