A Portland, Oregon con artist has figured out a way to draw attention to himself while lining his pockets with "reparations" donations from guilt-ridden white donors.
"Reparations Happy Hour" is the brainchild or "social justice organizer" Cameron Whitten, who organized the after hours party for black people who are tired of waiting for their 40 acres and a mule -- the oft promised reparations for 200 years of slavery.
It seems white people are lining up to donate $10 each to black people at the party.
The weekly event, which kicked off this week at a Portland neighborhood bar, drew 40 blacks and people of color -- mostly Latinas -- who happily accepted $400 in donations from Caucasian patrons burdened with white guilt.
Whitten, who started the initiative through his new group Brown Hope, said his organization has received thousands of dollars in donations from whites and blacks who hope to see the "reparations" movement take off.
“It’s exactly what it sounds like,” Whitten says. “What I want to do is end the cycle of exploitation. For black, brown, indigenous people you face so many barriers, whether it’s tokenization or straight-up poverty.”
Whitten was recently fired from Portland’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement (probably for embezzlement. Whitten, who is black, he says he is planning to file a lawsuit because he believes racism played a role in his dismissal.
“In Portland in general, when they say ‘people of color’ they mean light-skin, white-passing Asian and Latino,” he explains. “Very often we don’t see black people in charge of things. And we see a lot of anti-blackness.
“This is a hostile environment,” he continued, noting that many of his Black friends have left the area. “They don’t die physically but they leave Portland because they’re not getting what they need to nourish their spirit here."
But not everyone is supportive of Whitten's shameless cash grab from guilt-ridden whites.
One reader on theGrio.com writes:
"I dont [sic] see how this helps anyone. It almost sounds like the whites are keeping them from partying where they want to party by giving the $10 to party over in this so called safe haven. Whats $10. It sounds like a mockery of the real reparations that are owed. Keep your $10 wheres my 40 acre and a mule that was promised. Translation "cut the check"."
Pics from last nite's Reparations Happy Hour. We had 40 attendees & gave out $400 in cash reparations. Thank you for everyone who shared, donated– most importantly, GRATITUDE to the Black, Brown & Indigenous people who showed their leadership and participated in reparations work pic.twitter.com/S4hPQCeZqd
— Cameron Whitten (@CameronWhitten) May 22, 2018