Oregon Happy Hour Sparks Critique From Blacks And Whites
A Portland, OR “Reparations Happy Hour” is getting a ton of backlash from critics of many different backgrounds.
Cameron Whitten, one of the organizers of a non-profit called Brown Hope, hosted a “Reparations Happy Hour” last Monday at a bar in Portland where drinks were provided by the event sponsors and people of color received a $10 donation. The idea was to create a safe space for people of color (Portland is predominantly white if you weren’t aware) where the need for reparations would also be recognized. White people were invited too — but not to physically attend, just to give reparations.
Here’s more details on the event, via the Oregonian:
The premise was simple: Black, brown and indigenous folks could show up and collect $10 at the door donated by their white neighbors. In total, 40 people attended Monday’s event.
“The best part for me was showing up like Portland Oprah and see their eyes light up when I handed them $10,” the event’s organizer, Cameron Whitten said. “Because it was about more than that.”
The reparations happy hour signified the transformation of an idea that progressive Portlanders support into something tangible for the city’s residents of color.
“We do a lot of talking. We do a lot of making excuses,” Whitten said. “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.”
North Portland’s Backyard Social hosted the inaugural event for two hours starting at 6 p.m. The next one, Whitten said, will be at the Back to Eden Bakery, where a black woman was kicked out earlier this month by a pair of employees who have since been fired.
The full event details were also listed on Eventbrite.
Whitten has been tweeting to explain a lot of misconceptions around the event.
Check out some of the critiques from social media below:
To be clear — the drinks and food were paid for by the sponsors and the organizer. The donations came — in part — from white donors.
Do you think the “Reparations Happy Hour” was a bad idea? Do you think it diminishes the argument around genuine reparations?