Portland activist stages ‘reparations happy hour’
© Getty Images

Activists in Portland, Ore., organized a “Reparations Happy Hour” this week for black, brown and indigenous people mostly funded by donations from white people, according to The New York Times.

Guests at the bar were reportedly given $10 dollar bills donated largely by white people who were asked not to participate in the event.

“It was only $10, but when I saw them I saw their eyes light up,” Cameron Whitten, the activist who organized the event, told the Times. “What I saw there was that people felt like they were finally seen.”


The event is meant to call attention to reparations, which is the idea that blacks in America should be financially compensated for the generations of abuse and racism they endured.

Whitten told the Times that there was enough interest to fund occasional happy hours for the rest of the year. He noted that the event is not meant to trivialize the issue of reparations and said that although white people were not invited, their donations helped ensure the event happened.

A 2016 Exclusive Point Taken-Marist Poll found 68 percent of Americans opposed reparations, including 81 percent of white people. Fifty-eight percent of black people supported reparations while 35 percent were opposed.

Activists in favor of the policy hope that a bill introduced in Congress last year that would study reparations is passed. Former Rep. John ConyersJohn James ConyersCalifornia comes to terms with the costs and consequences of slavery Democrats debate timing and wisdom of reparations vote House panel approves bill to set up commission on reparations MORE Jr. (D-Mich.) introduced the bill before leaving Congress in December amid harassment allegations.