All white people will be charged a “reparations” fee if they want to take part in the Seattle Pride event. The explanation for the fee is that the event is focused on “black and brown” members of the LGBTQ community. The local Human Rights Commission and the city council support the fee, as reported by The Blaze.
How did it all happen?
Jason Rantz reported for KTTH-AM that it has been stated that all “white allies and accomplices” will need to give a “reparations fee” of between $10 and $50. This is happening at the same time that the organizers have said that everyone is welcome to attend the Saturday event in Seattle.
‘All are free to attend however this is a black and brown centered, prioritized, valued, event,” the notification posted says.
“The safety of black and brown folks is paramount, and we will make sure the safety of our community is prioritized at all times. White allies and accomplices are welcome to attend but will be charged a $10 to $50 reparations fee (and given a wrist band as proof of payment) that will be used to keep this event free of cost for black and brown community but to also ensure that performers can be paid well.”
Rantz added that the fee for white people will be charged based on one’s abilities to pay. Since the event will be held in Jimi Hendrix Park, owned by the city, there are questions about whether imposing the fee is legal.
“Seattle Parks and Recreation explicitly prohibits racial discrimination in their parks. And it applies to event organizers using the park, with or without a permit,” as Rantz points out.
Capitol Hill Pride Rally and March leaders Charlette LeFevre and Philip Lipson have complained about the reparations fee, classifying it as “reverse discrimination” and a breach of local and federals laws that prohibit discrimination.
Mayoral candidate Lorena Gonzalez was offended by LeFevre and Lipson and has decided to cancel her scheduled appearance at the event.
“After a year that has taken an unbelievable toll on all of our communities, I was looking forward to this opportunity to celebrate Pride in person. However, I simply cannot support an organization that is trying to stop black people in the LGBTQ+ community from celebrating Pride in the manner that they choose,” Gonzalez said.
“Our allies, supporters, and accomplices, pay our sliding scale donation 'reparations'' because they are able to understand that as folks with privilege, equity can start with making sure that people who possess various levels of marginalization are able to have spaces that center their needs, safety, identities, and contributions to LGBTQI culture.
We ask our white supporters, allies, and accomplices to deeply consider their privilege and make a contribution that feels equitable for them (they often choose to pay more than what is asked, or volunteer with the event),” Taking B[l]ack Pride wrote in a statement about the Seattle event.
“We encourage vendors, performers and candidates to boycott Capitol Hill Pride and not support any event that would contribute to white supremacist violence against black and brown LGBTQIA folks. Your community is watching,” the statement concluded.