Reparations - Pay Off My Mortgage

Has she lost her mind?

Nope! I have not.

If you're not familiar with me or my work, I'm LaSha and I run Kinfolk Kollective which started over five years as a blog where I ranted about racism, sexism and all things Black culture. It's since, in the past three years, evolved into a community platform where I still rant -- or more respectful to my work, educate -- on race, gender and culture but also a space where Black people are centered and our needs are met.

Over the past three years, I've raised and distributed funds directly to hundreds of Black people via a number of initiatives. Those most popular include:

- A school supply drive for the in 2017, 2018 and 2019 fulfilling the school supply lists of over 300 school children of single moms

- A device drive in 2020 providing 200 school aged children with tablets/Chromebooks for distance learning 

- Ten cash awards ranging from $250 - $500 for 2020 high school graduates who faced significant barriers to graduating 

- A scholarship program in 2017 for college upperclassmen providing cash awards of $250 - $1000 for a total of $5000

- An annual Christmas list fulfillment drive fulling the wishlists of over 300 children of single moms up to $150

- Impropmptu cash drops to followers for lunch money, self-care or anything else they seem fit in amounts ranging from $7 to $500

The most major of my initiatives, which most of my followers love me for, is my fundraising for women fleeing domestic violence. Through fundraising  from a loyal, caring following, more than 75 women have been able to secure housing, relocate or otherwise obtain what they needed to safely leave an abuser.

All of these initiatives, and many more I don't have the space to list, are made possible in large part from Black women who support other Black women. The other part comes from reparations paid regularly by my white followers who recognize that reparations are due now.

I know many of you who consider yourself liberals read Ta-nehisi Coate's brilliant essay making the case for reparations to Black Americans. I will not waste my energy nor your time remaking the case here. 

What is clear is that the United States government has no intention of paying the debt it owes to the descendants of chattel slavery for its centuries of systemic discrimination, violence, oppression and terror. From the work of my ancestors who literally built this empire and its economy came the economic, social and political privilege white people enjoy.

That is a fact. One that I will not begin to debate with racist white people hellbent on draining my energy and will by arguing that they don't reparations. 

I am instead speaking to you, the white folks who know reparations are due and are ready to pay them because you know it's right. I am telling you that you don't have to wait for a mandate or anyone else to give you a plan to pay what you owe. You cannot make the kinds of sweeping systemic changes to policy and practice that are needed to address anti-Black racism in the fiber of this country. You are only one person.

But what you can do is use the economic privilege that most of enjoy to pay cash reparations directly to Black people. And as a descendant of those who were never compensated for their grueling physical work in building this country or their psychological, mental, physical and sexual abuse as a result of this country's moral bankruptcy, I am bold enough to tell you that this is one of your invoices for reparations due.

Home ownership is one of the easiest ways to build generational wealth. And since home ownership has been denied Black Americans through a variety of systemic practices not least which are redlining, predatory lending and firebombing our homes regularly from Reconstruction through Jim Crow, many Black people in this country have never fully realized the dream of home ownership that is normal for white folks. 

So, I've started this campaign to help me pay off my mortgage. And if it's laughable to you, who claim to be about equity and true reparation to Black Americans, then you are not really about what you say.

If you are however not content to wait for the government which never paid Black people the 40 acres and a mule we were promised, even after paying former slaveholders for losing the right to enslave us and profit from our unpaid labor in perpetuity, then you can donate to this ambitious and righteous goal of mine to pay off my mortgage with the reparations I am due.

If 3000 of you who hold economic privilege donate 100 each, that'll do it. If 6000 of you donate $50 each, that's do it. If 1500 of you donate $200 each, it can happen.

Whether I meet the goal or not, I'm issuing the invoice. With all the "good white people" I keep hearing about, I'm sure this goal is reasonable.


-P.S. - I don't walk bridges, so trolls don't scare me. Racism ain't nothing new and I've been called every racial and gender slur you can imagine. And I'm still here. Unbothered!


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LaSha Patterson-Verona 
Washington, DC
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