A “reparations fee” being charged by a Seattle LGBT pride event has triggered an ideological brawl between the city’s progressive activists and politicians.
The hullaballoo over the entrance fee has mirrored the national debate over slavery reparations — raising moral and practical questions about race and victimhood status.
The Take B(l)ack Pride event, a demonstration-cum-party slated for Saturday on Capitol Hill, says on its website, “White allies and accomplices are welcome to attend but will be charged a $10 to $50 reparations fee that will be used to do keep this event free of cost for BLACK AND BROWN Trans and Queer COMMUNITY.”
Against: The organizers of a competing pride event, Capitol Hill Pride march and rally, last week objected to Take B(l)ack Pride “charging whites only admission as reparations,” calling the policy “reverse discrimination in its worse form,” per a complaint to the Seattle Human Right Council.
For: The HRC publicly rejected the complaint Friday, joining a progressive backlash against Capitol Hill Pride that has seen the Seattle City Council president and other Democratic mayoral candidates cancel their participation in the event.
Confused: A number of would-be pride revelers, meanwhile, have wondered if they’re considered racially oppressed enough to get into Take B(l)ack Pride free of charge, leading to online arguments about “white passing,” “white privilege” and “intersectionality.”
The Trans Women of Color Solidarity Network, which is organizing Take B(l)ack Pride, has defended its “reparations fee” on Twitter as payback for daily suffering by “POC” and condemned critics as violent bigots, saying, “This is why we fear whiteness.”