Hannah Savard of Navarre writes: "There is a misconception that reparations are all given in a monetary format. Though whatever form reparations may come, they are necessary."

I’m responding to Ron Hart's recent column, “Reparations Nation: Offering taxpayer money in exchange for votes.”

There is a misconception that reparations are all given in a monetary format. Though whatever form reparations may come, they are necessary.

Members of the LGBTQ+ community have faced years of abuse, harassment and fear. NAMI states that the LGBTQ community have a higher risk of suicide than the general population. It is simply inappropriate to compare oneself to a member of this community.

Even if the oppression didn’t take place in this generation’s lifetime, the effects of that oppression are still being felt among the community in other ways. Some of these reparations were even promised by our federal government, yet were never received. Reparations affirm the years of oppression and misuse of power the federal government legally allowed to happen. 

Acknowledging privilege is recognizing that as a heterosexual female, I can kiss my spouse in public without fear of being abused or harassed. Recognizing my privilege as a white person is acknowledging that I am not told to “go back where I came from” because of the color of my skin. Recognizing my privilege is not saying that I had everything handed to me, but it’s acknowledging that I had an advantage in society because of my white, Christian and heterosexual identity. Offering reparations confesses that these communities do not hold the same privilege that I do. It goes deeper than winning votes. It’s confessing the human rights violations felt among these communities. 

Hannah Savard, Navarre