Rinna Rem, a Portland-area native whose family hails from Thailand and Cambodia, is just $500 shy of reaching her goal for her crowdfunding campaign titled “White Friends, Pay for My Therapy.”
She writes on her campaign page:
Dear white friends, I grew up in and live in the PDX area. The stress of living as a Thai-Cambodian woman in such a white city replete with constant interpersonal and institutional racism has a big toll on my health and wellbeing. I see an amazing therapist to cope with this shit, but I spend $100/month on therapy for bi-weekly appointments. Now it’s your turn to pay!
I’m 29 and really tired. I’ve already overcome liver disease and continually manage chronic conditions of Marfan’s Syndrome (like monitoring an enlarged aorta. The more stress I feel, the more I put my heart condition at risk) and depression. I want to live a healthy, happy life. I want to have a healthy, happy family in the future too. Help me pay for therapy to deal with the stress of racism. Please don’t let racism shorten my life or kill me.
Rem also cites research that details the detrimental impact racism has on the lives and bodies of people of color, including increased risk of depression, hypertension, breast cancer and even infant mortality.
At press time, 106 people had pledged $1,964 of the $2,400 total ask. “I feel that it’s a powerful thing to ask for help,” Rem told Mic. “It was a venue of power for me. I was able to ask my friends, my white friends, to be accountable for the systems that benefit them.”
Reactions to the campaign range from people congratulating Rem for being innovative in her quest for self-care to others calling her everything from an idiot to the n-word. She posted screenshots of the harassing emails she has received to the campaign gallery, but here is a sampling of the comments that contributors have left on the page:
Seahdom Edmo: From All of ME—my white side—as an accomplice in reinforcing systems of systemic racism, and my Native side—showing care and compassion for all who suffer on my anscestors traditional territory.
Anonymous: Hope you get the support you need to deal with all the stress and be happy and healthy. Portland is super racist. I am hopeful it will get better here eventually. Thanks for asking for what you need.
Charlie Randolph: You deserve to feel whole and happy, despite every social factor at work against you. Keep fighting the good fight.
Laura Jones: I fear that this campaign may prove to be more of a stressor than a help, because of the uninformed, u compassionate, defensive reactions of so many. I’m deeply sorry for that.I promise to do what I can to ensure that someday racism isn’t a thing that sends anyone to therapy. In the meantime, I hope this little bit helps. You are so important to the world.
Anonymous: Here’s a dollar to stuff up your a**! Get out of my country!
Holden Caufield: Hope this helps. Although, I think you may just be lonely because white guys aren’t attracted to you?
Rem says she’s amazed at all the attention. “I’m very surprised by how much exposure it’s gotten. Why is reparations news? It’s something that people have been asking for for a long time.”