Want to Pay Reparations in Your Own Life? There's an App for That

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

For the past 18 months, Ta-Nehisi has made the case that the United States will never live up to its ideals until it implements reparations for black Americans.

Recently, he urged Bernie Sanders to add reparations in his campaign platform.

Sanders, alas, doesn’t appear any closer to endorsing the policy. So progressives who support reparations are left with a conundrum: If you want to account for the moral debt of history in your own life, where are you to turn?

Thankfully, Silicon Valley has a solution.

Equipay is a new app which lets you split bills and other shared costs fairly—and they do mean fairly. Based on income data from the U.S. Department of Labor, “Equipay allows you and your friends to split the cost of a meal in accordance with gender and racial income inequalities,” according to its makers.

As its creator, Luna Malbroux, says: “It’s reparations—one bill at a time.”

Watch their brilliant demo, which is—speaking as a tech reporter—better than 99 percent of the app ideas you see coming out of the Bay Area nowadays:

Equipay won the grand prize at the 2016 Comedy Hack Day in San Francisco. No word yet on whether it’ll soon actually be coming to a phone near you.

Update: The comedians and developers behind Equipay say they’re “absolutely planning to release it (and a commercial) soon.” Can’t. Wait.