A riot is the language of the unheard”Martin Luther King, Jr.
Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention.Martin Luther King, Jr.
This is a special post. My daughter is our guest blogger today and is sharing her thoughts and research on how we can be part of the fight for racial justice in our society. Welcome, Daughter G!
Hey Honeybees – Daughter G here, reporting with the first guest post of the season. Thanks for letting me crash the party, Mrs. G.
This post is for white people like me. There’s a lot that we can talk about together, especially about the civil unrest across the nation, but I’d like to take a moment to talk specifically about recognizing our role in the active Black Lives Matter protests, and how you can help.
By now, you’ll have read the first installment in the “Honey, Let’s talk…” series, and had the opportunity to sit with your feelings about systemic racism and police brutality in this country, and how we might help remedy that system of oppression.
You may be seeing videos in the news or on your social media feeds about the peaceful demonstrations across the country begging our leadership to recognize the conscious and unconscious racism that black people and people of color (POCs) face every day, and the danger that creates. For those of you who haven’t seen footage on the ground from the protests, I’ve included some links here (warning: graphic, but important).
You’ll have seen long lists of names, like the one below, of black citizens needlessly killed by police country-wide, and you’ll have seen protestors on the street.
You may be seeing friends and family who are saying things like, “Of course it’s horrible that George Floyd was killed, but this rioting/looting/protesting needs to stop.” Little hints that tell you that the value of the message, of the lives that have been lost, are less important than property. Little hints that these loved ones are starting to feel 1% of the fear that people of color are feeling in their everyday lives.
You may be asking “…but what can I do?” or, even better, “How can I help?”.
The good news? The best time to help was years ago, but the second best time is now!
Below you’ll find a list a lot of resources, and link to a lot of places to give of yourself. Before throwing a wall of links at you though, I would beg of you 3 moments.
A moment to sit and recognize what is going on around you, the horrors in your America, and the incredible loss of life due to racism.
A moment to wonder why it took until now for us to listen and rise.
A moment to encourage yourself to step up and use your privilege and gifts to be, as Mr. Rogers calls them, one of “The Helpers”.
Now that you’ve taken your 3 moments, let’s talk about how you, personally, can change the world.
I would beg you to consider committing to 3 (or more!) actions from the list below :
Ways to Get Involved1
– Attend protests – if you are able, go make your voice heard. If you’re white, listen to and protect your fellow protestors who are POC, and elevate the voices of POC leaders. You can use google to find scheduled protests in your area.
– Use your social media platform – let everyone you know know what side you’re on. Amplify black voices and make sure your white friends and family are seeing footage from police killings and protests on the ground.
– Initiate the conversation with those you’re closest to – they’re looking for a way to talk about this. Create a space to make that happen.
– Go “full Karen” – White ladies, we’ve been training for this our whole lives. Ask to “speak to the manager” : call/write/bombard your government officials, city leadership, etc with demands for change. Find your representative here, and take a look at some concrete demands to amplify to the powers that be here and here.
– Sign petitions – Sign petitions demanding justice from our elected officials. Petitions are circulating everywhere, but the racial justice category on change.org is a good place to start.
– If you only have a second, you can text to sign these two crucial petitions :
• Text “JUSTICE” to 668366 to sign MoveOn’s petition for George Floyd
• Text “ENOUGH” to 55156 or sign this petition to demand justice for Breonna Taylor
– VOTE – for the love of everything good, please please please vote in all your elections. Research proposed laws and amendments etc, and all candidates for every election. Let your informed vote be heard, and stick up for the vulnerable in your community.
– Educate yourself about current events and the history of racism in America and abroad. We have a long tradition of white-washing history in schools and communities, and a lot of what we’ve learned has been purposely misleading and sometimes false. Do the work and research yourself – take the burden off of others to educate you.
List of things you can watch, read, listen to to help educate yourself to be anti-racist :
Reading List from SFPL
List of Films to Watch from Time.com
If you can only watch one film, I would also recommend the the Netflix Documentary 13th.
– Educate the younger generation (children, grandchildren) about the same.
List of resources you can use to talk to your children about race and how to be anti-racist :
Reading List for Kids from SFPL
Sesame Street’s Town Hall on Racism, which aired today (Sat. June 6th, 2020), can be streamed for free from cnn.com
Money makes the world go ‘round. Who are you funding?
In Daughter G’s house, we have regular monthly donations set up to Black Lives Matter, NAACP and the ACLU. We are also donating money to the Minnesota Freedom Fund and other more local bail relief organizations (if you can’t risk going out there, bail out the folks who are).
What 3 actions are you taking? Let Mrs. G and Daughter G know in the comments below!
1I have aggregated this list from multiple sources : friends, articles, facebook groups and other people who have been putting in the work. Notable sources include this list put together by a friend, blacklivesmatter.com, change.org, articles from npr.org, time.com, adhoc.fm, timeout.com, and fastcompany.com.