Ways to Support the Black Lives Matter Movement
2020 has been a nightmare for so many; mainly, the events of this year has exposed the true depths of selfishness and societal imbalances that plague so many. While people are resisting all around the world, I can only speak for the United States. People are tired. People are tired of complying with a system that does not care about them. How can you persist in an environment that has been built against you?
I am angry. I am sad. Earlier this week, my best friend posted on her Snapchat story about how afraid she is to die due to the color of her skin. Her tears will haunt me. The fear in her eyes will haunt me. It’s completely infuriating that she had to argue her right to live peacefully.
“How could the world come to this?”, I wondered.
But it's all too obvious why. For too long, we, as a whole, have ignored the many calls to action. Many claim that we are living in a broken system. This is not entirely the truth. The system is not broken at all, rather, it is doing exactly what is was designed to do: exploit the many in order to benefit the few. This system needs to be broken.
This issue transcends politics; it should not be jarring, or racy to support people’s right to live.
I posted this short essay on my social media platforms a few days ago.
I want to elaborate on the points I made and provide ways to help the Black Lives Matter movement. My platform is not large, but I will express my thoughts. Remaining silent on the matter contributes to the continued oppression of too many.
I am a half-White, half-Asian woman. Obviously, I will never know what it is like to be Black. I will restate: I am not “woke”. I do what I can to live my live with an open heart and ears. I listen. I watch. I learn. I have always implored my readers to slow down, and listen.
In the United States, black people have been tormented since the 17th century. This inhumane treatment has perpetuated and strengthened as too many bought into false religious justification and pseudoscience.
Slavery, Jim Crow, Lynching, Segregation.
These are just a handful of atrocities that define our society. Black people have every right to be angry.
Change does not occur out of nowhere. It is a culmination of efforts; a unification of labors that re-forge the very shape of society. Change materializes when the bold courageously step out in front of the others and push old boundaries to new extremes. Step by step. It however, is a group effort.
Change is reliant upon the many. This is why we must step up and support our fellow humans. We. We. We. The narrative of “Us” and “Them” cannot persist.
American society has indoctrinated and normalized the mistreatment of so many. This should not be normal.
If not now, when? How many more people have to suffer in order for change to take shape? How many lives have to end? How many more children have to grow up in a society that simply doesn’t care?
Here are some resources and calls to action that are a stepping stone to get started showing support.
If you are able and willing, protesting is an important show of support and resistance.
Google “Local Protests Near me”, or go on Social Media to see where local protests are being held.
What to have in your Protest Toolkit
Please be safe out there.
Petitions on the Black Lives Matter site
Justice for George Floyd Petition
Justice for Breonna Taylor Petition
...and many more.
NOTE: Do not donate to Change.org., just sign the petitions and ignore the prompts to donate. The funds only go to the website owners and to pay for advertising costs. Let your donation have bigger purpose, and donate to the links below!
If you are able, consider donating to these organizations.
Nationwide Pillar Page of Links to Bail Funds
American Civil Liberties Union
...and many more.
Buy from Black-Owned Bookstores
Here are a small handful of bookstores I was able to gather. There are so many more that can be accessed with a quick Google search in your area. Also, consider ordering online if there are not any near you.
New York City, NY
This source features 50 black owned Bookstores in all 50 states.
Have Tough Conversations
Talk. Talk with your family. Talk with your friends. Talk with your parents. Talk with your neighbors. Talk with your children. Will all these conversations go well? No. No, they most likely won’t. There are too many people who either don’t want to listen, or who simply don’t care. It’s important to feel uncomfortable. If a conversation isn’t comfortable, it’s probably one that’s worth having. Emotions and strong-willed beliefs will be tested. Strength of relationships will be tried.
Remember this, the goal of these conversations should be to educate and unite.
While its easy to talk with people who agree with us, echo chambers will not help in the long-run.
These educational materials can help.
How to Talk to Kids About George Floyd and Police Violence
How to Talk to Relatives Who Care More About Looting Than Black Lives
A Toolkit for White People- Black Lives Matter
How to talk to Asian Parents about Racism
What do I tell my kids? Experts advise on how to discuss Black Lives Matter movement
For convenience, all these links will go to Amazon; but if you’re interested in purchasing, consider buying locally, and checking if black-owned bookstores carry these titles.
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
How to be Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Fatal Invention by Dorothy Roberts
The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon
I Write What I Like by Steve Biko
Locking Up Our Own by James Forman
And many, many more titles.
(My growing collection of books)
These resources and calls to action represent only the tip of the iceberg of ways to help. We must all step up and do what we can to prevent further atrocities from being committed. Non-black people must continue this fight long after the media hype dies out. 2020 should mark an important reshaping of American society. This is a human rights issue; one that we must see through until real change is established. We must. We must.