There is a difference between speechless and voiceless.
I saw that quote on my Instagram feed today and it resonated with me. Speechless is a good way to describe how I’ve felt over the past few days. Shocked, hurt, helpless are some other words. I might have included voiceless too had I not seen that post this morning. If anything, I am FAR from voiceless. I am white and so by default–whether you like it or not–I am privileged. To say I am voiceless, when in fact, I am probably the furthest thing from, is a manifestation of that privilege.
I have never had to worry about getting pulled over and possibly being murdered. I never thought about the police barging into my home and murdering me in my bed. I have never had to riot to protest the murdering of my people.
I am extremely privileged, I know that now (and have known it to some extent for a while). I’ve noticed a need among the white community. A plea for someone to tell us how to support the BLM movement, how to be an ally. This need does NOT fall on POC. It is not their responsibility to educate us. To fill this gap, and to continue to educate myself, I have gathered resources to support the Black Lives Matter movement in three different categories: donate, educate, & speak out. This is by no means a comprehensive list, and it’s far from perfect. I simply collected resources that I have seen and researched over the past few days that I know are helpful for ME. These are resources that I am using to fulfill my commitment to learning about this movement. My goal is that somewhere in this post you will find a way to support that calls to you. My hope is that you find more than one.
We fight together.
- Black Lives Matter is a REAL organization that could use donations for their global campaigns that fight racial injustice.
- The NCAAP Legal Defense Fund is currently leading the charge in fighting for legal rights pertaining to civil liberties. It is important now more than ever that they remain funded to fight against unlawful arrests made during the protests.
- The Minnesota Freedom Fund posts bond for those arrested during the protests. In order to continue freeing these people, they need your contributions.
- The family of George Floyd is under immense pain and national scrutiny through the news. The last thing they should have to worry about right now is money. Do not donate to change . org or Grassroots campaigns, send your money directly to the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund.
- The Black Visions Collective is a Minnesota-based organization that is working to build political opportunities for Black community members in Minnesota and beyond. I have personally donated to this cause and resonate with their mission.
- Reclaim the Block is a Minneapolis-based grassroots organization that has been fighting for change in their community even before any of this happened. They have been providing countless resources to the Black community and with your support they can continue to do so.
- The North Star Health Collective is working to provide medical needs to protestors who are being injured by tear gas, rubber bullets and other means of police brutality during the protests.
- The Lake Street Council is collecting funds to rebuild small businesses on Lake Street in Minneapolis that were damaged in the protests.
- Campaign Zero is an online platform & organization that is using research to develop 10 main policies that aim to end police violence in the United States.
- Unicorn Riot is a nonprofit organization that refuses to accept corporate and government funding. They are comprised of artists and journalists that are dedicated to uncovering the root causes of dynamic social & environmental issues.
There are so many other causes to donate to, but I did not want to make a list that was overwhelming. I’ve included the 10 most prominent right now. If there are other causes that you would like to be added to this list, please feel free to comment and I will update both as suggestions come in and as I discover new causes to add to the list!
This section provides resources you can watch, listen to, and read to educate yourself on the systematic racism that is present in this country and the world. Each item listed contains a link that will bring you directly to the resource. Note: some of the movies do require a subscription to streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu.
- 13th, Ava Duvernay
- American Son, Kenny Leon
- Dear White People, Justin Simien
- See You Yesterday, Stefan Bristol
- When They See Us, Ava Duvernay
- If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins
- The Hate You Give, George Tillman Jr.
- Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975
- Clemency, Chinonye Chukwu
- Fruitvale Station, Ryan Coogler
- I Am Not Your Negro, James Baldwin Documentary
- Just Mercy, Destin Daniel Cretton
- Selma, Ava Duvernay
- The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
- King in the Wilderness
- 1619, the New York Times
- About Race
- Code Switch, NPR
- The Diversity Gap
- Intersectionality Matters! hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw
- Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast
- Pod for the Cause, the Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights
- Pod Save the People, Crooked Media
- Seeing White
- The Stoop
- The Chicken And Jollof Rice Show
- The Nod
- Girls Like Me
- The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin
- Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay
- America’s Original Sin, Jim Wallis
- The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander
- White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color, Ruby Hamad
- Good Talk, Mira Jacob
- Blindspot, Mahzarin R. Banaji & Anthony G. Greenwald
- Me and My White Supremacy, Layla F. Saad
- So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo
- How to be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi
- Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
- The Fire This Time, Jesmyn Ward
- White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo
- I’m Still Here, Austin Channing Brown
- When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, Patrisse Khan-Cullors
- An African American and Latin History of the United States, Paul Ortiz
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century, Grace Lee Boggs
- Mindful of Race, Ruth King
- Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson
- Tears We Cannot Stop, Michael Eric Dyson
- The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison
- The Color of Law, Richard Rothstein
- The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson
- This Book is Anti-Racist, Tiffany Jewell
- Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?, Beverly Daniel Tatum
This section does not contain links, it doesn’t require you to buy anything or to spend money. This section contains the actions that we, white people, can and SHOULD be taking every single day to be antiracist. Not being racist isn’t enough anymore. We need to be actively fighting back.
- Share your knowledge with people around you. Start having these difficult conversations with family & friends.
- Don’t vote for racists. Don’t vote for racists because the rest of their views align with yours. Don’t vote for racists because they’re “better” than the other candidate. Don’t vote for racists because “they don’t mean it.” No excuses, don’t vote for racists.
- Stand up to racist jokes.
- Speak out against racist actions and comments. Be the one to report them if they occur in your workplace.
- Stay updated. Watch the news, read articles, get the updates from Twitter.
- Lean into what is uncomfortable. Don’t put your phone down or close your eyes when things are stressful or hard. Our uncomfortableness pales in comparison to the injustice that POC experience on a daily basis.
- Sign petitions. I have shared some on my Instagram stories, but I know that there are so many more.
- Stop saying “All Lives Matter.” When they scream “Black Lives Matter” and you respond with “ALL Lives Matter,” you are gaslighting. You are protecting yourself from feeling discomfort and guilt by deflecting. You are not getting “less than” because we are raising up the voices of Black lives. No one ever said Black lives matter more than other lives.
- Check your privilege. Read about it, be aware of it, stop using it to your advantage.
- Stop using the riots and looting to demean the message of the protestors. You say “not all cops,” well, it’s not all protestors (plus most of the ones doing the damage are white anyway).
- Which brings me to my next point, stop saying “not all cops.” You’re right, it’s not all cops, but that isn’t the point. Saying “not all cops” doesn’t solve the problem. Also, I saw this on Instagram and thought it was perfectly said: “If there are 10 bad cops and 1,000 good ones, but the good ones aren’t condemning the bad ones, now you have 1,010 bad cops.”
- Lead with love. If nothing else, (but God, please do other things on this list) stop letting your fear control you. Stop letting hate consume you. We all bleed red, we all are human. There shouldn’t be a fight to end racism, it should be something the world embraces with love. Be one of the ones spreading that love.
I hope that this post was able to give some of you a starting ground. Now there are no more excuses. No more, “I don’t know what to do” or “I am afraid of saying/doing the wrong thing.” Staying silent & complacent is worse. This must end & it ends with everyone rising up together.
If there is anything you would like me to add to this post or feedback you would like to give, please send me an email or leave a comment on this post. Thank you so much for reading.