Since the unprovoked murder of George Floyd by police officer, Derek Chauvin, in Minneappolis, I have seen multiple posts on social media about people standing in solidarity with black people against racism, with some feeling helpless not knowing how to help and other accounts sharing resources on how to help. Because I saw resources all over Instagram, I did wonder if I should bother compiling this list below, and because I’m not black myself I questioned if I could really add more value to this conversation.
Then I remembered that the evil of inaction is what lets injustice be as pervasive as it is in society today. If just several people find something of use here that they didn’t find elsewhere, this is worth the post and worth more if you re-share or add your own suggestions in the comments for more people to see. After all, great change can only occur when we all unite together. If you are just here for resources, scroll down past the wordy paragraphs.
I thought I would take it back to some basic definitions first before you read about what you can do to help fight against racism.
[Please note this post focuses is on racism against black people mostly in the west, because if it was on racism against every group in every country, it would take me a year to publish.]
Prejudice: ‘Any attitude held towards a person or group that is not justified by the facts. Prejudice includes negative and positive attitudes towards people solely on the basis of their race, ethnicity, gender, or sex.’ Oxford Dictionary
Even positive generalised attitudes associated with some races are harmful, because they feed into the model minority myth which both erases differences within that group, and makes it harder to achieve racial equality.
Discrimination: ‘Treating one or more members of a specified group unfairly as compared with other people. Discrimination may be illegal on the ground of sex, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability, or nationality.’ Oxford Dictionary
Discrimination is not always illegal as seen here, which allows whole systems to get away with it. This is why attitudinal and further legal change is needed in the fight against discrimination. You are simply a wanker if you try to argue any discrimination is fine, because even the definition states in unfairness.
Racism: The inability or refusal to recognize the rights, needs, dignity, or value of people of particular races or geographical origins. More widely, the devaluation of various traits of character or intelligence as ‘typical’ of particular peoples. The category of race may itself be challenged, as implying an inference from trivial superficial differences of appearance to allegedly significant underlying differences of nature; increasingly evolutionary evidence suggests that the dispersal of one original people into different geographical locations is a relatively recent and genetically insignificant matter. Oxford Dictionary
Both individual racists, systemic and institutional racism is KILLING and taking away so many lives because of trivial, superficial and insignificant differences. Just let that sink in. People are losing their lives and having their lives drastically worsened because of something they don’t control and that does not even amount to any difference. There is literally NO EXCUSE.
The following shows how you can educate yourself, sign petitions, directly speak to elected officials, where to donate, black owned businesses you can support, as well as other resources you can use to gain further knowledge on the issues and learn how to take action for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Educate Yourself About Racism
Share these books, documentaries, movies, podcasts with your friends and family. Have the difficult conversations about racism with them after you’ve learnt more about it yourself. Their prejudice may not be as explicit , but it can come in many forms and manifest in racial dating preferences, seeing black people they’re friends with as ‘exceptions to the rule’ or clutching their bags a little tighter when they see a POC walk past. Also remember this is just a small selection and there are far many books, movies and documentaries on there to explore.
All you need to do here is use the most popular social media sites in the world to share stuff on and Google further information on everything you could possibly want to know.
Share on Social Media
It takes less than a minute to sign a petition and just as little time to share these on your social media channels so they are more visible and can be signed by more people. The above is just a small selection and there are many others you can sign in a one click method via Change.org.
Donate to Causes
Donate within the UK:
The United Families & Friends Campaign (UFFC), is a coalition of those affected by deaths in police, prison and psychiatric custody: www.uffcampaign.org
@ubeleinitiative The Majonzi COVID-19 Bereavement Fund to support members of the BAME community who have lost loved ones to COVID-19. https://www.ubele.org/covid19-supporting-bame-communities
Donate within the US:
Rebuilding the community: www.welovelakestreet.com
Louisville Community Bail Fund https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/louisville-community-bail-fund/
Support Black Owned Businesses
You can start to bridge the racial wealth gap by supporting black owned businesses. Race and socioeconomic status can often be entwined so you can support some of these amazing businesses below that deserve your £’s, to help reduce this disparity. Supporting them also allows them more exposure in a traditionally white washed landscape where global corporations tend to be more white owned (and therefore cause problematic racial mistakes like this). They can be held more accountable if there is diversity within business and you can really shake up the landscape if you’re allowing more businesses gain exposure by giving them your attention.
Shop in the UK
@emames7 created a brilliant list on Instagram with help from @ukjamii,@blackwomensdirectory,@IamKristabel. It includes: Cookbooks, Food & Drink, Beauty & Haircare Brands, Fashion & Accessory brands, Home & Lifestyle, Publications / Platforms within the UK: https://www.instagram.com/p/CA2fvXnAMD5/
More Black British Owned Businesses: https://www.anothermag.com/fashion-beauty/12570/black-british-owned-businesses-to-buy-from-now-fashion-beauty-design-lifestyle
Shop in the USA
For a directory and to find black owned businesses near you: https://officialblackwallstreet.com/directory/
Write to Your Government Officials
Here are some resources below to help you to write to your local MP within the UK.
Find your local MP – https://www.writetothem.com/
BAME COVID Letter Template – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1s6VvTXmZKT3gUeN-DZb1YinsqFv3M8WGrQQL5aIcpvk/edit
Black Lives Matter Writing Templates – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1sZ94FSYKE-zp-L-s9bChjXrddssyqfaD/view
Resources for the USA
Find out where federal, state and local legislation regarding police violence is and demand action from your local representatives at Campaign Zero – https://www.joincampaignzero.org/#action
Use this website to track government legislation and contact congress regarding resolutions. This link will take you to a webpage to condemn President Trump’s racist comments directed at Members of Congress. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/116/hres489/comment
Black Lives Matter Resources
A Simple Guide to Lesser-known Black Lives Matter Organizations & Funds (UK, USA, Nigeria & South Africa)
Brooklyn based Adhoc’s list of protests, where to donate, businesses to support, petitions to sign, resources for black people in mourning and on educating yourself about racism (USA based) https://www.adhoc.fm/post/black-lives-matter-resources-and-funds/
This post was inspired by The Ell Journal’s post I saw earlier, and a need for justice. It was also improved thanks to feedback provided by my best friend, Tiyana.