Being an ally (a genuine, good ally) takes work (typically, a lot of work.) But white people need to start showing up in a big way when it comes to undoing and preventing racial injustice, and not just when it’s televised or convenient. It’s time to check privilege, put fragility aside, prepare to get uncomfortable and messy (things will get uncomfortable and messy) and fully commit to doing better. Here’s the first installment of what will be a weekly round-up of resources and other important reads for your consideration; there’s a lot to cover, but the only way is forward:
“Do what you can to educate yourself before you ask others to explain things to you. There are a wealth of resources available to you online. Google is your friend.” CNN’s starter pack for how to support marginalized communities.
“…when white people mess up, what will they do then? Will they retreat? Will they give up? Will they lash out? Will they push blame onto others? Or will they use this as an opportunity to learn what not to do and commit to doing better?” Leslie Mac speaks to Refinery29 about allyship.
“If you are white or a non-black person of color, chances are you’ve seen and heard examples of anti-black racism from friends, family or colleagues. It’s our job to call it out when it happens, even if it feels uncomfortable.” KQED gives 5 Ways to Show Up for Racial Justice Today; some of the organizations included are California-based (just a note if you’re DC, NYC or elsewhere-based), but good tips on the whole.
“So while you navigate this pandemic which has ravaged our way of life — and prematurely taken the lives of so many no matter what race — acknowledge that burden is falling on your Black colleagues disproportionately. And know that they’ll never show it.” Danielle Cadet writes for Refinery29 in Your Black Colleagues May Look Like They’re Okay — Chances Are They’re Not.
Here is a great thread that Ayo Edebiri started on Twitter to compile Black mental health resources that includes places accepting donations. (Also, this list of mental health resources compiled by Jesse Sparks for Healthyish.)
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if you aren’t doing the work. It’s hurtful to see people being silent about the never-ending murders and oppression of black people in the US. I don’t care how many followers you have, non-black people should be spreading awareness, educating themselves, sharing anti-racism resources and donating if they have the means to do so. It’s also imperative to understand it is not our job to teach you how to not be racist. Finally: Check in on your black friends!
Being black is having a good day and then seeing another black person was killed for no reason. then you have to think about/talk about that all day. or don't and numb yourself. It's a constant emotional war.
— quinta brunson (@quintabrunson) May 26, 2020
Sometimes I tweet about my feelings and they go viral. White people start following me expecting an activist. That’s also part of the problem. I expressed an emotion. It was not revolutionary. It’s how i am feeling. Go figure out what you can do to help.
— quinta brunson (@quintabrunson) May 27, 2020
“The media you consume has the power either to reinforce prejudices or to educate on the ways in which the world can be different. To become a better ally, you have to understand what you’re fighting against.” 12 Books, Movies, And Podcasts You Should Consume To Become A Better Ally To The Black Community from Well and Good ft. picks from Rashid Shabazz of Color of Change.
Here is an additional Google Doc outlining even more media to consume, as well as other anti-racism resources.
“When buying books, especially ones to educate yourself on this issue, buy from black-owned bookstores.” Who What Wear has a variety of good information in What You Can Do To Combat Racism, including lists of BIPOC businesses to support and other crucial places to donate.
(Or if you are financially unable to purchase books right now, many libraries including DCPL are offering temporary ecards which will allow you to check out and place holds on a wide selection of ebooks via Overdrive.)
“Support black businesses. Find them on WeBuyBlack, The Black Wallet, and Official Black Wall Street.” In addition to tips like this one, Medium has an even bigger list of actionable steps you can take (75, to be exact) on the path towards racial justice.
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Dear ones, Like many of you I have seen and heard and witnessed the racial injustice making its way around our screens, again. I need you to know that while this may shock some of you it’s not new. And if these are the cases caught on video think of the countless instances of people dying in secret, in hate, in fear. Black Friends and folks, I’m sorry we continue to fail you. That our systems continue to fail you. I’m sorry you have to be constantly triggered and retraumatized when these things come into the light. White Friends and folks, we need to stop sharing these unthinkable terrors and do the work. We have the privilege of looking away, swiping away, or setting down our phone when things feel uncomfortable. Don’t. The only way to truly unlearn is to walk straight into the discomfort. Listen to POC for what we can do to change things, share plans, funds, knowledge, and our spot to speak at the table, to those who can actually teach us. Black and Brown folks already fear, they don’t need to be reminded just because we’re all of a sudden being enlightened. Take care of each other.
“Before donating to a specific bail fund, Weiss advises checking your preferred organization’s Twitter feed to see how they are resourced and what they recommend.” PAPER delves into how cash bail is tied to systemic racism, and offers guidance on how to donate.
“People in the privileged position of not experiencing law enforcement as a direct threat have a moral obligation to support others who don’t have that same privilege. Here’s how to do that in a way that minimizes the risks involved, both to ourselves and the people we fight alongside.” VICE has a guide to protesting during a pandemic.
there were too many white people without masks on. too many white people that I had to tell to not run — to stay — to remain calm. if you're at a protest tonight or in the future, please be there to help us. and do the work of actually helping us. damn.
— Ayo Edebiri (@ayoedebiri) May 31, 2020
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BE SAFE. Here’s our guide on being prepared for safe protests. PLEASE READ ⬇️ . 1. LOOK OUT FOR THINGS THAT DON’T SEEM RIGHT. There are increasing reports and investigations that white supremacists may be infiltrating these protests, breaking windows and destroying property. If anything seems off to you, DOCUMENT IT. Always check who is organizing. . 2. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS OF GRASSROOTS BLACK ORGANIZERS. They have been at this a long time and are disciplined in the ropes of community organizing and demonstration. It IS a discipline. Follow trusted leaders whose goal has been the focused pursuit of justice. If they just showed up, that’s a red flag. . 3. HAVE A BUDDY. Make sure someone is keeping an eye on you and check in on them. . 4. STAY SAFE and take care of each other. 💜
This is by no means an exhaustive list, which is why we’ll be continuing to update on a weekly basis. If you have suggestions, or experiences you’d want to share – we have this platform, and would like to offer it up to you – please feel free to get in touch anytime by emailing [email protected]